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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

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The John M. Krebs Donation. 

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And sold by J. Parker, Oxford; Deighton and Sons, Cambridge; D.Brown, 
Waugh and Innes, and H. S..Baynes and Co. Edinburgli ; Cljalmcrs and 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; JM. Kecne, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 







he Preface • • • i t . , 3 


Peter's confession j Matt. xvi. 16. Conceits of the Papists thereon. The sub- 
stance and excellency of that confession • • 41 

Opposition made unto the church as built on the person of Christ • • 49 


The person of Christ the most ineffable effect of divine wisdom and goodness. 
Thence the next cause of all true religion. In what sense it is so 60 

The person of Christ the foundation of all the counsels of God . • e 71 


The person of Christ the great representative of God and his will 84 


The person of Christ the great repository of sacred truth. Its relation there- 
unto , ; 102 




Power and efficacy communicated unto the office of Christ for the salvation of 
the church from his person 109 


The faith of the church under the Old Testament in and concerning the person 
of Christ 127 

Honqur due to the person of Christ ; the nature and causes of it 131 


The principle of the assignation of divine honour unto the person of Cbrist, in 
both the branches of it ; which is faith in him 151 

Obedience unto Christ ; the nature and causes of it 169 


The especial principle of obedience unto the person of Christ; which is love. 
Its truth and reality vindicated 174 


The nature, operations, and causes of divine love, as it respects the person of 
Christ 188 

Motives unto the love of Christ • • 202 

Conformity unto Christ, and following his example • • 211 


An humble inquiry into, and prospect of, the infinite wisdom of God, in the con- 
stitution of the person of Christ, and the way of salvation thereby • 223 




Other evidences of divine wisdom in the contrivance of the work of redenaption, 
in and bj? the person of Christ, in effects evidencing a condecency thereunto 237 


The nature of ihe person of Christ, and the hypostaticai union of his natures de- 
clared • 278 


The exaltation of Christ ; with his present state and condition in glory during 
the continuance of his mediatory office 294 


The exercise of the mediatory office of Christ in heaven » 314 

Preface to the reader • 343 


Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am : 
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me. — John xvii. 24. 365 


The glory of the person of Christ, as the only representative of God unto the 
church 375 

The glory of Christ in the mysterious constitution of his person 395 


The glory of Christ in his susception of the office of a mediator. First in his 
condescension •••••..•••... 411 



The glory of Christ in his love 424 

The glory of Christ in the discharge of his mediatory office 431 


The glory of Christ in his exaltation, after the accomplishment of the work of 
mediation in this world • 436 

Representations of the glory of Christ under the Old Testament 442 

The glory of Christ in bis intimate conjunction with the church 448 

The glory of Christ in the communication of himself unto believers t . . 457^ 

The glory of Christ in the recapitulation of all things in him 467 


Differences between our beholding the glory of Christ by faith in this world, 
and by sight in heaven. The first of them explained 476 


The second ditfcrence between -our beholding the glory of Christ by faith in 
this world, and by sight in heaven , ., . , , . 494 




Other differences between our beholding the glory of Christ by faith in this 
world, and by sight in heaven ^ t 518 



To the reader 529 


Application of the foregoing meditations concerning the glory of Christ. First 
in an exhortation unto such as are not yet partakers of hira • • 531 


The way and means of the recovery of spiritual decays, and of obtaining fresh 
springs of grace • »...».... • . 548 













Yea dorMess, and I coura all tlungs hut loss for the /-^^"^^ 'f /^^^ J jjf f; j{ 
Christ Jesusmv Lard : for whom I have su^ffered the loss of all thrngs, and do count 
them but dung, that J may win Christ.— 'Pari. in. 8. 



It is a great promise concerning the person of Christ, 
as he was to be given unto the church, (for he was a 
child born, a son given unto us, Isa. ix. 6.) that God 
would ' lay him in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a 
tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, 
whereon he that believeth, shall not make haste ;' Isa. 
xxviii. 16. Yet was it also foretold concerning him, 
that this precious foundation should be ' for a stone of 
stumblino-, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses 
of Israel ; for a gin, and for a snare unto the inha- 
bitants of Jerusalem ; so as that many among them 
should stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, 
and be taken ;' Isa. viii. 14, 15. According unto this 
promise and prediction, it hath fallen out in all ages 
of the church, as the apostle Peter declares concerning 
the first of them ; ' Wherefore,^ saith he, ' also it was 
contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief 
corner stone, elect, precious : and he that believeth 
on him, shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore 
which believe, he is precious : but unto them which be 
disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, 
the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of 
stumbling, and a rock of offence, even unto them which 
stumble at the word, being disobedient : whereunto 
also they were appointed;' 1 Epist. ii. 6—8. 

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, 
he is, he always hath been, precious ; the sun, the rock, 
the life, the bread of their souls, every thing that is 
good, useful, amiable, desirable here or unto eternity. 
In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual "and eternal 

B 2 


life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; 
with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do 
they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that 
woful apostacy from God, which is accompanied 
withal, which containeth in it virtually and merito- 
riously, whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto 
our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eter- 
nal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest 
cognation, alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest 
union unto him, and the most holy communion with 
him, that our finite natures are capable of, and so con- 
ducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him. For in him 
' shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory ;' 
Isa. xlv. 25. • For Israel shall be saved in the Lord 
with an everlasting salvation : they shall not be ashamed 
nor confounded world without end;' ver. 17. 

On these and the like accounts, the principal de- 
sign of their whole lives unto whom he is thus precious, 
is to acquaint themselves with him, the mystery of the 
wisdom, grace, and love of God, in his person and me- 
diation, as revealed unto us in the Scripture, which is 
Mife eternal;' Johnxvii. 3. to trust in him, and unto 
him ; as unto all the everlasting concernments of their 
souls ; to love and honour him with all their hearts ; to 
endeavour after conformity unto him, in all those cha- 
racters of divine goodness and holiness, which are re- 
presented unto them in him. In these things consist 
the soul, life, power, beauty, and efficacy of Christian 
relio-ion ; without which, whatever outward ornaments 
may be put upon its exercise, it is but a useless, lifeless 
carcase. The whole of this design is expressed in those 
heavenly words of the apostle, Phil. iii. 8 — 12. ^ Yea 
doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excel- 
lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ; for 
whom 1 have suffered the loss of all things, and do 
count them but dung, that I might win Christ, and be 


found in him, not having mine own righteousness, 
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith 
of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith : 
that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, 
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made con- 
formable unto his death ; if by any means I might at- 
tain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though 
I had already attained, either were already perfect : 
but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for 
which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.' This 
is a divine expression of that frame of heart, of that 
design which is predominant and efficacious in them 
unto whom Christ is precious. 

But on the other hand, according unto the fore- 
mentioned prediction, as he hath been a sure foun- 
dation unto all that believe ; so he hath in like manner 
been a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, unto 
them that stumble at the word, being disobedient, 
whereunto they also were appointed. There is nothing 
in him, nothing wherein he is concerned, nothing of 
him, his person, his natures, his office, his grace, his 
love, his power, his authority, his relation unto the 
church, but it hath been unto many a stone of stum- 
bling and rock of offence. Concerning these things 
have been all the woful contests, which have fallen 
out and been managed among those that outwardly 
have made profession of the Christian religion. And 
the contentions about them do rather increase than 
abate, unto this very day ; the dismal fruits whereof 
the world groaneth under, and is no longer able to bear. 
For as the opposition unto the Lord Christ in these 
things by men of perverse minds, hath ruined their own 
souls, as having dashed themselves in pieces against 
this everlasting rock ; so in conjunction with others 
lusts and interests of the carnal minds of men, it hath 
filled the world itself with blood and confusion. 


The re- enthroning of the person, spirit, grace, and 
authority of Christ, in the hearts and consciences of 
men, is the only way whereby an end may be put unto 
these woful conflicts. But this is not to be expected 
in any degree of perfection, amongst them who stumble 
at this stone of oifence, whereunto they are appointed ; 
though in the issue he will herein also send forth judg- 
ment unto victory, and all the meek of the earth shall 
follow after it. In the meantime, as those unto whom 
he is thus a rock of offence, in his person, his spirit, 
his grace, his office, and authority, are diligent and 
restless (in their various ways and forms, in lesser or 
higher degrees, in secret artifices, or open contradictions 
unto any or all of them, under various pretences, and 
for divers ends, even secular advantages some of them, 
which the craft of Satan hath prepared for the ensnar- 
ing of them) in all ways of opposition unto his glory ; 
so it is the highest duty of them unto whom he is pre- 
cious, whose principal design is to be found built on 
him as the sure foundation ; as to hold the truth con- 
cerning him (his person, spirit, grace, office, and au- 
thority), and to abound in all duties of faith, love, 
trust, honour, and delight in him ; so also to declare 
his excellency, to plead the cause of his glory, to vin- 
dicate his honour, and to witness him the only rest 
and reward of the souls of men, as they are called and 
have opportunity. 

This and no other is the design of the ensuing trea- 
tise ; wherein, as all things fall unspeakably short of the 
glory, excellency, and sublimity of the subject treated 
of, for no mind can conceive, no tongue can express, 
the real substantial glory of them ; so there is no doubt 
but that in all the parts of it, there is a reflection of 
failings and imperfections from the weakness of its au- 
thor. But yet I must say with confidence, that in the 
whole, that eternal truth of God concerning the mys- 


tery of his wisdom, love, grace, and power, in the per- 
son and mediation of Christ, with our duties towards 
himself therein, even the Father, Son, and eternal Spi- 
rit, is pleaded and vindicated, which shall never be 
shaken by the utmost endeavours and oppositions of 
the gates of hell. 

And in the acknowledgment of the truth concern- 
ing these things consists that faith in an especial man- 
ner, which was the life and glory of the primitive 
church, which they earnestly contended for, wherein 
and whereby they were victorious against all the troops 
of stumbling adversaries, by whom it was assaulted. 
In giving testimony hereunto, they loved not their lives 
unto death, but poured out their blood like water, un- 
der all the pagan persecutions, which had no other 
design but to cast them down and separate them from 
this impregnable rock^ this precious foundation. In 
the defence of these truths did they conflict in prayers, 
studies, travels, and writings, against the swarms of 
seducers by whom they were opposed. And for this 
cause I thought to have confirmed the principal pas- 
sages of the ensuing discourse with some testimonies 
from the most ancient writers of the first ages of the 
church ; but I omitted that course, as fearing that the 
interposition of such passages might obstruct instead 
of promoting the edification of the common sort of 
readers, which I principally intended. Yet withal I 
thought not good utterly to neglect that design, but 
to give at least a specimen of their sentiments about the 
principal truths pleaded for, in this preface to the 
whole. But herein also I met with a disappointment; 
for the bookseller having, unexpectedly unto me, 
finished the printing of the discourse itself, I must be 
contented to make use of what lieth already collected 
under my hand, not having leisure or time to make any 
farther inquiry. 


1 shall do something of this nature the rather be- 
cause I shall have occasion thereby to give a summary 
account of some of the principal parts of the discourse 
itself, and to clear some passages in it, which by some 
may be apprehended obscure. 

Chap. i. The foundation of the whole is laid in the 
vindication of those words of our blessed Saviour, 
wherein he declares himself to be the rock whereon the 
church is built. Matt. xvi. 18.' And I say also unto thee, 
That thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my 
church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
it.' The pretended ambiguity of these words, hath 
been wrested by the secular interests of men to give 
occasion unto that prodigious controversy among 
Christians, namely, whether Jesus Christ or the pope 
of Rome be the rock whereon the church is built. 
Those holy men of old unto whom Christ was precious, 
being untainted with the desires of secular grandeur 
and power, knew nothing hereof. Testimonies may 
be, they have been, multiplied by others unto this pur- 
pose ; I shall mention some few of them. 

Oiirog icTTiv r] ir^og rov Trart^a ayovaa oSog, rj Trerpa, i} 
^-Xac o TroijLiT^v, &c. saith Ignatius, Epist. ad Philadelph. 
' He' (that is, Christ) ' is the way leading unto the Father, 
the rock, the key, the shepherd ;' wherein he hath re- 
spect unto this testimony. And Origen expressly de- 
nies the words to be spoken of Peter, in Matt. xvi. 
Tract 1. ' Quod si super unum ilium Petrum tantum 
existimes totam ecclesiam asdificari, quid dicturus es de 
Johanne, et apostolorum unoquoque ? Num audebimus 
dicere quod adversus Petrum unum non prevaliturae 
sunt portoe inferorum V ' If you shall think that the 
whole church was built on Peter alone, what shall we 
say of John, and each of the apostles ? What, shall we 
dare to say that the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against Peter only ?' So he according unto the common 


opinion of the ancients, that there was nothing pecu- 
liar in the confession of Peter, and the answer made 
thereunto, as unto himself, but that he spake and was 
spoken unto in the name of all the rest of the apo- 
stles. Euseb. Prseparat. Evangel, lib. i. cap. 3. ''Hre 
ovofiaGTi irpoOeaTTiOHda £KK\i]<jLa avrov rjcrrij/ce Kara jSaOovg 
eppi^wTTtvrj, fcai fikyjyiq QV^avib)v a'ipictjv w^^aig 0(jiwv Kai Ot- 

ocpiXiov av^^jwv fi^TEopiCo/xevi} cia fiiav ^kelvtiv, r/v avTog 

aVo<^rjv?/ro Xt^iv, aTTwv, Evrt rrjv irkxpav OLKOcofirjcTOj fxov rrjy 
EKKXr](7iaVi Kai TTvXai a^ov ov KaTKT^vaovaiv avTr]Q. ' He 
proves the verity of divine predictions from the glo- 
rious accomplishment of that word and the promise of 
our Saviour, that he would build his church on the 
rock' (that is, himself), 'so as that the gates of hell should 
not prevail against it. For ' unum hoc est immobile 
fundamentum, una haec est feelix fidei Petra, Petri ore 
confessa, Tu es filius Dei vivi,' saith Hilar, de Trin. 
lib. 2. 'This is the only immoveable foundation ; this is 
the blessed rock of faith, confessed by Peter ; Thou 
art the Son of the living God.' And Epiphanus, Haer. 
39. Errt ry TTfroa ravTy ti}q acrcpaXovg TTKTTeojg oiKocoiuLTjao) jjlov 
ri]v £KK\r](Tiav' ' Upon this rock/ of assured faith, ' I will 
build my church.' For many thought that faith itself 
was metonymically called the rock, because of its 
object, or the person of Christ, which is so. 

One or two more out of Austin shall close these 
testimonies. ' Super banc Petram, quam confessus es, 
super meipsum fiiium Dei vivi, aedihcabo ecclesiam 
meam. Super me sedificabo te, non me super te ;' De 
verbis Dom. Serm. 13. ' Upon this rock which thou hast 
confessed, upon myself the Son of the living God, I 
will build my church. I will build thee upon myself, 
and not myself on thee.' And he more fully declareth 
his mind, Tract. 124. in Johan. ' Ecclesia in hoc se- 
culo diversis tentationibus, velut imbribus^ fluminibus, 
tempestatibusque quatitur, et non cadit ; quoniam fun- 


data est supra Petram ; unde et Petrus nomen accepit. 
Non enim a Petro Petra, sed Petrus a Petra ; sicut non 
Christus a Christiano, sed Christianus a Cliristo voca- 
tur. Ideo quippe ait Dominus super banc Petram sedi- 
ficabo ecclesiam meam, quia dixerat Petrus, tu es 
Christus filius Dei vivi ; super banc ergo (inquit) Pe- 
tram quam confessus es, sedificabo ecclesiam meam. 
Petra enim erat Christus, supra quod fundamentum 
etiam ipse sedificatus est Petrus ; fundamentum quippe 
aliud nemo potest ponere, prseter id quod positum est, 
quod est Jesus Christus.' * The church in this world 
is shaken with divers temptations, as with showers, 
floods, and tempests, yet falleth not, because it is built 
on the rock (Petra) from whence Peter took his name. 
For the rock is not called Petra from Peter, but Peter 
is so called from Petra the rock ; as Christ is not so 
called from Christian, but Christian from Christ. 
Therefore said the Lord, Upon this rock will I build 
my church ; because Peter had said, Thou art Christ, 
the Son of the living God. Upon this rock, which 
thou hast confessed, will I build my church. For 
Christ himself was the rock on which foundation Peter 
himself was built. For other foundation can no man 
lay, save that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' 

Chap. ii. Against this rock, this foundation of the 
church, the person of Christ, and the faith of the church 
concerning it, great opposition hath been made by the 
gates of hell. Not to mention the rage of the pagan 
world, endeavouring by all effects of violence and 
cruelty to cast the church from this foundation ; all tlie 
heresies wherewith from the beginning, and for some 
centuries of years ensuing it was pestered, consisted in 
direct and immediate oppositions unto the eternal 
truth concerning the person of Christ. Some that are 
so esteemed indeed, never pretended unto any sobriety, 
but were mere effects of delirant imaginations ; yet 


did even they also one way or other derive from an 
hatred unto the person of Christ, and centred therein. 
Their beginning was early in the church, even before 
the writing of the Gospel by John or his Revelations, 
and indeed before some of Paul's epistles. And al- 
though their beginning was but small, and seemingly 
contemptible, yet, being full of the poison of the old 
serpent, they diffused themselves in various shapes and 
forms, until there w^as nothing left of Christ, nothing 
that related unto him, not his natures, divine or hu- 
man, not their properties nor actings, not his person, 
nor the union of his natures therein, that was not op- 
posed and assaulted by them. Especially so soon as 
the gospel had subdued the Roman empire unto 
Christ, and was owned by the rulers of it, the whole 
world was for some ages filled with uproars, confusion, 
and scandalous disorders about the person of Christ, 
through the cursed oppositions made thereunto by the 
gates of hell. Neither had the church any rest from 
these conflicts for about five hundred years. But near 
that period of time, the power of truth and religion be- 
ginning universally to decay among the outward pro- 
fessors of them, Satan took advantage to make that 
havoc and destruction of the church, by superstition, 
false worship, and profaneness of life, which he failed 
of in his attempt against the person of Christ, or the 
doctrine of truth concernino; it. 

It would be a tedious work, and it may be not of 
much profit unto them who are utterly unacquainted 
with things so long past and gone, wherein they seem 
to have no concernment, to give a specimen of the seve- 
ral heresies whereby attempts were made against this 
rock and foundation of the church ; unto those who 
have inquired into the records of antiquity, it would 
be altogether useless. For almost every page of them 
at first view presents the readers with an account of 


some one or more of them. Yet do I esteem it useful 
that the very ordinary sort of Christians should at least 
in general be acquainted with what hath passed in 
this great contest about the person of Christ from the 
beginning. For there are two things relating there- 
unto, wherein their faith is greatly concerned. For 
first, there is evidence given therein unto the truth of 
those predictions of the Scripture wherein this fatal 
apostacy from the truth, and opposition unto the Lord 
Christ, are foretold : and, secondly, an eminent in- 
stance of his power and faithfulness in the disappoint- 
ment and conquest of the gates of hell, in the manage- 
ment of this opposition. But they have been all reck- 
oned up, and digested into methods of time and matter, 
by many learned men of old, and of late, so that I shall 
not in this occasional discourse, represent them unto 
the reader again. Only I shall give a brief account of 
the ways and means whereby they who retained the 
profession of the truth, contended for it unto a con- 
quest over the pernicious heresies wherewith it v/as 

The defence of the truth from the beginning, was 
left in charge unto, and managed by, the guides and 
rulers of the church in their several capacities. And 
by the Scripture it was that they discharged their duty, 
confirmed with apostolical tradition consonant there- 
unto. This w^as left in charge unto them by the great 
apostle; Acts xx. 28—31. 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14. 2 Tim. 
ii. 1, 2. 15. 23, 24. iv. 1 — 4. and wherein any of 
them failed in this duty, they were reproved by Christ 
himself; Rev. ii. 14, 15. 20. Nor were private be- 
lievers in their places and capacities, either luiable 
for this duty, or exempt from it, but discharged them- 
selves faithfully therein, according unto commandment 
o'iven unto them ; 1 John ii. 20. 27. iv. 1 — 3. 2 John 
viii. 8, 9. All true believers in their several stations, 


by mutual watchfulness, preaching, or writing, accord- 
ino- unto their calls and abilities, effectually used the 
outward means for the preservation and propagation 
of the faith of the church. And the same means are 
still sufficient unto the same ends, were they attended 
unto with conscience and diligence. The pretended 
defence of truth with arts and arms of another kind, 
hath been the bane of religion, and lost the peace of 
Christians beyond recovery. And it may be observed, 
that whilst this way alone for the preservation of the 
truth was insisted on and pursued, that although innu- 
merable heresies arose one after another, and some- 
times many together, yet they never made any great 
progress, nor arrived unto any such consistency, as to 
make a stated opposition unto the truth; but the errors 
themselves and their authors were as vagrant meteors, 
which appeared for a little while, and vanished away. 
Afterward it v/as not so, when other ways and means 
for the suppression of heresies were judged convenient 
and needful. 

For in process of time, when the power of the 
Roman empire gave countenance and protection unto 
Christian religion, another way was fixed on for this 
end, namely, the use of such assemblies of bishops and 
others as they called general councils, armed with a 
mixed power, partly civil, and partly ecclesiastical, with 
respect unto the authority of the emperors, and that ju- 
risdiction in the church which began then to be first 
talked of. This way was begun in the council of Nice, 
wherein although there was a determination of the doc- 
trine concerning the person of Christ then in agitation, 
and opposed, as unto his divine nature therein, accord- 
ing unto the truth, yet sundry evils and inconveniences 
ensued thereon. For thenceforth the faith of Christians 
began greatly to be resolved into the authority of men, 
and as much, if not more weight to be laid on what 


was decreed by the fathers there assembled, than on 
what was clearly taught in the Scriptures. Besides, 
being necessitated, as they thought, to explain their 
conceptions of the divine nature of Christ, in words 
either not used in the Scripture, or whose signification 
unto that purpose was not determined therein, occasion 
was given unto endless contentions about them. The 
Grecians themselves could not for a long season agree 
among themselves whether ovaia and v7ro(TTa(jiQ were of 
the same signification or no, both of them denoting es- 
sence and substance ; or v/hether they differed in their 
signification ; or if they did, wherein that difference lay. 
Athanasius at first affirmed them to be the same, Orat. 
5. con. Arian. and Epist. ad African. Basil denied them 
so to be, or that they were used unto the same purpose 
in the council of Nice, Epist. 78. The like difference im- 
mediately felioutbetween the Grecians and Latins, about 
^ hypostasis' and ' persona.' For the Latins rendered 
* hypostasis' by ^ substantia,' and 'persona' by Trpoawn-ov. 
Hereof Jerome complains, in his epistle to Damasus,that 
they required of him in the east to confess ' tres hypo- 
stases,' and he would only acknowledge ' tres personas,' 
Epist. 7 1 . And Austin gives an account of the same 
difference, de Trinitate, lib. 5. cap. 8, 9. Athanasius 
endeavoured the composing of this difference, and in a 
good measure effected it, as Gregory of Nazianzen af- 
firms in his oration concerning his praise. It was done 
by him in a synod at Alexandria, in the first year of 
Julian's reign. On this occasion many contests arose 
even among them who all pleaded their adherence unto 
the doctrine of the council of Nice. And as the subtle 
Arians made incredible advantage hereof at first, pre- 
tending that they opposed not the Deity of Christ, but 
only the expression of it by o^oouVtoc ; so afterward 
they countenanced themselves in coining words and 
terms to express their minds with, which utterly re- 


jected it. Hence were their o/ioiovortoc, frspoudioc, fg ovk 
ovTiov^ and the like names of blasphemy, about which 
the contests were fierce and endless. And there were 
yet farther evils that ensued hereon. For the curious 
and serpentine wits of men, finding themselves by this 
means set at liberty to think and discourse of those mys- 
teries of the blessed Trinity, and the person of Christ, 
without much regard unto plain divine testimonies, in 
such ways wherein cunning and sophistry did much 
bear sway, began to multiply such new, curious, and 
false notions about them, especially about the latter, as 
caused new disturbances, and those of large extent and 
long continuance. For their suppression, councils were 
called on the neck of another, whereon commonly new 
occasions of differences did arise, and most of them 
managfed with p-reat scandal unto Christian relio;ion. 
For men began much to forego the primitive ways of 
opposing errors, and extinguishing heresies, betaking 
themselves unto their interest, the number of their 
party, and prevalency with the present emperors. And 
although it so fell out, as in that at Constantinople, the 
first at Ephesus, and that at Chalcedon, that the truth 
for the substance of it did prevail (for in many others 
it happened quite otherwise), yet did they always give 
occasions unto new divisions, animosities, and even 
mutual hatreds, among the principal leaders of the 
Christian people. And great contests there were among 
some of them who pretended to believe the same truth, 
whether such or such a council should be received, that 
is plainly, whether the church should resolve its faith 
into their authority. The strifes of this nature about 
the first Ephesian council, and that at Chalcedon, not 
to mention them wherein the Arians prevailed, take up 
a good part of the ecclesiastical story of those days. 
And it cannot be denied but that some of the principal 


persons and assemblies who adhered unto the truth, did 
in the heat of opposition unto the heresies of other 
men, fall into unjustifiable excess themselves. 

We may take an instance hereof with respect unto 
the Nestorian heresy, condemned in the first Ephesian 
council, and afterward in that at Chalcedon. Cyrillus 
of Alexandria, a man learned and vehement, designed 
by all means to be unto it, what his predecessor Atha- 
nasius had been to the Arian. But he fell into such 
excesses in his undertakings, as gave great occasion 
unto farther tumults. For it is evident that he distin- 
guisheth not between vTroaraaig, and (l)vaig, and therefore 
affirms, that the divine Word and humanity had fuav 
(l)V(nv, one nature only. So he doth plainly in Epist. ad 
Successum ; ' they are ignorant,' saith he, on kut d\ri- 

Onav fcrri ju'ia ^ijo-tc tov \6yov aetjapKWfjiEvrj. Hence Eu- 

tyches the Archimandrite took occasion to run into a 
contrary extreme, being a no less fierce enemy to Nes- 
torius than Cyrillus was. For to oppose him who di- 
vided the person of Christ into two, he confounded 
his natures into one, his delirant folly being confirmed 
by that goodly assembly, the second at Ephesus. Be- 
sides, it is confessed that Cyrillus, through the vehe- 
mcncy of his spirit, hatred unto Nestorius, and follow- 
in o^ the conduct of his own mind in nice and subtle ex- 
pressions of the great mystery of the person of Christ, 
did utter many things exceeding the bounds of sobriety 
prescribed unto us by the apostle, Rom. xii. 3. if not 
those of truth itself. Hence it is come to pass, that 
many learned men begin to think and write that Cyrillus 
was in the wrong, and Nestorius by his means con- 
demned undeservedly. However, it is certain to me, 
that the doctrine condemned at Ephesus and Chalcedon 
as the doctrine of Nestorius, was destructive of the 
true person of Christ ; and that Cyril, though he missed 


it in sundry expressions, yet aimed at the declaration 
and confirmation of the truth ; as he was long since 
vindicated by Theorianus, Dialog, con. Armenios. 

However, such was the watchful care of Christ 
over the church as unto the preservation of this sacred, 
fundamental truth, concerning his divine person, and 
the union of his natures therein, retaining their dis- 
tinct properties and operations, that notwithstanding 
all the faction and disorder that were in those primi- 
tive councils, and scandalous contests of many of the 
members of them ; notwithstanding the determination 
contrary unto it in great and numerous councils ; the 
faith of it was preserved entire in the hearts of all 
that truly believed, and triumphed over the gates of 

I have mentioned these few things which belong 
unto the promise and prediction of our blessed Saviour, 
Matt. xvi. 18. the place insisted on, to shew that the 
church without any disadvantage to the truth, may be 
preserved without such general assemblies, which in 
the following ages proved the most pernicious engines 
for the corruption of the faith, worship, and manners 
of it. Yea, from the beginning they were so far from 
being the only way of preserving truth, that it was 
almost constantly prejudiced by the addition of their 
authority unto the confirmation of it. Nor was there 
any one of them wherein the mystery of iniquity did 
not work unto the laying of some rubbish in the foun- 
dation of that fatal apostacy, which afterward openly 
ensued. The Lord Christ himself hath taken it upon 
him, to build his church on this rock of his person, by 
true faith of it and in it. He sends his Holy Spirit to 
bear testimony unto him, in all the blessed effects of 
his power and grace. He continueth his word with 
the faithful ministry of it, to reveal, declare, make 
known, and vindicate his sacred truth, unto the con- 

VOL. XII. c 


viction of gainsayers. He keeps up that faith in him, 
that love unto him, in the hearts of all his elect, as shall 
not be prevailed against. Wherefore, although the 
oppositions unto this sacred truth, this fundamental 
article of the church and Christian religion, concerning 
his divine person, its constitution, and use, as 4:he hu- 
man nature conjoined substantially unto it, and sub- 
sisteth in it, are in this last age increased ; although 
they are managed under so great a variety of forms, as 
that they are not reducible unto any heads of order ; 
although they are promoted with more subtlety and 
specious pretences than in former ages ; yet, if we are 
not wanting unto our duty, with the aids of grace pro- 
posed unto us, we shall finally triumph in this cause, 
and transmit this sacred truth inviolate unto them that 
succeed us in the profession of it. 

Chap. iii. This person of Christ, which is the foun- 
dation whereon the church is built, whereunto all sorts 
of oppositions are endeavoured and designed, is the 
most ineffable effect of divine goodness and wisdom ; 
whereof we treat in the next place. But herein when 
I speak of the constitution of the person of Christ, I 
intend not his person absolutely as he is the eternal 
Son of God. He was truly, really, completely, a divine 
person from eternity, which is included in the notion 
of his being the Son, and so distinct from the Father, 
which is his complete personality. His being so was 
not a voluntary contrivance or effect of divine wisdom 
and goodness, his eternal generation being a necessary 
internal act of the divine nature in the person of the 

Of the eternal generation of the divine person of 
the Son, the sober writers of the ancient church did 
constantly afhrm that it was firmly to be believed, 
but as unto the manner of it not to be inquired into. 
' Scrutator majestatis absorbetur a gloria,' was their 


rule. And the curious disputes of Alexander and 
Arius about it, gave occasion unto that many-headed 
monster of the Arian heresy which afterward ensued. 
For when once men of subtle heads, and unsanctified 
hearts, gave up themselves to inquire into things in- 
finitely above their understanding and capacity, being 
vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, they fell into 
endless divisions among themselves, agreeing only in 
an opposition unto the truth. But those who con- 
tented themselves to be wise unto sobriety, repressed 
this impious boldness. To this purpose speaks Lac- 
tantius, lib. 4. De vera Sapient. ' Quomodo igitur pro- 
creavit ? Nee sciri a quoquam possunt, nee narrari 
opera divina ; sed tamen sacrge literae docent ilium 
Dei filium, Dei esse sermonem.' *^ How therefore did 
the Father beget the Sou ? These divine works can be 
known of none, declared by none ; but the holy writ- 
ings teach wherein it is determined, that he is the Son 
of God, that he is the Word of God.' And Ambrose, 
De fide ad Gratianum. ' Quaero abs te, quando aut 
quomodo putes filium esse generaturum? mihi enim 
impossibile est scire generationis secretum. Mens de- 
ficit,, vox silet, non mea tantum, sed et angelorum ; 
supra potestates, supra angelos, supra cherubim, su- 
pra sensum, supra omnem sensum. — Tu quoque manum 
ori admove ; scrutari non licet superna mysteria. Licet 
scire quod natus sit, non licet discutere quomodo natus 
sit ; illud negare mihi non licet, hoc quaerere metus 
est. Nam si Paulus ea quae audivit, raptus in tertium 
coelum, ineffabilia dicit, quomodo nos exprimere pos- 
sumus paternae generationis arcanum, quod nee sen- 
tire potuimus nee audire ? Quid te ista questionum 
tormenta delectant ? 

' I inquire of you when and how the Son was begot- 
ten ? Impossible it is to me to know the mystery of 
this generation. My mind faileth, my voice is silent, 

c 2 


and not only mine, but of the angels ; it is above prin- 
cipalities, above angels, above the cherubims, above 
the seraphims, above all understanding. Lay thy 
hand on thy mouth ; it is not lawful to search into 
these heavenly mysteries. It is lawful to know that 
he was born; that it is not lawful for me to deny; 
this I am afraid to inquire into. For if Paul, when he 
was taken into the third heaven, affirms that the things 
which he heard could not be uttered ; how can we ex- 
press the mystery of the divine generation, which we 
can neither apprehend nor hear ? Why do such tor- 
menting questions delight thee V 

Ephraim Syrus wrote a book to this purpose, 
against them who would search out the nature of the 
Son of God. Among many other things to the same 
purpose are his words, cap. 2. 'Infelix profecto, miser, 
atque impudentissimus est, qui scrutari cupit opificem 
suum. Millia millium, et centies millies millena millia 
angelorum et archangelorum, cum horrore glorificant, 
et trementes adorant ; et homines lutei, pleni peccatis, 
de divinitate intrepide disserunt ? Non illorum exhor- 
rescit corpus, non contremescit animus ; sed securi et 
garruli, de Christo Dei filio, qui pro me indigno pec- 
catore passus est, deque ipsius utraque generatione lo- 
quuntur ; nee saltem quod in luce csecutiunt, sentiunt.' 
' He is unhappy, miserable, and most impudent, who 
desires to examine or search out his Maker. Thou- 
sands of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of mil- 
lions of angels and archangels, do glorify him with 
dread, and adore him with trembling ; and shall dirty 
men full of sins, dispute of the Deity without fear ? 
Horror doth not shake their bodies, their minds do not 
tremble, but being secure and prating, they speak of 
the Son of God, who suffered for me unworthy sinner, 
and of both his nativities or generations ; at least they 
are not sensible how blind they are in the light.' To 


the same purpose speaks Eusebius at large, Demon. 
Evan. lib. 5. cap. 2. 

Leo well adds hereunto the consideration of his 
incarnation, in those excellent words, Serm. 9. De Na- 
tivitat. ^ Quia in Christo Jesu filio Dei, non solum ad 
divinam essentiam, sed etiam ad humanam spectat na- 
turam, quod dictum est per prophetam ; generationem 
ejus quis enarrabit? Utramque enim substantiam in 
unam convenisse personam, nisi fides credat, sermo 
non explicat ; et ideo materia nunquam deficit laudis ; 
quia nunquam sufficit copia laudatoris. Gaudiamus 
igitur quod ad eloquendum tantum misericordiae sacra- 
mentum impares sumus ; et cum salutis nostras altitu- 
dinem promere non valeamus, sentiamus nobis bonum 
esse quod vincimur. Nemo enim ad cognitionem ve- 
ritatis magis propinquat, quam qui intelligit, in rebus 
divinis, etiamsi multum proficiat, semper sibi superesse 
quod quserat.' See also Fulg. lib. 2. ad Thrasimund. 

But I speak of the person of Christ as unto the as- 
sumption of the substantial adjunct of the human na- 
ture, not to be a part, whereof his person is composed, 
but as unto its subsistence therein by virtue of a sub- 
stantial union. Some of the ancients, I confess, speak 
freely of the composition of the person of Christ in 
and by the two natures, the divine and human. That 
the Son of God after his incarnation had one nature, 
composed of the Deity and humanity, was the heresy 
of Apolinarius, Eutyches, the Monothelites, or Mono- 
physites condemned by all. But that his most simple 
divine nature, and the human, composed properly of 
soul and body, did compose his one person, or that it 
was composed of them, they constantly affirmed : Tov 
Geou fX£(j'iTi}v Koi dvOpojTTijJV, KaTo. rag ypa(}>ag avyKeiaOai <^afizv 
Ik t£ T-qq KaB' y]fiag dvOpwiroTriTog teXeiwc eyovaag Kara tov 
tSiov Xoyov, Koi Ik tov 7r£(/)rjvoroc, £/c Oeov /cara (pvaiv vlov, 

saith Cyril of Alexandria. ' A Sanctis patribus aduna- 


tione ex divinitate et humanitate Christus Dominus 
noster compositus prsedicatur.' Pet. Diacon. lib. de In- 
carnat. et Grat. Christi, ad Fulgentium. And the union 
which they intended by this composition they called 
Evwaiv (j)vaiKriv, because it was of divers natures, and 
k'vwdiv Kara <jvvO^<jlv, a union by composition. 

But because there neither was, nor can be any com- 
position, properly so called, of the divine and human 
natures, and that the Son of God was a perfect person 
before his incarnation, wherein he remained what he 
was, and was made what he was not, the expression 
hath been forsaken and avoided ; the union being better 
expressed by the assumption of a substantial adjunct, 
or the human nature into personal subsistence with the 
Son of God, as shall be afterward explained. This 
they constantly admire as the most ineffable effect of 
divine wisdom and grace : '0 aaapKog aapKovrai, 6 Xo- 
yog irayyv^Tai, o aoparog opciTcti, o ava^rj^ \prjAafaTai, o o,\^io- 
vog aoyarai, o viog Oeov viog avOpcJirov yivtrai, saith Gre- 
gory Nazianzen, Orat. 12. in admiration of this mys- 
tery. Hereby God communicates all things unto us 
from his own glorious fulness, the near approaches 
whereof we are not able to bear. So is it illustrated 
by Eusebius, Demonst. Evang. lib. 4. cap. 5, &c. OuVw 

8c (pwTog rjXiou, fi'ia Kai cwty} TrpotrjSoXr/ Ofiov Kai Kara to avro 
KaTiiyaZ.u filv atrr^o, (ptoreiCu o£ o^OaXjuovg, cKprjv ce vepjULaivei, 
TTiaivH ^e y»?v, «Vs£i Sc (f)VTay k. X. — £t youv Mg ev viroOscfEi 
Xo-yov, KciOtig ovpavoOev avrog tavrov irafi^vrig rjXtog aw av- 
Bp(i)7roig kiri yrjg TroXtireuoiVo, ovciva twv ettl Tijg yr}g jiuvag av 
a^iaipanov Travrwv avWrjpr^v c/xt/zuvwv Ofj.ov,Kai a\fjv'^(t)v aOpioa- 
ra rov <l>WT6g TrpoapoXrj ota^0opi7(jo/u£vwv. The sense of which 
words, with some that follow in the same place, is unto 
this purpose : By the beams of the sun, light, and life, 
and heat, unto the procreation, sustenation, refreshment, 
and cherishing of all things are communicated. But 
if the sun itself should come down unto the earth, no- 


thing could bear its heat and kistre ; our eyes would 
not be enlightened, but darkened by its glory, and all 
things be swallowed up and consumed by its greatness; 
whereas, through the beams of it, every thing is en- 
lightened and kindly refreshed. So is it with this eter- 
nal beam or brightness of the Father's glory. We cannot 
bear the immediate approach of the Divine Being, but 
through him as incarnate are all things communicated 
unto us, in a way suited unto our reception and com- 

So it is admired by Leo, Serm. 3. de Nativit. ' Na- 
tura humana in Creatoris societatem assumpta est, non 
ut ille habitator, et ille esset habitaculum ; sed ut na- 
turae alterge sic misceretur altera, ut quamvis alia sit 
quae suscipitur, alia vero quae suscepit, in tantam tamen 
unitatem conveniret utriusque diversitas, et unus idem- 
que sit filius, qui se, et secundum quod verus est 
homo, Patre dicit minorem, et secundum quod verus 
est Deus Patri se profitetur aequalem.' ' Human nature 
is assumed into the society of the Creator, not that he 
should be the inhabitant, and that the habitation' (that 
is, by an inhabitation in the effects of his power and 
grace, for otherwise the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in 
him bodily) ; ' but that one nature should be so mingled' 
(that is, conjoined) ' with the other, that although that 
be of one kind which assumeth, and that of another 
which is assumed ; yet the diversity of them both 
should concur in such a unity or union, as that it is 
one and the same Son, who as he was a true man, said 
that he was less than the Father, or the Father was 
greater than he ; so as he was true God, professeth 
himself equal unto the Father.' See also August. De 
fide, ad Pet. Diacon. cap. 17. Justitianus Imperator 
Epist. ad Hormisdam, Romae Episcop. 

And the mystery is well expressed by Maxentius, 
Biblioth. Patr, par. prima. 'Non confundimus natu- 


i'arum diversitatem ; veruntamen Christum non ut tu 
asseris Deum factum, sed Deum factum Christum con- 
fitemur. Quia non cum pauper esset, dives factus est,, 
sed cum dives esset, pauper factus est, ut nos divites 
faceret ; neque enim cum esset in forma servi, formam 
Dei accepit ; sed cum esset in forma Dei, formam servi 
accepit : similiter etiam nee, cum esset caro, verbum 
est factum ; sed cum esset verbum, caro factum est.' 
' We do not confound the diversity of the natures, how- 
beit we believe not what you affirm, that Christ was 
made God, but we believe that God was made Christ. 
For he was not made rich when he was poor ; but 
being rich, he was made poor, that he might make us 
rich. He did not take the form of God, when he was 
in the form of a servant ; but being in the form of 
God, he took on him the form of a servant. In the 
like manner, he was not made the Word when he was 
flesh ; but being the Word, he was made flesh.' 

And Jerome, speaking of the effects of this mystery, 
Comment, in Ezekiel, cap. 46. ' Ne miretur lector si 
idem et Principes est et Sacerdos, et Vitulus, et Aries, 
et Agnus ; cum in Scripturis Sanctis pro varietate cau- 
sarum legamus eum Dominum, et Deum, et Hominem, 
et Prophetam, et Virgam, et Radicem, et Florem, et 
Principem, et Regem justum, et Justitiam, Apostolum, 
etEpiscopum, Brachium, Servum, Angelum, Pastorem, 
Filium, et Unigenitum, et Primogenitum, Ostium, Viam, 
Sagittam, Sapientiam, et multa alia.' ' Let not the 
reader wonder if he find one and the same to be the . 
Prince and Priest, the Bullock, Ram, and Lamb ; for 
in the Scripture on variety of causes, we find him called 
Lord, God, and Man, the Prophet, a Rod, and the 
Root, the Flower, Prince, Judge, and righteous King; 
Righteousnes-;, the Apostle and Bishop, the Arm and 
Servant of God, the Angel, the Shepherd, the Son, the 
Only-begotten, the First-begotten, the Door, the Way, 


the Arrow, Wisdom, and sundry other things.' And 
Ennodius hath as it were turned this passage of Jerome 
into verse. 

Corda domat, qui cuncta videt, quem cuncta Iremiscunt ; 
Fons, via, dextra, lapis, vitulus, leo, lucifer, agnus ; 
Jaiiua, spes, virtus, verbuixi, sapientia, vates. 
Ostia, virgultuni, pastor, mons, rete, columba, 
Flamnia, gigas, aquila, sponsus, patientia, nervus, 
Filius, excelsus, Doininus, Deus ; omnia Christus. 
Ill natalem Papee Epiphauii. 

' Quod homo est, esse Christus voluit; ut et homo 
possit esse quod Christus est,' saith Cyprian. DeVanitat. 
Judse. And, ' quod est Christus erimus Christiani, si 
Christum fuerimus secuti,' ibid. And he explains his 
mind in this expression by way of admiration, Serm. 
de Eleemosyn. * Christus hominis filius esse voluit, ut 
nos filios Dei faceret ; humiliavit se, ut populum qui 
prius jacebat, erigeret; vulneratus est, ut vulnera nostra 

Chap. iv. That he was the foundation of all the 
holy counsels of God, with respect unto the vocation, 
sanctification, justification, and eternal salvation of the 
church, is in the next place at large declared. And he 
was so on a threefold account. 1. Of the ineffable 
mutual delight of the Father and the Son in those 
counsels from all eternity. 2. As the only way and 
means of the accomplishment of all those counsels, and 
the communication of their effects unto the eternal 
glory of God. 3. As he was in his own person as 
incarnate, the idea and exemplar in the mind of God 
of all that grace and glory in the church, which was 
designed unto it in those eternal counsels. As the 
cause of all good unto us, he is on this account acknow- 
ledged by the ancients. 

Ouroc yovv o Xoyoc, o Xptcrroc: /cat rov uvai iraXai rifiaq, 
r\v -sao ev Oeio, Kal rov £u Bivai, Nuv Sc tnKpav^i dvOpwrroif:, 
avToc, ovTOQ o \6yoQ, o /iiovoc a/.i(/)(o Btoc re Km avOpuiroQ, 


a7ravT(i)v rifuv airiog ayaOtav, saith Clemens, Adhort. ad 
Gentes. ' He therefore is the Word, the cause of old 
of our being, for he was in God, and the cause of our 
well-being. But now he hath appeared unto men, the 
same eternal Word, who alone is both God and man, 
and unto us the cause of all that is good.' As he was 
in God the cause of our being and well-being from 
eternity ; he was the foundation of the divine counsels 
in the way explained ; and in his incarnation, the ex- 
ecution of them all was committed unto him, that 
through him all actual good, all the fruits of those 
counsels mio;ht be communicated unto us. 

Chap. V. He is also declared in the next place, as 
he is the image and great representative of God, even 
the Father, unto the church. On what various accounts 
he is so called, is fully declared in the discourse itself. 
In his divine person, as he was the only-begotten of 
the Father from eternity, he is the essential image of 
the Father, by the generation of his person, and the 
communication of the divine nature unto him therein. 
As he is incarnate, he is both in his own entire person 
God and man, and in the administration of his office, 
the image or representative of the nature and will of 
God unto us, as is fully proved. So speaks Clem. Alex- 
andrin. Admonit. ad Gentes ; 'H fxev yap rou Oaow ukwv 
o Xoyog avTov, kul viog tov vov yvi]<nog, o Oeioq \oyog, ^ojtoq 
apytTVTTOv (jiujg, UKtJV dk tov \oyov o dv9pu)7rog. ' The image 
of God is his own word, the natural Son of the' (eter- 
nal) ^ mind, the divine Word, the original Light of 
light ; and the image of the Word is man.' And the 
same author again, Psedagog. YlpoaMivov tov Gfou o Xoyoc, 
w (jxoTiZ^Tai 6 Owg Kal yvwpil^Tai. ' The Word is the face, 
the countenance, the representation of God, in whom 
he is brought to light and made known.' As he is in 
his divine person his eternal, essential image; so in his 
incarnation, as the teacher of men, he is the representa- 


tive image of God unto the church, as is afterward 

So also Jerome expresseth his mind herein, Com- 
ment, in Psal. Ixvi. ' lUuminet vultum suum super nos; 
Dei facies quae est? utique imago ejus. Dicit enim 
apostolus imaginem Patris esse filium ; ergo imagine 
sua nos illuminet ; hoc est, imaginem suam filium illu- 
minet super nos ; ut ipse nos illuminet ; lux enim Pa- 
tris lux filii est.' ' Let him cause his face to shine upon 
us ; or lift up the light of his countenance upon us. 
What is the face of God, even his image? For the 
apostle says, that the Son is the image of the Father. 
Wherefore let him shine on us with his image ; that is, 
cause his Son, which is his image, to shine upon us, 
that he may illuminate us ; for the light of the Father 
and of the Son are the same.' Christ being the image 
of God, the face of God, in him is God represented 
unto us, and through him are all saving benefits com- 
municated unto them that believe. 

Eusebius also speaks often unto this purpose ; as 
Demon. Evangel, lib. 4. cap. 2. '09ev hkotwq ol "^(jvf^f^ioi 

OeoXoyovvreg, Osov yevrjTov avrov aTTO^atvovffiv, tog av rac 
avbK(j>paaTov, Kcil aTTf^tvorirou Owrrnog fiovov ev avTM (pEpovra 
rr\v aiACwva, Si r]v Koi Oeov aval re avrov Kal XiyeaOai Ti]g tt^oq 
TO 7r|OWTov E^ofioiwaewQ x«P*i^- ' Wherefore the holy ora- 
cles speaking theologically, or teaching divine things, 
do rightly call him God begotten (of the Father), ' as he 
who alone bears in himself the image of the inefi*able 
and inconceivable Deity. Wherefore he both is, and 
is called God, because of his being the character, simi- 
litude, or image of him who is the first.' The divine 
personality of Christ consists in this, that the whole 
divine nature being communicated unto him by eternal 
generation, he is the image of God, even the Father, by 
whom he is represented unto us. See tlie same book, 


chap. 7. to the same purpose. Also De Ecclesiast. 
Theol. contra Marcell. lib. 2. cap. 17. 

Clemens abounds much in the affirmation of this 
truth concerning the person of Christ, and we may yet 
add from a multitude to the same purpose, one or more 
testimonies from him. Treating of Christ, as the 
teacher of all men (his TroiSayw-yoc) he affirms that he 
is, GeoQ ev avOpijjTrov ayjifiarij ' God in the figure or form 

Oi man ; a^pavrog TTarpiKio S^Xvinari ^ta/covog, Xo-yoc? OeoQf 

* ' '< ' ' K\ y " - \ \ \ " t r\ '^ 

* impolluted, serving the will of the Father, the Word, 
God, who is in the Father, on the right hand of the 
Father, and in or with the form of God.' Ovtoq riiuv 
iiKwv T} aKaXicoJTOQy rovro iravrl o-0£V£i TTfiparcov i^oiuLoiovv rijv 
^v^riv, ' He is the image (of God) unto us, wherein there 
is no blemish, and with all our strength are we to en- 
deavour to render ourselves like unto him.' This is the 
great end of his being the representative image of God 
unto us. And Stromat. lib. 4. 'O fxevovv O^og dvaTro^EiK- 
Tog wi', ovK lariv ^iridTrijioviKog, O Se viog (jo^ia rt earl Kal 
ewKiTrjiur}, Kai aXrjOHct, kcu baa aXXa Twrto GvyyEvrf . ' As God' 

(absolutely) ^ falls not under demonstration' (that is, can- 
not perfectly be declared),' so he doth not' (immediately) 
' effect, or teach us knowledge. But the Son is wisdom, 
and knowledge, and truth, unto us, and every thing 
which is cognate hereunto.' For in and by him doth 
God teach us, and represent himself unto us. 

Chap. vii. Upon the glory of this divine person of 
Christ depends the efficacy of all his offices ; an espe- 
cial demonstration whereof is given in his prophetical 
office. So is it well expressed by Irenseus : ^ qui nil 
molitur inepte,' lib. 1. cap. 1. 'Non enim aliter nos 
discere poteramus quae sunt Dei, nisi magister noster 
verbum existens, homo factus fuisset. Neque enim alius 
poterat enarrare nobis quae sunt Patris, nisi proprium 


ipsius verbum. Quis enim alius cognovit sensum Do- 
mini? aut quis alius ejus consiliarius factus est? Neque 
rursus nos aliter discere poteramus, nisi Magistrum 
nostrum videntes, et per auditum nostrum vocem ejus 
percipientes, uti imitatores quidem operum, factores 
autem sermonura ejus facti, communionem habeamus 
cum ipso.' ' We could not otherwise have learned the 
things of God, unless our Master being and continuing 
the' (eternal) ' Word, had been made man. For no other 
could declare unto us the things of God, but his own 
proper Word. For who else hath known the mind of 
the Lord ? or who else hath been his counsellor ? Nei- 
ther on the other side could we otherwise have learned, 
unless we had seen our Master, and heard his voice' 
(in his incarnation and ministry), ' whereby following 
his works, and yielding obedience unto his doctrine, 
we may have communion with himself.' 

I do perceive that if I should proceed with the 
same kind of attestations unto the doctrine of all the 
chapters in the ensuing discourse, this preface would 
be drawn forth unto a greater length than was ever 
designed unto it, or is convenient for it. I shall there- 
fore choose out one or two instances more, to give a 
specimen of the concurrence of the ancient church in 
the doctrine declared in them, and so put a close 
unto it. 

Chap. ix. In the ninth chapter, and those following, 
we treat of the divine honour that is due unto the per- 
son of Christ, expressed in adoration, invocation, and 
obedience proceeding from faith and love. And the 
foundation of the whole, is laid in the discovery of the 
true nature and causes of that honour : and three things 
are designed unto confirmation herein. 1 . That the 
divine nature, which is individually the same in each 
person of the holy Trinity, is the proper formal object 
of all divine worship, in adoration and invocation ; 


wherefore, no one person is or can be worshipped, but 
in the same individual act of worship, each person is 
equally worshipped and adored. 2. That it is lawful 
to direct divine honour, worship, and invocation unto 
any person, in the use of his peculiar name, the Father, 
Son, or Spirit ; or unto them altogether : but to make 
any request unto one person, and immediately the same 
unto another, is not exemplified in the Scripture, nor 
among the ancient writers of the church. 3. That 
the person of Christ as God-man, is the proper object 
of all divine honour and worship, on the account of his 
divine nature ; and all that he did in his human nature, 
are motives thereunto. 

The first of these is the constant doctrine of the 
whole ancient church, namely, that whether (for in- 
stance) in our solemn prayers and invocations, we call 
expressly on the name of the Father, or of the Son, or 
of the Holy Spirit ; whether we do it absolutely or re- 
latively, that is, with respect unto the relation of one 
person to the other ; as calling on God as the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ; on Christ as the Son of his 
love ; on the Holy Spirit as proceeding from them both; 
we do formally invocate and call on the divine nature, 
and consequently the whole Trinity, and each person 
therein. This truth they principally confirmed with 
the form of our initiation into Christ at baptism ; ' 1 
baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son^ 
and of the Holy Ghost.' For as there is contained 
therein the sum of all divine honour, so it is directed 
unto the same name, not the names of the Father, Son, 
and Spirit, which is the same Deity or divine nature 

So speak the fathers of the second general council 
in their letters unto the bishops of the west ; as they 
are expressed in Theodoret, lib. 5. cap. 9. This form of 

baptism teacheth us, lliaTsvuv uq to ovo/na tov Trarpoc, KCH 


Tov viov, Kai Tov ayiov irvevfiaTOc:, §17X0^)7, Osorrjroc re Kat 
^vvafj.e(i)Q Km ovcnag fxiag tov Trarpog, koi tov viov, Kai tov 
ayiov TTvevfuiaTog TmrKSTiVOfxkvr]*;, OfiOTifiov ttjq a^taCj '<^«t cruvrji- 
^lov Tr]q paaikuaq, kv Tpiai reXtmic viroaTaatai. ' To believe in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost ; seeing that the Deity, substance, and 
power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is one and 
the same ; their dignity equal, their kingdom co-eternal, 
in three perfect persons.' ' In nomine dixit, non no- 
minibus, ergo non aliud nomen Patris est,' &c. quia 
unus Deus, Ambros. De Spirit. Sanct. lib. 1. cap. 14. 
' Ovofxa Sf Kaivov tmv t^imv fv, n^soTijg. ' The one name 
common to three is the Deity.' Gregor. Nazianzen. 
Orat. 40. Hence Austin gives it as a rule in speaking 
of the Holy Trinity ; ^ Quando unus trium in aliquo 
opere nominatur, universa operari trinitas intelligitur.' 
Enchirid. cap. 38. 'When one person of the three is 
named in any work, the whole Trinity is to be under- 
stood to effect it.' There is one Lord, one faith, one 
baptism, according to the Scriptures. Wherefore, as 
there is one faith in Christ, and one baptism of truth, 
although we are baptized, and believe in the Father, 
Son, and Spirit, Kara tov uvtov, ol^ai, T^OTTOV Kai Xoyov, 
fx'ia Trpo(TKVvr}<JH^ 17 Trarpog, Kai svav^pwTrr/cravroc viov, Kai ayiov 

TTveviiiaTog. ' So plainly in my judgment there is one and 
the same adoration of the Father, the Son incarnate, 
and the Holy Spirit.' Cyril. Alex, de Recta Fide, 
cap. 32. 

And this they professed themselves to hold and be- 
lieve in that ancient doxology which was first invented 
to decry the Arian heresy : ' Glory be to the Father, 
and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.' The same 
glory in every individual act of its assignation or as- 
cription, is directed unto each person jointly and dis- 
tinctly, on the account of the same divine nature in each 
of them. I need not produce any testimonies in the 


farther confirmation hereof: for in all their writings 
against the Arians they expressly and constantly con- 
tend that the holy Trinity, that is, the divine nature in 
three persons, is the individual object of all divine 
adoration, invocation, and all religious worship ; and 
that by whatever personal name, as the Father, Son, 
or Spirit, we call on God, it is God absolutely who is 
adored, and each person participant of the same na- 
ture. See August. Lib. con. Serm. Arian. cap. 35. 
and Epist. 66. ad Maximum. 

For the second thing, or the invocation of God by 
any personal name, or by the conjunction of the dis- 
tinct names of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit toge- 
ther, nothing occurs more frequently among them. 
Yea, it is common to find in their writings, prayers 
begun unto one person, and ended in the name of 
another; yea, begun unto Christ, and closed in the 
name of his only-begotten Son : it being one and the 
same divine nature that is called on. Yea, the school- 
men do generally deny that the persons of the holy 
Trinity, under the consideration of the formal reason 
which is constitutive of their personality, are the formal 
object and term of divine worship ; but in the worship 
of one, they are all worshipped as one God over all 
blessed for ever. See Aquin. 22. q. 81. a. 3. ad 
prima, and q. 84. a. 1. ad tertium. Alexand. Alens. 
p. 3. q. 30. m. 1. a. 3. 

But yet, although we may call on God in and by 
the name of any divine person, or enumerate at once 

each person, (w rpiag ayia apiO/JLOVjuiEvii, rpiag £v £Vt ovofxaTi 

apiOjuovjUEvr/, Epiphan. Ancorat. 8. 22.) it doth not follow 
that we may make a request in our prayers unto one 
person, and then immediately repeat it unto another : 
for it would thence follow, that the person unto whom 
we make that request in the second place, was not in- 
vocated, not called on, not equally adored with him. 


who was SO called on in the first place, although the 
divine nature is the object of all religious invocation, 
which is the same in each person. Wherefore, in our 
divine invocation, we may name and fix our thoughts 
distinctly on any person according as our souls are af- 
fected with the distinct operations of each person in 
grace towards us. 

For what concerns, in the third place, the ascription 
of divine honour in adoration and invocation unto the 
person of Christ ; it is that which they principally con- 
tended for, and argued from, in all their writings against 
the Arians. 

Evidences of infinite wisdom in the constitution of 
the person of Christ, and rational discoveries of the 
condecencies therein unto the exaltation of all the 
other glorious properties of the divine nature, are also 
treated of. Herein we consider the incarnation of the 
Son of God with respect unto the recovery and salva- 
tion of the church alone. Some have contended that 
he should have been incarnate, had man never fallen 
or sinned. Of them are Rupertus, lib. 3. De gloria et 
honore filii hominis. Albertus Magnus, in 3. distinct. 
10. A. 4. Petrus Galatinus, lib. 3. cap. 4. as are Scotus, 
Halensis, and others, whom Osiander followed. The 
same is aflBrmed by Socinus concerning the birth of that 
man, which alone he fancied him to be, as I have else- 
where declared. But I have disproved this figment at 
large. Many of the ancients have laboured in this ar- 
gument, of the necessity of the incarnation of the eter- 
nal Word, and the condecencies unto divine wisdom 
therein. See Irenseus, lib. 3. cap. 20, 21. Eusebius, 
Demonst. Evangel, lib. 4. cap. 1 — 4, &c. Cyril. Alex- 
and. lib. 5. cap. 7. lib. 1. De fide ad Regin. Chry- 
sostom, Homil. 10. in Johan. et in cap. 8. ad Rom. 
Serm. l8. Augustin, De Trinit. lib. 13. cap. 13 — 20. 
Leo, Epist. 13. 18. Sermo. de Nativit. 1. 4. 10. Basil. 



in Psal. 48. Albinus, lib. L in Johan. cap. 11. Da- 
mascen. lib. 3. De fide, cap. 15. 19. Anselm, quod 
Deus Homo, lib. duo. Guil. Parisiensis, lib. Cur Deus 
Homo. Some especial testimonies we may produce 
in confirmation of what we have discoursed in the 
places directed unto. There is one of them, one of 
the most ancient, the most learned, and most holy of 
them, who hath so fully delivered his thoughts concern- 
ing this mystery, as that I shall principally make use 
of his testimony herein. 

It belong;ed unto the wisdom and rio-hteousness of 
God, that Satan should be conquered and subdued in 
and by the same nature which he had prevailed against, 
by his suggestion and temptation. To this purpose 
that holy writer speaks, lib. 3. cap. 20. which, because 
his words are cited by Theodoret, Dial. 2. I shall 
transcribe them from thence, as free from the injuries 
of his barbarous translator : ''Rvw^ev ovv KaOwg 7rpo£(pafiEv 

rov avOpujirov tio Ocw, ei yap f.ir] avO^WTVog rjviKrjdiv rov avri- 
TToXov Tov avOpwTTov, ovK CIV diKaicog eviKijOrj o £^0^oc, rraXiv r£, 
£1 jur] o xyeog ecii)jpri(jaro rrjv (Tojrripiav, ovk av pepai(vg ^^Ofx^v 
avrr}v, kcu ei firi GvvrjvujOii o avOpojTrog rw 0£(i) ovk av rj^uvjjOrj 
luitTaoryjEiv Tr}g a(j)Oap(yiag. * E^£t yap rov ixi(siTr]v tov 0£oi> r£ Ka\ 
av0f>w7rwv, ^la Tr\g i^'iag Tr^og EKar^povg o'lKHori^Tog ug ^iXtav 
Kai Ofxivoiav rovg afi^ajT^povg avvr\yayav. Words plainly 

divine, an illustrious testimony of the faith of the an- 
cient church, and expressive of the principal mystery 
of the gospel. 'Wherefore, as we said before, he united 
man unto God. For if man had not overcome the ad- 
versary of men, the enemy had not been justly con- 
quered ; and, on the other hand, if God had not given 
and granted salvation, we could never have a firm un- 
defeasible possession of it ; and if man had not been 
united unto God, he could not have been partaker of 
immortality. It behoved, therefore, the Mediator be- 
tween God and man, by his own participation of the 


nature of each of them^ to bring them both into friend- 
ship and agreement with each other.' And to the same 
purpose, speaking of the wisdom of God in our re- 
demption by Christ, with respect unto the conquest of 
the devil, lib. 5. cap. 1. * Potens in omnibus Dei Ver- 
bum, et non deficiens in sua justitia, juste etiam ad- 
versus ipsam conversus est apostasiam, ea quae sunt 
sua redimens, ab eo, non cum vi, quemadmodum ille 
initio dominabitur nostri, ea qu83 non erant sua insa- 

tiabiliter rapiens Suo igitur sanguine redimente 

nos Domino, et dante animam suam pro anima nostra, 
et carnem suam pro carnibus nostris,' &c. Again di- 
vinely ; ^ The all-powerful Word of God no way defec- 
tive in righteousness, set himself against the apostacy 
justly also ; redeeming from him (Satan, the head of 
the apostacy) the things which were his own — not 
with force, as he bare rule over us, insatiably making 
rapine of what was not his own — but he, the Lord, 
redeeming us with his own blood, giving his soul for 
our soul, and his flesh for ours, wrought out our deli- 
verance.' These things are at large insisted on in the 
ensuing discourse. 

It belongs unto this great mystery, and is a fruit of 
divine wisdom, that our deliverance should be wrought 
in and by the same nature, wherein and whereby we 
were ruined. The reasons hereof, and the glory of 
God therein, are at large discoursed in the ensuing 
treatise. To the same purpose speaks the same holy 
writer, lib. 5. cap. 14. ' Non in semetipso recapitulasset 
hsec Dominus, nisi ipse caro et sanguis secundum prin- 
cipalem plasmationem factus fuisset ; salvans in seme- 
tipso in fine, illud quod perierat in principio in Adam. 
Si autem ob alteram quandam dispositionem Dominus 
incarnatus est, et ex altera substantia carnem attulit, non 
ergo in semetipso recapitulatus est hominem, adhuc 

etiam nee caro dici potest habuit ergo et ipse car- 

D 2 


nem et sanguinem, non alteram quandam, sed ipsam' 
principalem Patris plasmationem in se recapitulans, ex- 
quirens id quod perierat.' And to the same purpose, 
lib. 5. cap. 1. ' Neque enim vere esset sanguinem et 
carnem habens, per quam nos redemit, nisi antiquam 
plasmationem Adae in seipsum recapitulasset' That 
which these passages give testimony unto, is what we 
have discoursed concerning the necessity of our re- 
demption in and by the nature that sinned ; and yet 
withal, that it should be free from all that contagion 
which invaded our nature by the fall. And these 
things are divinely expressed. ' Our Lord,' saith he, 
* had not gathered up these things in himself, had not 
he been made flesh and blood, according unto its ori- 
ginal creation.' (The reader may observe, that none 
of the ancient writers do so frequently express the fall 
of Adam, by our apostacy from God, and our recovery 
by a recapitulation in Christ, as Irenaeus. His re- 
capitulation being nothing but the avaK^(j)a\ai(i)(ng men- 
tioned by the apostle, Eph. i. 10. and he here affirms, 
that, unto this end, the Lord was made flesh ; ^ secun- 
dum principalem plasmationem,' as his words are ren- 
dered ; that is plainly, the original creation of our na- 
ture in innocency, uprightness, purity, and righteous- 
ness.) ' So he saved in himself in the end, what pe- 
rished in Adam at the beginning.' (The same nature, 
in and by the same nature.) ' For if the Lord had been 
incarnate, for any other disposition' (that is, cause, rea- 
son, or end), ^ and had brought flesh from any other sub-, 
stance' (that is, celestial or etherial, as the Gnostics 
imagined), ' he had not recovered men, brought our na- 
ture unto a head in himself, nor could he have been 
said to be flesh. He therefore himself had flesh and 
blood, not of any other kind ; but he took to himself 
that which was originally created of the Father, seek- 
ing that which was lost.' The same is observed by 


Austin, lib. de fide, ad Petrum Diaconum. ' Sic igitur 
Christum Dei Filium, id est, unam ex Trinitate perso- 
nam, Deum verum crede, ut divinitatem ejus de natura 
Patris natam esse non dubites ; et sic eum verum lio- 
minem crede, et ejus carnem, non coelestis, non aerise, 
non alterius cujusquam putes esse naturae, sed ejus cu- 
jus est omnium caro ; id est, quam ipse Deus, homini 
primo de terra plasmavit, et cseteris hominibus plasmat.' 
^ So believe Christ the Son of God, that is, one person 
of the Trinity, to be the true God, that you doubt not 
but that his divinity was born' (by eternal generation) 
* of the nature of the Father ; and so believe him to be a 
true man, that you suppose not his flesh to be aerial, 
or heavenly, or of any other nature, but of that which 
is the flesh of men ; that is, which God himself formed 
in the first man of the earth, and which he forms in all 
other men.' That which he speaks of one person of 
the Trinity, hath respect unto the heretical opinion of 
Hormisda, the bishop of Rome, who contended that it 
was unlawful to say, that one person of the Trinity 
was incarnate, and persecuted some Scythian monks, 
men not unlearned about it, who were strenuously de- 
fended by Maxentius, one of them. 

It carrieth in it a great condecency unto divine 
wisdom, that man should be restored unto the image of 
God, by him who was the essential image of the Fa- 
ther, as is declared in our discourse ; and that he was 
made like unto us, that we might be made like unto 
him, and unto God through him. So speaks the same 
Irenseus, lib. 5. Prsefat. ^ Verbum Dei Jesus Chris- 
tus, qui propter immensam suam dilectionem, factus 
est quod sumus nos, ut nos perficeret quod est 
ipse.' ' Jesus Christ the Word of God, who from his 
own infinite love was made what we are, that he might 
make us what he is ;' that is, by the restoration of the 
imag-e of God in us. And again, lib. 3. cap. 20. 'Fi- 


lius Dei existens apud Patrem, et homo factus, long-am 
hominum expositionem in seipso recapitulavit ; in 
compendio nobis salutem prsestans, ut quod perdide- 
ramus in Adam, id est, secundum imaginem et similitu- 
dinem esse Dei, hoe in Christo Jesu reciperemus, quia 
enim non erat possibile qui semel victus fuerat et elisus 
per inobedientiam, replasmare et obtinere brabium vic- 
torisD; iterum autem impossibile erat ut salutem perci- 
peret, qui sub peccato ceciderat, utraque operatus est 
filius Verbum Dei existens, a Patre descendens et incar- 
natus, usque ad mortem descendens, et dispensationem 
consummans salutis nostras.' ^ Being the Son of God 
with the Father, and being made man, he reconciled 
or gathered up in himself the long continued exposing- 
of men' (unto sin and judgment), ^ bringing in salvation 
in this compendious way, in this summary of it, that 
what we had lost in Adam, that is, our being in the 
image and likeness of God, that we should recover in 
Christ. For it was not possible that man that had been 
once conquered, and broken by disobedience, should 
by himself be reformed, and obtain the crown of vic- 
tory; nor was it again possible, that he should recover 
salvation who had fallen under sin. Both were wrous'ht 
by the Son, the Word of God, who descending from the 
Father, and being incarnate, submitted himself to death, 
perfecting the dispensation of our salvation.' 

And Clemens Alexandrinus to the same purpose ; 
Adhort. ad Gentes. Nai (|)rjjui d Xoyoc 6 tov Seov avOpw- 

TTOcj yevofievoQ, 'iva ^e Kai gv ira^d avOpioirov judOrigy wrj ttote 
apa avOpu}7rog y^vr}Tai Geoc. ^ The Word of God waS 
made man, that thou mightest learn of a man, how 
man may become' (as) ' God.' And Ambrose, in Psal. 
cxviii. Octon.8. 'Imago, id est, Verbum Dei, ad eum qui 
est ad imaginem hoc est, hominem venit, et quEerit 
imago eum qui est ad similitudinem, ut iterum signet, 
ut iterum confirmet, quia amisit quod accepit.' ' The 


image of God, that is, the Word of God, came into 
him who was after the image of God, that is man. 
And this imas^e of God seeks him who was after the 
image of God, that he might seal him with it again, 
and confirm him, because he had lost that which he had 
received.' And Austin in one instance gives a rational 
account why it was condecent unto divine wisdom, 
that the Son, and not the Father, or the Holy Spirit, 
should be incarnate ; which we also inquire into ; lib. 
de Definition. Orthodoxis, cap. 2. ' Non Pater carnem 
assumpsit, neque Spiritus Sanctus, sed Filius tantum ; 
ut qui erat in divinitate Dei Patris Filius ipse fieret 
in homine, hominis Matris Filius; ne Filii nomen ad 
alteram transiret, qui non esset seterna nativitate filius.' 
' The Father did not assume flesh, nor the Holy Spirit, 
but the Son only; that he who in the Deity was the 
Son of the Father, should be made the Son of man, in 
his mother of human race ; that the name of the Son 
should not pass unto any other, who was not the Son 
by an eternal nativity.' 

I shall close with one meditation of the same au- 
thor, concerning the wisdom and righteousness of God 
in this mystery. Enchirid. ad Laurent, cap. 99. ' Vide 
— universum genus humanum tam justo judicio Divmo 
in apostatica radice damnatum, ut etiam si nullus inde 
liberaretur, nemo recte possit Dei vituperare justitiam; 
et qui liberantur, sic oportuisse liberari, ut ex pluribus 
non liberatis, atque damnatione justissima derelictis, 
ostenderetur, quod meruisset universa conspersio, et 
quo etiam istos debitum judicium Dei duceret, nisi ejus 
indebita misericordia subveniret.' ' Behold, the whole 
race of mankind by the just judgment of God so con- 
demned in the apostatical root, that if no one were 
thence delivered, yet no man could rightly complain 
of the justice of God ; and that those who are freed, 
ought so to be freed, that from the greater number 


who are not freed, but left under most righteous 
condemnation, it might be manifest what the whole 
mass had deserved, and whither the judgment of God 
due unto them would lead them, if his mercy, which 
was not due, did not relieve them.' The reader may 
see what is discoursed unto these purposes : and be- 
cause the great end of the description given of the per- 
son of Christ, is that we may love him, and thereby be 
transformed into his image, I shall close this preface 
with the words of Jerome, concerning that divine love 
unto Christ which is at large declared. ' Sive legas,' 
saith he, ' sive scribas, sive vigiles, sive dormias, amor 
tibi semper buccina in auribus sonet, hie lituus excitet 
animam tuam, hoc amore furebundus ; qusere in lecto tuo, 
quem desiderat anima tua.' Epist. ad Pammach. cap. 4. 
^Whether thou readest or writest, whether thou watch- 
est or sleepest, let the voice of love (to Christ) sound in 
thine ears ; let this trumpet stir up thy soul ; being 
overpowered (brought into an ecstasy), with this love, 
seek him on thy bed, whom thy soul desireth and 
longeth for.' 








Peter^s confession ; Matt. xvi. 16. Conceits of the Papists thereon. The 
substance and excellency of that confession. 

Our blessed Saviour inquiring of his disciples their appre- 
hensions concerning his person, and their faith in him, Si- 
mon Peter, as he was usually the forwardest on all such 
occasions, through his peculiar endowments of faith and 
zeal, returns an answer in the name of them all ; Matt. xvi. 16. 
'And Simon Peter answered and said. Thou art Christ, the 
Son of the living God.' 

Baronius, and sundry others of the Roman church, do af- 
firm that the Lord Christ herein did prescribe the form of a 
general council. ' For here,' say they, ' the principal article of 
our Christian faith was declared and determined by Peter, 
whereunto all the rest of the apostles, as in duty they were 
obliged, did give their consent and suffrage.' This was done, 
as they suppose, that a rule and law might be given unto 
future ages, how to enact and determine articles of faith. 
For it is to be done by the successors of Peter presiding in 
councils, as it was now done by Peter in this assembly of 
Christ and his apostles. 

But they seem to forget that Christ himself was now pre- 
sent, and therefore could have no vicar, seeing he presided 
in his own person. All the claim they lay unto the necessity 
of such a visible head of the church on the earth, as may 


determine articles of faith, is from the absence of Christ 
since his ascension into heaven. But that he should also 
have a substitute whilst he was present is somewhat uncouth ; 
and whilst they live they shall never make the pope presi- 
dent, where Christ is present. The truth is, he doth not 
propose unto his disciples the framing of an article of truth, 
but inquires after their own faith which they expressed in 
this confession. Such things as these will prejudice carnal 
interest, and the prepossession of the minds of men with 
corrupt imaginations, cause them to adventure on, to the 
scandal, yea, ruin of religion. 

This short but illustrious confession of Peter, compriseth 
eminently the whole truth concerning the person and office 
of Christ. Of his person, in that although he was the Son 
of man, under which appellation he made his inquiry, *Whom 
do men say that I the Son of man am?' yet was he not only 
so, but the eternal Son of the living God. Of his office, that 
he was the Christ, he whom God had anointed to be the Sa- 
viour of the church, in the discharge of his kingly, priestly, 
and prophetical power. Instances of the like brief confes- 
sions we have elsewhere in the Scripture ; Rom. x. 9. ' If thou 
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe 
in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou 
shalt be saved.' 1 John. iv. 2,3. * Every spirit that confesseth 
that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God : and every 
spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the 
flesh, is not of God.' And it is manifest, that all divine 
truths have such a concatenation among themselves, and 
do all of them so centre in the person of Christ, as vested 
with his offices towards the church, that they are all virtually 
comprised in this confession ; and they will be so ac- 
counted unto all who destroy them not by contrary errors 
and imaginations inconsistent with them ; though it be the 
duty of all men to obtain the express knowledge of them in 
particular, according unto the means thereof which they do 
enjoy. The danger of men's souls lieth not in a disability to 
attain a comprehension of longer or more subtle confessions 
of faith, but in embracing things contrary unto, or inconsis- 
tent with, this foundation thereof. Whatever it be, whereby 
men cease to hold the head, how small soever it seem, that 
alone is pernicious; Col. ii. 18, 19. 


This confession, therefore, as containing the sum and sub- 
stance of that faith, which they were called to give testimony 
unto, and concerning which their trial was approaching, is 
approved by our Saviour. And not only so, but eminent 
privileges are granted unto him that made it, and in him unto 
the whole church, that should live in the same faith and con- 
fession ; ver. 17, 18. * And Jesus answered and said unto him, 
Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath 
not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 
And I say also unto thee. That thou art Peter; and upon this 
rock I will build my church ; and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it.' 

Two things doth our Saviour consider in the answer re- 
turned unto his inquiry. 1. The faith of Peter in this con- 
fession, the faith of him that made it. 2. The nature and 
truth of the confession ; both which are required in all the 
disciples of Christ; * For with the heart man believeth unto 
righteousness ; and with the mouth confession is made unto 
salvation;' Rom. x. 10. 

1 . The first thing which he speaks unto is the faith of Peter, 
who made this confession ; without this no outward con- 
fession is of any use or advantage. For even the devils knew 
him to be the Holy One of God ; Luke iv. 34. yet would he 
not permit them to speak it ; Mark i. 34. That which gives 
glory unto God in any confession, and which gives us an in- 
terest in the truth confessed, is the believing of the heart, 
which is unto righteousness. With respect hereunto, the 
Lord Christ speaks, ver. 17. 'And Jesus answered and said 
unto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and 
blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which 
is in heaven.' 

He commends and sets forth the faith of Peter, (1.) From 
its effect. (2.) From its cause. Its effect is, that it made him 
blessed in whom it was. For it is not only a blessed thing 
to believe and know Jesus Christ, as it is called life eternal, 
Johnxvii.3. but it is that which gives an immediate interest 
in the blessed state of adoption, justification, and accept- 
ance with God; John i. 12. (2.) The immediate cause of 
this faith is divine revelation. It is not the effect or pro- 
duct of our own abilities, the best of which are but flesh 
and blood. That faith which renders them blessed in whom 


it is, is wrought in them by the power of God, revealing 
Christ unto their souls. Those who have more abilities of 
their own unto this end than Peter had, we are not con- 
cerned in. 

2. He speaks unto the confession itself, acquainting his 
disciples with the nature and use of it, which from the be- 
ginning he principally designed; ver. 18. * And I say unto 
thee. That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build 
my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' 

From the speaking of these words unto Peter, there is a 
controversy raised in the world, whether the Lord Christ 
himself, or the pope of Rome, be the rock whereon the 
church is built. And unto that state are thino;s come in 
religion among them that are called Christians, that the 
greatest number are for the pope, and against Christ in this 
matter. And they have good reason for their choice. For 
if Christ be the rock whereon the church is built, whereas 
he is a living stone, those that are laid and built on him 
must be lively stones also, as this apostle assures us, 1 Epist. 
ii. 4, 5. they must be like unto Christ himself, partaking of 
his nature, quickened by his Spirit, so as it were * to be bone 
of his bone, and flesh of his flesh;' Eph. v. 10. Nor can any 
be built on him, but by a living faith, effectual in universal 
obedience. These things the generality of men like not at 
all : and therefore, the fabric of the living temple on this 
foundation is usually but small, seldom conspicuous or out- 
wardly glorious. But if the pope be this rock, all the Papists 
in the world, or all that have a mind so to be, be they never 
so wicked and ungodly, may be built upon him, and be made 
partakers of all that deliverance from the powers of hell 
which that rock can aff'ord them. And all this may be ob- 
tained at a very easy rate. For the acknowledgment of the 
pope's sovereign authority in the church, is all that is re- 
quired thereunto. How they bring in the claim of their 
pope by Peter, his being at Rome, being bishop of Rome, 
dying at Rome, fixing his chair at Rome, devoting and trans- 
mitting all his right, title, power, and authority, every thing 
but his faith, holiness, and labour, in the ministiy unto the 
pope, I shall not here inquire, I have done it elsewhere. 
Here is fixed the root of the tree, which is grown great, like 
that in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, until it is become a recep- 


tacle for the beasts of the field and fowls of the air, sensual 
men and unclean spirits. I shall therefore briefly lay an axe 
unto the root of it, by evidencing that it is not the person 
of Peter who confessed Christ, but the person of Christ 
whom Peter confessed, that is the rock on whom the church 
is built. 

1. The variation of the expressions proves undeniably 
that our Saviour intended we should not understand the 
person of Peter to be the rock. He takes occasion from 
his name to declare what he designed, but no more. * And 
I say also unto thee, thou art Peter.' He had given him 
this name before, at his first calling ; John i. 42. now he 
gives the reason of his so doing, namely, because of the il- 
lustrious confession that he should make of the rock of the 
church ; as the name of God under the Old Testament, was 
called on persons, and things, and places, because of some 
especial relation unto him. Wherefore, the expression is 
varied on purpose to declare, that whatever be the significa- 
tion of the name Peter, yet the person so called was not the 
rock intended. The words are gv tl nerpog, koI IttI ramy ry 
iriTpa. Had he intended the person of Peter, he would have 
expressed it plainly, av u irhpog, kol IttX troi, * Thou art a 
rock, and on thee will I build.' At least the gender had not 
been altered, but he would have said, ctti rouro^-rro Trirptj, 
which would have given some colour to this imagination. 
The exception which they lay hereunto, from the use of Ce- 
phas in the Syriac, which was the name of Peter, and signi- 
fies a rock or a stone, lies not only against the authentic 
authority of the Greek original; but of their own translation 
of it, which reads the words, ' Tu es Petrus, et super banc 

2. If the church was built on the person of Peter, 
then when he died the church must utterly fail. For no 
building can possibly abide when its foundation is removed 
and taken away. Wherefore they tell us they do not intend 
by the person of Peter, that singular and individual person 
alone to be this rock; but he and his successors the bishops 
of Rome are so. But this story of his successors at Rome 
is a shameful fable. If the pope of Rome be a true believer, 
he succeeds in common with all other believers into the pri- 
vileges which belong unto this confession ; if he be not, he 


hath neither lot nor portion in this matter. But the pre- 
tence is utterly vain on another account also. The apostle, 
shewing the insufficiency of the Aaronical priesthood, 
wherein there was a succession of God's own appointment, 
affirms, that it could not bring the church unto a perfect 
state, because the ' high-priests died one after another, and 
so were many ;' Heb. vii. 8. 23, 24. And thereon he 
shews that the church cannot be consummate or perfected, 
unless it rest wholly in and on him who lives for ever, and 
was made a priest after the power of an endless life. And 
if the Holy Ghost judged the state of the Jewish church to 
be weak and imperfect, because it rested on high-priests 
that died one after another, although their succession was 
expressly ordained of God himself; shall we suppose that 
the Lord Christ, who came to consummate the church, and 
to bring it unto the most perfect estate whereof in this 
v/orld it is capable, should build it on a succession of dying 
men, concerning which succession there is not the least in- 
timation that it is appointed of God? And as unto the mat- 
ter of fact we know both what interruptions it hath received, 
and what monsters it hath produced, both sufficiently ma- 
nifesting that it is not of God. 

3. There is but one rock, but one foundation. There is no 
mention in the Scripture of two rocks of the church. In what 
others invent to this purpose we are not concerned. And the 
rock and the foundation are the same ; for the rock is that 
whereon the church is built, that is the foundation. But that 
the Lord Christ is this single rock and foundation of the church, 
we shall prove immediately. Wherefore, neither Peter him- 
self, nor his pretended successors, can be this rock. As for 
any other rock, it belongs not unto our religion : they that 
have framed it, may use it as they please. For they that 
make such things, are like unto the things they make. So 
is every one that trusteth in them ; Psal. cxv. 8. * But their 
rock is not like our rock, themselves being judges,' unless 
they will absolutely equal the pope unto Jesus Christ. 

4. Immediately after this declaration of our Saviour's 
purpose to build his church on the rock, he reveals unto his 
disciples the way and manner how he would lay its founda- 
tion, namely, in his death and sufferings ; ver. 21. And 
thereon this supposed rock, being a little left unto his own 


Stability, shewed himself to be but a ' reed shaken with the 
wind/ For he is so far from putting himself under the 
weight of the building, that he attempts an obstruction of 
its foundation. He began to rebuke Christ himself for men- 
tioning his sufferings, wherein alone the foundation of the 
gospel church was to be laid ; ver. 22. and hereon he re- 
ceived the severest rebuke that ever the Lord Jesus gave 
unto any of his disciples ; ver. 23. And so it is known that 
afterward, through surprisaland temptation, he did what lay 
in him to recall that confession v/hich here he made, and 
whereon the church was to be built. For that no flesh 
might glory in itself, he that was singular in this confession 
of Christ, was so also in the denial of him. And if he in his 
own person manifested how unmeet he was to be the foun- 
dation of the church, they must be strangely infatuated who 
can suppose his pretended successors so to be. But some 
men will rather have the church to be utterly without any 
foundation, than that it should not be the pope. 

The vanity of this pretence being removed, the substance 
of the great mystery contained in the attestation given by 
our Saviour unto the confession of Peter, and the promise 
thereunto annexed, may be comprised in the ensuing asser- 

1. The person of Christ, the Son of the living God, as 
vested with his offices, whereunto he was called and anoint- 
ed, is the foundation of the church, the rock whereon it is 

2. The power and policy of hell will be always engaged 
in opposition unto the relation of the church unto this foun- 
dation, or the building of it on this rock. 

3. The church that is built on this rock shall never be 
disjoined from it, or prevailed against by the opposition of 
the gates of hell. 

The two former of these I shall speak briefly unto, my 
principal design being a demonstration of a truth that aris- 
eth from the consideration of them all. 

The foundation of the church is twofold. (1.) Real. 
(2.) Doctrinal. And in both ways Christ alone is the foun- 
dation. The real foundation of the church he is, by virtue 
of the mystical union of it unto him, with all the benefits 
whereof from thence, and thereby it is made partaker. For 


thence alone hath it spiritual life, grace, mercy, perfection, 
and glory ; Eph. iv. 15, 16. Col. ii. 19. And he is the doc- 
trinal foundation of it, in that the faith or doctrine concern- 
ing him and his offices is that divine truth, which in a pecu- 
liar manner animates and constitutes the church of the New 
Testament ; Eph. ii. 19 — 22. Without the faith and confes- 
sion hereof, no one person belongs unto that church. I 
know not what is now believed, but I judge it will not yet be 
denied, that the external formal cause of the church of the 
New Testament, is the confession of the faith concerning 
the person, offices, and grace of Christ, with what is of us 
required thereon. In what sense we assert these things will 
be afterward fully cleared. 

That the Lord Christ is thus the foundation of the church, 
is testified unto, Isa. xxviii. 16. ' Thus saith the Lord God, 
Behold, I lay in Zionfor a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, 
a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that believ- 
eth, shall not make haste.' It is among the bold inroads, 
that in this late age have been made on the vitals of religion, 
that some, in compliance with the Jews, have attempted the 
application of this promise unto Hezekiah. The violence 
they have offered herein to the mind of the Holy Ghost, 
might be evidenced from every word of the context. But 
the interpretation and application of the last words of this 
promise by the apostles, leaves no pretence unto this insi- 
nuation. *He that believes on him, shall not be ashamed 
or confounded ;' Rom. ix. 33. x. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. that is, he 
shall be eternally saved ; which it is the highest blasphemy 
to apply unto any other but Jesus Christ alone. He there- 
fore is alone that foundation which God hath laid in and of 
the church ; see Psal. cxviii. 22. Matt. xxi. 42. Mark xii. 
10. Luke XX. 17. Acts iv. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 4. Eph. ii. 20—22. 
Zech. iii. 9. But this fundamental truth of Christ being 
the onlyjfoundation of the church, is so expressly determined 
by the apostle St. Paul, as not to need any farther confirma- 
tion ; 1 Cor. iii. 11. * For other foundation can no man lay, 
than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' 



Opposition made unto the church as built on the person of Christ. 

There are in the words of our Saviour unto Peter concern- 
ing the foundation of the church, a promise of its preserva- 
tion, and a prediction of the opposition that should be made 
thereunto. And accordingly all things are come to pass, 
and carrying on towards a complete accomplishment. For 
(that we may begin with the opposition foretold) the power 
and policy of hell ever were, and ever will be, engaged in op- 
position unto the church built on this foundation ; that is, 
the faith of it concerning his person, office, and grace, 
whereby it is built on him. This as unto what is past con- 
cerneth matter of fact ; whereof therefore I must give a brief 
account; and then we shall examine what evidences we have 
of the same endeavour at present. 

The gates of hell, as all agree, are the power and policy 
of it; or the actings of Satan both as a lion, and as a ser- 
pent, by rage and by subtlety. But whereas in these things 
he acts not visibly in his own person, but by his agents, he 
hath always had two sorts of them employed in his service. 
By the one he executes his rage, and by the other his craft ; 
he animates the one as a lion, the other as a serpent : in the 
one he acts as the dragon, in the other as the beast that had 
two horns like the lamb, but spake like the dragon. The 
first is the unbelieving world, the other apostates and se- 
ducers of all sorts. Wherefore this work in this kind is of a 
double nature; the one an effect of his power and rage, 
acted by the world in persecution, the other of his policy 
and craft, acted by heretics in seduction. In both he de- 
signs to separate the church from its foundation. 

The opposition of the first sort he began against the per- 
son of Christ immediately in his human nature. Fraud he 
first once attempted in his temptation. Matt. iv. but quick- 
ly found that that way he could make no approach unto him. 
* The Prince of this world came, but had nothing in him.' 
Wherefore he betook himself unto open force, and by all 
means possible sought his destruction; so also the more at 



any time the church is by faith and watchfuhiess secured 
against seduction, the more doth he rage against it in open 
persecution. And for the example and comfort of the 
church, in its conformity unto him, no means were left un- 
attempted that might instigate and prepare the world for his 
ruin. Reproaches, contempt, scorn, false and lying accusa- 
tions by his suggestions, were heaped on him on every hand. 
Hereby in the whole course of his ministry he ' endured 
the contradiction of sinners against himself;' Heb, xii. 3. 
And there is herein blessed provision made of inestimable 
consolation, for all those who are * predestinated to be con- 
formed unto his image,' when God shall help them by faith 
to make use of his example. He calls them to take up his 
cross and follow him ; and he hath shewed them what is in 
it by his own bearing of it. Contempt, reproach, despite- 
ful usage, calumnies, false accusations, wrestings of his 
words, blaspheming of his doctrine, reviling of his person, 
all that he said and did as to his principles about human 
government, and moral conversation, encompassed him all 
his days. And he hath assured his followers, that such and 
no other, at least for the most part, shall be their lot in this 
world. And some in all ages have an experience of it in an 
eminent manner. But have they any reason to complain ? 
Why should the servant look for better measure than the 
Master met withal ? To be made like unto him in the worst 
of evils, for his sake, is the best and most honourable con- 
dition in this world. God help some to believe it. Hereby 
was way made for his death. But in the whole it was ma- 
nifested, how infinitely in all his subtlety and malice Satan 
falls short of the contrivances of divine wisdom and power. 
For all that he attained by effecting his death, in the hour 
of darkness, was but the breaking of his own head, the de- 
struction of his works, with the ruin of his kingdom ; and 
what yet remains to consummate his eternal misery, he shall 
himself work out in his opposition unto the churcli. His 
restless malice and darkness will not suffer him to give over 
the pursuit of his rage, until nothing remains to give him a 
full entrance into endless torments, which he hasteneth every 
day. For when he shall have filled up the measure of his 
sins, and of the sins of the world, in being instrumental unto 
his rage, eternal judgment shall put all things unto their 


issue. Through that shall he, with the world, enter into ever- 
lasting flames, and the whole church built on the rock into 
rest and glory. 

No sooner did the church of the New Testament begin 
to arise on this foundation, but the whole world of Jews and 
Gentiles, set themselves with open force to destroy it. And 
all that they contended with the church about was their 
faith, and confession of it, that ' Jesus was the Christ, the Son 
of the living God.' This foundation they would cast it from, 
or exterminate it out of the earth. What were the endeavours 
of the gates of hell in this kind, with what height of rage, 
with what bloody and inhuman cruelties they were exercised 
and executed, we have some obscure remembrance in the 
stories that remain from the martyrdom of Stephen unto the 
days of Constantine. But although there be enough remain- 
ing on record, to give us a view of the insatiable malice of 
the old murderer, and an astonishing representation of hu- 
man nature degenerating into his image in the perpetration 
of all horrid inhuman cruelties, yet is it all as nothing in 
comparison of that prospect which the last day will give of 
them, when the earth shall disclose all the blood that it hath 
received, and the righteous Judge shall lay open all the con- 
trivances for its effusion, with the rage and malice wherewith 
they were attended. The same rage continueth yet unal- 
layed in its principles. And although God in many places 
restrain and shut it up in his providence, by the circum- 
stances of human affairs, yet as it hath the least advantage, 
as it finds any door open unto it, it endeavours to act itself 
in lesser or higher degrees. But whatever dismal appear- 
ance of things there may be in the world, we need not fear 
the ruin of the church by the most bloody oppositions. 
Former experiences will give security against future events. 
It is built on the rock, and those gates of hell shall not pre- 
vail against it. 

The second way whereby Satan attempted the same end, 
and yet continueth so to do, was by pernicious errors and 
heresies. For all tlie heresies wherewith the church was 
assaulted and pestered for some centuries of years, were op- 
positions unto their faith in the person of Christ. I shall 
briefly reflect on the heads of this opposition, because they 
are now, after a revolution of so many ages, lifting up them 

E 2 



selves again, though under new vizards and pretences. And 
they were of three sorts. 

1. That which introduced other doctrines and notions of 
divine things, absolutely exclusive of the person and media- 
tion of Christ. Such was that of the Gnostics, begun as it 
IS supposed by Simon the magician. A sort of people they 
were with whom the first churches, after the decease of the 
apostles, were exceedingly pestered, and the faith of many 
was overthrown. For instead of Christ, and God in him re- 
conciling the world unto himself, and the obedience of faith 
thereon according unto the gospel, they introduced endless 
fables, genealogies, and conjugations of deities, or divine 
powers, which practically issued in this, that Christ was such 
an emanation of light and knowledge in them, as made them 
perfect ; that is, it took away all differences of good and 
evil, and gave them liberty to do what they pleased without 
sense of sin, or danger of punishment. This was the first 
way that Satan attempted the faith of the church, namely, 
by substituting a perfecting light and knowledge in the room 
of the person of Christ; and for aught I know, it may be one 
of the last ways whereby he will endeavour the accomplish- 
ment of the same design. Nor had I made mention of these 
pernicious imaginations, which have lain rotting in oblivion 
for so many generations, but that some again endeavour to 
revive them, at least so far as they were advanced and 
directed against the faith and knowledge of the person of 

2. Satan attempted the same work by them who denied 
his divine nature, that is, in effect, denied him to be the Son 
of the living God, on the faith whereof the church is built. 
And these were of two sorts : 

(1.) Such as plainly and openly denied him to have any 
pre-existence unto his conception and birth of the holy Vir- 
gin. Such were the Ebionites, Samosetanians, and Photi- 
nians. For they all affirmed him to be a mere man, and no 
more, though miraculously conceived and born of the Vir- 
gin, as some of them granted; though denied, as it is said, 
by the Ebionites, on which account he was called the Son 
of God. This attempt lay directly against the everlasting- 
rock, and would have substituted sand in the room of it. For 
no better is the best of human nature to make a foundation 


for the church, if not united unto the divine. Many in those 
days followed those pernicious ways ; yet the foundation of 
God stood sure, nor was the church moved from it. But yet 
after a revolution of so many ages, is the same endeavour 
again engaged in. The old enemy, taking advantage of the 
prevalency of Atheism and profaneness among those that 
are called Christians, doth again employ the same engine to 
overthrow the faith of the church, and that with more sub- 
tlety than formerly, in the Socinians. For their faith, or 
rather unbelief, concerning the person of Christ, is the same 
with those before-mentioned. And what a vain wanton ge- 
neration admire and applaud in their sophistical reasonings, 
is no more but what the primitive church triumphed over 
through faith, in the most subtle management of the Samo- 
setanians, Photinians, and others. An evidence it is that 
Satan is not unknowing unto the workings of that vanity 
and darkness, of those corrupt affections in the minds of 
men, whereby they are disposed unto a contempt of the mys- 
tery of the gospel . Who would have thought, that the old 
exploded pernicious errors of the Samosetanians,Photinians, 
and Pelagians, against the power and grace of Christ, should 
enter on the world again with so much ostentation and tri- 
umph as they do at this day? But many men, so far as I can 
observe, are fallen into such a dislike of the Christ of God, 
that every thing concerning his person, spirit, and grace, is 
an abomination unto them. It is not vv^ant of understanding 
to comprehend doctrines, but hatred unto the things them- 
selves, whereby such persons are seduced. And there is 
nothing of this nature, whereunto nature as corrupted, doth 
not contribute its utmost assistance. 

(2.) There were such as opposed his divine nature under 
pretence of declaring it another way than the faith of the 
church did rest in. So was it with the Arians, in whom the 
gates of hell seemed once to be near a prevalency. For the 
whole professing world almost was once surprised into that 
heresy. In words they acknowledged his divine person; 
but added, as a limitation of that acknowledgment, that the 
divine nature which he had was originally created of God, 
and produced out of nothing, with a double blasphemy, de- 
nying him to be the true God, and making a God of a 
mere creature. But in all these attempts the opposition of 


the gateSfOf hell unto the church, respected faith in the per- 
son of Christ as the Son of the living God. 

(2.) By some his human nature was opposed, for no 
stone did Satan leave unturned in the pursuit of his great 
design. And that which in all these things he aimed at, was 
the substitution of a false Christ, in the room of him who in 
one person was both the Son of man, and the Son of the 
living God. And herein he infected the minds of men with 
endless imaginations. Some denied him to have any real 
human nature, but to have been a phantasm, an appearance, 
a dispensation, a mere cloud acted by divine power ; some 
that he was made of heavenly flesh, brought from above, 
and which, as some also affirmed, was a parcel of the divine 
nature. Some affirmed that his body was not animated as 
ours are, by a rational soul, but was immediately acted by the 
power of the Divine Being, which was unto it in the room of 
a living soul. Some that his body was of an ethereal nature, 
and was at length turned into the sun ; with many such dia- 
bolical delusions. And there yet want not attempts in these 
days, of various sorts, to destroy the verity of his human na- 
ture ; and I know not what some late fantastical opinions 
about the nature of glorified bodies may tend unto. The 
design of Satan in all these pernicious imaginations, is to 
break the cognation and alliance between Christ in his hu- 
man nature and the church, whereon the salvation of it doth 
absolutely depend. 

3. He raised a vehement opposition against the hypos - 
tatical union, or the union of these two natures in one 
person. This he did in the Nestorian heresy, which greatly, 
and for a long time, pestered the church. The authors and 
promoters of this opinion, granted the Lord Christ to have 
a divine nature, to be the Son of the living God. They also 
acknowledged the truth of his human nature, that he was 
truly a man even as we are. But the personal union between 
these two natures they denied. A union, they said, there 
was between them, but such as consisted only in love, power, 
and care. God did, as they imagined, eminently and power- 
fully manifest himself in the man Christ Jesus, had him in 
an especial regard and love, and did more act in him than 
in any other. But that the Son of God assumed our nature 
into personal subsistence with himself, whereby whole 


Christ was one person, and all his mediatory acts were the 
acts of that one person, of him who was both God and man ; 
this they would not acknowledge. And this pernicious 
imagination, though it seem to make great concessions of 
truth, doth no less effectually evert the foundation of the 
church than the former. For if the divine and human nature 
of Christ do not constitute one individual person, all that he 
did for us was only as a man, which would have been al- 
together insufficient for the salvation of the church, nor had 
God redeemed it with his own blood. This seems to be the 
opinion of some amongst us at this day about the person of 
Christ. They acknowledge the being of the eternal Word, 
the Son of God. And they allow in the like manner the 
verity of his human nature, or own that man Christ Jesus. 
Only they say, that the eternal Word was in him and with 
him in the same kind, as it is with other believers ; but in 
a supreme degree of manifestation and power. But though 
in these things there is a great endeavour to put a new co- 
lour and appearance on old imaginations, the design of Satan 
is one and the same in them all, namely, to oppose the build- 
ing of the church upon its proper sole foundation. And 
these things shall be afterward expressly spoken unto. 

I intend no more in these instances but briefly to demon- 
strate that the principal opposition of the gates of hell unto 
the church, lay always unto the building of it by faith on 
the person of Christ. 

It were easy also to demonstrate that Mahometanism, 
which hath been so sore a stroke unto the Christian profes- 
sion, is nothing but a concurrence and combination of these 
two ways, of force and fraud, in opposition unto the person 
of Christ. 

It is true that Satan, after all this, by another way, at- 
tempted the doctrine of the offices and grace of Christ, with 
the worship of God in him. And this he hath carried so 
far, as that it issued in a fatal antichristian apostacy; 
which is not of my present consideration. 

But we may proceed to what is of our own immediate 
concernment. And the same work with that before de- 
scribed is still carried on. The person of Christ, the faith 
of the church concerning it, the relation of the church unto 
it, the building of the church on it, the life and preservation 


of the church thereby, are the things that the gates of hell 
are engaged in opposition unto. For, 

1. It is known with what subtlety and urgency his divine 
nature and person are opposed by the Socinians. What an 
accession is made daily unto their incredulity, what incli- 
nation of mind multitudes do manifest towards their perni- 
cious ways, are also evident unto all who have any concern- 
ment in or for religion. But this argument I have laboured 
in on other occasions. 

2. Many who expressly deny not his divine person, yet 
seem to grow weary of any concernment therein. A natural 
religion, or none at all, pleaseth them better than faith in 
God by Jesus Christ. That any thing more is necessary in 
religion, but what natural light will discover and conduct 
us in, with the moral duties of righteousness and honesty 
which it directs unto, there are too many that will not ac- 
knowledge. What is beyond the line of nature and reason 
is rejected as unintelligible mysteries or follies. The per- 
son and grace of Christ are supposed to breed all the dis- 
turbance in religion. Without them the common notions 
of the Divine Being and goodness, will guide men suffici- 
ently unto eternal blessedness. They did so before the 
coming of Christ in the flesh, and may do so now he is gone 
to heaven. 

3 There are some who have so ordered the frame of ob- 
jective religion, as that it is very uncertain whether they 
leave any place for the person of Christ in it or no. For, be- 
sides their denial of the hypostatical union of his natures, 
they ascribe all that unto a light within them, which God 
will effect only by Christ as a mediator. What are the in- 
ternal actings of their minds, as unto faith and trust towards 
him, I know not ; but, from their outward profession, he 
seems to be almost excluded. 

4. There are not a few who pretend high unto religion 
and devotion, who declare no erroneous conceptions about 
the doctrine of the person of Christ, who yet manifest them- 
selves not to have that regard unto him, which the gospel 
prescribes and requires ; hence have we so many discourses 
published about religion, the practical holiness and duties 
of obedience, written vvith great elegancy of stylo, and seri- 
ousness in argument, wherein we can meet vvith little or no- 


thing wherein Jesus Christ, his office, or his grace, are con- 
cerned. Yea, it is odds, but in them all we shall meet with 
some reflections on those who judge them to be the life and 
centre of our religion. The things of Christ beyond the 
example of his conversation on the earth, are of no use with 
such persons unto the promotion of piety and gospel obe- 
dience. Concerning many books of this nature, we may 
say what a learned person did of one of old ; * There were 
in it many things laudable and delectable, sed nomen Jesu 
non erat ibi.' 

5. Suited unto these manifest inclinations of the minds 
of men, unto a neglect of Christ in the religion they frame 
unto themselves, dangerous and noxious insinuations con- 
cerning what our thoughts ought to be of him, are made 
and tendered. As, (1.) It is scandalously proposed and an- 
swered, of Vv hat use is the consideration of the person of 
Christ in our religion. Such are the novel inquiries of men 
who suppose there is any thing in Christian religion where- 
in the person of Christ is of no consideration ; as though it 
were not the life and soul that animates the whole of it, that 
which gives it its especial form as Christian ; as though by 
virtue of our religion we received any thing from God, any 
benefit in mercy, grace, privilege, or glory, and not through 
the person of Christ ; as though any one duty or act of re- 
ligion towards God could be acceptably performed by us, 
without a respect unto, or a consideration of, the person of 
Christ ; or that there were any lines of truth in religion as 
it is Christian, that did not relate thereunto. Such bold in- 
quiries, v/ith futilous answers annexed unto them, suffici- 
ently manifest what acquaintance their authors have either 
with Christ himself, which in others they despise, or with 
his gospel, which they pretend to embrace. (2.) A mock 
scheme of religion is framed to represent the folly of them 
who desio^n to learn the mind and will of God, in and by 
him. (3.) Reproachful reflections are made on such as plead 
the necessity of acquaintance with him, or the knowledge of 
him, as though thereby they rejected the use of the gospel. 
(4.) Professed love unto the person of Christ is traduced as 
a mere fancy and vapour of distempered minds, or weak 
imaginations. (5.) The union of the Lord Christ and his 
church is asserted to be political only, with respect unto 


laws and rules of government. And many other things of 
an alike nature are asserted, derogatory unto his glory, and 
repugnant unto the faith of the church ; such as from the 
foundation of Christian religion were never vented by any 
persons before, who did not openly avow some impious he- 
resy concerning his person. And I no way doubt, but that 
men may with less guilt and scandal fall under sundry doc- 
trinal misapprehensions concerning it, than by crying hail 
thereunto, to despoil it of all its glory, as unto our concern- 
ment therein, in our practical obedience unto God. Such 
things have we deserved to see and hear. 

6. The very name or expression of preaching Christ is 
become a term of reproach and contempt ; nor can some, as 
they say, understand what is meant thereby, unless it be an 
engine to drive all rational preaching, and so all morality 
and honesty out of the world. 

7. That which all these things tend unto and centre in, 
is that horrible profaneness of life, that neglect of all gospel 
duties, that contempt of all spiritual graces and their effects, 
which the generality of them that are called Christians in 
many places are given up unto. I know not whether it 
were not more for the honour of Christ, that such persons 
would publicly renounce the profession of his name, ra- 
ther than practically manifest their inward disregard unto 

That by these, and the like means, Satan doth yet at- 
tempt the ruin of the church as unto its building on the 
everlasting rock, falls under the observation of all who are 
concerned in its welfare. And whatever others may appre- 
hend concerning this state of things in the world, how any 
that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity, especially such as are 
called to declare and represent him unto men in the office 
of the ministry, can acquit themselves to be faithful unto 
him, without giving their testimony against, and endeavour- 
ing to stop what lies in them, the progress of this prevailing 
.declension from tlie only foundation of the church, 1 know 
not ; nor will it be easy for themselves to declare. And in 
that variety of conceptions which are about him, and the 
opposition that is made unto him, there is nothing more 
necessary than that we should renew and attest our con- 
fession of him, as the Son of the living God, the only rock 


whereon the church of them that shall be saved is founded 
and built. 

* Pauca ideo de Christo/ as Tertullian speaks ; some few 
things concerning the person of Christ with respect unto 
the confession of Peter, and the promise thereunto annexed, 
wherein he is declared the sole foundation of the church, 
will be comprised in the ensuing discourse. And he who 
hath ordained strength out of the mouths of babes and suck- 
lings, as he hath given ability to express these poor mean 
contemplations of his glory, can raise by them a revenue of 
honour unto himself in the hearts of them that do believe. 
And some few things I must premise in general unto what 
I do design. As, 

1. The instances which I shall give concerning the use 
and consideration of the person of Christ in Christian reli- 
gion, or of him as he is the foundation whereon the church 
is built, are but few, and those perhaps not the most signal 
or eminent which the greater spiritual wisdom and under- 
standing of others might propose. And indeed who shall 
midertake to declare what are the chief instances of this in- 
comprehensible effect of divine wisdom ? ' What is his name, 
and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell ;' Prov. xxx. 4. 
See Isa. ix. 6. It is enough for us to stand in a holy ad- 
miration at the shore of this unsearchable ocean, and to ga- 
ther up some parcels of that divine treasure, wherewith the 
Scripture of truth is enriched. 

2. I make no pretence of searching into the bottom or 
depths of any part of this great ' mystery of godliness, God 
manifest in the flesh.' They are altogether unsearchable 
unto the line of the most enlightened minds in this life. 
What we shall farther comprehend of them in the other 
world, God only knows. We cannot in these things, by our 
utmost diligent search, ' find out the Almighty unto perfec- 
tion.' The prophets could not do so of old, nor can the an- 
gels themselves at present, who * desire to look into these 
things;' 1 Pet. i. 10 — 12. Only I shall endeavour to repre- 
sent unto the faith of them that do believe, somewhat of 
what the Scripture doth plainly reveal, evidencing in what 
sense the person of Christ is the sole foundation of the 

3. I shall not herein respect them immediately by whom 


the divine person of Christ is denied and opposed. I have 
formerly treated thereof, beyond their contradiction in way 
of reply. But it is their conviction which I shall respect 
herein, who under an outward confession of the truth, do 
either notionally or practically, either ignorantly or de- 
signedly, God knows, I know not, endeavour to weaken the 
faith of the church in its adherence unto this foundation. 
Howbeit neither the one sort nor the other have any place 
in my thoughts, in comparison of the instruction and edi- 
fication of others, who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sin- 


The person of Christ the most ineffahle effect of divine ivisdom and good- 
ness. Thence the next cause of all true religion. In what sense it is so. 

The person of Christ is the most glorious and ineffable 
effect of divine wisdom, grace, and power, and therefore 
is the next foundation of all acceptable religion and wor- 
ship. The Divine Being itself is the first formal reason, 
foundation, and object of all religion. It all depends on 
taking God to be our- God, which is the first of his com- 
mands. For religion, and the worship performed in it, is 
nothing but the due respect of rational creatures unto the 
divine nature, and its infinite excellencies. It is the glori- 
fying of God as God, the way of expressing that respect, 
being regulated by the revelation of his will. Yet the divine 
essence is not in itself the next and immediate cause of re- 
ligious worship. But it is the manifestation of this Being 
and its excellencies wherewith the mind of rational crea- 
tures is immediately affected, and whereby it is obliged to 
give that religious honour and worship which is due unto 
that Being, and necessary from our relation thereunto. Upon 
this manifestation, all creatures capable by an intelligent na- 
ture of a sense thereof, are indispensably obliged to give all 
divine honour and glory to God. 

The way alone whereby this manifestation may be made 
is by outward acts and effects. For in itself the divine na- 


ture is hid from all living, and dwelleth in that light where- 
unto no creature can approach. This therefore God first 
made, by the creation of all things out of nothing. The crea- 
tion of man himself, with the principles of a rational intelli- 
gent nature, a conscience attesting his subordination unto 
God, and of all other things, declaring the glory of his wis- 
dom, goodness, and power, was the immediate ground of 
all natural religion, and yet continues so to be. And the 
glory of it, answers the means and ways of the manifesta- 
tion of the Divine Being, existence, excellencies, and proper- 
ties. And where this manifestation is despised or neglected, 
there God himself is so; as the apostle discourseth at large, 
Rom. i. ]8— 22. 

But of all the effects of the divine excellencies, the con- 
stitution of the person of Christ as the foundation of the 
new creation, as the mystery of godliness, was the most in- 
effable and glorious. I speak not of his divine person ab- 
solutely ; for his distinct personality and subsistence was 
by an internal and eternal act of the Divine Being in the 
person of the Father, or eternal generation, v/hich is essen- 
tial unto the divine essence, whereby nothing anew was out- 
wardly wrought or did exist. He was not, he is not, in that 
sense, the effect of divine wisdom and power of God, but the 
essential wisdom and power of God himself. But we speak 
of him only as incarnate, as he assumed our nature into per- 
sonal subsistence with himself. His conception in the womb 
of the Virgin, as unto the integrity of human nature, was a 
miraculous operation of the divine power. But the preven- 
tion of that nature from any subsistence of its own, by its 
assumption into personal union with the Son of God, in the 
first instance of its conception, is that which is above all 
miracles, nor can be designed by that name. A mystery it 
is, so far above the order of all creating or providential ope- 
rations, that it wholly transcends the sphere of them that 
are most miraculous. Herein did God glorify all the pro- 
perties of the divine nature, acting in a way of infinite wis- 
dom, grace, and condescension. The depths of the mystery 
hereof are open only unto him whose understanding is infi- 
nite, which no created understanding can comprehend. All 
other things were produced and effected by an outward ema- 
nation of power from God : ♦ He said, Let there be light, and 


there was light.' But this assumption of our nature into hy- 
postatical union with the Son of God, this constitution of 
one and the same individual person in two natures so infi- 
nitely distinct, as those of God and man, whereby the eter- 
nal was made in time, the infinite became finite, the immor- 
tal mortal, yet continuing eternal, infinite, immortal, is that 
singular expression of divine wisdom, goodness, and power, 
wherein God will be admired and glorified unto all eternity. 
Herein was that change introduced into the whole first 
creation, whereby the blessed angels were exalted, Satan 
and his works ruined, mankind recovered from a dismal 
apostacy, all things made new, all things in heaven and 
earth reconciled and gathered into one head, and a revenue 
of eternal glory raised unto God, incomparably above what 
the first constitution of all things in the order of nature 
could yield unto him. 

In the expression of this mystery, the Scripture doth 
sometimes draw the veil over it, as that which we cannot 
look into. So in his conception of the Virgin with respect 
unto this union which accompanied it, it was told her, that 
' the power of the Highest should overshadow her ;' Luke i. 
35. A work it was of the power of the Most High, but hid 
from the eyes of men in the nature of it; and, therefore, that 
holy thing which had no subsistence of its own, which 
should be born of her, should ' be called the Son of God,' 
becoming one person with him. Sometimes it expresseth 
the greatness of the mystery, and leaves it as an object of 
our admiration ; 1 Tim. iii. 16. ' Without controversy great 
is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the 
flesh.' A mystery it is, and that of those dimensions as no 
creature can comprehend. Sometimes it putteth things to- 
gether, as that the distance of the two natures shall illus- 
trate the glory of the one person ; John i. 14. *The Word 
was made flesh, and dwelt among us.' But what Word was 
this ? ' That which was in the beginning, which was with 
God, which was God, by whom all things were made, and 
without whom was not any thing made that was made, who 
was light and life.' This Word was made flesh ; not by any 
change of his own nature or essence ; not by a transubstan- 
tiation of the divine nature into the human ; not by ceasing 
to be what he was, but by becoming what he was not, in 


taking our nature to his own, to be his own, whereby he 
dwelt among us. This glorious Word which is God, and de- 
scribed by his eternity and omnipotency in works of crea- 
tion and providence, ' was made flesh,' which expresseth the 
lowest state and condition of human nature ; without con- 
troversy great is this mystery of godliness. And in that state 
wherein he visibly appeared as so made flesh, those who had 
eyes given them from above, saw ' his glory, the glory as of 
the only-begotten of the Father.' The eternal Word being 
made flesh, and manifested therein, they saw his glory, the 
glory of the only-begotten of the Father. What heart can 
conceive, what tongue can express, the least part of the glory 
of this divine wisdom and grace? So also is it proposed unto 
us, Isa. ix. 6. ' Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is 
given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder ; and his 
name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, 
the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.' He is called, in 
the first place Wonderful, and that deservedly ; Prov. xxx. 4. 
That the mighty God should be a child born, and the ever- 
lasting Father a Son given unto us, may well entitle him 
nnto the name of Wonderful. 

Some amongst us say, that if there were no other way for 
the redemption and salvation of the church, but this only of 
the incarnation and mediation of the Son of God, that there 
was no wisdom in the contrivance of it. Vain man indeed 
would be wise, but is like the wild ass's colt. Was there 
no wisdom in the contrivance of that, which when it is ef- 
fected, leaves nothing but admiration unto the utmost of all 
created wisdom ? Who hath known the mind of the Lord in 
this thing ? or who hath been his counsellor in this work, 
wherein the mighty God became a child born to us, a Son 
given unto us ? Let all vain imaginations cease ; there is 
nothing left unto the sons of men, but either to reject the 
divine person of Christ, as many do unto their own destruc- 
tion, or humbly to adore the mystery of infinite wisdom and 
grace therein. And it will require a condescending charity 
to judge that those do really believe the incarnation of the 
Son of God, who live not in the admiration of it as the most 
adorable effect of divine wisdom. 

The glory of the same mystery is elsewhere testified 
unto. Heb. i. 1 — 3. ' God hath spoken unto us by his Son, 


by whom also he made the worlds ; who being the brightness 
of his glory, and the express image of his person, upholding 
all things by the word of his power, by himself purged our 
sins.' That he purged our sins by his death, and the oblation 
of himself therein unto God, is acknowledged. That this 
should be done by him by whom the worlds were made, who 
is the essential brightness of the divine glory, and the ex- 
press image of the person of the Father therein, who up- 
holds, rules, sustains all things by the word of his power, 
whereby God purchased his church with his own blood. 
Acts XX. 28. is that wherein he will be admired unto eternity. 
See Phil. ii. 6—9. 

Isaiah, chap. vi. there is a representation made of him as 
on a throne, filling the temple with the train of his glor}^ 
The Son of God it was who was so represented, and that 
as he was to fill the temple of his human nature with divine 
glory, when the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily. 
And herein the seraphims, which administered unto him, had 
six wings, with two whereof they covered their faces, as not 
being able to behold or look into the glorious mystery of 
his incarnation, ver. 2, 3. John xii. 40. ii. 19. Col. ii. 9. 
But when the same ministering spirits under the name of 
cherubims attended the throne of God in the administration 
of his providence as unto the disposal and government of 
the world, they had four wings only ; and covered not their 
faces, but steadily beheld the glory of it ; Ezek. i. 6. x. 2, 3. 

This is the glory of Christian religion, the basis and 
foundation that bears the whole superstructure, the root 
whereon it grows. This is its life and soul, that wherein it 
differs from, and inconceivably excels, whatever was in true 
religion before, or whatever any false religion pretended 
unto. Religion in its first constitution, in the state of pure 
uncorrupted nature, was orderly, beautiful, and glorious. 
Man being made in the image of God, was fit and able to 
glorify him as God. But whereas whatever perfection God 
had communicated unto our nature, he had not united it 
unto himself in a personal union, the fabric of it quickly 
fell unto the ground. Want of this foundation made it ob- 
noxious unto ruin. God manifested herein, that no gracious 
relation between him and our nature could be stable and 
permanent, unless our nature was assumed into personal 


\snion and stibsistence with himself. This is the only rock 
and assured foundation of the relation of the church unto 
God, which now can never utterly fail. Our nature is eter- 
nally secured in that union, and we ourselves, as we shall 
see thereby. Col. i. 17, 18. ' In him all things consist;' 
vrherefore, whatever beauty and glory there was in the rela- 
tion that was between God and man, and the relation of all 
things unto God by man, in the preservation whereof natu- 
ral religion did consist, it had no beauty nor glory in com- 
parison of this which doth excel, or the manifestation of 
God in the flesh ; the appearance and subsistence of the 
divine and human natures in the same single individual per- 
son. And whereas God in that state had given man domi- 
nion ' over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and 
over the cattle, and over all the earth;' Gen. i. 26. it was 
all but an obscure representation of the exaltation of our 
nature in Christ, as the apostle declares, Heb.ii. 6 — 9. 

There was true religion in the world after the fall, botli 
before and after giving of the law ; a religion built upon and 
resolved into divine revelation. And as for the outward 
glory of it, the administration that it was brought into under 
the tabernacle and temple, it was beyond what is represented 
in the institutions of the gospel. Yet is Christian religion, 
our evangelical profession, and the slate of the church 
thereon, far more glorious, beautiful, and perfect, than that 
state of religion was capable of, or could attain. And as 
this is evident from hence, because God in his wisdom, 
grace, and love to the church, ITath removed that state, and 
introduced this in the room thereof; so the apostle proves 
it in all considerable instances, in his Epistle to the He- 
brews, written unto that purpose. There were two things 
before in religion ; the promise which was the life of it, 
and the institutions of worship under the law, which were 
the outward glory and beauty of it. And both these were 
nothing, or had nothing in them, but only what they before 
proposed and represented of Christ, God manifested in the 
flesh. The promise was concerning him; and the institu- 
tions of worship did only represent him. So the apostle 
declares it. Col. ii. 17. Wherefore, as all the religion that 
was in the world after the fall, was built on *he promise of 
this work of God in due time to be accomplished ; so it is 



the actual performance of it, which is the foundation of 
Christian religion, and which gives it the pre-eminence 
above all that went before it. So the apostle expresseth it, 
Heb. i. 1. 3. ' God who at,' &c. 

All false religion pretended always unto things that were 
mysterious. And the more men could invent, or the devil 
suggest, that had an appearance of that nature, as sundry 
things were so introduced horrid and dreadful, the more 
reverence and esteem were reconciled unto it. But the 
whole compass of the craft of Satan, and the imaginations 
of men, could never extend itself unto the least resemblance 
of this mystery. And it is not amiss conjectured, that the 
apostle in his description of it, 1 Tim. iii. 16. did reflect 
upon, and condemn the vanity of the Eleusynian mysteries, 
which were of the greatest vogue and reputation among the 

Take away the consideration hereof, and we despoil 
Christian religion of all its glory, debasing it unto what 
Mahometanism pretends unto, and unto what in Judaism was 
really enjoyed. 

The faith of this mystery ennobles the mind wherein it 
is, rendering it spiritual and heavenly, transforming it into 
the image of God. Herein consists the excellency of faith 
above all other powers and acts of the soul, that it receives, 
assents unto, and rests in things in their own nature abso- 
lutely incomprehensible. It is tXeyxog ov jSXetto/xcvwv, Heb. 
xi. 1 . ' The evidence of things not seen ;' that which makes 
evident as by demonstration, those things which are no way 
objected unto sense, and which reason cannot comprehend; 
The more sublime and glorious, the more inaccessible unto 
sense and reason are the things which we believe, the more 
are we changed into the image of God, in the exercise of 
faith upon them. Hence we find this most glorious effect 
of faith, or the transformation of the mind into the likeness 
of God, no less real, evident, and eminent in many, whose 
rationally comprehensive abilities are weak and contempti- 
ble in the eye of that wisdom which is of this world, than in 
those of the highest natural sagacity, enjoying the best im- 
provements of reason. For ' God hath chosen the poor of 
this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom ;' James 
ii. 5. However they may be poor, and, as another apostle 


speaketh, * foolish, weak, base, and despised,' 1 Cor. i. 27, 28, 
yet that faith which enables them to assent unto, and em- 
brace divine mysteries, renders them rich in the sight of 
God, in that it makes them like unto him. 

Some would have all things that we are to believe to be 
levelled absolutely unto our reason and comprehension, a 
principle which at this day shakes the very foundations of 
Christian religion. It is not sufficient, they say, to deter- 
mine that the faith or knowledge of any thing is necessary 
unto our obedience and salvation, that it seems to be fully 
and perspicuously revealed in the Scripture ; unless the 
things so revealed be obvious and comprehensible unto our 
reason. An apprehension, which as it ariseth from the pride 
which naturally ensues on the ignorance of God and our- 
selves; so it is not only an invention suited to debase reli- 
gion, but an engine to evert the faith of the church in all 
the principal mysteries of the gospel ; especially of the Tri- 
nity and incarnation of the Son of God. But faith which 
is truly divine, is never more in its proper exercise, doth 
never more elevate the soul into conformity unto God, than 
when it acts in the contemplation and admiration of the 
most incomprehensible mysteries which are proposed unto 
it by divine revelation. 

Hence things philosophical, and of a deep rational inda- 
gation, find great acceptance in the world, as in their proper 
place they do deserve. Men are furnished with proper mea- 
sures of them, and they find them proportionate unto the 
principles of their own understandings. But as for spi^ 
ritual and heavenly mysteries, the thoughts of men for the 
most part recoil upon their first proposal, nor will be encou- 
raged to engage in a diligent inquiry into them ; yea, com- 
monly reject them as foolish, or at least that wherein they 
are not concerned. The reason is that given in another case 
by the apostle, ' All men have not faith ;' 2 Thess. ii. 2. 
which makes them absurd and unreasonable in the consi- 
deration of the proper objects of it. But where this faith is, 
the greatness of the mysteries which itembraceth, heightens 
its efficacy in all blessed effects upon the soul. Such is this 
constitution of the person of Christ, wherein the glory of all 
the holy properties and perfections of the divine nature are 
manifested, and do shine forth. So speaks the apostle, 

F 2 


2 Cor. iii. 18. ' Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
we are changed into the same image from glory to glory/ 
This glory which w^e behold is the glory of the face of God 
in Jesus Christ, chap. iv. 6. or the glorious representation 
which is made of him in the person of Christ, whereof we 
shall treat afterward. The glass wherein this gloiy is repre- 
sented unto us, proposed unto our view and contemplation, 
is divine revelation in the gospel. Herein we behold it by 
faith alone. And those whose view is steadfast, who most 
abound in that contemplation by the exercise of faith, are 
thereby * changed into the same image from glory to glory ;' 
or are more and more renewed and transformed into the like- 
ness of God so represented unto them. 

That which shall at last perfectly effect our utmost con- 
formity to God, and therein our eternal blessedness, is vision, 
or sight. ' We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he 
is ;' 1 John iii. 2. Here faith begins what sight shall perfect 
hereafter. But yet 'we walk by faith, and not by sight;' 
2 Cor. V. 7. And although the life of faith and vision differ 
in degrees, or as some think in kind, yet have they both 
the same object, and the same operations ; and there is a 
great cognation between them. The object of vision is the 
whole mystery of the divine existence and will ; and its ope- 
ration, is a perfect conformity unto God, a likeness unto 
him, wherein our blessedness shall consist. Faith hath the 
same object, and the same operations in its degree and mea- 
sure. The great and incomprehensible mysteries of the Di- 
vine Being, of the will and wisdom of God, are its proper ob- 
jects ; and its operation with respect unto us, is conformity, 
and likeness unto him. And this it doth in a peculiar man- 
ner in the contemplation of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ ; and herein we have our nearest approaches 
imto the life of vision, and the effects of it. For therein, 
'beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we 
are changed into the same image from glory to glory ;' which 
perfectly to consummate is the effect of sight in glory. The 
exercise of faith herein doth more raise and perfect the mind, 
more dispose it unto holy, heavenly frames and affections, 
than any other duty whatever. 

To be nigh unto God, and to be like unto liim, are the 
same. To be always with him, and perfectly like him ac- 


Cording to the capacity of our nature, is to be eternally 
blessed. To live by faith in the contemplation of the glory 
of God in Christ, is that initiation into both, whereof we are 
capable in this world. The endeavours of some to contem- 
plate and report the glory of God in nature, in the works of 
creation and providence, in the things of the greater and the 
lesser world, do deserve their just commendation; and it is 
that which the Scripture in sundry places calls us unto. But 
for any there to abide, there to bound their designs, when 
they have a much more noble and glorious object for their 
meditations, namely, the glory of God in Christ, is both to 
despise the wisdom of God in that revelation of himself, and 
to come short of that transforming efficacy of faith in the 
contemplation hereof, whereby we are made like unto God. 
For hereunto alone doth it belong, and not unto any natural 
knowledge, nor to any knowledge of the most secret recesses 
of nature. ^ 

I shall only say, that those who are inconversant with 
these objects of faith, whose minds are not delighted in the 
admiration of, and acquiescency in, things incomprehensible, 
such as is this constitution of the person of Christ, who 
would reduce all things to the measure of their own mider^ 
standings, or else wilfully live in the neglect of what they 
cannot comprehend, do not much prepare themselves for 
that vision of the^e things in glory wherein our blessedness 
doth consist. 

Moreover, this constitution of the person of Christ being 
the most admirable and ineffable effect of divine wisdom, 
o^race, and power, it is that alone which can bear the weight 
of the whole superstructure of the mystery of godliness; that 
whereinto the whole sanctification and salvation of the 
church is resolved, wherein alone faith can find rest and 
peace. ' Other foundation can no man lay than that is 
laid, which is Jesus Christ;' 1 Cor. iii. 11. Rest and peace 
with God, is that which we seek after; 'What shall we do 
to be saved V In this inquiry, the acts of the mediatory office 
of Christ are in the gospel first presented unto us, especially 
his oblation and intercession. Through them is he able to 
save unto the utmost those that come to God by him. But 
there were oblations for sin, and intercessions for sinners, 
under the old testament ; yet of them all doth the apostle 


affirm that they could not make them perfect that came 
unto God by them, nor take away conscience condemning 
for sin ; Heb. x. 1 — 4. Wherefore, it is not these things in 
themselves that can give us rest and peace, but their relation 
unto the person of Christ. The oblation and intercession of 
any other would not have saved us. Hence for the security 
of our faith, we are minded that ' God redeemed the church 
with his own blood ;' Acts xx. 28. He did so who was God, 
as he was manifested in the flesh. His blood alone could 
purge our consciences from dead works, who did offer him- 
self unto God, through the eternal Spirit; Heb. ix. 14. And 
when the apostle, for our relief against the guilt of sin,calleth 
us unto the consideration of intercession and propitiation, 
he mindeth us peculiarly of his person by whom they are 
performed, 1 John ii. 1, 2. ' If any man sin, we have an ad- 
vocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : and he is 
the propitiation for our sins.' And wq may briefly consider 
the order of these things. 

1 . We suppose in this case conscience to be awakened 
unto a sense of sin, and of apostacy from God thereby. 
These things are now generally looked on as of no great con- 
cernment unto us, by some made a mock of, and by the most 
thought easy to be dealt withal at time convenient. But 
when God fixeth an apprehension of his displeasure for them 
on the soul, if it be not before it be too late, it will cause men 
to look out for relief. 

2. This relief is proposed in the gospel. And it is the 
death and mediation of Christ alone. By them peace with 
God must be obtained, or it will cease for ever. But, 

3. When any person comes practically to know how 
great a thing it is for an apostate sinner to obtain the re- 
mission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are 
sanctified, endless objections through the power of unbelief 
will arise unto his disquietment. Wherefore, 

4. That which is principally suited to give him rest, 
peace, and satisfaction, and without which nothing else can 
so do, is the due consideration of, and the acting of faith 
upon, this infinite effect of divine wisdom and goodness, in 
the constitution of the person of Christ. This at first view 
will reduce the mind unto that conclusion, 'If thou canst be- 
lieve, all things are possible.' For what end cannot be ef- 


fected hereby ? What end cannot be accomplished that was 
designed in it ? Is any thing too hard for God ? Did God 
ever do any thing like this, or make use of any such means 
for any other end whatever? Against this no objection can 
arise. On this consideration of him, faith apprehends Christ 
to be, as he is indeed, the power of God, and the wisdom of 
God, unto the salvation of them that do believe, and therein 
doth it find rest with peace. 


The person of Christ the foundation of all the counsels of God. 

Secondly, The person of Christ is the foundation of all the 
counsels of God, as unto his own eternal glory in the voca- 
tion, sanctification,and salvation of the church. That which 
I intend is what the apostle expresseth, Eph. i. 9, 10. ' Hav- 
ing made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to 
his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in 
the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather to- 
gether in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, 
and which are in earth ; even in him.' The mysteries of the 
will of God, according to his good pleasure which he pur- 
posed in himself are his counsels concerning his own eternal 
glory, in the sanctification and salvation of the church here 
below, to be united unto that above. The absolute original 
hereof was in his own good pleasure, or the sovereign acting 
of his wisdom and will. But it was all to be effected in 
Christ, which the apostle twice repeats ; he would gather 
' all things into a head in Christ, even in him ;' that is, in 
him alone. 

Thus it is said of him with respect unto his future incar- 
nation and work of mediation,' that the Lord possessed him 
in the beginning of his ways, before his works of old j that 
he was set up from everlastiiig, from the beginning, or ever 
the earth was ;' Prov. viii. 22, 23. The eternal personal ex- 
istence of the Son of God is supposed in these expressions, 
as I have elsewhere proved. Without it none of these things 


could be affirmed of him. But there is a regard in them, 
both unto his future incarnation, and the accomplishment 
of the counsels of God thereby. With respect thereunto, 
God 'possessed him in the beginning of his ways, and set 
him up from everlasting.' God possessed him eternally as 
his essential wisdom, as he was always and is always in the 
bosom of tlie Father, in the mutual, ineft'able love of the Fa- 
ther and Son, in the eternal bond of the Spirit. But he 
signally possessed him* in the beginning of his ways/ as his 
wisdom acting in the production of all the ways and works 
tliat are outwardly of him. The beginning of God's ways 
before his works, are his counsels concerning them, even as 
our counsels are the beginning of our ways, with respect 
liuto future works. And he ' set him up from everlasting,' as 
the foundation of all the counsels of his will, in and by whom 
they uere to l^e executed and accomplished. 

So it is expressed, ver. 30, 31. ' I was by him, as one brought 
up with him : I was daily liis delight, rejoicing always be- 
fore him ; rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth ; and my 
deljghts were vvitli the sons of men.' And it is added, that 
thus it was before * the foundation of the world was laid, or 
the chiefest part of the dust of the earth was made ;' that is, 
man was created. Not only was the delight of the Father 
in him, but his delight was in the habitable parts of the earth, 
and among the sons of men, before the creation of the world. 
Wherefore the eternal prospect of the work he had to do for 
the children of men is intended herein. In and with him 
God laid the foundation of all his counsels concerning his 
love towards the children of men ; and two things may be 
observed herein. 

1. That the person of the Son, * was set up,' or exalted 
herein. * I was set up,' saith he, * from everlasting.' This can- 
not be spoken absolutely of the person of the Son himself; 
the divine nature being not capable of being so set up. But 
there was a peculiar glory and honour belonging unto the 
person of the Son, as designed by the Father, unto the ex- 
ecution of all the counsels of his will. Hence was that prayer 
of his upon the accomplishment of them, John xvii. 5. * And 
now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory 
which I had with thee before the world was.' To suppose 
that the Lord Christ prayeth in these words, for such a real 


communication of the properties of the divine nature unto 
the human, as should render it immense, omniscient, and 
unconfined unto any space, is to think that he prayed for 
the destruction, and not the exaltation of it. For on that 
supposition, it must necessarily lose all its own essential 
properties, and consequently its being. Nor doth he seem 
to pray only for the manifestation of his divine nature, which 
was eclipsed in his exinanition or appearance in the form of 
a servant. There was no need to express this, by the 'glory 
which he had wdth the Father before the world was.' For 
he had it not in any especial manner before the world was ; 
but equally from eternity, and in every moment of time. 
Wherefore he had a peculiar glory of his own with the Fa- 
ther before the world was. And this was no other, but that 
especial exaltation which he had when he was *set up from 
everlasting,' as the foundation of the counsels of God, for the 
salvation of the church. In those eternal transactions that 
were between the Father and the Son, with respect unto his 
incarnation and mediation, or his undertaking to execute 
and fulfil the eternal counsels of the wisdom and grace of 
the Father, there was an especial glory which the Son had 
with him. The * glory which he had with the Father before 
the world was.' For the manifestation hereof he now prays : 
and that the glory of his goodness, grace, and love in his 
peculiar undertaking of the execution of the counsels of 
God, might be made to appear. And this is the principal 
design of the gospel. It is the declaration as of the grace 
of God the Father, so of the love, grace, goodness, and com- 
passion of the Son, in undertaking from everlasting the ac- 
complishment of God's counsels in the salvation of the 
church. And hereby doth he hold up the pillars of the 
earth, or support this inferior creation, which otherwise, with 
the inhabitants of it, would by sin have been dissolved. And 
those by whom the eternal, divine pre-existence in the form 
of God, antecedent unto his incarnation is denied, do what 
lies in them expressly to despoil him of all that glory which 
he had with the Father before the world was. So we have 
herein the whole of our design. ' In the beginning of God's 
ways before his works of old ;' that is, in his eternal counsels 
with respect unto the children of men, or the sanctification 
and salvation of the church, the Lord possessed, enjoyed 


the Son as his eternal wisdom, in and with whom they were 
laid, in and by whom they were to be accomplished, wherein 
his delights were with the sons of men. 

2. That there was an ineffable delight between the Father 
and the Son in this his setting up or exaltation. *I was/ 
saith he, ' daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.' 
It is not absolutely the mutual, eternal delight of the Father 
and the Son, arising from the perfection of the same divine 
excellencies in each person that is intended. But respect 
is plainly had unto the counsels of God, concerning the sal- 
vation of mankind by him who is his power and wisdom unto 
that end. This counsel of peace was originally between Je- 
hovah and the Branch ; Zech. vi. 13. or the Father and the 
Son, as he was to be incarnate. For therein was he ' fore- 
ordained before the foundation of the w^orld ;' 1 Pet. i. 20. 
namely, to be a Saviour and a deliverer, by whom all the 
counsels of God were to be accomplished ; and this by his 
own will and concurrence in counsel Vv'ith the Father. And 
such a foundation was laid of the salvation of the church in 
these counsels of God, as transacted between the Father and 
the Son, that it is said, that ' eternal life was promised before 
the world began ;' Tit. i. 2. For although the first formal 
promise was given after the fall, yet was there such a pre- 
paration of grace and eternal life in these counsels of God, 
with his unchangeable purpose to communicate them unto 
us, that all the faithfulness of God was engaged in them. 
* God, that cannot lie, hath promised before the world began.' 
There was eternal life with the Father, that is, in his counsel 
treasured up in Christ, and in him was afterward manifested 
unto us ; 1 John i. 2. And to shew the stability of this pur- 
pose and counsel of God, with the infallible consequence of 
his actual promise, and efficacious accomplishment thereof, 
' grace' is said to be ' given us in Christ Jesus before the 
world began ;' 2 Tim. i. 9. 

In these counsels did God delight, or in the person of 
Christ, as his eternal wisdom in their contrivance, and as the 
means of their accomplishment in his future incarnation. 
Hence he so testifieth of him, ' Behold my servant, whom I 
uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth;' Isa.xlii. 1. 
as he also proclaims the same delight in him from heaven in 
the days of his flesh ; Matt. iii. 17. xvii. 5. He was tlie de- 


light of God, as he in whom all his counsels for his own 
glory in the redemption and salvation of the church, were 
laid and founded. Isa. xlix. 3. ' My servant in whom I will 
be glorified ;' that is, ' by raising the tribes of Jacob, re- 
storing the preserved of Israel, in being a light unto the 
Gentiles, and the salvation of God unto the ends of the 
earth ;' ver. 6. 

We conceive not aright of the counsels of God, when we 
think of nothing but the effect of them, and the glory that 
ariseth from their accomplishment. It is certainly true that 
they shall all issue in his glory, and the demonstration of it 
shall fill up eternity. The manifestative glory of God unto 
eternity, consists in the effects and accomplishment of his 
holy counsels. Heaven is the state of the actual accom- 
plishment of all the counsels of God in the sanctification and 
salvation of the church. But it is not with God as it is 
with men. Let men's counsels be never so wise, it must 
needs abate of their satisfaction in them, because their con- 
jectures (and more they have not) of their effects and events 
are altogether uncertain. But all the counsels of God having 
their entire accomplishment through revolutions perplexing 
and surpassing all created understandings, enclosed in them 
infallibly and immutably, the great satisfaction, compla- 
cency, and delight of the Divine Being is in these counsels 

God doth delight in the actual accomplishment of his 
works. He made not this world, nor any thing in it for its 
own sake. Much less did he make this earth to be a theatre 
for men to act their lusts upon, the use which it is now put 
to and groans under. But he made ' all things for himself;' 
Prov. xvi. 4. he 'made them for his pleasure ;' Rev. iv. 11. 
that is, not only by an act of sovereignty, but to his own 
delight and satisfaction. And a double testimony did he 
give hereunto with respect unto the works of creation. (1.) 
In the approbation which he gave of the whole upon its 
survey. And ' God saw all that he had made, and behold it 
was good;' Gen. i. 31. There was that impression of his 
divine wisdom, power, and goodness upon the whole, as ma- 
nifested his glory, wherein he was well pleased. For imme- 
diately thereon, all creatures capable of the conception and 
apprehension of his glory * sang forth his praise ;' Job 


xxxviii. 6, 7. (2.) In that he rested from his works, or in 
them when thev were finished ; Gen. ii. 2. It was not a rest 
of weariness from the labour of his work, but a rest of com- 
placency and delight in what he had wrought, that God en- 
tered into. 

But the principal delight and complacency of God is in 
liis eternal counsels. For all his delisfht in his works, is 
but in the effects of those divine properties, whose primitive 
and principal exercise is in the counsels themselves, from 
whence they proceed. Especially is it so as unto these 
counsels of the Father and the Son, as to the redemption 
and salvation of the church, wherein they delight, and mu- 
tually rejoice in each other on their account. They are all 
eternal acts of God's infinite wisdom, goodness, and love ; a 
delight and complacency wherein is no small part of the di- 
vine blessedness. These things are absolutely inconceivable 
unto us, and ineffable by us ; we cannot find the Almighty 
out unto perfection. However certain it is from the notions 
we have of the Divine Being and excellencies, and from the 
revelation he hath made of himself, that there is an infinite 
delight in God, in the eternal actings of his wisdom, good- 
ness, and love, wherein, according to our weak and dark ap- 
prehensions of things, we may safely place no small portion 
of divine blessedness. Self-existence in its own immense 
being, thence self-sufficiency unto itself in all things, and 
thereon self-satisfaction, is the principal notion we have of 
divine blessedness. 

1. God delighteth in these his eternal counsels in Christ,. 
as they are acts of infinite wisdom, as they are the highest 
instance wherein it will exert itself. Hence in the accom- 
plishment of them Christ is emphatically said to be the 
* Wisdom of God ;' 1 Cor. i. 24. He in whom the counsels 
of his wisdom were to be fulfilled. And in him is the mani- 
fold wisdom of God made known; Eph. iii. 10. Infinite 
wisdom being that property of the divine nature, whereby 
all the actings of it are disposed and regulated suitably unto 
his own glory in all his divine excellencies, he cannot but 
delight in all the acts of it. Even amongst men, whose 
wisdom compared with that of God is folly itself, yet is 
there nothing wherein they have a real rational complacency, 
suitable unto the principles of their nature, but in such 


actings of that wisdom which they have, and such as it is, 
towards the proper ends of their being and duty. How 
much more doth God delight himself in the infinite perfec- 
tion of his own wisdom, and its eternal acting, for the re- 
presentation of all the glorious excellencies of his nature. 
Such are his counsels concerning the salvation of the church 
by Jesus Christ, and because they were all laid in him and 
with him, therefore is he said to be his * delight continually 
before the world was.' This is that which is proposed as 
the object of our admiration ; Rom. xi. 33 — 36. 

2. They are acts of infinite goodness, whereon the di- 
vine nature cannot but be infinitely delighted in them. As 
wisdom is the directive principle of all divine operations, so 
goodness is the communicative principle that is effectual in 
them. He is good and he doth good ; yea he doth good be- 
cause he is D-ood, and for no other reason: not bv the ne- 
cessity of nature, but by the intervention of a free act of his 
will. His goodness is absolutely infinite, essentially perfect 
in itself; which it cannot be if it belonged unto it naturally 
and necessarily to act and communicate itself unto any thing 
without God himself. The divine nature is eternally satis- 
fied in and with its own goodness ; but it is that principle 
which is the immediate fountain of all the communications 
of good unto others, by a free act of the will of God. So 
when Moses desired to see his glory, he tells him, that 'he 
will cause all his goodness to pass before him, and would be 
gracious unto whom he would be gracious ;' Exod.xxxiii. 19. 
All divine operations in the gracious communication of God 
himself, are from his goodness, by the intervention of a free 
act of his w^ill. And the greatest exercise and emanation of 
divine goodness, was, in these holy counsels of God, for the 
salvation of the church by Jesus Christ. For whereas in all 
other effects of his goodness he gives of his own, herein he 
gave himself in taking our nature upon him. And thence, 
as he expresseth the design of man in his fall as upbraiding 
him with folly and ingratitude, ' Behold the man is become as 
one of us ;' Gen. iii. 22. We may with all humble thankful- 
ness express the means of our recovery. Behold God is be- 
come like one of us, as the apostle declares it at large, Phil, 
ii. 6 — 8. It is the nature of sincere goodness, even in its 
lowest degree, above all other habits or principles of nature. 


to give a delight and complacency unto the mind in the ex- 
ercise of itself, and communication of its effects. A good 
man doth both delight in doing good, and hath an abundant 
reward for the doing it, in the doing of it. And what shall 
we conceive concerning eternal, absolute, infinite, perfect, 
immixed goodness, acting itself in the highest instance (in 
an effect cognate and like unto it), that it can extend unto. 
So was it in the counsels of God concerning the incarnation 
of his Son, and the salvation of the church thereby. No 
heart can conceive, no tongue can express, the least portion 
of that ineffable delight of the holy, blessed God, in these 
counsels, wherein he acted and expressed unto the utmost 
his own essential goodness. Shall a liberal man devise li- 
beral things, because they are suited unto his inclination ? 
Shall a good man find a secret refreshment and satisfaction 
in the exercise of that low, weak, imperfect, mixed goodness, 
that his nature is inlaid withal ; and shall not he whose good- 
ness is essential unto him, whose being it is, and in whom it 
is the immediate principle of communicating himself unto 
others, be infinitely delighted in the highest exercise of it 
which divine wisdom did direct ? 

The eff'ect of these eternal counsels of God in future 
glory, is reserved for them that do believe ; and therein will 
there be the nearest manifestation of the glory of God him- 
self unto them, when he shall be glorified in his saints, and 
eternally admired in all that believe. But the blessed de- 
light and satisfaction of God, was, and is, in those counsels 
themselves, as they were acts of his infinite wisdom and 
goodness. Herein was the Lord Christ his ' delight conti- 
nually before the foundation of the world ;' in that in him 
were all these counsels laid, and through him were they all 
to be accomplished. The constitution of his person was 
the only way whereby divine wisdom and goodness would 
act and communicate of themselves unto mankind, in which 
actings are the eternal delight and complacency of the Di- 
vine Being. 

3. Love and grace have the same influence into the coun- 
sels of God, as wisdom and goodness have. And in the 
Scripture notion of these things they ^superadd unto good- 
ness this consideration, that their object is sinners, and those 
that are unworthy. God doth universally communicate of 


his goodness unto all his creatures, though there be an es- 
pecial exercise of it towards them that believe. But as unto 
his love and grace as they are peculiar unto his elect, the 
church chosen in Christ before the foundation of the w^orld, 
so they respect them primarily in a lost undone condition 
by sin ; Rom. v. 8. ' God commendeth his love unto us, in 
that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' God is 
love, saith the apostle, his nature is essentially so. And the 
best conception of the natural internal actings of the holy 
persons is love ; and all the acts of it are full of delight. 
This is, as it were, the womb of all the eternal counsels of 
God, which renders his complacency in them ineffable. 
Hence doth he so wonderfully express his delight and com- 
placency in the actings of his love towards the church ; 
Zeph. iii. 17. 'The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is 
mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; 
he will rest in his love ; he will rejoice over thee with sing- 
ing.' The reason why in the salvation' of the church, he re- 
joiceth with joy, and joyeth with singing, the highest ex- 
pression of divine complacency, is because he resteth in his 
love, and so is pleased in the exercise of its effects. 

But we must return to manifest in particular how all 
these counsels of God were laid in the person of Christ, 
to which end the things ensuing may be distinctly consi- 

1. God made all things in the beginning good, exceeding 
good. The whole of his work was disposed into a perfect 
harmony, beauty, and order, suited unto that manifestation 
of his own glory which he designed therein. And as all 
things had their own individual existence, and operations 
suited unto their being, and capable of an end, a rest, or a 
blessedness, congruous unto their natures and operations ; 
so in the various respects which they had each to other in 
their mutual supplies, assistances, and co-operation, they all 
tended unto that ultimate end, of his eternal glory. For as 
in their beings and existence they were effects of infinite 
power, so were their mutual respects and ends disposed in 
infinite wisdom. Thereon were the eternal power and wis- 
dom of God glorified in them; the one in their production, 
the other in their disposal into their order and harmony. 
Man was a creature that God made, that by him he might 


receive the glory that he aimed at, in and by the whole in- 
animate creation, both that below which was for his use, 
and that above which was for his contemplation. This was 
the end of our nature in its original constitution. There- 
unto are we again restored in Christ ; James i. 18. Psah civ. 
24. cxxxvi. 5. Rom. i. 20. 

2. God was pleased to permit the entrance of sin, both 
in heaven above and in earth beneath, whereby this whole 
order and harmony was disturbed. There are yet characters 
of divine power, wisdom, and goodness, remaining on the 
works of creation, and inseparable from their beings. But 
the primitive glory that was to redound unto God by them, 
especially as unto all things here below, was from the 
obedience of man, unto whom they w^ere put in subjection. 
Their good estate depended on their subordination unto him 
in a way of natural use, as his did on God in the way of 
moral obedience ; Gen. i. 26. 28. Psal. viii. 6 — 8. Man, as 
was said, is a creature which God made, that by him he 
might receive the glory that he aimed at, in and by the 
whole inanimate creation. This was the end of our nature 
in its original constitution. Thereunto are we again restored 
in Christ; James i. 18. But the entrance of sin cast all this 
order into confusion, and brought the curse on all things 
here below. Hereby were they deprived of that estate 
wherein they were declared exceeding good, and cast into 
that of vanity under the burden whereof they groan, and 
will do so to the end ; Gen. iii. 17, 18. Rom. viii. 20, 21. 
And these things we must again consider afterward. 

3. Divine wisdom was no way surprised with this disas- 
ter. God had from all eternity laid in provisions of coun- 
sels for the recovery of all things into a better and more 
permanent estate than what w^as lost by sin. This is the 
ava\pvE,ig, the cnroKaTaaradig TravTOJv, the revification, the res- 
titution of all things ; Acts iii. 19. 21. The avaKe(paXai(i)(ng, 
or the gathering all things in heaven and earth into a new 
head in Christ Jesus ; Eph. i. 10. For although it may be, 
there is more of curiosity than of edification, in a scrupu- 
lous inquiry into the method or order of God's eternal de- 
crees or counsels, and the disposal of them into a subservi- 
ency one unto another ; yet this is necessary from the infi- 
nite wisdom, prescience, and immutability of God, that he is 


surprised with nothing, that he is put unto no new counsels 
by any events in the works of creation. All things were 
disposed by him, into those ways and methods, and that 
from eternity, which conduce unto, and certainly issue 
in, that glory which is ultimately intended. For as we are 
careful to state the eternal decrees of God, and the actual 
■^operations of his providence, so as that the liberty of the 
will of man as the next cause of all his moral actions, be not 
infringed thereby ; so ought we to be careful not to ascribe 
such a sacrilegious liberty unto the wills of any creatures, 
as that God should be surprised, imposed on, or changed by 
any of their actings w^hatever. For * known unto him are 
all his works from the foundation of the world,' and with 
him there is neither 'variableness nor shadow of turning:.' 

4. There were therefore eternal counsels of God where- 
by he disposed all things into a new order unto his own 
glory, in the sanctification and salvation of the church. 
And of them two things may be considered. (1.) Their ori- 
ginal. (2.) The design of their accomplishment. 

Their first spring or original was in the divine will and 
wisdom alone, without respect unto any external moving 
cause. No reason can be given, no cause be assigned of 
these counsels, but the will of God alone. Hence are they 
called or described by, the ' good pleasure which he pur- 
posed in himself;' Eph. i. 9. * The purpose of him who work- 
eth all things according to the counsel of his will ;' ver. 11. 
'Who hath known the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been his 
counsellor? or who hath given first unto him, and it shall be 
recompensed to him again ? For of him, and through him, 
and to him are all things ;' Rom. xi. 34 — 36. The incarna- 
tion of Christ, and his mediation thereon, were not the pro- 
curing: cause of these eternal counsels of God : but the ef- 
fects of them, as the Scripture constantly declares. But the 
design of their accomplishment was laid in the person of 
the Son alone. As he was the essential wisdom of God, all 
things were at first created by him. But upon a prospect 
of the ruin of all by sin, God w^ould in and by him, as he was 
foreordained to be incarnate, restore all things. The whole 
counsel of God unto this end centred in him alone. Hence 
their foundation is rightly said to be laid in him, and is de- 
clared so to be by the apostle, Eph. i.4. For the spring of 



the sanctification and salvation of the church lies in elec- 
tion, the decree whereof compriseth the counsels of God 
concerning them. Herein God from the beginning * chooseth 
us unto salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit ;' 
2Thess. ii. 13. The one being the end he designeth, the 
other the means and way thereof. But this he did in Christ ; 
' he chooseth us in him before the foundation of the world, 
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;' 
that is, ' unto salvation through the sanctification of the 
Spirit.' In him we were not actually, nor by faith, before 
the foundation of the world ; yet were we then chosen in 
him, as the only foundation of the execution of all the coun- 
sels of God, concernins: our sanctification and salvation. 

Thus as all things were originally made and created by 
him, as he was the essential wisdom of God ; so all things 
are renewed and recovered by him, as he is the provisional 
wisdom of God in and by his incarnation. Therefore are 
tliese things put together and compared unto his glory ; 
Col. i. 15 — 19. * He is the image of the invisible God, the 
first-born of every creature. For by him were all things 
created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and 
invisible : all things were created by him and for him : and 
he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And 
he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, 
the first-born from the dead ; that in all things he might have 
the pre-eminence.' 

Two things as the foundation of what is ascribed unto 
the Lord Christ in the ensuing discourse, are asserted, 
ver. 15. (1.) That he is ' the image of the invisible God.' (2.) 
That he is* the first-born of every creature;' things seeming 
very distant in themselves, but gloriously united and cen- 
tring in his person. 

(1.) He is ' the image of the invisible God ;' or as it is else- 
where expressed, he is* in the form of God,' his essential form, 
for other form there is none in the divine nature. The 
* brightness of the glory, and express image of the Father's 
person.' And he is called here the * invisible God,' riot abso- 
lutely with respect unto his essence, though it be most true, 
the divine essence being absolutely invisible, and that equal- 
ly, whether considered as in the Father or in the Son ; but 
he is called so with respect unto liis counsels, his will, liis 


love, and his grace. For so * none hath seen him at any 
time, but the only-begotten which is in the bosom of the 
Father, he declares him ;' John i. 18. As he is thus the es- 
sential, the eternal image of the invisible God, his wisdom 
and power, the efficiency of the first creation, and its con- 
sistence being created, is ascribed unto him, ver. 16, 17. 
' By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and in 
earth, visible and invisible.' And because of the great no- 
tions and apprehensions that were then in the world, espe- 
cially among the Jew^s, unto whom the apostle had respect 
in this epistle, of the greatness and glory of the invisible 
part of the creation in heaven above, he mentions them in 
particular, under the most glorious titles that any could, or 
then did ascribe unto them ; ' whether they be thrones, or do- 
minions, or principalities, or powers : all things were cre- 
ated by him and for him ;' the same expression that is used 
of God absolutely, Rom. xi. 36. Rev. iv. 11. Add here- 
unto those other places to this purpose, John i. 1 — 3. Heb. 
i. 1 — 3. and those that are not under the efficacy of spiritual 
infatuations, cannot but admire at the power of unbelief, 
the blindness of the minds of men, and the craft of Satan, 
in them who deny the divine nature of Jesus Christ. For 
whereas the apostle plainly affirms, that the works of the 
creation do demonstrate the eternal power and Godhead of 
him by whom they were created ; Rom. i. 19, 20. And not 
only so, but it is uncontrollably evident in the light of na- 
ture; it being so directly', expressly, frequently affirmed, that 
all things whatever, absolutely, and in their distributions 
into heaven and earth, with the things contained respective- 
ly in them, were made and created by Christ; it is the high- 
est rebellion against the light and teachings of God, to dis- 
believe his divine existence and power. 

(2.) Again it is added, that he is ' the first-born of every 
creature ;' which principally respects the new creation, as it 
is declared, ver. 18. * He is the head of the body the church; 
the beginning; who is the first-born from the dead, that in all 
things he might have the pre-eminence.' For in him were all 
the counsels of God laid for the recovery of all things unto 
himself; as he was to be incarnate. And the accomplish- 
ment of these counsels of God by him, the apostle declares 
at large in the ensuing verses. And these things are both 

G 2 


conjoined and composed in this place. As God the Father 
did nothing in the first creation but by him as his eternal 
wisdom, John i. 3. Heb.i. 2. Prov. viii. so he designed no- 
thing in the new creation or restoration of all things unto 
his glory, but in him as he was to be incarnate. Where- 
fore in his person were laid all the foundation of the coun- 
sels of God for the sanctification and salvation of the 
church. Herein he is glorified, and that in a way unspeak- 
ably exceeding all that glory which would have accrued 
unto him from the first creation, had all things abode in 
I heir primitive constitution. 

His person, therefore, is the foundation of the church, 
the great mystery of godliness, or the religion we profess ; 
the entire life and soul of all spiritual truth; in that all the 
counsels of the wisdom, grace, and goodness of God, for the 
redemption, vocation, sanctification, and salvation of the 
church, were all laid in him, and by him were all to be ac- 


The person of Christ the great representative of God and his will. 

What may be known of God, is his nature and existence, 
with the holy counsels of his will. A representation of 
them unto us, is the foundation of all religion, and the 
means of our conformity unto him, wherein our present 
duty and future blessedness do consist. For to know God, 
so as thereby to be made like unto him, is the chief end of 
man. This is done perfectly only in the person of Christ, 
all other means of it beino; subordinate thereunto, and none 
of them of the same nature therewithal. The end of the 
word itself is to instruct us in the knowledge of God in 
Christ. That, therefore, which I shall now demonstrate, is, 
that in the person and mediation of Christ (which are inse- 
parable in all the respects of faith unto him) there is made 
unto us a blessed representation of the glorious properties 
of the divine nature, and of the holy counsels of the will of 
God. The first of these I shall speak unto in this chapter, 


tile other in that which ensues ; wherein we shall manifest 
how all divine truths do centre in the person of Christ. And 
the consideration of sundry things are necessary unto the 
explication hereof. 

1. God in his own essence, being, and existence, is ab- 
solutely incomprehensible. His nature being immense, and 
all his holy properties essentially infinite, no creature can 
directly or perfectly comprehend them, or any of them. He 
must be infinite that can perfectly comprehend that which 
is infinite ; wherefore God is perfectly known unto himself 
only; but as for us how little a portion is heard of him? 
Hence he is called the 'invisible God,' and said to dwell in 
light inaccessible. The subsistence of his most single and 
simple nature in three distinct persons, though it raises and 
ennobles faith in its revelation, yet it amazeth reason which 
would trust to itself in the contemplation of it ; whence men 
grow giddy who will own no other guide, and are carried 
out of the way of truth. * No man hath seen God at any 
time ; the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Fa- 
ther, he hath declared him ;' John i. 18. 1 Tim. vi. 16. 

2. Therefore, we can have no direct intuitive notions or 
apprehensions of the divine essence, or its properties. Such 
knowledge is too wonderful for us. Whatever is pleaded 
for an intellectual vision of the essense of God in the lisfht 
of glory, yet none pretend unto a possibility of an imme diate 
full comprehension of it. But in our present state, God is 
unto us as he was unto Moses under all the external ma- 
nifestations of his glory, * in thick darkness ;' Exod. xx. 21. 
All the rational conceptions of the minds of men are swal- 
lowed up, and lost, when they would exercise themselves 
directly on that which is absolutely immense, eternal, infi- 
nite. When we say it is so, we know not what we say, but 
only that it is not otherwise. What we deny of God, we 
know in some measure, but what we affirm we know not ; 
only we declare what we believe and adore. ' Neque sen- 
sus est ejus, neque phantasia, neque opinio, nee ratio, nee 
scientia,' says Dionys. De Divin. Nomini. (1.) We have no 
means, no corporeal, no intellectual instrument or power for 
the comprehension of him ; nor hath any other creature. 
'ETra avTo oirlp lariv 6 Qeog, ov fxovov oi Yl^ocpriTai, ctXX' ov^l ay 
ytXoL ttSov, ovTi aQ)(ciyyeX(jL, aXX' lav tpdJTrfdeg avrovg aKovari 


TTCpt fjilv Tag ovfTiag ovclv cLiroKpivofxivovg' ^o^a^i Iv v'ipiroig jnovov 
a^ovreg rt^ Ott^' Kctv irapa tCov XepovjdliJ. i] twv aipac^Ufx IttlOv- 
fii^aag tl fxaOetv, rb fivariKOv rov ayia<jjj.ov fjiiXog aKOvmj, koX otl 
TrXrjprig o ovpavog kol i) yri Trig ^6E,r]g avTOv. ' For that which 
is God' (the essence of God) ' not only have not the prophets 
seen, but neither the angels nor the archangels. If thou wilt 
inquire of them, thou shall have nothing of the substance 
of God, but only hear them say. Glory to God on high. If 
thou askest the cherubiras and seraphims, thou shait only 
hear the praise of holiness, the whole earth is full of his 
glory,' says Chrysostom, in cap. 1. John v. 18. That God 
is in himself absolutely incomprehensible unto us, is a ne- 
cessary effect of our infinite distance from him. But as he 
externally represents himself unto us, and by the notions 
which are ingenerated in us by the effects of his properties, 
are our conceptions of him ; Psal. xix. 1. Rom. i. 21. 

This is declared in the answer given unto that request of 
Moses ; ' I beseech thee, shew me thy glory ;' Exod. xxxiii. 28. 
Moses had heard a voice speaking unto him, but he that 
spake was ' in thick darkness,' he saw him not. Glorious evi- 
dences he gave of his raajestatical presence, but no appear- 
ance was made of his essence or person. Hereon Moses de- 
sireth for the full satisfaction of his soul (as the nearer any 
one is unto God, the more earnest will be his desire after 
the full fruition of him), that he might have a sight of his 
glory, not of that created glory in the tokens of his pre- 
sence and power which he had beheld, but of the uncreated 
glory of his essence and being. Through a transport of 
love to God, he would have been in heaven whilst he was on 
the earth ; yea, desired more than heaven itself will afford, 
if he would have seen the essence of God with his corporeal 
eyes. In answer hereunto God tells him, that *he cannot see 
his face and live ;' none can have either bodily sight or 
direct mental intuition of the Divine Being. But this I will 
do, saith God, * I will make my glory pass before thee, and 
thou shalt see my back parts;' Exod. xxxiii. 18 — 23, &c. This 
is all that God would grant, namely, such external repre- 
sentations of himself in the proclamation of his name, and 
created appearances of his glory, as we have of a man whose 
back parts only we behold as he passeth by us. But as to 
the being of God, and his subsistence in the Trinity of per- 


sons, we have no direct intuition into them, much less com- 
prehension of them. 

3. It is evident therefore that our conceptions of God, 
and of the glorious properties of his nature, are both inge- 
nerated in us, and regulated under the conduct of divine re- 
velation, by reflections of his glory on other things, and re- 
presentations of bis divine excellencies in the effects of them. 
So the invisible things of God, 'even his eternal power and 
Godhead, are clearly seen, being manifested and understood 
by the things that are made;' Rom. i. 20. Yet must it be 
granted, that no mere creature, not the angels above, not 
the heaven of heavens, are meet or able to receive upon 
them, such characters of the divine excellencies, as to be a 
complete satisfactory representation of the being and pro- 
perties of God, unto us. They are all finite and limited, and 
so cannot properly represent that which is infinite and im- 
mense. And this is the true reason why all worship or re- 
ligious adoration of them is idolatry. Yet are there such 
effects of God's glory in them, such impressions of divine 
excellencies upon them, as we cannot comprehend nor 
search out unto perfection. How little do we conceive of 
the nature, glory, and pov/er of angels ? So remote are we from 
an immediate comprehension of the uncreated glory of God, 
as that we cannot fully apprehend, nor conceive aright, the 
reflection of it on creatures in themselves finite and limited. 
Hence they thought of old when they had seen an angel, 
that so much of the divine perfections had been manifested 
unto them that thereon they must die ; Judges xiii. 21, 22. 
Howbeit they come infinitely short of making any complete 
representation of God, nor is it otherwise with any creature 

4. Mankind seemed to have always had a common ap- 
prehension, that there was need of a nearer and more full re- 
presentation of God unto them, than was made in any of the 
works of creation or providence^ The heavens indeed de- 
clared his glory, and the firmament always shewed his handy 
work. The invisible things of his eternal power and God- 
head, were continually made known by the things that are 
made. But men generally miscarried and missed it in the 
contemplation of them, as the apostle declares, Rom. i. For 
still they were influenced by a common presumption, that 


there must be a nearer and more evident manifestation of 
God ; that made by the works of creation and providence 
being not sufficient to guide them unto him. But in the • 
pursuit hereof, they utterly ruined themselves ; they would 
do what God had not done. By common consent they 
framed representations of God unto themselves ; and were so 
besotted therein, that they utterly lost the benefit which they 
might have received by the manifestation of him in the works 
of the creation, and took up with most foolish imaginations. 
For whereas they might have learned from thence, the being 
of God, his infinite wisdom, power, and goodness, namely, in 
the impressions and characters of them on the things that 
were made ; in their own representations of him, they 
' changed the glory of the invisible God into an image made 
like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed 
beasts, and creeping things ;' Rom. i. 23. Wherefore this 
common presumption, that there was noway to attain a due 
sense of the Divine Being, but by some representation of it, 
though true in itself, yet by the craft of Satan, and foolish 
superstitions of the minds of men, became the occasion of 
all idolatry and flagitious wickedness in the world. Hence 
were all those iirKpaveiai, or supposed illustrious appearances 
of their gods, which Satan deluded the Gentiles by ; and 
hence were all the ways which they devised to bring God 
into human nature, or the likeness of it. Wherefore in all 
the revelations that ever God made of himself, his mind and 
will, he always laid this practice of making representations 
of him, under the most severe interdict and prohibition. 
And this he did evidently for these tvv^o reasons : 

(1.) Because it was a bold and foolish intrenching upon 
his provisional wisdom in the case. He had taken care that 
there should be a glorious image and representation of him- 
self, infinitely above what any created wisdom could find 
out. But as when Moses went into the mount, the Israelites 
would not wait for his return, but made a calf in his stead ; 
so mankind, refusing to wait for the actual exhibition of that 
glorious image of himself which God had provided, they 
broke in upon liis wisdom and sovereignty, to make some of 
their own. For this cause was God so provoked, that he gave 
them up to such stupid blindness, that in those things 
wherein they thought to shew themselves wise, and to bring 


God nearer unto them, they became contemptibly foolish, 
abased their nature, and all the noble faculties of their minds 
unto hell, and departed unto the utmost distance from God, 
whom they sought to bring near unto them. 

(2.) Because nothing that can fall into the invention or 
imagination of men, could make any other but false repre- 
sentations of him, and so substitute an idol in his place. His 
own immediate works have great characters of his divine 
excellencies upon them, though unto us obscure and not 
clearly legible without the light of revelation. Somewhat 
he did of old represent of his glorious presence, though not 
of his being, in the visible institutions of his worship. But 
all men's inventions to this end, which are neither divine 
works of nature, nor divine institutions of worship, are all 
but false representations of God, and therefore accursed by 

Wherefore it is granted that God hath placed many cha- ' 
racters of his divine excellencies upon his works of creation 
and providence ; many of his glorious presence upon the 
tabernacle and temple of old; but none of these things ever 
did or could give such a representation of him, as wherein 
the souls of men might fully acquiesce, or obtain such con- 
ceptions of him as might enable them to worship and honour 
him in a due manner. They cannot, I say, by all that may 
be seen in them, and learned from them, represent God as 
the complete object of all our affections, of all the actings of 
our souls in faith, trust, love, fear, obedience, in that way 
whereby he may be glorified, and we may be brought unto 
the everlasting fruition of him. This therefore is yet to be 
inquired after. Wherefore, 

5. A mere external doctrinal revelation of the divine na- 
ture and properties, without any exemplification, or real re- 
presentation of them, was not suflicient unto the end of God 
in the manifestation of himself. This is done in the Scrip- 
ture. But the whole Scripture is built on this foundation, 
or proceeds on this supposition, that there is a real repre- 
sentation of the divine nature unto us, which it declares and 
describes. And as there was such a notion on the minds of 
all men, that some representation of God, wherein he might 
be near unto them, was necessary, which arose from the con- 
sideration of the infinite distance between the divine nature 


and their own, which allowed of no measures between them; 
so as unto the event God himself hath declared that in his 
own way such a representation was needful unto that end of 
the manifestation of himself which he designed. For, 

6. All this is done in the person of Christ. He is the 
complete image and perfect representation of the Divine Be- 
ing and excellencies. I do not speak of it absolutely, but 
as God proposeth himself as the object of our faith, trust, 
and obedience. Hence it is God as the Father, who is so 
peculiarly represented in him, and by him ; as he says, * he 
that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also ;' John 
xiv. 9. 

Unto such a representation two things are required. 
(I.) That all the properties of the divine nature, the know- 
ledge whereof is necessary unto our present obedience and 
future blessedness, be expressed in it, and manifested unto 
us. (2.) That there be therein the nearest approach of the 
divine nature made unto us whereof it is capable, and which 
we can receive. And both these are found in the person of 
Christ, and therein alone. 

In the person of Christ we consider both the consti- 
tution of it in the union of his natures, and the respect of 
it unto his work of mediation, which was the end of that 
constitution. And, 

(1 .) Therein as so considered, is there a blessed represen- 
tation made unto us of all the holy properties of the nature of 
God ; of his wisdom, his power, his goodness, grace and 
love, his righteousness, truth and holiness, his mercy and pa- 
tience. As this is affirmed concerning them all in general, 
or the glory of God in thera,which is seen and known only 
in the face of Christ ; so it were easy to manifest the same 
concerning every one of them in particular, by express testi- 
monies of Scripture. But I shall at present confine myself 
unto the proofs of the whole assertion which do ensue. 

(2.) There is therein the most incomprehensible approach 
of the divine nature made unto ours ; such as all the ima- 
ginations of men did ever infinitely fall short of; as hath 
been before declared. In the assumption of our nature into 
personal union with himself, and our cognation unto God 
thereby, with the union which believers obtain with him 
thereon, * being one in the Father and the Son, as the Father 


is in the Son, and the Son in the Father ;' John xvii. 20. 21. 
there is the nearest approach of the Divine Being nnto us, 
that the nature of things is capable of. Both these ends 
were designed in those representations of God, which were 
of human invention ; but in both of them they utterly failed. 
For instead of representing any of the glorious properties of 
the nature of God, they debased it, dishonoured it, and filled 
the minds of men with vile conceptions of it. And instead 
of bringing God nearer unto them, they put themselves at 
an infinite moral distance from him. But my design is the 
confirmation of our assertions from the Scripture. 

Col. i. 15. * He is the image of the invisible God.' This 
title or property of ' invisible,' the apostle here gives unto 
God, to shew what need there was of an image or represen- 
tation of him unto us, as well as of one in whom he would 
declare the counsels of his will. For he intends not only 
the absolute invisibility of his essence, but his being un- 
known unto us in himself. Wherefore, as was before ob- 
served, mankind was generally prone to make visible repre- 
sentations of this invisible God, that in them they might 
contemplate on him, and have him present with them as they 
foolishly imagined. Unto the craft of Satan abusing this 
inclination of mankind, idolatry owes its original and pro- 
gress in the world ; howbeit necessary it was that this in- 
visible God should be so represented unto us by some image 
of him, as that we might know him, and that therein he 
might be worshipped according unto his own mind and will. 
But this must be of his own contrivance, an effect of his 
own infinite wisdom. Hence as he absolutely rejecteth all 
images and representations of him of men's devisings for 
the reasons before-mentioned, and declares that the honour 
that any should think would thereby redound unto him, was 
not given unto him, but unto the devil ; so that which he 
hath provided himself, unto his own holy ends and purposes, 
is every way approved of him. For he will have all men 
honour the Son even as they honour the Father; and so as 
that he who ' honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the 
Father;' John v. 23. 25. 

This ima^e, therefore, is the person of Christ; * he is the 
image of the invisible God.' This in the first place respects 


the divine person absolutely, as he is the essential image of 
the Father ; which must briefly be declared. 

1. The Son is sometimes said to be Iv irarpi, ' in the Fa- 
ther,' and the Father in the Son. John xiv. 10. ' Believest 
thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me ?' 
This is from the unity or sameness of their nature ; for * he 
and the Father are one ;' John x. 30. Thence^* all things that 
the Father hath are his ;' chap. xvi. 15. because their nature 
is one and the same. With respect unto the divine essence 
absolutely considered, wherein the Father is in the Son, and 
the "Son in the Father, the one cannot be said to be the 
image of the other. For he and the Father are one ; and 
one and the same thing, cannot be the image of itself in that 
wherein it is one. 

2. The Son is said not only to be iv ttutql, ' in the Father,' 
in the unity of the same essence ; but also Trpog rov Traripa 
orGiov, ' with the Father,' or 'with God' in the distinction of 
his person. John i. 1. * The Word was with God, and the 
Word was God.' 'The Word was God,' in the unity of the 
divine essence ; ' and the Word was with God,' in its dis- 
tinct personal subsistence. ' The Word,' that is, the person of 
the Son, as distinct from the Father, * was with God,' or the 
Father. And in this respect he is the essential image of the 
Father, as he is called in this place, and Heb i. 2. and that 
because he partakes of all the same divine properties with 
the Father. 

But although the Father on the other side be partaker of 
all the essential divine properties of the Son, yet is not he 
said to be the image of the Son. For this property of an 
image respects not the things themselves, but the manner of 
the participatibn of thein. Now the Son receives all from 
the Father, and the Father nothino- from the Son. What- 
ever belongs unto the person of the Son, as the person of 
the Son, he receives it all from the Father by eternal gene- 
ration; 'For as the Father hath life in himsell^ so hath he 
given unto the Son, to have life in himself;' John v. 26. He 
is therefore the essential image of the Father, because all 
the properties of the divine nature are communicated unto 
him, together with personality from the Father. 

3. In his incarnation the Son was made the represen- 


tative image of God unto us, as he was in his person the 
essential image of the Father by eternal generation. The 
invisible God, whose nature and divine excellencies our un- 
derstandings can make no approach unto, doth in him re- 
present, exhibit, or make present unto our faith and spi- 
ritual sense, both himself and all the glorious excellencies 
of his nature. 

Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God may- 
be considered three ways. 

1. Merely with respect unto his divine nature. This is 
one and the same with that of the Father. In this respect 
the one is not the image of the other, for both are the same. 

2. With respect unto his divine person as the Son of the 
Father ; the only-begotten, the eternal Son of God. Thus 
he receives as his personality, so all divine excellencies from 
the Father ; so he is the essential image of the Father's 

3. As he took our nature upon him, or in the assumption 
of our nature into personal union with himself, in order unto 
the work of his mediation. So is he the only representative 
image of God unto us ; in whom alone we see, know, and 
learn all the divine excellencies, so as to live unto God, and 
be directed unto the enjoyment of him. All this himself 
instructs us in. 

He reflects it on the Pharisees as an effect of their blind- 
ness and ignorance, that they ' had neither heard the voice 
of God at any time, nor seen his shape ;' John v. 37. And 
in opposition hereunto he tells his disciples, that ' they had 
known the Father and seen him ;' chap. xiv. 7. And the rea- 
son he gives thereof is, * because they that knew him, knew 
the Father also.' And when one of his disciples, not yet 
sufficiently instructed in this mystery, replied, * Lord, shew 
us the Father, and it sufficeth us ;' ver. 8. his answer is, * Have 
I been so long time with you, and hast thou not know me ? 
he that hath seen me hath seen the Father ;' ver. 9. 

Three things are required unto the justification of this 

1. That the Father and he be of the same nature, have 
the same essence and being. For otherwise it would not 
follow, that he who had ' seen him had seen the Father also.' 
This ground of it he declares in the next verse, ' the Father 


is in me, and I am in the Father;* namely, because they 
were one in nature and essence. For the divine nature be- 
ing simply the same in them all, the divine persons are in 
each other by virtue of the oneness of that nature. 

2. That he be distinct from him. For otherwise there 
cannot be a seeing of the Father by the seeing of him. He 
is seen in the Son as represented by him, as his image ; the 
Word, the Son of the Father, as he was with God. The unity 
of nature, and the distinction of persons, is the ground of 
that assertion of our Saviour ; ' he that hath seen me, hath 
seen the Father also.' 

3. But moreover, the Lord Christ hath a respect herein 
unto himself, in his entire person as he was incarnate, and 
therein unto the discharge of his mediatory work. * Have I 
been so long time with you, and hast thou not known me T 
Whilst he was with them, dwelt among them, conversed 
with them, he was the great representative of the glory of 
God unto them. And notwithstanding this particular mis- 
take, they did then see his glory, * the glory of the only-be- 
gotten of the Father;' John i. 14. And in him was mani- 
fested the glory of the Father. 'He is the image of the in- 
visible God.* In him God was, in him he dwelt, in him is he 
known, in him is he worshipped according unto his own will, 
in him is there a nearer approach made unto us, by the di- 
vine nature, than ever could enter into the heart of man to 
conceive. In the constitution of his person, of two natures, 
so infinitely distinct and separate in themselves, and in the 
work it was designed unto, the wisdom, power, goodness, 
love, grace, mercy, holiness, and faithfulness of God, are 
manifested unto us. This is the one blessed * image of the 
invisible God,' wherein we may learn, wherein we may con- 
template and adore, all his divine perfections. 

The same truth is testified unto, Heb. i. 3. ' God spake 
unto us in the Son, who is the brightness of his glory, and 
the express image of his person.' His divine nature is here 
included, as that without which he could not have made a 
perfect representation of God unto us. For the apostle 
speaks of him, as of him 'by whom the worlds were made,' 
and who * upboldeth all things by the word of his power.' 
Yet doth he not speak of him absolutely as he was God, but 
also as he, who ' in himself purged our sins, and is sat down 


at the right hand of the Majesty on high; that is, in his 
whole person. Herein he is airavyafrjuia Trig d6t,yiQ, the elFul- 
gency, the resplendency of divine glory ; that wherein the 
divine glory shines forth, in an evident manifestation of it- 
self unto us. And as a farther explication of the same mys- 
tery, it is added, that he is the character or * express image' 
of the person of the Father. Such an impression of all the 
glorious properties of God is on him, as that thereby they 
become legible unto all them that believe. 

So the same apostle affirms again, that he is the 'image 
of God ;' 2 Cor. iv. 4. in what sense, and unto what end, he 
declares, ver. 6. ' We have the knowledge of the glory of 
God in the face of Jesus Christ.' Still it is supposed that 
the glory of God, as essentially in him is invisible unto us, 
and incomprehensible by us. Yet is there a knowledge of 
it necessary unto us, that we may live unto him, and come 
unto the enjoyment of him. This we obtain only in the face 
or person of Christ Iv irpoaujiri^ rov Xptcrrov ; for in him that 
glory is represented unto us. 

This was the testimony which the apostles gave concern- 
ing him, when he dwelt among them in the days of his flesh. 
*They saw his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of 
the Father, full of grace and truth;' Johni. 14. The divine 
glory was manifest in him, and in him they saw the glory of 
the Father. So the same apostle witnesseth again who re- 
corded this testimony, 1 John i. 2. 'For the life was mani- 
fested, and we have seen it, and bear witness that eternal life 
was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.' In the 
Son incarnate that eternal life which was originally in and 
with the Father, was manifest unto us. 

It may be said, that the Scripture itself is sufficient for 
this end of the declaration of God unto us, so that there is 
no need of any other representation of him ; and these things 
serve only to turn the minds of men form learning the mind 
and will of God therein, to seek for all in the person of 
Christ. But the true end of proposing these things, is to 
draw men unto the diligent study of the Scripture, wherein 
alone they are revealed and declared. And in its proper 
use, and unto its proper end, it is perfect and most sufficient. 
It is X070C Tov Gtou, * the word of God ;' hovvbeit it is not 
Xoyoc ovo-iw^TjC) the internal, essential word of God, but Xoyoc 


Trpo^optkoc, the external word spoken by him. It is not, 
therefore, nor can be the image of God, either essential or 
representative, but is the revelation and declaration of it into 
us, without which we can know notiiing of it. 

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the express 
image of the person of the Father. And the principal end 
of the whole Scripture, especially of the gospel, is to declare 
him so to be, and how he is so. What God promised by 
his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus 
Christ, that is fully declared in the gospel; Rom. i. 1 — 4 
The gospel is the declaration of Christ as * the power of 
God, and the wisdom of God ;' 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. or an evi- 
dent representation of God in his person and mediation unto 
us; Gal. iii. 1. Wherefore three things are herein to be 

1. * Objectum reale et formale fidei ;' the real, formal ob- 
ject of our faith in this matter. This is the person of 
Christ the Son of God incarnate, the representative image 
of the glory of God unto us; as in the testimonies insist- 
ed on. 

2. ' Medium revelans,' or * lumen deferens;' the means of 
its revelation, or the objective light whereby the perception 
and knowledge of it is conveyed unto our minds. This is 
the gospel ; compared unto a glass because of the prospect 
which we have of the image of God therein; 1 Cor. iii. 18. 
but without it, by any other means, and not by it, we can 
behold nothing of this image of God. 

3. ' Lumen prseparans, elevans, disponens subjectum.' 
The internal light of the mind in the saving illumination of 
the Holy Spirit, enabling us by that means, and in the use 
of it, spiritually to behold and discern the glory of God in 
the face of Christ; 2 Cor. iv. 6. 

Through both these, in their several ways of operation, 
there proceedeth from the real object of our faith, Christ as 
the image of God, a transforming power, whereby the soul 
is changed into the same image, or is made conformable 
unto Christ, which is that whereunto we are predestinated. 
But we may yet a little farther contemplate on these things, 
in some instances wherein the glory of God and our own 
duty are concerned. 

1. The glory of God's wisdom is exalted, and the pride 


of the imaginations of men is proportionably debased. And 
in these two consists the real foundation of all religion in 
our souls. This God designed in the dispensation of himself 
and his will; 1 Cor, i. 29. 31. This he calls us unto, Isa. 
ii. 22. Zech. ii. 13. As this frame of heart is prevalent in 
us, so do all other graces shine and flourish. And it is that 
which influences all our duties, so far as they are acceptable 
unto God. And there is no truth more instructive unto it, 
than that before us. It is taken for granted, and the event 
hath demonstrated it to be so, that some express representa- 
tion should be made of God unto us ; wherein we might 
contemplate the glorious excellencres of his nature, and he 
might draw nigh unto us, and be present with us. This 
therefore men„attempted to effect and accomplish, and this 
God alone hath performed and could so do. And their se- 
veral ways for this end are herein manifest. As the way 
whereby Godliath done it is the principal exaltation of his 
infinite wisdom and goodness, as shall be immediately more 
fully declared, so the way whereby men attempted it, was 
the highest instance of wickedness and folly. It is, as we 
have declared, in Christ alone that God hath done it. And 
that therein he hath exalted and manifested the riches, the 
treasures of his infinite Vv'isdom and goodness, is that which 
the gospel, the Spirit, and the church, do give testimony unto. 
A more glorious effect of divine wisdom and goodness, a 
more illustrious manifestation of them, there never was, nor 
ever shall be, than in the finding out and constitution of 
this way of the representation of God unto us. The ways 
of men for the same end were so far from giving a right re- 
presentation of the perfections of the divine nature, that 
they were all of them below, beneath, and unworthy of our 
own. For in nothing did the blindness, darkness, and folly 
of our nature, in its depraved condition, ever so exert and 
evidence themselves, as in contriving ways for the repre- 
sentation of God unto us, that is, in idolatry, the worst and 
vilest of evils. So Psal. cxv. 4 — 8. Isa. xliv. Rev. i. 19, 
20, &c. This pride and folly of men, was that which lost all 
knowledge of God in the world, and all obedience unto him. 
The ten commandments are but a transcript of the light and 
law of nature. The first of these required that God, the 
only true God, the Creator and Governor of all, should be 



acknowledged, worship])ed, believed in, and obeyed. And 
the second was, that we should not make unto ourselves 
any image or representation of him. Whatever he would 
do himself, yet he strictly forbid that we should make any 
such unto ourselves. And here began the apostacy of the 
world from God. They did not absolutely reject him, and 
so cast off the first fundamental precept of the law of na- 
ture ; but they submitted not unto his wisdom and autho- 
rity in the next, which was evidently educed from it. They 
would make images and representations of him unto them- 
selves: and by this invention of their own, they first dis- 
honoured him, and then forsook him, giving themselves up 
unto the rule and service of the devil. Wherefore, as the 
way that God in infinite wisdom found out for the repre- 
sentation of himself unto us, was the only means of recovery 
from the first apostacy; the vvay found out by men unto 
the same end, was the great means of casting the generality 
of mankind unto the farthest degree of a new apostacy from 
God whereof our nature is capable. And of the same kind 
will all our contrivances in what belongs unto his worship 
and glory be found to be, though unto us they may appear 
both specious and necessary. This, tlierefore, should lead us 
into a continual admiration of the wisdom and grace of 
God, with a due sense of our own vileness and baseness by 
nature. For we are in nothing better or wiser than they, 
who fell into the utmost folly and wickedness, in their de- 
signs for the highest end, or the representation of God unto 
us. The more we dwell on such considerations, the more 
fear and reverence of God, with faith, trust, and delight in 
him, will be increased; as also humility in ourselves, with a 
sense of divine grace and love. 

2. There is a peculiar ground of the spiritual efficacy of 
this representation of God. The revelation that he hath 
made of himself, and of the glorious properties of his nature 
in the works of creation and providence, are in themselves 
clear, plain, and manifest; Psal. xix. 1, 2. Rom. i. 21, 22". 
Those which are made in Christ are sublime and mysterious. 
Howbeit the knowledge we have of him as he is represented 
unto us in Christ, is far more clear, certain, steady, effectual, 
and operative, than any we can attain in and by all other 
ways of revelation. The reason hereof is, not only because 


there is a more full and extensive revelation made of God, 
his counsels, and his will, in Christ and the gospel, than in 
all the works of creation and providence ; but because this 
revelation and representation of God is received by faith 
alone, the other by reason only ; and it is faith that is the 
principle of spiritual light and life in us. What is received 
thereby is operative and effectual unto all the ends of the 
life of God. For we live by faith here, as we shall by sight 
hereafter. Reason alone, especially as it is corrupted and 
depraved, can discern no glory in the representation of God 
by Christ. Yea, all that is spoken thereof, or declared in 
the gospel, is foolishness unto it. Hence many live in a 
profession of the faith of the letter of the gospel, yet having 
no light, guide, nor condu,ct, but that of reason, they do not, 
they cannot, really behold the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ; nor hath the revelation of it any efficacy upon 
their souls. The manifestation of him in the light of na- 
ture by the works of creation and providence, is suited unto 
their reason, and doth affect it : for that which is made in 
Christ, they say of it, as the Israelites did of manna that 
come down from heaven, * What is it ? we know not the 
meanino; of it.' For it is made unto faith alone, and all men 
have not faith. And where God shines into the heart, by 
that faith which is of divine operation, there with ' open face 
we behold the glory of God as in a glass ;' or have the know- 
ledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. There 
is not the meanest believer, but in the real exercise of faith 
in Christ hath more glorious apprehensions of God, his 
wisdom, goodness, and grace, of alibis glorious excellencies, 
than the most learned and wise in the world can attain unto, 
in the exercise of reason, on the proper objects of it. So 
are these things opposed by the apostle, 1 Cor. i. Where- 
fore faith in Christ is the only means of the true knowledge 
of God ; and the discoveries which are made of him and his 
excellencies thereby, are those alone which are effectual to 
conform us unto his image and likeness. And this is the 
reason why some men are so little affected with the gospel, 
notwithstanding the continual preaching of it unto them, 
and their outward profession of it. It doth not inwardly 
afiect them, it pioduceth no blessed effects in them. Some 
sense -they have of the power of God in the works of crea- 

H 2 


tion and providence, in his rule and government, and in the 
workings of natural conscience. Beyond these, they have 
no real sense of him. The reason is, because they have not 
faith, whereby alone the representation that is made of God 
in Christ, and declared in the gospel, is made effectual unto 
the souls of men. Wherefore, 

3. It is the highest degeneracy from the mystery of Chris- 
tian religion, for men to satisfy themselves in natural dis- 
coveries of the Divine Being and excellencies, without an 
acquaintance with that perfect declaration and representa- 
tion of them which is made in the person or Christ, as he 
is revealed and declared in the gospel. It is confessed that 
there may be good use made of the evidence which reason 
gives or takes from its own innate principles, with the con- 
sideration of the external works of divine wisdom and 
power, concerning the being and rule of God. But to rest 
herein, to esteem it the best and most perfective knowledge 
of God that we can attain, not to rise up unto the more full, 
perfect, and evident manifestation of himself that he hath 
made in Christ, is a declaration of our unbelief, and a vir- . 
tual renunciation of the gospel. This is the spring of that 
declension unto a mere natural religion, which discovers it- 
self in many, and usually ends in the express denial of the 
divine person of Christ. For when the proper use of it is 
despised, on what grounds can the notion of it be long re- 
tained? But a supposition of his divine person is the foun- 
dation of this discourse. Were he not the essential image 
of the Father in his own divine person, he could not be the 
representative image of God unto us, as he is incarnate. For 
if he were a man only, however miraculously produced and 
gloriously exalted, yet the angels above, the glorious hea- 
vens, the seat and throne of God, with other effects of 
creating power and wisdom, would no less represent his 
glory than it could be done in him. Yet are they nowhere 
jointly nor separately styled the * image of the invisible God ;' 
the ' brightness of his glory, and the express image of his 
person ;' nor doth God shine into our hearts to give us the 
knowledge of his glory in the face of them. And it argues 
the woful enmity of the carnal mind against God, and all 
the effects of his wisdom, that whereas he hath granted us 
such a glorious image and representation of himself, v/e like 


it not, we delight not in the contemplation of it, but either 
despise it, or neglect it, and please ourselves in that which 
is incomparably beneath it. 

4. Because God is not thus known, it is that the know- 
ledge of him is so barren and fruitless in the world, as it ma- 
nifests itself to be. It were easy to produce, yea, endless to 
number, the testimonies that might be produced out of hea- 
then writers, given unto the being and existence of God, 
his authority, monarchy, and rule : yet, what were the ef- 
fects of that knowledge which they had ; besides that 
wretched idolatry wherein they were all immersed ? as the 
apostle declares, Rom. i. it rescued them from no kind of 
wickedness and villany, as he there also manifests. And the 
virtues which were found among them, were evidently derived 
from other causes, and not from the knowledge they had 
of God. The Jews have the knowledge of God by the letter 
of the Old Testament. But yet not knowing him in Christ, 
and having lost all sense and apprehension of those repre- 
sentations which were made of his being in him in the law, 
they continue universally a people carnal, obstinate, and 
wicked. They have neither the virtues of the heathens 
among them, nor the power of the truth of religion. As 
it was with them of old, so it yet continueth to be; 'they 
profess that they know God, but in works they deny him, 
being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work 
reprobate;' Tit. i. 16. So is it among many that are called 
Christians at this day in the world. Great pretence there 
is unto the knowledge of God ; yet did flagitious sins and 
wickedness scarce ever more abound among the heathens 
themselves. It is the knowledge of God in Christ alone that 
is effectually powerful to work the souls of men unto a con- 
formity unto him. Those alone who behold the glory of 
God in the face of Jesus Christ, are changed into the same 
image from glory to glory. 



The person of Christ the great repository of sacred truth. Its 
relation thereunto. 

Divine supernatural truth is caiied by the apostle, the 
* truth which is according to godliness ;' Tit. i. 1. Whereas 
therefore the person of Christ is the great mystery of god- 
liness, we must, in the next place, inquire what is the rela- 
tion of spiritual supernatural truth thereunto. And this I 
shall do in pursuit of what was proposed in the foregoing 
chapter, namely, that he is the great representative unto 
the church of God, his holy properties, and the counsels of 
his will. 

All divine truth may be referred unto two heads. First, 
that which is essentially so, and then that which is so decla- 
ratively. The first is God himself, the other are the counsel 
of his will. 

First, God himself is the first and only essential truth, 
in whose being and nature the springs of all truth do lie. 
Whatever is truth, so far as it is so, derives from him; is an 
emanation from that eternal fountain of it. Being, truth, 
and goodness, is the principal notion of God, and in him 
they are all the same. How this is represented in Christ, 
as he is in himself the essential image of the Father, and as 
incarnate the representative image of him unto us, hath 
been declared. 

Secondly, The counsels of God are the next spring and 
cause, as also the subjectmatter or substance of all truth, that 
is so declaratively. * Divine truth is the declaration of the 
counsels of God ;' Acts XX. 27. Of them all, the person of 
Christ is the sacred repository and treasury ; in him are they 
to be learned. All their efficacy and use, depends on their re- 
lation unto him. He is the centre and circumference of all 
the lines of truth, that is, which is divine, spiritual, and su- 
pernatural. And the beauty of it is presented unto us only 
in his face or person. We see it not, we know it not, but as 
God shines into our hearts to give us the knowledge of it 
therein ; 2 Cor. iv. 6. 


So he testifieth of himself, ' I am the truth;' John xlv. 6. 
He is so essentially as he is one with the Father, the God of 
truth ; Deut. xxxii. 4. He is so efficiently, as by him alone 
it is fully and effectually declared. * For no man hath seen 
God at any time ; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom 
of the Father, he hath declared him;' John i. 18. He is so 
substantially, in opposition unto the types and shadows of 
the Old Testament ; for in him ' dwelt the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily ;' Col. ii. 9. The body is of Christ ; ver. 17. 
He is so subjectively; for all divine truth relating to the 
saving knowledge of God, is treasured up in him. 

* In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know- 
ledge ;' Col. ii. 3. That is, the wisdom and knowledge of 
God in his counsels concerning the vocation, sanctification, 
and salvation of the church; concerning which the apostle 
falls into that holy admiration ; ' O the depths of the riches 
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God;' Rom. xi. 33. 
And they are called 'treasures' in a twofold account, both 
mentioned together by the psalmist. 'How precious are thy 
thoughts unto me, O Lord ; how great is the sum of them !' 
They are treasures because precious and invaluable, and are 
therefore usually preferred above all earthly treasures which 
men most highly esteem ; Prov. iii. 14, 15. and they are 
so, because of the greatness of the sum of them; and there- 
fore also called ' unsearchable riches,' Eph. iii. 8. These 
precious unsearchable treasures of the wisdom and know- 
ledge of God, that is, all divine supernatural truths, are hid, 
or safely deposited in Christ, in and from whom alone they 
are to be learned and received. 

So we are said to ' learn the truth as it is in Jesus ;' Eph. - 
iv. 21. And the knowledge of all evangelical sacred truth, is 
in the Scripture most frequently expressed ly the know- 
ledge of him ; John viii. 19. xvii. 3. 2 Cor. ii. 14. iv. 5, 6. 
Eph. i. 17. Phil. iii. 8. 10. 1 John i. 1, 2. ii. 4. 13, l4. v. 20. 
2 Pet. ii. 20. 

Setting aside what we have discoursed and proved before 
concernino; the laying of the foundation of all the counsels 
of God in the person of Christ, and the representation of 
them in the ineffable constitution thereof, I shall give some 
few instances of this relation of all supernatural truth unto 


him ; manifesting that we cannot learn them, nor know 
them, but with a due respect thereunto. 

1. There are two things wherein the glory of truth doth 
consist. (1.) Its light. (2.) Its efficacy or power. And 
both these do all supernatural truths derive from this relation 
unto Christ. 

(1.) No truth whatever brings any spiritual light unto the 
mind, but by virtue thereof. ' In him is life, and the life is 
the light of men ;' John i. 4. He is the * true light which 
lighteth every man that cometh into the world \ ver. 9. 
Wherefore as truth is the only means of illumination, so it 
cannot communicate any light unto the mind, but only as it 
is a beam from him, as it is an organ to convey it from that 
fountain. Separated from him and its relation unto him, it 
will not retain, it cannot communicate, any real spiritual light 
or understanding to the souls of men. How should it, if all 
light be originally in him, as the Scripture testifieth? Then 
alone is the mind irradiated with heavenly truth, when it is 
received as proceeding from, and leading unto, the Sun of 
righteousness, the blessed spring of all spiritual light, which 
is Christ himself. Whatever notional knowledge men may 
have of divine truths, as they are doctrinally proposed in 
the Scripture, yet, if they know them not in their respect 
unto the person of Christ as the foundation of the counsels 
of God; if they discern not how they proceed from him, and 
centre in him, they will bring no spiritual saving light unto 
their understanding. For all spiritual life and light is in 
him, and from him alone. An instance hereof we have in 
the Jews. They have the Scriptures of the Old Testament, 
wherein the substance of all divine truth is revealed and 
expressed. And they are diligent in the study of them. 
Howbeit their minds are not at all illuminated, nor irradiated 
by the truths contained in them, but they live and walk in 
horrible darkness. And the onl)^ reason hereof is, because 
they know not, because they reject the relation of them unto 
Christ, vv'ithout which they are deprived of all enlightening 

(2.) Efficacy or power is the second property of divine 
truth. And the end of this efficacy is to make us like unto 
God ; Eph. iv. 20 — 24. The -mortification of sin, the renova- 


tion of our natures, the sanctification of our minds, hearts, 
and affections, the consolation of our souls, with their edifi- 
cation in all the parts of the life of God, and the like, are the 
things that God hath designed to effect by his truth ; John 
xvii. 17. Whence it is able to ' build us up and give us an 
inheritance among all them that are sanctified;' Acts xx. 32. 
But it is from their relation unto the person of Christ, that 
they have any thing of this power and efficacy. For they 
have it no otherwise but as they are conveyances of his grace 
unto the souls of men. So 1 John i. 1,2. 

Wherefore, as professors of the truth, if separated from 
Christ as unto real union, are withering branches ; so truths 
professed, if doctrinall}^ separated from him, or their respect 
unto him, have no living power or efficacy in the souls of 
men. When Christ is formed in the heart by them, when 
he dwelleth plentifully in the soul through their operation, 
then, and not else, do they put forth their proper power and 
efficacy. Otherwise they are as waters separated from the 
fountain, they quickly dry up or become a noisome puddle ; 
or as a beam interrupted from its continuity unto the sun, is 
immediately deprived of light. 

2. All divine spiritual truths are declarative either of the 

g;race and love of God unto us, or our duty, obedience, 

and gratitude unto him. But as unto these things Christ is 

all and in all ; we can have no due apprehensions of the 

love and grace of God, no understanding of the divine truths 

of the word wherein they are revealed, and whereby they are 

exhibited unto them that believe, but in the exercise of faith 

on Christ himself. For in, by, and from him alone it is, that 

they are proposed unto us, that we are made partakers of 

them. It is from his fulness that all grace is received. No 

truth concerning them can by any imagination be separated 

from him. He is the life and soul of all such truths, without 

which, as they are written in the word, they are but a dead 

letter, and that of such a character as is illegible unto us as 

unto any real discovery of the grace and love of God. And 

as unto those of the other sort, which are instructive unto us 

in our duty, obedience, and gratitude, we cannot come unto 

a practical compliance with any one of them but by the aids 

of grace received from him. For * without him we can do 

nothing;' John xv. 5. and he alone understands divine truth 


who doth it; John vii. 17. There is not therefore any one 
text of Scripture which presseth our duty unto God that we 
can so understand as to perform that duty in an acceptable 
manner, without an actual regard unto Christ, from whom 
alone we receive ability for the performance of it, and in or 
through whom alone it is accepted Vv^ith God. 

3. All the evidence of divine spiritual truth, and all 
the foundation of our real interest in the things whereof it is 
a declaration as to benefit, advantage, and comfort, depends 
on their relation unto Christ. We may take an instance in 
one article of divine truth, which seems to be most disen- 
gaged from any such relation, namely, the resurrection of 
the dead. But there is no man who rightly believes or com- 
prehends this truth, who doth it not upon the evidence given 
unto it, and example of it in the person of Christ rising 
from the dead. Nor can any man have a comfortable ex- 
pectation or faith of an especial interest in a blessed resur- 
rection (which is our whole concern in that truth, Phil. iii. 
11.), but by virtue of a mystical union unto him as the head 
of the church that shall be raised unto glory. Both these 
the apostle insists upon at large, 1 Cor. xv. So is it with ail 
other truths whatever. 

Wherefore, all divine supernatural truths revealed in the 
Scripture, being nothing but the declaration of these coun- 
sels of God, whose foundation was laid in the person of 
Christ ; and whereas they are all of them expressive of the 
love, wisdom, goodness, and grace of God unto us, or instruc- 
tive in our obedience and duty to him; all the actings of God 
towards us, and all ours tovv'ards him, being in and through 
him alone ; and whereas all the life and power of these 
truths, all their beauty, symmetry, and harmony in their 
union and conjunction, which is expressive of divine wisdom, 
is all from him, who as a living Spirit diffused through the 
whole system both acts and animates it, all the treasures of 
truth, wisdom, and knowledge may be well said to be hid 
in him. And we may consider some things that ensue 

1. Hence it is that those who reject the divine person of 
Christ, who believe it not, who discern not the wisdom, 
grace, love, and power of God therein, do constantly reject 
or corrupt all other spiritual truths of divine revelation; nor 


can it otherwise be. For they have a consistency only in 
their relation unto the mystery of godliness, * God manifest 
in the flesh;' and from thence derive their sense and mean- 
ing. This being removed, the truth in all other articles of 
religion immediately falls to the ground. An instance hereof 
we have in the Socinians. For although they retain the 
common notions of the unity and existence of the divine 
nature, which are indelibly fixed on the minds of men, yet 
is there no one truth that belongs peculiarly unto Christian 
religion, but they either deny it, or horribly deprave it. 
Many things concerning God and his essential properties ; 
as his immutability, immensity, prescience, they have greatly 
perverted. So is that fulfilled in them which was spoken by 
Jude the apostle, ver. 10. 'They speak evil of the things 
which they know not, and what they do know naturally as 
brute beasts, in them they corrupt themselves.' So they do 
in the things mentioned, whereof there are natural notions 
in the minds of men. But of evangelical truths, which they 
know not, they speak evil, and deride them. The holy 
Trinity they blaspheme ; the incarnation of the Son of God 
they scorn ; the work of his mediation in his oblation and 
intercession, with the satisfaction and merit of his obedience 
and suffering they reject. So do they v/hatever we are taught 
of the depravation of our natures by the fail, of the renova- 
tion of them by the Holy Ghost, and unto all other articles 
of our faith do they offer violence to corrupt them. The be- 
ginning of their transgression or apostacy is in a disbelief of 
the divine person of Christ. That being rejected, all other 
sacred truths are removed from their basis and centre ; that 
which gives them their unity and harmony. Hereon they 
fluctuate up and down in the minds of men, and appearing 
unto them under various deceiving colours, are easily mis- 
apprehended or disbelieved. Yea, there can no direct pro- 
per representation be made of them unto the understandings 
of men. Dissolve the knot, centre, and harmony in the most 
beautiful composition or structure, and every part will con- 
tribute as much unto the deformity and ruin of the whole, 
as it did before unto its beauty and consistency. So is it 
with every doctrine, so is it with the whole system of evan- 
gelical truths. Take the person of Christ out of them, dis- 
solve their harmony in relation thereunto, whereby we no 


longer hold the head in the faith and profession of them, and 
the minds of men cannot deliver them from an irreconcilable 
difference among themselves. Hereon some of them are im- 
mediately rejected, and some of them corrupted ; for they 
lose their native light and beauty. They will neither agree 
nor consist any where but in Christ. Hence it is, that no in- 
stance can be given of any, who from the orighial of Christian 
religion, rejected the divine person of Christ, and preserved 
any one evangelical truth besides pure and uncorrupted. 
And I do freely confess, that all which we believe concern- 
ing the holy Trinity, the eternal counsels of God, the effi- 
cacy of the mediation of Christ, his satisfaction and merit, 
the way which we own of the sanctification, justification, and 
salvation of the church, are to be esteemed fables, as the 
Socinians contend, if what we believe concerning the person 
of Christ, be so also. 

2. Hence it is that the knowledge and profession of the 
truth with many is so fruitless, inefficacious, and useless. It 
is not known, it is not understood nor believed in its relation 
unto Christ, on which account alone it conveys either light 
or power to the soul. Men profess they know the truth, 
but they know it not in its proper order, in its harmony and 
use. it leads them not to Christ, it brings not Christ unto 
them, and so is lifeless and useless. Hence, oft-times none 
are more estranged from the life of God, than such as have 
much notional knowledge of the doctrines of the Scripture. 
For they are all of them useless and subject to be aliused, if 
they are not improved to form Christ in the soul ; and trans- 
form the whole person into his likeness and image. This 
they will not effect where their relation unto him is not un- 
derstood, where they are not received and learned as a reve- 
lation of him, with the mystery of the will and wisdom of God 
in him. For whereas he is our life, and in our living unto 
God we do not so much live as he liveth in us, and the life, 
which we lead in the flesh is by the faith of him, so that we 
have neither principle nor power of spiritual life but in, by, 
and from him ; whatever knowledge we have of the truth, if 
it do not effect a union between him and our souls, it will be 
lifeless in us, and unprofitable unto us. It is ' learning the 
truth as it is in Jesus,' which alone reneweth the image of 
God in us ; Eph. iv. 21—24. Where it is otherwise, where 


men have notions of evangelical truths, but know not Christ 
in them, whatever they profess, when they come really to 
examine themselves, they will find them of no use unto them, 
but that all things between God and their souls are stated 
on natural light and common presumptions. 


Poiver and efficacy communicated unto the office of Christ for the salvation 
of the church from his person. 

It is by the exercise and discharge of the office of Christ as 
the king, priest, and prophet of the church, that we are re- 
deemed, sanctified, and saved. Thereby doth he immediately 
communicate all gospel benefits unto us, gives us an access 
unto God here by grace, and in glory hereafter. For he 
saves us as he is the mediator between God and man. But 
hereon an inquiry may be made, whence it is that the acts 
and duties of this office of Christ in their exercise and dis- 
charge, should have such a power and efficacy with respect 
unto their supernatural and eternal ends. For the things 
which depend upon them, which are effected by them, are 
all the principal means of the glory of God, and the only 
concernments of the souls of men. And this, I say, is his 
holy, mysterious person ; from thence alone all power and 
efficacy is derived and transfused into his offices, and into 
all that is due in the discharge of them. 

A truth this is of that importance, that the declaration 
and demonstration of it, is the principal design of one entire 
book of the holy Scriptures ; namely, of the Epistle of Paul 
the apostle unto the Hebrews. That the glorious excellency 
of the person of Christ doth enable him in the discharge of 
his offices to accomplish those ends which none other, though 
vested with the same offices, could in the exercise of them 
attain unto, is the sum and substance of the doctrinal part 
of that discourse. Here, therefore, we must a little fix our 
meditations ; and our interest calls us thereunto. For if it 
be so, it is evident that we can receive no good, no benefit, 
by virtue of any office of Christ, nor any fruits of their 


exercise, without an actual respect of faith unto his person, 
whence all their life and power is derived. 

God gave of old both kings, priests, and prophets, unto 
the church. He both anointed them unto their offices, 
directed them in their discharge, vv^as present with them in 
their work, and accepted of their duties ; yet by none of 
them, nor by all of them together, was the church superna- 
turally enlightened, internally ruled, or eternally saved, nor 
could it so be. Some of them, as Moses in particular, had 
as much power, and as great a presence of God with him, 
as any mere man could be made partaker of; yet was he 
not in his ministry the saviour of the church, nor could he 
be so any otherwise than typically and temporally. The 
ministry of them all was subservient unto that end, which 
by its own power it could not attain. 

It is evident, therefore, that the redemption and salva- 
tion of the church do not depend merely on this, that God 
hath given one to be the king, priest, and prophet of the 
church, by the actings of which offices it is redeemed and 
saved ; but on the person of him who was so given unto us, 
as is fully attested, Isa. ix. 6 — 8. 

This must be declared. 

Two things were required in general unto the person of 
Christ, that his offices might be effectual unto the salvation 
of the church ; and without them they could not so have 
been. And they are such as that their contrivance in the 
constitution of one and the same person, no created wisdom 
could reach unto. Wherefore, the infinite wisdom of God 
is most gloriously manifested therein. 

1. The first of these is that he should have a nature pro- 
vided for him, which originally was not his own. For in 
his divine nature singly considered, he had no such relation 
unto them for whom he was to discharge his offices, as was 
necessary to communicate the benefit of them, nor could he 
discharge their principal duties. God could not die, nor rise 
again, nor be exalted to be a prince and a saviour in his divine 
nature. Nor was there that especial alliance between it and 
ours, as should give us r.n especial interest in what was done 

It was mankind in whose behalf he was to exercise these 
offices. He was not to bear them immediately with respect 


unto the angels, and therefore, he took not their nature on 
him ; Heb. ii. 16. ov yap diiirov ayyeXfjJv liriXainf^aveTai, ' He 
took not the nature of angels unto him,' because he was not 
to be a mediator for them, a saviour unto them. Those of 
them who had sinned were left unto everlasting ruin ; and 
those who retained their orio-inal rig;hteousness, needed no 
redemption. But God prepared a body for him ; that is, a 
human nature, Heb. x. 5. The promise hereof, namely, that 
he should be of the seed of the woman, was the foundation 
of the church ; that is, he was made so unto the church in 
and by that promise; Gen. iii. 15. In the accomplishment 
thereof he was * made of a woman,' that so he might be ' made 
under the law,' Gal. iv. 4. ' And took upon him the seed of 
Abraham,' Heb. ii. 16. * For because the children were par- 
takers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the 
same,' ver. 14. ' For in all things it behoved him to be made 
like unto his brethren that he migilit be a merciful and 
faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God ;' ver. 17. 
And this was absolutely necessary unto the discharge of his 
offices, on the twofold account before-mentioned. For, 

(1.) Those acts of his offices whereon the sanctification 
and salvation of the church do principally depend, could 
not be performed but in and by that nature. Therein alone 
could he yield obedience unto the law that it might be ful- 
filled in us, without which we could not stand in judgment 
before God, see Rom. viii. 3. x. 3,4. Therein alone could 
he undergo the curse of the law, or be made a curse for us, 
that the blessing might come upon us; Gal. iii. 13, 14. It 
was necessary that as a priest he should have something of 
his own to offer unto God, to make atonement for sin ; Heb. 
viii. 3. The like may be said of his whole ministry on the 
earth, of all the effects of his incarnation. 

(2.) Herein that cognation and alliance between him and 
the church, which were necessary to entitle it unto a parti- 
cipation of the benefits of his mediation, do depend. For 
hereby he became our goel, the next of kin, unto whom be- 
longed the right of redemption, and from whom alone we 
could claim relief and succour in our lost condition. This 
is divinely and at large declared by the apostle, Heb. ii. 
10 — 18. Having at large explained this context in our ex- 
position of that chapter, and therein declared both the ne- 


cessityand benefit of the cognation between the church and 
its high-priest, I shall not here farther insist upon it. See 
to the same purpose, Eph. v. 25 — 27. Wherefore, had he not 
been partaker of our nature, we could have received no be- 
nefit, not that without which we must eternally perish, by 
any office that he could have undertaken. This, therefore, 
was necessary unto the constitution of his person with re- 
spect unto his offices. But, 

2. There was yet more required thereunto, or to render 
his offices effectual unto their proper ends. Not one of 
them could have been so had he been no more than a man, 
had he had no nature but ours. This I shall particularly 
demonstrate, considering them in their usual distribution, 
unto the glory of his divine person, and our own edification 
in believing. 

(1.) He could not have been the great and singular pro- 
phet of the church, had he been a man only, though never 
so excellent and glorious, and that for these three reasons. 

[1 .] He was to be the prophet of the whole Catholic church, 
that is, of all the elect of God, of all that shall be saved in 
all ages and places, from the beginning of the world unto 
the end thereof. He had a personal ministry for the in- 
struction of the church whilst he was on the earth, but his 
prophetical office was not confined thereunto. For that 
was limited unto one nation ; Matt. xv. 24. Rom. xv. 8. 
and was for a short season only. But the church was never 
without a prophet ; that is, one on whom it was incumbent 
to reveal unto it, and instruct it in the will of God, nor can 
be so unto the consummation of all things. This is Christ 
alone. For, 

1st. I take it for granted, that from the beginning, from 
the giving of the first promise, the Son of God did in an es- 
pecial manner undertake the care of the church as unto all 
the ends of the wisdom, will, and grace of God. And I take 
it for granted here, because I have proved it at large else- 
where. It evidently foUoweth on the eternal compact be- 
tween the Father and him unto this end. In the work which 
belonged hereunto, that which concerned its instruction in 
the will of God, its saving illumination and spiritual wis- 
dom, is of such importance as that without it, none can be 
partaker of any other blessings whatever. In this instruc- 


tion and illumination consists the discharge of the prophe- 
tical office of Christ. 

2dly. Upon the account of his susception of his office 
even before his incarnation, considered as God, he is said 
to act in it so as to be sent of God unto his work ; Micah 
V. 2. * The ruler of Israel, whose goings forth have been from 
of old, from everlasting/ His goings forth are not his eter- 
nal generation, wliich consists in one individual, eternal act 
of the Father ; but it is the egress, the exercise of his 
power and care for the church, that is so expressed. These 
were from the beginning, the first foundation of the church, 
in answer unto his everlasting counsels ; Zech.ii. 8, 9. 'Thus 
saith the Lord of hosts ; After the glory hath he sent me unto 
the nations that spoiled you : and I will shake mine hand 
upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants, and 
ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me/ He 
who is sent calleth himself the ' Lord of hosts,' and affirms 
that he will destroy the nations by the shaking of his hand, 
who can be no other but God himself. That is, it was the 
Son of God who was to be incarnate, as is declared in the 
next words : * Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Sion : for lo, 
I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. 
And many nations shall be joined unto the Lord in that day, 
and shall be my people : and I will dwell in the midst of 
thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent 
me unto thee ;' ver. 10, 11. Hepromiseth that he will dwell 
in the midst of the people, which was accomplished when 
the ' Word was made flesh and dwelt among us ;' John i. 14. 
which was the time of the calling of the Gentiles, when many 
nations were to be joined unto the Lord; and those that 
were so called, were to be his people; 'They shall be my peo- 
ple.' And yet in all this he was sent by the Lord of hosts ; 
*Thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto 
thee.' Wherefore, with respect unto his susception of his 
offices towards the church, the Lord of hosts in the person 
of the Son, is said to be sent by the Lord of hosts ; that is, in 
the person of the Father. So was he the prophet of the 
church even before his incarnation, sent or designed by the 
Father to instruct it, to communicate spiritual and saving 
ligjht unto it. So he testified concernins: himself unto the 
Jews, ' Before Abraham was, I am;' John viii. 58. Which, 



as it invincibly proves his eternal pre-existence unto his 
incarnation, so it is not only intended. He was so before 
Abraham, as that the care of the church was then and always 
from the beginning on him. And he discharged this office 
four ways. 

(1st.) By personal appearances in the likeness of human 
nature, in the shape of a man as an indication of his future 
incarnation ; and under those appearances instructing the 
church. So he appeared unto Abraham, to Jacob, to Moses, 
to Joshua, as I have proved elsewhere. And those peculiar 
appearances of the person of the Son for the instruction of 
believers, are a full demonstration that the care and work of 
it were committed unto him in a peculiar manner. And I 
am not without thoughts, although I see some difficulty in 
it, that the whole Old Testament, wherein God perpetually 
treats with men, by an assumption of human affections unto 
himself, so to draw us with the cords of a man, proceeded 
from the person of the Son, in a preparation for, and pros- 
pect of, his future incarnation. 

(2dly.) By the ministry of angels. Upon his undertak- 
ing to be the mediator for the church with God, the angels 
were in a peculiar manner put into dependance on him, 
even as he became a new and immediate head unto the whole 
creation. This belonged unto that especial glory which he 
had with the Father * before the world was,' whereof we have 
treated before. All things were to be anew gathered into a 
head in him, ' both which are in heaven, and which are on 
earth;' Eph. i. 10. And he became the * first-born of every 
creature;' Col. i. 15. the Lord and proprietor of them. 
Hence the whole ministry of angels was subordinate unto 
him ; and whatever instruction was thereby given unto the 
church in the mind and will of God, it was immediately from 
him, as the great prophet of the church. 

(3dly.) By sending his Holy Spirit to inspire, act, and 
guide the prophets, by whom God would reveal himself. 
God spake unto them by the ' mouth of his holy prophets 
from the beginning of the world ; Luke i. 70. But it was 
the Spirit of Christ that was in them, that spake by them, 
that revealed the things which concerned the redemption 
and salvation of the church ; 1 Pet. i. 11,. 12. And by this 
Spirit he himself ' preached unto those that w^ere disobedient 


in the days of Noah/ who are now in prison for their disobe- 
dience ; 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. For he was so the prophet of the 
church always as to tender manifold instructions unto the 
perishing, unbelieving world. Hence is he said to 'lighten 
every man that cometh into the world ;' John i. 9. by one 
way or other communicating to them some notices of God 
and his will : for his light shineth in, or irradiates darkness 
itself; that darkness which is come on the minds of men by 
sin, though the ' darkness comprehend in not ;' ver. 5. 

(4thly.) By the ministry of holy men, acted and moved 
by his Spirit. So he gave forth the word that was written 
for an everlasting rule of faith and obedience unto the 

Thus were the office and work of instructing and illumi- 
nating of the church on his hand alone from the beginning, 
and thus were they by him discharged. This was not a 
work for him who was no more but a man. His human na- 
ture had no existence until the fulness of time, the latter 
days, and therefore could effect or operate nothing before. 
And whereas the apostle distinguisheth between the speak- 
ing of God in the Son, and his speaking in the prophets, op- 
posing the one to the other; Heb. i. 1,2. he doth it with 
respect unto his personal ministry unto the church of the 
Jews, and not with respect unto his being the peculiar foun- 
tain of life and light unto the whole church in all ages. 

It is true, we have under the gospel many unspeakable 
advantages from the prophetical office of Christ, above what 
they enjoyed under the Old Testament; but he was the 
prophet of the church equally in all ages. Only he hath 
•p'iven out the knowledoe of the mind of God in different 
degrees and measures ; that which was most perfect, being 
for many reasons reserved unto the times of the gospel ; the 
sum whereof is, that God designed him unto a pre-eminence 
above all in his own personal ministry. 

If any shall now inquire how the Lord Christ could be 
the prophet of the church before he took our nature on him 
and dwelt among us ; I shall also ask how they suppose him 
to be the prophet of the church, now he hath left the world 
and is gone to heaven ; so as that we neither see him, nor 
hear him any more? If they shall say that he is so by his 
Spirit, his word, and the ministry which he hath ordained ; I 

1 2 


say, SO was he the prophet of the church before his incarna- 
tion also. To confine the offices of Christ, as unto their 
virtue, power and efficacy, unto the times of the gospel 
only, is utterly to evacuate the first promise, with the cove- 
nant of grace founded thereon. And their minds are secretly 
influenced by a disbelief of his divine person, who suppose 
that the respect of the church unto Christ in faith, love, 
trust, and instruction, commenceth from the date of his in- 

['2.] The full comprehension of the mind and will of God, of 
the whole divine counsel concerning his glory in the sancti- 
fication and salvation of the church, could not at once reside 
in the mind of any mere creature. Yet was this necessary 
unto him who was to be the prophet of the church, that is, 
the fountain of truth, life, and knowledge unto it. Hence is 
his name * Wonderful, Counsellor,' as he who was participant 
of all the eternal counsels of God ; whereon in him as incar- 
nate all the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge were 
hid ; Col. ii. 3. In him this could be alone, in whom was 
life, and the 'life was the fight of men ;' John i. 4. God did 
reveal his mind and will by angels and men. But as he did 
it at sundry times, so he did it by several parts, or various 
parcels, not only as the church was fit to receive ft, but as 
they were able to communicate it. The whole of the divine 
counsels could not be comprehended, and so not declared 
by any of them. Hence the angels themselves, notwith- 
standing their residence in the presence of God beholding 
his face, and all the glorious messages wherein they were 
employed, learned more of his mind after the personal mi- 
nistry of Christ, and the revelation of the mysteries of his 
counsel therein, than ever they knew before ; Eph. iii. 8, 9. 
11. 1 Pet. i. 13. And on the account of their imperfection 
in the comprehension of his counsels, it is said, that ' he 
chargeth his angels with folly ;' Job iv. 15. And the best of 
the prophets not only received divine truth by parcels, but 
"comprehended not the depths of the revelations made unto 
them; 1 Pet. i. 11, 12. 

To this purpose is that divine testimony, John i. 18. 
' No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, 
who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' It 
is of all the prophets concerning whom it is affirmed, that no 


man hath seen God at any time. So is it evident in the 
antithesis between Moses the principal of them, and the 
Lord Christ in the verse foregoing. * For the law was given 
by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.' 
Wherefore no man, no other man or prophet whatever, hath 
seen God at anytime; that is, had a perfect comprehension 
of his counsels, his mind and will, as they were to be de- 
clared unto the church. This is the privilege of the only- 
begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father ; not only 
as being his eternal delight and love, but also as one ac- 
quainted with all his secret counsels, as his fellow and par- 
ticipant of all his bosom thoughts. 

He says, that ' all that ever came before him were thieves 
and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them ;' John x. 5. 
This some of old impiously applied unto the prophets of the 
Old Testament ; whereas he intended it only of those false 
prophets who pretended of themselves that they, any of them, 
were the Messiah the great Shepherd of the sheep, whom his 
elect sheep would not attend unto. But it is true that all 
who went before him, neither separately nor jointly had the 
knowledge of God, so as to declare him fully unto the church. 

It is the most fond and wicked imagination of the Soci- 
nians, invented to countenance their disbelief and hatred of 
his divine person, that during the time of his flesh he was 
taken up into heaven and there taught the doctrine of the 
gospel, as Mahomet feigned concerning himself and his Al- 
coran. The reason and foundation of his perfect knowledge 
of God was his being the only-begotten Son in tlie bosom 
of the Father ; and not a fictitious rapture of his human 

To this purpose have we his own testimony, John iii. 13. 
* And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but lie that came 
down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.' 
The matter whereof he treats is the revelation of heavenly 
things. For finding Nicodemus slow in the understanding 
of the doctrine and necessity of regeneration, which yet was 
plain and evident in comparison of some other heavenly 
mysteries, he asks of him, ' If I have told you earthly things, 
and ye believe not' (things wrought in the earth and in 
your own breasts), * how shall ye believe if 1 tell you of 
heavenly things ;' if I declare unto you the deep counsels of 


the will of God above? ver. 12. But hereon a question' 
might arise, how he should himself come to the knowledge 
of these heavenly things whereof they had never heard 
before, and which no other man could tell them of, especially 
considering what he had said before, ver. 11. * We speak 
that we do know, and testify what we have seen.' Hereof 
he gives an account in these words. Wherefore, the ascend- 
ing: into heaven, which he denies unto all men whatever, * no 
man hath ascended up to heaven/ is an entrance into all 
the divine, heavenly counsels of God ; no man either hath 
or ever had a full comprehension of these heavenly things 
but he himself alone. And unto him it is ascribed on a 
double account : first. That he came down from heaven ; 
secondly. That when he did so, he yet still continued in 
heaven ; which two properties give us such a description of 
the person of Christ, as declare him a full possessor of all 
the counsels of God. He descended from heaven in his in- 
carnation, whereby he became the Son of man ; and he is 
and was then in heaven in the essence and glory of his di- 
vine nature. This is the full of what we assert. In the 
knowledge and revelation of heavenly mysteries unto the 
calling, sanctification, and salvation of the church, doth the 
prophetical office of Christ consist. This he positively af- 
firms could not otherwise be, but that he who came down 
from heaven, was also at the same instant in heaven. This 
is that glorious person whereof we speak. He who being 
always in heaven in the glory and essence of his divine na- 
ture, came down from heaven, not locally by a mutation of 
his residence, but by dispensation in the assumption of our 
nature into personal union with himself; he alone is meet 
and able to be the prophet of the church in the revelation 
of the heavenly mysteries of the counsels of the will of God. 
* In him alone were hid all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge ;' Col. ii. 3. Because in him alone ' dwelt the 
fulness of the Godhead bodily ;' ver. 9. 

I do not hereby ascribe the infusion of omniscience, of 
infinite understanding, wisdom, and knowledge into the hu- 
man nature of Christ. It was and is a creature finite and 
limited, nor is a capable subject of properties absolutely in- 
finite and immense. Filled it was with light and wisdom 
to the utmost capacity of a creature. But it was so, not by 


being changed into a divine nature or essence, but by the 
communication of the Spirit unto it without measure. The 
Spirit of the Lord did rest upon him, ' the spirit of wisdom 
and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the 
spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord, and made 
him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord;' Isa. 
xi. 2, 3. 

[3.] The Spirit of God dwelling in him in all the fulness 
of his graces and gifts, gave him an understanding peculiar 
unto himself; as above that of all creatures, so beneath the 
essential omniscience of the divine nature. Hence some 
things, as he was a man he knew not, Mark xiii. 32. but 
as they were given him by revelation; Rev. i. 1. But he is 
the prophet of the church in his whole entire person, and 
revealed the counsel of God, as he was in heaven in the 
bosom of the Father. Cursed be he that trusteth in man, 
that maketh flesh his arm, as to the revelations of the coun- 
sels of God. Here lies the safety, the security, the glory of 
the church. How deplorable is the darkness of mankind in 
their ignorance of God and heavenly things ? In what ways 
of vanity and misery have the generality of them wandered 
ever since our first apostacy from God ? Nothing but hell 
is more full of horror and confusion, than the minds and 
ways of men destitute of heavenly light. How miserably 
did those among them who boasted themselves to be wise, 
wax foolish in their imaginations ? How wofully did all 
their inquiries after the nature and will of God, their own 
state, duty, and happiness, issue in curiosity, uncertainty, 
vanity, and falsehood ? He who is infinitely good and com- 
passionate, did from the beginning give some relief in this 
woful state by such parcels of divine revelations as he 
thought meet to communicate unto them by the prophets of 
old, such as they were able to receive. By them he set up 
a light shining in a dark place, as the light of stars in the 
night. But it was the rising of the sun of righteousness 
alone that dispelled the darkness that was on the earth, the 
thick darkness that was on the people, bringing life and im- 
mortality to light by the gospel. The divine person of the 
Son of God, in whom were all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath now 
made known all things unto the church, giving us the per- 


feet idea and certainty of all sacred truth, and the fidl as- 
surance of thino's invisible and eternal. 

Three things are necessary that we may have the benefit 
and comfort of divine light or truth. 1st. The fulness of 
its revelation. 2dly. The infallibility of it. And, 3dly. 
The authority from whence it doth proceed. If either of 
these be wanting, we cannot attain unto stability and as- 
surance in the faith of it, or obedience unto it. 

1st. Full it must be, to free us from all attempts of 
fear that any thing is detained or hidden from us, that were 
needful for us to know. Without this the mind of man can 
never come to rest in the knowledge of truth. All that he 
knows may be useless unto him, for the want of that which 
he neither doth nor can know, because not revealed. 

2dly. And it must be infallible also. For this divine 
truth whereof we treat, being concerning things unseen, 
heavenly, eternal mysteries, transcending the reach of hu- 
man reason, nothing but the absolute infallibility of the 
revealer can bring the mind of man to assurance and acqui- 
escency. And whereas the same truth enjoins unto us du- 
ties, many of them contrary unto our inclinations, and cross 
unto our several interests, the great guides of corrupted na- 
ture; the revelation of it must proceed from sovereign au- 
thority, that the will may comply with the mind in the em- 
bracement of it. All these are absolutely secured in the di- 
vine person of the great prophet of the church. His infinite 
wisdom, his infinite goodness, his essential veracity, his 
sovereign authority over all, give the highest assurance 
whereof a created understanding is capable, that nothing is 
detained from us, that there is no possibility of error or mis- 
take in what is declared unto us, nor any pretence left of 
declining obedience unto the commands of the truth that 
we do receive. This gives the soul assured rest and peace 
in the belief of things which * eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, nor can enter into the heart of man to conceive.' 
Upon the assurance of this truth alone can it with joy pre- 
fer things invisible and eternal above all present satisfac- 
tions and desires. In the persuasion hereof can it forego the 
best of present enjoyments, and undergo the worst of pre- 
sent evils ; namely, in the experience of its present efficacy, 
and choice of that future recompense, which it doth secure. 


And he believes not the gospel unto his own advantage, or 
the glory of God, w^hose faith rests not in the divine person 
of Jesus Christ, the great prophet of the church. And he 
who there finds rest unto his soul, dares not admit of any 
copartners with him as to instruction in the mind of God. 
3dly. It was requisite unto the office of this great pro- 
phet of the church, and the discharge thereof, that he should 
have power and authority to send the Holy Spirit to make 
his revelations of divine truth effectual unto the minds of 
men. For the church which he was to instruct, was not 
only in darkness by reason of ignorance, and want of objec- 
tive light or divine revelations, but was incapacitated to re- 
ceive spiritual things in a due manner when revealed. 
Wherefore, it was the work of this prophet, not only to make 
known and declare the doctrines of truth, which are our ex- 
ternal directive light, but also to irradiate and illuminate 
our minds, so that we might savingly apprehend them. And 
it is no wonder if those who are otherwise minded, who sup- 
pose themselves able to receive spiritual things, the things 
of God, in a due manner, upon their external proposal unto 
them, are regardless of the divine person of Christ as the 
prophet of the church. But hereon they will never have ex- 
perience of the life and power of the doctrine of the gospel, 
if the apostle is to be believed ; 1 Cor.ii. 9 — 12. Now this 
internal illumination of the minds of men unto the acknow- 
ledgment of the truth, can be wrought in them only by the 
HolySpiritofGod;Eph.i. 17— 19.2Cor.iii. 18. None there- 
fore could be the prophet of the church, but he who had the 
power to send the Holy Spirit to enable it to receive his doc- 
trine by the saving illumination of the minds of men. And 
this alone he could do, whose Spirit he is, pioceeding 
from him, whom he therefore frequently promised so to 

Without a respect unto these things, we cannot really 
be made partakers of the saving benefits and fruits of the 
prophetical office of Christ. And this we can have only in 
the exercise of faith on his divine person, which is tlie eter- 
nal spring from whence this office derives all life and ef- 

The command of God in respect unto him as the prophet 
of the church, is, * This is my beloved Son in whom I am 


well pleased, hear him.' Unless we actually regard him by 
faith as the only-begotten Son of God, we can perform no 
duty aright in the hearing of him, nor shall we learn the 
truth as we ought. Hence it is that those who deny his di- 
vine person, though they pretend to attend unto him as the 
teacher of the church, do yet learn no truth from him, but 
embrace pernicious errors in the stead thereof. So it is with 
the Socinians, and all that follow them. For whereas they 
scarcely own any other office of Christ but his prophetical, 
looking on him as a man sent to teach the mind of God, and 
to confirm his doctrine by his sufferings, whereon he was 
afterward highly exalted of God, they learn nothing from 
him in a due manner. 

But this respect unto the person of Christ is that which 
will ingenerate in us all those holy qualifications that are 
necessary to enable us to know the mind and will of God. 
For hence do reverence, humility, faith, delight, and as- 
surance arise and flow, without whose continual exercise, in 
vain shall men hope to learn the will of God by the utmost 
of their endeavours. And the want of these thino;s is the 
cause of much of that lifeless, unsanctified knowledge of 
the doctrine of the gospel, which is amongst many. They 
learn not the truth from Christ, so as to expect all teachings 
from his divine power. Hence they never come to know it 
either in its native beauty drawing the soul into the love 
and delight of what they kaow, nor in its transforming ef- 
ficacy changing the mind into its own image and likeness. 

(2.) The same also is the state of things with respect 
unto his kingly office and power. But this I have at large 
treated on elsewhere, and that much unto the same purpose ; 
namely, in the exposition of the third verse of the first 
chapter of the Epistle unto the Hebrews. Wherefore, I shall 
not here enlarge upon it. 

Some seem to imagine, that the kingly power of Christ 
towards the church, consists only in external rule by the 
gospel and the laws thereof, requiring obedience unto the 
officers and rulers that he hath appointed therein. It is true, 
that this also belongs unto his kingly power and rule ; but 
to suppose that it consisteth solely therein, is an ebullition 
from the poisonous fountain of the denial of his divine per- 
son. For if he be not God over all, whatever in words may 


be pretended or ascribed unto him, he is capable of no other 
rule or power. But indeed no one act of his kingly office 
can be aright conceived or acknowledged, without a respect 
had unto his divine person. I shall instance only unto this 
purpose in two things in general. 

[1.] The extent of his power and rule gives evidence here- 
unto. It is over the whole creation of God. * All power is 
given him in heaven and earth;' Matt, xxviii. 18. 'AH 
things are put under his feet, he only excepted who put all 
things under him;' 1 Cor. xv. 27. And he is made Miead 
over all things unto the church ;' Eph. i. 22. Not only those 
who are above the rule of external law, as the holy angels i 
and those who have cast off all such rule, as the devils them- 
selves ; but all things that in their own nature are not capa- 
ble of obedience to an external law or rule, as the whole 
inanimate creation, heaven, and earth, and the sea, with all 
things in them and under them, Phil. ii. 10. with the dead 
bodies of men which he shall raise at the last day. 

For this power over the whole creation is not only a mo- 
ral' right to rule and govern it ; but it is also accompanied 
with virtue, force, or almighty power to act, order, and dis- 
pose of it at his pleasure. So is it described by the apostle 
from the psalmist, Heb. i. 10 — 12. 'Thou, Lord, in the be- 
ginning hast laid the foundation of the earth ; and the heavens 
are the work of thine hands : they shall perish, but thou re- 
mainest ; and they shall all wax old as doth a garment ; and 
as a vesture shall thou fold them up, and they shall be 
changed : but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.' 
That power is required unto his kingly office, whereby he 
created all things in the beginning ; and shall change them 
all as a man folds up a vesture, in the end. Omnipotency, 
accompanied with eternity and immutability, are required 

It is a vain imagination to suppose that this power can 
reside in a mere creature, however glorified and exalted. All 
essential divine properties are concurrent with it, and inse- 
parable from it. And where are the properties of God, tliere 
is the nature of God ; for his being and his properties are 
one and the same. 

If the Lord Christ as king of the church be only a mere 
man, and be as such only to be considered, however he may 


be exalted and glorified, however he may be endowed with 
honour, dignity, and authority, yet he cannot put forth or act 
any real physical power immediately and directly, but where 
he is present. But this is in heaven only ; for ' the heavens 
must receive him until the time of the restitution of all 
things ;' Acts iii. 21. And hereon his rule and power would 
be the greatest disadvantage unto the church that could be- 
fall it. For suppose it immediately under the rule of God 
even the Father; his omnipotency and omnipresence, his 
omniscience and infinite wisdom, whereby he could be al- 
ways present with every one of them, know all their wants, 
and give immediate' relief according to the counsel of his 
will, was a stable foundation for faith to rest upon, and an 
everlasting spring of consolation. But now whereas all 
power, all judgment, all rule is committed unto the Son, 
and the Father doth nothing towards the church but in and 
by him, if he have not the same divine power and proper- 
ties with him, the foundation of the church's faith is cast 
down, and the spring of its consolation utterly stopped up. 

I cannot believe in him as my heavenly king, who is not 
able by himself, and by the virtue of his presence with me, 
to make what changes and alterations he pleaseth in the 
minds of men, and in the whole creation of God, to re- 
lieve, preserve, and deliver me, and to raise my body at the 
last day. 

To .suppose that the Lord Christ, as the king and head 
of the church, hath not an infinite, divine powder, whereby 
he is able always to relieve, succour, save, and deliver it; 
if it were to be done by the alteration of the whole, or any 
part of God's creation, so as that the fire should not burn, 
nor the water overwhelm them, nor men be able to re- 
tain their thoughts or ability one moment to afflict them ; 
and that their distresses are not always effects of his wis- 
dom, and never from the defect of his power, is utterly 
to overthrow all faith, hope, and the whole of religion 

Ascribe therefore unto the Lord Christ in the exercise of 
his kingly office, only a moral power, operative by rules and 
laws, with the help of external instruments; deprive him 
of omnipresence and omniscience, with infinite, divine power 
and virtue, to be acted at his pleasure in and over the whole 


creation, and you rase the foundation of all Christiaiifai th 
and hope to the ground. 

There are no true believers who will part with their faith 
herein for the whole world ; namely, that the Lord Jesus 
Christ is able, by his divine power and presence, immedi- 
ately to aid, assist, relieve, and deliver them in every mo- 
ment of their surprisals, fears, and dangers, in every trial or 
duty they may be called unto, in every difficulty they have 
to conflict withal. And to expect these things any otherwise 
but by virtue of his divine nature, is wofully to deceive our 
own souls. For this is the work of God. 

[2.] The rule of Christ as king of the church is internal 
and spiritual over the minds, souls, and consciences of all 
that do believe. There is no one gracious acting of soul in 
any one believer, at any time in the whole world, either in 
opposition unto sin, or the performance of duty, but it is in- 
fluenced and under the guidance of the kingly power of 
Christ. I suppose we have herein not only the common 
faith, but also the common spiritual sense and experience of 
them all. They know that in their spiritual life it is he that 
liveth in them as the efficient cause of all its acts, and that 
without him they can do nothing. Unto him they have re- 
spect in every the most secret and retired actings of grace, 
not only performed as under his eye, but by his assistance ; 
on every occasion do they immediately in the internal act- 
ings of their minds look unto him, as one more present with 
their souls than they are with themselves ; and have no 
thoughts of the least distance of his knowledge or power. 
And two things are required hereto. 

1st. That he be KapdioyvaxTrrjg, that he have an actual in- 
spection into all the frames, dispositions, thoughts, and inter- 
nal actings of all believers in the whole world, at all times, 
and every moment. Without this, he cannot bear that rule 
in their souls and consciences which we have described, 
nor can they act faith in him, as their occasions do require. 
No man can live by faith on Christ, no man can depend on 
his sovereign power, who is not persuaded, that all the frames 
of his heart, all the secret groans and sighs of his spirit, all 
the inward labourings of his soul against sin, and after con- 
formity to himself, are continually under his eye and cogni- 
zance. Wherefore it is said, that 'all things are naked and 


opened unto his eyes ;' Heb. iv. 13. And he says of himself, 
that he'searcheth,' that is, knoweth the 'hearts and reins of 
men ;' Rev. ii. 23. And if these things are not the peculiar 
properties of the divine nature, I know nothing that may be 
so esteemed. 

2dly. There is required hereunto, an influence of power 
into all the actings of the souls of believers ; an intimate, 
efficacious operation with them in every duty, and under 
every temptation. These all of them, do look for, expect, 
and receive from him, as the king and head of the church. 
This also is an effect of divine and infinite power. And to 
deny these things unto the Lord Christ, is to rase the foun- 
dation of Christian religion. Neither faith in, nor love unto 
him, nor dependance on him, nor obedience unto his autho- 
rity, can be preserved one moment, without a persuasion of 
his immediate intuition and inspection into the hearts, 
minds, and thoughts of all men, with a real influence into all 
the actings of the life of God in all them that believe. And 
the want of the faith hereof, is that which hath disjoined the 
minds of many from adherence unto him ; and hath pro- 
duced a lifeless carcase of Christian religion, instead of the 
saving power thereof. 

(3.) The same may be said concerning his sacerdotal 
office, and all the acts of it. It was in and by the human 
nature that he offered himself a sacrifice for us. He had 
somewhat of his own to offer; Heb. viii. 3. and to this end 
a* body was prepared for him;' chap.x. 5. But it was not 
the work of a man by one offering, and that of himself, to 
expiate the sins of the whole church, and for ever to perfect 
them that are sanctified, which he did ; Heb. x. 14. ' God 
was to purchase his church with his own blood;' Acts xx. 
28. But this also I have spoken to at large elsewhere. 

This is the sum of what we plead for. We can have no 
due consideration of the offices of Christ, can receive no be- 
nefit by them, nor perform any act of duty with respect unto 
them, or any of them, unless faith in his divine person be 
actually exercised as the foundation of the whole. For that 
is it whence all their glory, power, and efficacy are derived. 
Whatever therefore we do with respect unto his rule, what- 
ever we receive by the communication of his Spirit and 
grace, whatever we learn from his word by the teachings of 


his Spirit, whatever benefit we believe, expect, and receive 
by his sacrifice and intercession on our behalf; our faith in 
them all, and concerning them all, is terminated on his 
divine person. The church is saved by his offices, because 
they are his. This is the substance of the testimony given 
concerning him, by God even the Father, 1 John v. 10, 11. 
* This is the witness that God hath testified concerning his 
Son, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life 
is in his Son.' Eternal life is given unto us, as it was 
wrought out and procured by the mediation of Christ on our * 
behalf. But yet in him it was originally, and from him do 
we receive it in the discharge of his office ; for this life is 
in the Son of God. 

Hence it is that all those by whom the divine person of 
Christ is denied, are forced to give such a description of his 
offices, as that it is utterly impossible that the church should 
be saved by the discharge of them. 


The faith of the church under the Old Testament in and concerning 
the person of Christ. 

A brief view of the faith of the church under the Old Tes- 
tament concerning the divine person of Christ, shall close 
these discourses, and make way for those that ensue, wherein 
our own duty with respect thereunto shall be declared. 

That the faith of all believers from the foundation of the 
world had a respect unto him, I shall afterward demonstrate ; 
and to deny it, is to renounce both the Old Testament and 
the New. But that this faith of theirs did principally re- 
spect his person, is what shall here be declared. Therein 
they knew was laid the foundation of the counsels of God 
for their deliverance, sanctification, and salvation. Other- 
wise it was but little they clearly understood of his office, 
or the way whereby he would redeem the church. 

The apostle Peter, in the confession he made of him, 
Matt. xvi. 16. exceeded the faith of the Old Testament in 


this, that he applied the promise concerning the Messiah, 
unto that individual person. * Thou art Christ the Son of" 
the living God.' He that was to be the Redeemer and Sa- 
viour of the church. Hovvbeit Peter then knew littleof the 
way and manner whereby he was principally so to be. And 
therefore, when he began to declare them unto his disciples, 
namely, that they should be by his death and sufferings, he 
in particular was not able to comply with it, but saith he, 
' Master, that be far from thee ;' ver. 32. ' As flesh and 
blood,' that is, his own reason and understanding did not 
reveal or declare him unto Peter to be the Christ the Son of 
the living God, but the Father which is in heaven ; so he 
stood in need of fresh assistance from the same Almighty 
hand to believe that he should redeem and save his church 
by his death. And therefore he did refuse the external re- 
velation and proposition of it, though made by Christ him- 
self, until he received internal aid from above. And to sup- 
pose that we have faith now in Christ or his death, on any 
other terms, is an evidence that we have no faith at all. 

Wherefore, the faith of the saints under the Old Testa- 
ment did principally respect the person of Christ, both 
what it was, and what it was to be in the fulness of time, 
when he was to become the seed of the woman. What his 
especial work was to be, and the mystery of the redemption 
of the church thereby, they referred unto his own wisdom 
and grace ; only they believed that by him they should be 
saved from the hand of all then' enemies, or all the evil that 
befel them on the account of the first sin and apostacy from 

God gave them indeed representations and prefigurations 
of his office and work also. He did so by the high-priest of 
the law, the tabernacle, with all the sacrifices and services 
thereunto belonging. All that Moses did as a faithful ser- 
vant in the house of God, was but a 'testimony of those 
things which were afterward to be declared;' Heb. iii. 
5. Hovvbeit the apostle tells us that all those things had 
but a ' shadow of good things to come, and not the very 
image of the things themselves ;' Heb. x. 1. And although 
they are now to us full of light and instruction, evidently ex- 
pressing the principal works of Christ's mediation; yet were 
they not so unto them. For the veil is now taken off from 


them in their accomplishment, and a declaration is made of 
the counsels of God in them by the gospel. The meanest 
believer may now find out more of the work of Christ in the 
types of the Old Testament, than any prophets or wise men 
could have done of old. Therefore they always earnestly 
longed for their accomplishment; that the day might break, 
aqd the shadows fly away by the rising of the sun of righ- 
teousness with healing in his wings. But as unto his person, 
they had glorious revelations concerning it, and their faith 
in him was the life of all their obedience. 

The first promise which established a new intercourse 
between God and man was concerning his incarnation, that 
he ' should be the seed of the woman ;' Gen. iii. 15. that is, 
that the Son of God should be * made of a woman, made 
under the law ;' Gal. iv. 4. From the giving of that pro- 
mise the faith of the whole church was fixed on him, whom 
God would send in our nature, to redeem and save them. 
Other way of acceptance with him there was none provided, 
none declared, but only by faith in this promise. The de- 
sign of God in this promise, which was to reveal and pro- 
pose the only way which in his wisdom and grace he had 
prepared for the deliverance of mankind from the state of 
sin and apostacy whereunto they were cast, with the nature 
of the faith and obedience of the church, will not admit of 
any other way of salvation, but only faith in him who was 
thus promised to be a Saviour. To suppose that men might 
fall off from faith in God by the revelation of himself in this 
promise, and yet be saved by attending to instructions given 
by the works of creation and providence, is an imagination 
that will no longer possess the minds of men, than whilst 
they are ignorant of, or do forget, what it is to believe and to 
be saved. 

The great promise made unto Abraham was, that he 
should take his seed upon him, in whom all the nations of 
the earth should be blessed; Gen. xii. 3. xv. 18- xxii. 18. 
which promise is explained by the apostle, and applied unto 
Christ; Gal. iii. 10. Hereon' Abraham believed on the Lord, 
and it was counted unto him for righteousness ;* Gen. xv. 6. 
por he saw the day of Christ and rejoiced ; John viii. 56. 

The faith that Jacob instructed his sons in, was, that the 
Shiloh should come, and unto him should be the gathering of 



the nations; Gen. xlix. 10. Job's faith was, that his Re- 
deemer was the living One, and that he should stand on the 
earth in the latter day ; Job xix. 25. 

The revelations made unto David principally concerned 
his person and the glory thereof, see Psal. ii. xlv. Ixviii. 
Ixxii. ex. cxviii. especially Psal. xlv. and Ixxii. compared, 
which give an account of their apprehensions concerning 

The faith of Daniel was that God would shew mercy for 
the Lord's sake; Dan. ix. 17. and of all the prophets, that 
the ' Redeemer should come to Sion, and unto them that 
turn from transgression in Jacob ;' Isa. lix. 20. 

Of the same nature were all his personal appearances 
under the Old Testament, especially that most illustrious 
representation made of him unto the prophet Isaiah, chap, 
vi. and the glorious revelation of his name, chap. ix. 6. 

It is true that both these and other prophets had revela- 
tions concerning his sufferings also. For 'the Spirit of 
Christ that was in them testified beforehand of his sufferings, 
and the glory that should ensue;' 2 Pet. i. 11. an illustrious 
testimony whereunto we have given us, Psal. xxii. and Isa. 
liii. Nevertheless their conceptions concerning them were 
dark and obscure. It was his person that their faith prin- 
cipally regarded. Thence were they filled with desires and 
expectations of his coming, or his exhibition and appear- 
ance in the flesh. With the renewed promises hereof did 
God continually refresh the church in its straits and diffi- 
culties. And hereby did God call off the body of the peo- 
ple from trust in themselves, or boasting in their present 
privileges, which they were exceedingly prone unto. 

In process of time this faith which wrought effectually 
in the church of Israel, degenerated into a lifeless opinion, 
that proved the ruin of it. Whilst they really lived in the 
faith of him as the Saviour and Redeemer of the church 
from all its spiritual adversaries, as he who was to make 'an 
end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness,' unto 
whom all their present ordinances were subservient and di- 
rective ; all grace, love, zeal, and patient waiting for the ac- 
complishment of the promise, flourished among them. But 
in process of time growing carnal, trusting in their own 
righteousness and the privileges which they had by the law. 


their faith concerning the person of Christ degenerated into 
a corrupt, obstinate opinion, that he should be only a tem- 
poral king and deliverer ; but as unto righteousness and 
salvation they were to trust unto themselves and the law. 
And this prejudicate opinion being indeed a renunciation 
of all the grace of the promises of God, proved their utter 
ruin. For when he came in the flesh, after so many ages, 
filled up with continued expectations, they rejected and de- 
spised him as one that had neither form nor comeliness for 
which he should be desired. So doth it fall out in other 
churches. That which was faith truly spiritual and evan- 
gelical in their first planting, becomes a lifeless opinion in 
succeeding ages. The same truths are still professed, but 
that profession springs not from the same causes, nor- doth 
it produce the same effects in the hearts and lives of men. 
Hence in process of time, some churches continue to have 
an appearance of the same body which they were at first, 
but being examined, are like a lifeless, breathless, carcase ; 
wherein the animating Spirit of grace doth not dwell. And 
then is any church, as it was with that of the Jews, nigh 
to destruction, when it corrupts formerly professed truths, 
to accommodate them unto the present lusts and inclina- 
tions of men. 


Honour due to the person of Christ ; the nature and causes of it. 

Many other considerations of the same nature with those 
foregoing relating unto the glory and honour of the person 
of Christ, may be taken from all the fundamental principles 
of religion. And our duty it is in them all, to ' consider the 
Apostle and High Priest of our profession the Author and 
Finisher of our faith.' I shall not insist on more, but pro- 
ceed unto those principles of truth which are immediately 
directive of our duty towards him ; without diligent attend- 
ance whereunto, we do but in vain bear the name of Chris- 
tians. And the substance of what is designed may be in- 
cluded in the following assertion. 



The glory, life, and power of Christian religion, as 
Christian religion, and as seated in the souls of men, with 
all the acts and duties which properly belong thereunto, and 
are therefore peculiarly Christian, and all the benefits and 
privileges we receive by it, or by virtue of it, with the whole 
of the honour and glory that arise unto God thereby, have 
all of them their formal nature and reason, from their respect 
and relation unto the person of Christ ; nor is he a Christian 
who is otherwise minded. 

In the confirmation hereof it will appear what judgment 
ought to be passed on that inquiry, which after the uninter- 
rupted profession of the Catholic church for so many ages 
of a faith unto the contrary, is begun to be made by some 
amongst us ; namely, of what use is the person of Christ 
in religion. For it proceeds on this supposition, and is 
determined accordingly, that there is something in religion 
wherein the person of Christ is of no use at all. A vain 
imagination, and such as is destructive unto the vt^hole real 
intercourse between God and man, by the one and only 

The respect which we have in all acts of religion unto the 
person of Christ may be reduced unto these four heads. 
I. Honour. 2. Obedience. 3. Conformity. 4. The use we 
make of him, for the attaining and receiving of all gospel 
privileges, all grace and glory. And hereunto the whole of 
our religion as it is Christian or evangelical may be reduced. 
1. The person of Christ is the object of divine honour 
and worship. The formal object and reason hereof is the 
divine nature, and its essential infinite excellencies. For 
they are nothing but that respect unto the Divine Being, 
which is due unto it from all rational creatures regulated by 
revelation, and enforced by divine operations. Wherefore 
the person of Christ is primarily the object of divine honour 
and worship, upon the account of his divine nature and ex- 
cellencies. And those who denying that nature in him, do 
yet pretend to worship him with divine and religious adora- 
tion, do but worship a golden calf of their own setting up ; 
for a Christ who is not over all, God blessed for ever, is not 
better. And it implies a contradiction, that any creature 
should on any account, be the immediate proper object of 
divine worship j unless the divine essential excellencies be 


communicated unto it, or transfused into it, whereby it 
would cease to be a creature. For that worship is nothing 
but the ascription of divine excellencies unto what is so 

But we now consider the Lord Christ, in his whole entire 
person, the Son of God incarnate, ' God manifest in the flesh/ 
His infinite condescension in the assumption of our nature, 
did no way divest him of his divine essential excellencies. 
For a time, they were shadowed and veiled thereby, from the 
eyes of men ; when *he made himself of no reputation, and 
took on him the form of a servant.' But he eternally and un- 
changeably continued ' in the form of God, and thought it 
no robbery to be equal unto him;' Phil. ii. 6, 7. He can 
no more really and essentially, by any act of condescension 
or humiliation, cease to be God, than God can cease to be. 
Wherefore, his being clothed with our nature, derogates no- 
thing from the true reason of divine worship due unto him, 
but adds an effectual motive unto it. He is, therefore, the 
immediate object of all duties of religion, internal and ex- 
ternal. And in the dispensation of God towards us, none of 
them can be performed in a due manner without a respect 
unto him. 

This, then, in the first place is to be confirmed ; namely, 
that all divine honour is due unto the Sonof God incarnate, 
that is, the person of Christ. 

John V. 23. It is the will of the Father, ' That all men 
should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He 
that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which 
hath sent him.' Some considerations on this divine testimony 
will confirm our position. It is of the Son incarnate that the 
words are spoken; as all judgment was committed unto him 
by the Father, as he was ' sent by him ;' ver. 22. that is, of 
the whole person of Christ in the exercise of his mediatory 
office. And with respect hereunto it is, that the mind of 
God is peculiarly revealed. The way whereby God mani- 
festeth his will, that all men should thus honour the Son, 
as they honour the Father, is by committing all power, au- 
thority, and judgment unto him ; ver. 20 — 22. * For the Fa- 
ther loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself 
doeth : and he will shew him greater works than these, that 
ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and 


quickeneth them ; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 
For the Father judge th no man, but hath committed all 
judgment unto the Son.' Not that these things are the 
formal reason and cause of the divine honour which is to be 
given him ; but they are reasons of it, and motives unto it, in 
that they are evidences of his being the Son of God. 

But it may be said. What need is there that the Father 
should so interpose an act of his will and sovereign pleasure, 
as to this honouring of the Son, seeing the sole cause and 
reason of this divine honour is the divine nature, which the 
Son is no less partaker of than the Father? I answer, 

(1.) He doth not in this command intend the honour and 
worship of Christ absolutely as God, but distinctly as the 
Son, which peculiar worship was not known under the Old 
Testament, but was now declared necessary in the commit- 
ting all power, authority, and judgment unto him. This is 
the honour whereof we speak. 

(2.) He doth it, lest any should conceive that *as he was 
now sent of the Father,' and that in the ' form of a servant,' 
this honour should not be due unto him. And the world was 
then far from thinking that it was so ; and many, I fear, are 
yet of the same mind. 

He is, therefore, to be honoured by us, according to the 
will of God, KaOojg * in like manner,' as we honour the Father. 

[1.] With the same honour; that is, divine, sacred, religi- 
ous, and supreme. To honour the Father with other honour, 
is to dishonour him. When men design to give glory and 
honour to God which is not truly divine, it is idolatry. For 
this honour in truth is nothing but the ascription of all in- 
finite divine excellencies unto him. Whereon when men as- 
cribe unto him that which is not so, they fall into idolatry 
by the worship of their own imaginations. So was it with 
the Israelites when they thought to have given glory to God, 
by making a golden calf whereon they proclaimed a feast 
unto Jehovah ; Exod. xxxii. 5, And so was it with the hea- 
then in all their images of God, and the glory which they 
designed to give him thereby, as the apostle declares, Rom. 
i. 23. 25. This is one kind of idolatry, as the other is, the 
ascribing unto creatures any thing that is proper and pecu- 
liar unto God, any divine excellency. And we do not honour 
God the Father with one kind of honour, and the Son with 


another. That were not to honour the Son, KaOu)g, ' as* we ho- 
nour the Father, but in a way infinitely different from it. 

[2.] In the same manner, with the same faith, love, reve- 
rence, and obedience, always, in all things, in all acts and 
duties of religion whatever. 

This distinct honour is to be given unto the person of the 
Son by virtue of this command of the Father, though ori- 
ginally on the account of his oneness in nature with the Fa- 
ther. And our duty herein is pressed with the highest en- 
forcement ; ' he that honours not the Son, honours not the 
Father. He who denieth the Son' (herein) * hath not the Fa- 
ther; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father 
also ;' 1 John ii. 23. ' For this is the record, that God hath 
given unto us eternal life, and this life is in the Son. He 
that hath the Son, hath life, and he that hath not the Son 
hath not life;' chap. v. 11, 12. If we are wanting herein, 
whatever we pretend, we do not worship nor honour God 
at all. 

And there is reason to give this caution ; reason to fear 
that this great fundamental principle of our religion, is, if 
not disbelieved, yet not much attended unto in the world. 
Many who profess a respect unto the Divine Being, and the 
worship thereof, seem to have little regard unto the person 
of the Son in all their religion. For although they may ad- 
mit of a customary interposition of his name in their reli- 
gious worship ; yet the same distinct veneration of him as 
of the Father, they seem not to understand, or to be exer- 
cised in. Howbeit, all the acceptance of our persons and 
duties with God, depend on this one condition, ' that we 
honour the Son, even as we honour the Father.' To honour 
the Son as we ought to honour the Father, is that which 
makes us Christians, and which nothing else will so do. 

This honour of the person of Christ may be considered 
in the duties of it, wherein it doth consist; and in the prin- 
ciple, life, or spring, of those duties. 

The duties whereby we ascribe and express divine honour 
unto Christ, may be reduced unto two heads. 1st. Adora- 
tion. 2dly. Invocation. 

Adoration is the prostration of soul before him as God, 
in the acknowledgment of his divine excellencies and the as- 
cription of them unto him. It is expressed in the Old Tes- 


tament by mnn*^n, that is, humbly to bow down ourselves 
or our souls unto God. The LXX render it constantly by 
TrpoaKvviu) ; which is the word used in the New Testament 
unto the same purpose. The Latins expressed it usually by 
adoro. And those w-ords, though of other derivations, are 
of the same signification with that in the Hebrew ; and they 
do all of them include some external sign of inward reve- 
rence, or a readiness thereunto. Hence is that expression, 
* He bowed down his head and worshipped ;' see Psal. xcv. 
6. And these external signs are of two sorts. (1st.) Such 
as are natural and occasional. (2dly.) Such as are solemn, 
stated or instituted. 

(1st.) Ofthefirstsortaretheliftingupofoureyesandhands 
towards heaven upon our thoughts of him ; and sometimes 
the casting down of our whole persons before him, which 
deep thoughts with reverence will produce. Outward insti- 
tuted signs of this internal adoration are all the ordinances of 
evangelical worship. In and by them do we solemnly pro- 
fess and express our inward veneration of him. Other ways 
may be invented to the same purpose, but the Scripture 
knows them not, yea, condemns them. Such are the vene- 
ration and adoration of the pretended images of him, and of 
the host, as they call it, among the Papists. 

This adoration is due continually to the person of Christ, 
and that as in the exercise of the office of mediation. It is 
due unto him from the whole rational creation of God. So 
is it given in charge unto the angels above. For when he 
brought the first-begotten in the world, he said, irpoaKwi]- 
GUTuxrav avri^ Travreg ayyeXoi Qeov, that is, CD^n^N bj )b )inr]Wn 
' worship him all ye gods ;' Psal. xcvii. 7. * Let all the an- 
gels of God worship him,' adore him, bow down before him ; 
Heb. 1. 6. See our exposition of that place ; the design of 
the whole chapter being to express the divine honour that is 
due unto the person of Christ, with the grounds thereof. 
This is the command given also unto the church, ' He is thy 
Lord, and worship thou him ;' Psal. xlv. 11. 

A glorious representation hereof, whether in the church 
above, or in that militant here on the earth, is given us. 
Rev. V. 6—14. ' And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of 
the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of 
the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven 


horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God 
sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the 
book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four- 
and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every 
one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are 
the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying. 
Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals 
thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to 
God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and 
people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings 
and priests : and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, 
and I heard the voice of many angels round about the 
throne, and the beasts, and the elders : and the number of 
them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands 
of thousands ; saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb 
that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and 
strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every 
creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the 
earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, 
heard I saying, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be 
unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for 
ever and ever. And the same four beasts said. Amen. And 
the four-and-twenty elders fell down and worshipped him 
that liveth for ever and ever.' 

The especial object of divine adoration, the motives unto 
it, and the nature of it, or what it consisteth in, are here de 

[1st.] The object of it is Christ, not separately, but dis- 
tinctly from the Father, and jointly with him. And he is 
proposed, 1st. As having fulfilled the work of his mediation 
in his incarnation and oblation ; as a Lamb slain. 2dii/. In his 
glorious exaltation, * in the midst of the throne of God.' The 
principal thing that the heathen of old observed concerning 
Christian religion, was, that in it, * praises were sung to 
Christ as unto God.' 

[2dly.] The motives unto this adoration are the un- 
speakable benefits which we receive by his mediation ; ' Thou 
art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto 
God,' &c. 

Hereon the same glory, the same honour, is ascribed unto 


him as unto God the Father ; ' blessing, and honour, and 
glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, 
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' 

[3dly.] The nature of this adoration is described to con- 
sist in three things. \st. Solemn prostration. And the four 
living creatures said. Amen. And the four-and-twenty elders 
fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.' 
So also is it described, chap. iv. 10, 11. 2dly. In the ascrip- 
tion of all divine honour and glory, as is at large expressed, 
ver. 11 — 13. 3. In the way of expressing the design of 
their souls in this adoration, which is by the praises ; * they 
sung a new song ;' that is, of praise, for so are all those 
psalms which have that title of a new song. And in these 
things, namely, solemn prostration of soul in the acknow- 
ledgment of divine excellencies, ascriptions of glory and 
honour with praise, doth religious adoration consist. And 
they belong not unto the great holy society of them who 
worship above and here below; whose hearts are not always 
ready unto this solemn adoration of the Lamb, and who are 
not on all occasions exercised therein. 

And this adoration of Christ doth differ from the adora- 
tion of God absolutely considered, and of God as the Father, 
not in its nature, but merely on the account of its especial 
motives. The principal motive unto the adoration of God 
absolutely considered, is the work of creation, the manifes- 
tation of his glory therein, with all the effects of his power 
and goodness thereon ensuing. So it is declared. Rev. iv. 
8 — 11. * Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and ho- 
nour, and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy 
pleasure they are and were created/ And the principal mo- 
tive unto the adoration and worship of God as the Father, 
is that eternal love, grace, and goodness, which he is the 
fountain of in a peculiar manner; Eph. i. 4, 5. But the great 
motive unto the adoration of Christ is the work of redemp- 
tion ; Rev. V. 12. 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to re- 
ceive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and ho- 
nour, and glory, and blessing.' The reason whereof is given, 
ver. 9, 10. 'For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto 
God by thy blood, and hast made us unto our God kings and 
priests.' The adoration is the same, ver. 13. ' Blessing, and 
honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon 


the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever/ But the im- 
mediate motives of it are different, as its objects are distinct. 
Herein no small part of the life of Christian religion doth 
consist. The humbling of our souls before the Lord Christ 
from an apprehension of his divine excellencies, the ascrip- 
tion of glory, honour, praise, with thanksgiving unto him, 
on the great motive of the work of redemption, with the 
blessed effects thereof, are things wherein the life of faith 
is continually exercised. Nor can we have any evidence of 
an interest in that blessedness which consists in the eternal 
assignation of all glory and praise unto him in heaven, if we 
are not exercised unto this worship of him, here on earth. 

2dly. Invocation is the second general branch of divine 
honour ; of that honour which is due and paid unto the Son, 
as unto the Father. This is the first exercise of divine faith, 
the breath of the spiritual life. And it consisteth in two 
things, or hath two parts. (1st.) An ascription of all divine 
properties and excellencies unto him whom we invocate. 
This is essential unto prayer, which without it is but vain 
babbling. Whoever cometh unto God hereby, ' must believe 
that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently 
seek him.' (2dly.) There is in it also a representation of our 
wills, affections, and desires of our souls, unto him on whom 
we call, with an expectation of being heard and relieved, by 
virtue of his infinitely divine excellencies. This is the pro- 
per acting of faith with respect unto ourselves ; and hereby 
it is our duty to give honour unto the person of Christ. 

When he himself died in the flesh, he committed his de- 
parting soul by solemn invocation into the hands of his Fa- 
ther, Psal. xxxi. 5. Luke xxiii. 4. ' Father, into thy hands I 
commit my spirit.' And to evidence that it is the will of 
God, that we should honour the Son, as we honour the Fa- 
ther, even as the Son himself in his human nature, who is 
our example, honoured the Father. He who first died in 
the faith of the gospel, bequeathed his departing soul into 
the hands of * Jesus Christ by solemn invocation ; Acts 
vii. 59. *They stoned Stephen, iTrtKaXoujuevov, solemnly in- 
vocating, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' And 
having by faith and prayer, left his own soul safe in the 
hand of the Lord Jesus, he adds one petition more unto him, 
wherewith he died, * Lord, lay not this sin to their charge ;' 


ver. 60. Herein did he give divine honour unto Christ in 
the especial invocation of his name, in the highest instances 
that can be conceived. In his first request wherein he 
committed his departing soul into his hands, he ascribed 
unto him divine omniscience, omnipresence, love, and power. 
And in the latter for his enemies, divine authority and 
mercy to be exercised in the pardon of sin. In his example 
is the rule established, for the especial invocation of Christ 
for the effects of divine power and mercy. 

Hence the apostle describeth the church or believers, 
and distinguisheth it, or them, from all others, by the dis- 
charge of this duty ; 1 Cor. i. 2. * With all that call on the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.' 
To call on the name of the Lord Jesus expresseth solemn 
invocation in the way of religious worship. The Jews did 
call on the name of God. All others in their way called on 
the names of their gods. This is that whereby the church 
is distino'uished from them all ; it calls on the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

He requires that as we believe on God, that is, the Fa- 
ther, so we should believe on him also, and therein honour 
the Son, as we honour the Father; John xiv. 1. The na- 
ture of this faith, and the manner how it is exercised on 
Christ, we shall declare afterward. But the apostle treating 
of the nature and efficacy of this invocation, affirms, that 
we * cannot call on him in whom we have not believed ;' 
Rom. X. 14. Whence it follows on the contrary, that he on 
whom we are bound to believe, on him it is our duty to call. 
So the whole Scripture is closed with a prayer of the church 
unto the Lord Christ, expressing their faith in him ; * Even 
so, come Lord Jesus ;' Rev. xxii. 20. 

There is not any one reason of prayer, not any one mo- 
tive unto it, not any consideration of its use or efficacy, but 
render this peculiar invocation of Christ, a necessary duty. 
Two thinos in general are required to render the duty of in- 
vocation lawful and useful. First, that it have a proper ob- 
ject. Secondly, that it have prevalent motives and encou- 
ragements unto it. These in concurrence are the formal 
reason and ground of all religious worship in general, and 
of prayer in particular. So are they laid down as the foun- 
dation of all religion; Exod. xx. 2, 3. * I am the Lord thy 


God,' that is, the proper object of all religious worship ; 
' which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the 
house of bondage;' which being summarily and typically re- 
presentative of all divine benefits, temporal, spiritual, and 
eternal, is the great motive thereunto. The want of both 
these in all mere creatures, saints and angels, makes the in- 
vocation of them, not only useless, but idolatrous. But they 
both eminently concur in the person of Christ, and his act- 
ings towards us. All the perfections of the divine nature 
are in him, whence he is the proper object of religious invo- 
cation. On this account when he acted in and towards the 
church, as the great angel of the covenant, God instructed 
the people unto all religious observance of him, and obedi- 
ence unto him; Exod. xxiii. 21. 'Beware of him and obey 
his voice, provoke him not, for he will not pardon your 
transgressions, for my name is in him.' Because the name 
of God was in him, that is, the divine nature, with sovereign 
authority to punish or pardon sin, therefore was all religious 
obedience due unto him. And no motives are wanting: here- 
unto. All that the Lord Christ hath done for us, and all 
the principles of love, grace, compassion, and power, from 
whence what he hath so done did proceed, are all of this 
nature. And they are accompanied with the encourage- 
ment of his relation unto us, and charge concerning us. 
Take away this duty, and the peculiar advantage of Chris- 
tian religion is destroyed. 

We have lived to see the utmost extremes that Christian 
religion can divert into. Some, with all earnestness, do press 
the formal invocation of saints and angels as our duty. And 
some will not grant that it is lawful for us so to call on 
Christ himself. 

The Socinians grant generally that it is lawful for us to 
call on Christ; but they deny that it is our duty at any 
time so to do. But as they own that it is not our duty, so 
on their principles it cannot be lawful. Denying his divine 
person, they leave him not the proper object of prayer. For 
prayer without an ascription of divine excellencies, as om- 
niscience, omnipresence, and almighty power unto him 
whom we invocate, is but vain babbling;, that hath nothing 
of the nature of true prayer in it. And to make such 


ascriptions unto him who by nature is not God, is idola- 

The solemn ordinary worship of the church, and so of 
private believers, in their families and closets, is under an 
especial. directory and guidance. For the person of the Fa- 
ther, as the eternal fountain of power, grace, and mercy, is 
the formal object of our prayers, unto whom our supplica- 
tions are directed. The divine nature absolutely considered, 
is the object of natural worship and invocation ; but it is 
the same divine nature in the person of the Father, that is 
the proper object of evangelical worship and invocation. 
So our Saviour hath taught us to call on God under the 
name and notion of a father; Matt. vi. 9. that is, his God, 
and our God, his Father, and our Father; John xx. 17. And 
this invocation is to be, by and in the name of the Son Jesus 
Christ, through the aid of the Holy Spirit. He is herein con- 
sidered as the Mediator between God and man ; as the Holy 
Ghost is he by whom supplies of grace, enabling us unto the 
acceptable performance of our duties, are actually commu- 
nicated unto us. This is the w^ay whereby God will be glori- 
fied. This is the mystery of our religion, that we worship 
God according to the economy of his wisdom and grace, 
wherein he doth dispense of himself unto us in the persons 
of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Otherwise he will not be 
honoured or worshipped by us. And those who in their 
worship or invocation do attempt an approach unto the 
divine nature as absolutely considered, without respect unto 
the dispensation of God in the distinct persons of the holy 
Trinity, do reject the mystery of the gospel, and all the be- 
nefits of it. So is it with many. And not a few, who pre- 
tend a great devotion unto God, do supply other things into 
the room of Christ, as saints and angels ; rejecting also the 
aids of the Spirit to comply with imaginations of their own, 
whose assistance herein they more approve of. 

But this is the nature and method of ordinary solemn 
evangelical invocation. So it is declared, Eph. ii. 18. 
* Through him we have an access by one Spirit unto the 
Father.' It is the Father unto whom we have our access, 
whom we peculiarly invocate ; as it is expressed, chap, 
iii. 14 — 16. * For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father 


of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in hea- 
ven and earth is named, that he would grant you/ &c. But 
it is through him, that is, by Christ in the exercise of his 
mediatory office that we have this access unto the Father ; 
we ask in his name, and for his sake ; John xiv. 13, 14. xvi, 
23, 24. They did so of old, though not in that express ex- 
ercise of faith which we now attain unto ; Dan. ix. 17. 
'Hear, O Lord, and have mercy for the Lord's sake.' All 
this are we enabled unto by one Spirit ; through the aids 
and assistance of the Spirit of grace and supplication ; Rom. 
viii. 26, 27. So that prayer is our crying, 'Abba Father, by 
the Spirit of the Son ;' Gal. iv. 6. This is farther declared, 
Heb. iv. 15, 16. x. 19, 20. Herein is the Lord Christ con- 
sidered, not absolutely with respect unto his divine person, 
but with respect unto his office, that * through him our faith 
and hope might be in God,' 1 Pet. i. 20. 

Wherefore it being our duty, as hath been proved, to in- 
vocate the name of Christ in a particular manner, and this 
being the ordinary solemn way of the worship of the church, 
we may consider on what occasions, and in what seasons, 
this peculiar invocation of Christ, who in his divine person 
is both our God and our Advocate, is necessary for us, and 
most acceptable unto him. 

(1st.) Times of great distresses in conscience through 
temptations and desertions, are seasons requiring an appli- 
cation unto Christ by especial invocation. Persons in such 
conditions, when their souls, as the psalmist speaks, are 
overwhelmed in them, are continually solicitous about com- 
passion and deliverance. Some relief, some refreshment, 
they often find in pity and compassion from them who either 
have been in the same condition themselves, or by Scripture 
light do know the terror of the Lord in these things. When 
their complaints are despised, and their troubles ascribed 
unto other causes than what they are really sensible of, and 
feel within themselves, as is commonly done by physicians 
of no value, it is an aggravation of their distress and sorrow. 
And they greatly value every sincere endeavour for relief, 
either by counsel or prayer. In this state and condition the 
Lord Christ in the gospel is proposed as full of tender com- 
passion, as he alone who is able to relieve them. In that 


himself hath suffered being tempted, he is touched with a 
feeling of our infirmities, and knows how to have compas- 
sion on them that are out of the way ; Heb. ii. 18. iv. 15. 
V. 6. So is he also, as he alone who is able to succour, to 
relieve, and to deliver them. * He is able to succour them 
that are tempted;' Heb.ii. 18. Hereon are they drawn, con- 
strained, encouraged to make applications unto him by 
prayer, that he would deal with them according to his com- 
passion and power. This is a season rendering the discharge 
of this duty necessary. And hereby have innumerable souls 
found consolation, refreshment, and deliverance. A time of 
trouble is a time of the especial exercise of faith in Christ. 
So himself gives direction, John xiv. 1. * Let not your heart 
be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.' Distinct 
actings of faith on Christ, are the great means of support- 
ment and relief in trouble. And it is by especial invocation 
whereby they put forth and exert themselves. 

An instance hereof as unto temptation, and the distress 
wherewith it is attended, we have in the apostle Paul. He 
had a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him. 
Both expressions declare the deep sense he had of his temp- 
tation, and the perplexity wherewith it was accompanied. 
* For this cause he besought the Lord thrice that it might 
depart from him ;' 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8. He applied himself so- 
lemnly unto prayer for its removal, and that frequently. And 
it was the Lord, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ unto whom he 
made his application. For so the name Lord is to be in- 
terpreted if there be nothing contrary in the context, as the 
name of God is of the Father, by virtue of that rule, 1 Cor. 
viii. 6, 7. *To us there is one God the Father, and one 
Lord Jesus Christ.' And it is evident also in the context. 
The answer he received unto his prayer was * My grace is 
sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' 
And whose power that was, who gave him that answer, he 
declares in the next words, ' Most gladly therefore will I 
glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest 
upon me,' that is, the power of him on whom he called, who 
gave him that answer, * My power is made perfect in weak- 

(2dly.) Times of gracious discoveries either of the glory 


of Christ in himself, or of his love unto us, are seasons that 
call for this duty. The glory of Christ in his person and 
offices is always the same. And the revelation that is made 
of it in the Scripture varieth not. But as unto our percep- 
tion and apprehension of it, whereby our hearts and minds 
are affected with it in an especial manner, there are apparent 
seasons of it, which, no believers are unacquainted withal. 
Sometimes such a sense of it is attained under the dispen- 
sation of the word, wlierein as Christ on the one hand is set 
forth evidently crucified before our eves, so on the other he 
is gloriously exalted. Sometimes it is so in prayer, in me- 
ditation, in contemplation on him. As an ability was given 
unto the bodily sight of Stephen, to see upon the opening 
of the heavens, ' the glory of God, and Jesus standing at 
his right hand ;' Acts vii. 56, 57. so he opens the veil some- 
times, and gives a clear affecting discovery of his glory unto 
the minds and souls of believers ; and in such seasons are 
they drawn forth and excited unto invocation and praise. 
So Thomas, being surprised with an apprehension and evi- 
dence of his divine glory and power after his resurrection, 
wherein he was declared to be the Son of God with power, 
Rom. i. 4. cried unto him, ' My Lord and my God,' John xx. 
28. There was in his words both a profession of his own 
faith, and a solemn invocation of Christ. When therefore 
we have real discoveries of the glory of Christ, we cannot 
but speak to him, or of him. ' These things said Isaiah when 
he saw his glory and spake of him,' John xii. 41. And Ste- 
phen upon a view of it in the midst of his enraged enemies, 
testified immediately, ' I see the heavens opened, and the 
Son of man standing at the right hand of God.' And there- 
by was he prepared for that solemn invocation of his name, 
which he used presently after, ' Lord Jesus receive my spirit ;' 
Acts vii. 56. 59. And so also upon his appearance as the 
Lamb to open the book of prophecies, wherein there was an 
eminent manifestation of his glory, seeingnone else could 
be found in heaven or earth, or under the earth, that was able 
to open the book, or so much as to look thereon. Rev. v. 3. 
' The four and twenty elders fell down before him,' and pre- 
senting all the prayers of the saints, ' sang a new sono- of 
praise unto him ;' ver. 8 — 10. This is our duty, this will 
be our wisdom, upon affecting discoveries of the glory of 
vaL. XII. L 


Christ ; namely, to apply ourselves unto him by invocation 
or praise ; and thereby will the refreshment and advantage 
of them abide upon our minds. 

So is it also as unto his love. The love of Christ is al- 
ways the same and equal unto the church. Howbeit there 
are peculiar seasons of the manifestation and application of 
a sense of it unto the souls of believers. So it is when it is 
witnessed unto them, or shed abroad in their hearts by the 
Holy Ghost. Then is it accompanied with a constraining 
power to oblige us to live unto him who died for us, and rose 
again; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. And of our spiritual life unto 
Christ, invocation of him is no small portion. And this^ 
sense of his love we might enjoy more frequently than for 
the most part we do, were we not so much wanting unto our- 
selves and our own concerns. For although it be an act of 
sovereign grace in God, to grant it unto us, and affect us 
with it, as it seems good unto him ; yet is our duty required 
to dispose our hearts unto its reception. Were we diligent 
in casting out all that ' filthiness and superfluity of naughti- 
ness,' which corrupts our affections, and disposes the mind to 
abound in vain imaginations ; were our hearts more taken off" 
from the love of the world, which is exclusive of a sense of 
divine love ; did we more meditate on Christ and his glory, 
we should more frequently enjoy these constraining visits of 
his love, than now we do. So himself expresseth it. Rev. 
iii. 20. ' Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man 
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and 
will sup with him, and he with me.' He makes intimation 
of his love and kindness unto us. But oft-times we neither 
hear his voice wdien he speaks, nor do open our hearts unto 
him. So do we lose that gracious refreshing sense of his 
love which he expresseth in that promise, * I will sup with 
him, and he shall sup with me.' No tongue can express that 
heavenly communion and blessed intercourse which is inti- 
mated in this promise. The expression is metaphorical, but 
the grace expressed is real, and more valued than the whole 
world, by all that have experience of it. This sense of tlie 
love of Christ, and the effect of it in communion with him, 
by prayer and praises, is divinely set forth in the Book of 
Canticles. The church therein is represented as tlie spouse 
of Christ ; and as a faithful spouse she is always either soli- 


citous about his love, or rejoicing in it. And when she hath 
attained a sense of it, she aboundeth in invocation, admira- 
tion, and praise. So doth the church of the New Testament 
upon an apprehension of his love, and the unspeakable fruits 
of it. * Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins 
in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto 
God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever 
and ever, Amen ;' Rev. i. 5, 6. This therefore is another 
season that calls for this duty. 

(3dly.) Times of persecution for his name's sake, and for 
the profession of the gospel, are another season rendering 
this peculiar invocation of Christ both comely and necessary. 
Two things will befall the minds of believers in such a season. 
[1st.] That their thoughts will be greatly exercised about him, 
and conversant with him. They cannot but continually 
think and meditate on him for whom they suffer. None ever 
suffered persecution on just grounds, with sincere ends, and 
in a due manner, but it was so with them. The invincible 
reasons they have to suffer for him, taken from his person, 
love, grace, and authority, from what he is in himself, what 
he hath done for them, and v/hat account of all things is to 
be given unto him, do continually present themselves unto 
their minds. Wildernesses, prisons, and dungeons, have 
been filled with thoughts of Christ and his love. And many 
in former and latter ages have given an account of their 
communion and holy intercourse with the Lord Christ under 
their restraints and sufferings. And those who at any time 
have made an entrance into such a condition, will all of 
them give in the testimony of their own experience in this 
matter. [2dly.] Such persons have deep and fixed apprehen- ' 
sions of the especial concernment which the Lord Christ hath 
in them as unto their present condition ; as also of his power 
to support them, or to work out their deliverance. They 
know and consider, * That in all their afflictions, he is af- 
flicted,' suffers in all their sufferings, is persecuted in all 
their persecutions. That in them all he is full of love, pity, 
and unspeakable compassion towards them; that his grace 
is sufficient for them, that his power shall be perfected in 
their weakness, to carry them through all their sufferings 
unto his and their own glory. In these circumstances, it is 
impossible for them who are under the conduct of his spirit, 

L 2 


-not to make especial applications continually unto him, for 
those aids of grace, for those pledges of love and mercy, for 
those supplies of consolation and spiritual refreshments, 
which their condition calls for. Wherefore in this state, the 
invocation of Christ, is the refuge and sheet-anchor of the 
souls of them who truly believe in hirri. So it was unto all 
tlie holy martyrs of old, and in latter ages. 

This doctrine and duty is not for them who are at ease. 
The afflicted, the tempted, the persecuted, the spiritually 
disconsolate, will prize it, and be found in the practice of it. 
And all those holy souls, who in most ages, on the account 
of the profession of the gospel, have been reduced unto out- 
wardly unrelievable distresses, have, as was said, left their 
testimony unto this duty, and the benefits of it. The re- 
freshment which they found therein, was a sufficient balance 
against the weight of all outward calamities, enabling them 
to rejoice under them with 'joy unspeakable and full of 
glory.' This is the church's reserve against all the trials 
it may be exercised withal, and all the dangers whereunto 
it is exposed. Whilst believers have liberty of access unto 
him in their supplications, who hath all power in his hand, 
who is full of ineffable love and compassion towards them, 
especially as suffering for his sake, they are more than con- 
querors in all their tribulations. 

(4thly.) When we have a due apprehension of the emi- 
nent actings of any grace in Christ Jesus, and withal a deep 
and abiding sense of our own want of the same grace, it is 
a season of especial application unto him by prayer for the 
increase of it. All graces as unto their habit were equal in 
Christ ; they were all in him in the highest degree of per- 
fection. And every one of them did he exercise in its due 
manner and measure on all just occasions. But outward 
causes and circumstances, gave opportunity unto the exer- 
cise of some of them, in a way more eminent and conspicuous 
than others were exercised in. For instance ; such were his 
unspeakable condescension, self-denial, and patience in suf- 
ferings, which the apostle unto this purpose insists upon, 
Phil. ii. 5 — 8. Now the great design of all believers is to 
be like Jesus Christ, in all grace, and all the exercise of it. 
He is in all things their pattern and example. Wherefore, 
when they have a view of the glory of any grace as it was 


exercised in Christ, and withal a sense of their own defect 
and want therein (conformity unto him bein^ their design), 
- they cannot but apply themselves unto him in solemn invo- 
cation, for a farther communication of that grace unto them, 
from his stores and ftdness. And these things mutually 
promote one another in us if duly attended unto. A due 
sense of our own defect in any grace, will farther us in the 
prospect of the glor}'^ of that grace in Christ. And a view, 
a due contemplation of the glorious exercise of any grace in 
him, will give us light to discover our own great defect 
therein, and want thereof. Under a sense of both, an im- 
mediate application unto Christ by prayer, would be an un- 
speakable furtherance of our growth in grace, and conform- 
ity unto him. Nor can there be any more effectual way or 
means to draw supplies of grace from him, to draw water 
from the wells of salvation. When in a holy admiration of, 
and fervent love unto, any grace as eminently exercised in 
and by him, with a sense of our own want of the same 
grace, we ask it of him in faith, he will not deny it unto us. 
So the disciples upon the prescription of a difficult duty, 
unto whose due performance a good measure of faith was 
required ; out of a sense of the all-fulness of him, and their 
own defect in that grace which was necessary unto the pe- 
culiar duty there prescribed, immediately pray unto him, 
saying, * Lord increase our faith ;' Luke xvii. 5. The same 
is the case with respect unto any temptation that may befall 
us, wherewith he was exercised, and over which he prevailed. 

(5thly.) The time of death whether natural, or violent for 
his sake, is a season of the same nature. So Stephen re- 
commended his departing soul into his hands with solemn 
prayer. * Lord Jesus,' said he, 'receive my spirit.' To the 
same purpose have been the prayers of many of his faithful 
martyrs in the flames, and under the sword. In the same 
manner doth the faith of innumerable holy souls work in the 
midst of their death-bed groans. And the more we have 
been in the exercise of faith on him in our lives, the more 
ready will it be in the approaches of death, to make its re- 
sort unto him in a peculiar manner. 

And it may be other instances of an alike nature liiay 
be given unto the same purpose. 


An answer unto an inquiry which may possibly arise 
from what we have insisted on^, shall close this discourse. 
For whereas the Lord Jesus Christ as mediator doth inter- 
cede with the Father for us, it may be inquired. Whether 
we may pray unto him, that he would so intercede on our 
behalf; whether this be comprised in the duty of invocation, 
or prayer unto him ? 

Ans. 1. There is no precedent nor example of any such 
thing, of any such prayer in the Scripture. And it is not 
safe for us to venture on duties not exemplified therein. 
Nor can any instance of a necessary duty be given, of whose 
performance we have not an example in the Scripture. 

2. In the invocation of Christ, we * honour the Son, even 
as we honour the Father.' Wherefore his divine person is 
therein the formal object of our faith. We consider him not 
therein as acting in his mediatory office towards God for us, 
but as he who hath the absolute power and disposal of all 
the good things we pray for. And in our invocation of him, 
our faith is fixed on, and terminated on his person. But as 
he is in the discharge of his mediatory office, through him 
* our faith and hope is in God ;' 1 Pet. i. 21. He who is the 
mediator, or Jesus Christ the mediator, as God and man in 
one person, is the object of all divine honour and worship. 
His person, and both his natures in that person, is so the 
object of religious worship. This is that which we are in 
tlie proof and demonstration of. Howbeit it is his divine 
nature, and not his discharge of the office of mediation, that 
is the formal reason and object of divine worship. For it 
consists in an ascription of infinitely divine excellencies and 
properties unto him whom we so worship. And to do this 
on any account but of the divine nature, is in itself a contra- 
diction, and in them that do it idolatry. Had the Son of 
God never been incarnate, he had been the object of all di- 
vine worship. And could there have been a mediator be- 
tween God and us, who was not God also, he could never 
have been the object of any divine worship or invocation. 
Wherefore Christ the mediator, God and man in one person, 
is in all thinps to be honoured even as we honour the Fa- 
ther ; but it is as he is God equal with the Father, and not 
as mediator, in which respect he is inferior unto him. With 


respect unto his divine person we ask immediately of himself 
in our supplications; as he is mediator we ask of the Father 
in his name. The different actings of faith on him, under the 
same distinction, shall be declared in the next chapter. 


HVie principle of the assignation of divine honour unto the person if Christy 
in both the branches of it ; ivhich is faith in him. 

The principle and spring of this assignation of divine ho- 
nour unto Christ in both the branches of it, is faith in him. 
And this hath been the foundation of all acceptable religion 
in the world since the entrance of sin. There are some who 
deny that faith in Christ was required from the beginning, 
or was necessary unto the worship of God, or the justifica- 
tion and salvation of them that did obey him. For whereas 
it must be granted that ^ without faith it is impossible to 
please God,' which the apostle proves by instances from the 
foundation of the world ; Heb. xi. They suppose it is faith 
in God under the general notion of it, without any respect 
unto Christ that is intended. It is not my design to con- 
tend with any, nor expressly to confute such ungrateful 
opinions, such pernicious errors. Such this is, which being 
pursued in its proper tendency, strikes at the very founda- 
tion of Christian religion. For it at once deprives us of all 
contribution of li2:ht and truth from the Old Testament. 
Somewhat I have spoken before of the faith of the saints of 
old concerning him. I shall now, therefore, only confirm the 
truth, by some principles which are fundamental in the faith 
of the gospel. 

1. The first promise. Gen. iii. 15. truly called Upwrevav- 
yiXcov, was revealed, proposed, and given, as containing and 
expressing the only means of delivery from that apostacy 
from God, with all the effects of it, under which our first 
parents, and all their posterity were cast by sin. The de- 
struction of Satan and his work in his introduction of the 
state of sin, by a saviour and deliverer was prepared and 
provided for in it. This is the very foundation of the faith 


of the church, and if it be denied, nothing of the economy 
or dispensation of God towards it from the beginning can be 
understood. The whole doctrine and story of the Old Tes- 
tament must be rejected as useless, and no foundation be 
left in the truth of God, for the introduction of the New. 

2. It was the person of Christ, his incarnation and medi- 
ation, that were promised under the name of the ' seed of the 
woman,' and the work he should do in 'breaking the head of 
the serpent,' with the way whereby he should do it, in suf- 
fering, by his power. The accomplishment hereof was in 
God's sending; his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, in the 
fulness of time, made under the law, or by his manifestation 
in the flesh, to destroy the works of the devil. So is this 
promise interpreted. Gal. iii. 10. iv. 4. Heb. ii. 14 — 16. 
1 John iii. 8. This cannot be denied but upon one of these 
two grounds. 

(1.) That nothing is intended in that divine revelation, 
but only a natural enmity that is between mankind and ser- 
pents. But this is so foolish an imagination, that tlie Jews 
themselves, who constantly refer this place to the Messiah, 
are not guilty of. All the whole truth concerning God's 
displeasure on the sin of our first parents, with what con- 
cerneth the nature and consequence of that sin, is everted 
hereby. And whereas the foundation of all God's future 
dealing with them and their posterity is plainly expressed 
herein, it is turned into that which is ludicrous, and of very 
little concernment in human life. For such is the enmity 
between mankind and serpents, which not one in a million 
know any thing of, or are troubled with. This is but to lay 
the axe of atheism unto all religion built on divine revela- 
tion. Besides, on this supposition there is in the words not 
the least intimation of any relief, that God tendered unto 
our parents for their delivery from the state and condition 
whereinto they had cast themselves by their sin and apos- 
tacy. Wherefore they must be esteemed to be left abso- 
lutely under the curse, as the angels were that fell, which is 
to root all religion out of the world. For amongst them who 
are absolutely under the curse without any remedy, there 
can be no more than is in hell. Or, 

(2.) It must be, because some other way of deliverance 
and salvation, and not that by Christ, is here proposed and 



promised. But whereas they were to be wrought by the 
* seed of the woman,' if this were not that Christ in whom 
we do believe, there was another promised, and he is to be 
rejected. And this is fairly at once to blot out the whole 
Scripture as a fable. For there is not a line of doctrinal 
truth in it, but what depends on the traduction of Christ 
from this first promise. 

3. This promise was confirmed, and the way of the de- 
liverance of the church by virtue of it declared in the insti- 
tution of expiatory sacrifices. God in them and by them 
declared from the beginning, that * without shedding of. 
blood there was no remission ;' that atonement for sin was 
to be made by substitution and satisfaction. With respect 
unto them, the Lord Christ was called * the Lamb of God/ 
even as he took away the sins of the world by the sacrifice 
of himself; John i. 29. For we * were redeemed with the 
precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and 
without spot ;' I Pet. i. 19. Wherein the Holy Spirit refers 
unto the institution and nature of sacrifices from the begin- 
ning. And he is thence represented in heaven as a ' lamb 
that had been slain ;' Rev.iv. 6. the glory of heaven arising 
from the fruits and effects of his sacrifice. And because of 
the representation thereof in all the former sacrifices, is he 
said to be a ' lamb slain from the foundation of the world ;' 
Rev. xiii. 8. And it is strange to me that any who deny not 
the expiatory sacrifice of Christ, should doubt whether the 
original of these sacrifices were of divine institution or the 
invention of men. And it is so amongst others for the reasons 

(1.) On the supposition that they were of men's finding 
out, and voluntary observation, without any previous divine 
revelation, it must be granted that the foundation of all ac- 
ceptable religion in the world, w^as laid in, and resolved into, 
the wisdom and wills of men, and not into the wisdom, au- 
thority, and will of God. For that the great solemnity of 
religion, which was as the centre and testimony of all its 
other duties, did consist in these sacrifices even before the 
giving of the law, will not be denied. And in the giving of 
the law, God did not on this supposition confirm and esta- 
blish his own institutions with additions unto them of the 
same kind, but set his seal and approbation unio the in- 


ventions of men. But this is contrary unto natural light, 
and the whole current of Scripture revelations. 

(2.) All expiatory sacrifices were from the beginning, 
types and representations of the sacrifice of Christ, whereon 
all their use, efficacy, and benefit among men, all their ac- 
ceptance with God, did depend. Remove this consideration 
from them, and they were as irrational a service, as unbe- 
coming the divine nature, as any thing that reasonable crea- 
tures could fix upon. They are to this day, as reasonable a 
service as ever they were, but that only their respect unto 
the sacrifice of Christ is taken from them. And what per- 
son of any ordinary understanding, could now suppose them 
a meet service whereby to glorify the divine nature. Be- 
sides, all expiatory sacrifices were of the same nature, and 
of the same use, both before and after the giving of the law. 
But that all those afterward were typical of the sacrifice of 
Christ, the apostle demonstrates at large in his Epistle unto 
the Hebrews. The inquiry therefore is, whether this blessed 
prefiguration of the Lord Christ and his sacrifice, as he was 
the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world, was an 
effect of the wisdom, goodness, and will of God, or of the 
wills and inventions of men. And let it be considered also, 
that these men who are supposed to be the authors of this 
wonderful representation of the Lord,Christ and his sacrifice, 
did indeed know little of them, or as the asserters of this 
opinion imagine nothing at all. To suppose that those who 
knew no more of Christ than they could learn from the first 
promise, which, as some think was nothing at all, should of 
their own heads find out and appoint this divine service, 
which consisted only in the prefiguration of him and his sa- 
crifice, and that God should not only approve of it, but allow 
it as the principal means for the establishment and exercise 
of the faith of all believers for four thousand years, is to in- 
dulge unto thoug-hts deviating: from all rules of sobrietv. 
He that sees not a divine wisdom in this institution, hath 
scarce seriously exercised his thoughts about it. But I 
have elsewhere considered the causes and orio;inal of these 
sacrifices, and shall not therefore farther insist upon them. 

4, Our first parents and all tjreir holy posterity did be- 
lieve this promise, or did embrace it as the only way and 
means of their deliverance from the curse and state of sin, 


and were thereon justified before God. 1 confess we have 
not infallible assurance of any who did so in particular, but 
those who are mentioned by name in Scripture, as Abel, 
Enoch, Noah, and some others. But to question it concern- 
ing others also, as of our first parents themselves, is foolish 
and impious. This is done by the Socinians, to promote 
another design, namely, that none were justified before God 
on the belief of the first promise, but on their walking ac- 
cording to the light of nature and their obedience unto 
some especial revelations about temporal things ; the vanity 
whereof hath been before discovered. Wherefore, our first 
parents and their posterity did so believe the first promise, 
or they must be supposed, either to have been kept under 
the curse, or else to have had, and to make use of, some other 
way of deliverance from it. To imagine the first is impious ; for 
the apostle affirms that they had this * testimony that they 
pleased God ;' Heb.xi.5. which under the curse none can do ; 
for that is God's displeasure. And in the same place he con- 
firms their faith, and justification thereon, with a 'cloud of 
witnesses ;' chap. xii. 2. To affirm the latter is groundless. 
And it includes a supposal of the relinquishment of the 
wisdom, grace, and authority of God in that divine revelation, 
for men to betake themselves to none knows what. For 
that there was in this promise the way expressed which God 
in his wisdom and grace had provided for their deliverance, 
we have proved before. To forsake this way, and to betake 
themselves unto any other, whereof he had made no men- 
tion or revelation unto them, was to reject his authority and 

As for those who are otherwise minded, it is incumbent 
on them directly to prove these three things. 

(1.) That there is another way, that there are other 
means for the justification and salvation of sinners, than 
that revealed, declared, and proposed in that first promise. 
And when this is done, they must shew to what end on that 
supposition the promise itself was given, seeing the end of 
it is evacuated. 

(2.) That upon a supposition that God had revealed in 
the promise the way and means of our deliverance from the 
curse and state of sin, it was lawful unto men to forsake it, 
and to betake themselves unto another way, witliout any su- 


pernatural revelation for their guidance. For if it was not, 
their relinquishment of the promise was no less apostacy 
from God in the revelation of himself in away of grace, than 
the first sin was, as to the revelation of himself in the works 
of nature. Only the one revelation was by inbred princi- 
ples, the other by external declaration, nor could it-other- 
wise be. Or, 

(3.) That there was some other way of the participation 
of the benefits of this promise, besides faith in it, or in him 
who was promised therein; seeing the apostle hath declared 
that no promise will profit them, ' by whom it is not mixed 
with faith ;' Heb. iv. 2. Unless these things are plainly 
proved, which they will never be, whatever men declaim 
about universal objective grace in the documents of nature, 
it is but a vain imagination. 

5. The declaration of this promise before the giving of 
the law with the nature and ends of it, as also the use of 
sacrifices whereby it was confirmed, was committed unto the 
ordinary ministry of our first parents and their godly poste- 
rity, and the extraordinary ministry of the prophets which 
God raised up among them. For God spake of our re- 
demption by Christ, by the 'mouth of his holy prophets 
from the beginning of the world;' Luke i. 70. No greater 
duty could be incumbent on them by the light of nature and 
the express revelation of the will of God. than that they 
should in their several capacities, communicate the know- 
ledge of this promise unto all in whom they were concerned. 
To suppose that our first parents who received this promise, 
and those unto whom they first declared it, looking on it as 
the only foundation of their acceptance with God, and de- 
liverance from the curse, were negligent in the declaration 
and preaching of it, is to render them brutish, and guilty 
of a second apostacy from God. And unto this principle 
which is founded in the light of nature, there is countenance 
given by revelation also. For Enoch did prophesy of the 
things which were to accompany the accomplishment of 
this promise ; Jude 15. and Noah was a preacher of the 
righteousness to be brought in by it ; 2 Pet. ii. 5. as he was 
an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, in himself; 
Heb. xi. 7. 

6. All the promises that God gave afterward unto the 


church under the Old Testament, before and after giving 
the law, all the covenants that he entered into with particu- 
lar persons, or the whole congregation of believers, were all 
of them declarations and confirmations of this first promise, 
or the way of salvation by the mediation of his Son, be- 
coming the seed of the woman to break the head of the ser- 
pent, and to v/ork out the deliverance of mankind. As 
most of these promises were expressly concerning him, so 
all of them in the counsel of God were confirmed in him ; 
2 Cor. i. 20. And as there are depths in the Scripture of the 
Old Testament concerning him which we cannot fathom ; 
and things innumerable spoken of him or in his person 
which we conceive not ; so the principal design of the whole 
is the declaration of him and his grace. And it is unprofita- 
ble unto them who are otherwise minded. Sundry promises 
concerning temporal things were on various occasions super- 
added unto this great spiritual promise of life and grace. And 
the enemies of the person and mediation of Christ, do con- 
tend that men are justified by their faith and obedience with 
respect unto those particular revelations, which were only 
concerning temporal things. But to suppose that all those re- 
velations and promises were not built upon, and resolved into, 
did not include in them the grace and mercy of this first pro- 
mise, is to make them curses instead of blessings, and de- 
privations of that grace which was infinitely better than 
what on this supposition was contained in them. The truth 
is, they were all additions unto it, and confirmations of it, 
nor had any thing of spiritual good in them, but upon a sup- 
position of it. In some of them there was an ampliation of 
grace in the more full declaration of the nature of this pro- 
mise, as well as an application unto their persons unto whom 
they were made. Such was the promise made unto Abra- 
ham, which had a direct respect unto Christ as the apostle 
proveth. Gal. iii, 4. 

7. Those who voluntarily through the contempt of God 
and divine grace fell off from the knowledge and faitli of 
this promise, whether at once and by choice, or gradually 
through the love of sin, were in no better condition than 
those have been, or would be, who have so fallen off', or 
should so apostatize from Christian religion after its revela- 
tion and profession. And although this proved in process 


of time, both before and after the flood, to be the condition 
of the generality of mankind, yet is it in vain to seek after 
the means of salvation among them, who had voluntarily re- 
jected the only way which God had revealed and provided 
for that end. God thereon ' suffered all nations to walk in 
their own ways ;' Acts xiv. 16. ' winking at the times of 
their ignorance/ not calling them to repentance ; chap, 
xvii. 30. yea, he * gave them up unto their own hearts' lusts, 
and they walked in their own counsels ;' Psal. Ixxxi. 12. 
And nothing can be more derogatory unto the wisdom and 
holiness of God, than to imagine that he would grant other 
ways of salvation unto them, who had rejected that only one 
which he had provided, which was by faith in Christ, as re- 
vealed in that first promise. 

8. From these considerations, which are all of them un- 
questionable principles of truth, two things are evident. 

(1.) That there was no way of the justification and salva- 
tion of sinners, revealed and proposed from the foundation 
of the world, but only by Jesus Christ, as declared in the 
first promise. 

(2.) That there was no way for the participation of the 
benefits of that promise, or of his work of mediation, but by 
faith in him as so promised. There Vvas therefore faith in 
him required from the foundation of the world ; that is, from 
the entrance of sin. And how this faith respected his per- 
son hath been before declared. Now faith in him as pro- 
mised for the works and ends of his mediation, and faith in 
him as actually exhibited, and as having accomplished his 
work, are essentially the same, and difier only with respect 
unto the economy of times which God disposed at his plea- 
sure. Hence the efficacy of his mediation was the same unto 
them who then so believed, as it is now unto us after his 
actual exhibition in the flesh. 

But yet it is acknowledged, that as unto the clearness 
and fulness of the revelation of the mystery of the wisdom 
and grace of God in him, as unto the constitution of his per- 
son in his incarnation, and therein the determination of the 
individual person promised from the beginning, through the 
actual accomplishment of the work which he was promised for. 
Faith in him as the foundation of that divine honour which 
it is our duty to give unto him, is far more evidently and 


manifestly revealed and required in the gospel, or under the 
New Testament, than it was under the Old. See Eph. iii. 
8 — 11. The respect of faith now unto Christ, is that which 
renders it truly evangelical. To belive in him, to believe on 
his name, is that signal especial duty which is now required 
of us. 

Wherefore the ground of the actual assignation of divine 
honour unto the person of Christ in both branches of it, 
adoration and invocation, is faith in him. So he said unto 
the blind man whose eyes he opened, * Believest thou on tlie 
Son of God ?^ John ix. 35. And he said, * Lord, I believe, 
and he worshipped him ;' ver. 38. All divine worship or ado- 
ration, is a consequent effect and fruit of faith. So also is 
invocation; for *How shall they call on him in whom they 
have not believed ?' Rom. x. 14. Him, in whom we believe, 
we ought to adore and invocate. For these are the princi- 
pal ways whereby divine faith doth act itself. And so to 
adore or invocate any, in whom we ought not to believe is 

This faith therefore on the person of Christ is our duty. 
Yea, such a duty it is, as that our eternal condition doth 
more peculiarly depend on the performance or nonperform- 
ance of it, than on any other duty whatever. For constantly 
under those terms is it prescribed unto us. *He that be- 
lieveth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that be- 
lieveth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God 
abideth on him ;' John iii. 36. Wherefore the nature and ex- 
ercise of this faith must be inquired into. 

[1.] There is a faith which is exercised towards those by 
whom the mind and will of God is revealed. So it is said 
of the Israelites, * they believed the Lord and Moses,' Exod. 
xiv. 33. that is, that he was sent of God, was no deceiver, 
that it was the word and will of God which he revealed unto 
them. So 2 Chron. xx. 20. * Believe in the Lord your God, 
so shall ye be established ; believe his prophets, so shall ye 
prosper.' It was not the persons of the prophets, but their 
message that was the object of the faith required. It was 
to believe what they said, as from God, not to believe in them 
as if they were God. So is it explained by the apostle, 
Acts xxvi. 27. ' King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? 
I know that thou believest.' He believed that they were 


sent of God, and that the word they spake was from him; 
otherwise, there was no believing of them who were dead so 
many ages before. 

And this is all the faith in Christ himself which some 
will allow. To believe in Christ, they say, is only to be- 
lieve the doctrine of the gospel revealed by him. Hence 
they deny that any could believe in him, before his coming 
into the world, and the declaration of the mind of God in 
the gospel made by him. An assent unto the trufeh of the 
gospel as revealed by Christ, is with them the whole of that 
faith in Christ Jesus which is required of us. 

Of all that poison which at this day is diffused in the 
minds of men corrupting them from the mystery of the gos- 
pel, there is no part that is more pernicious than this one 
perverse imagination, that to believe in Christ is nothing at 
all but to believe the doctrine of the gospel, which yet we 
e'rant is included therein. For as it allows the considera- 
tion of no office in him, but that of a prophet, and that not 
as vested and exercised in his divine person, so it utterly 
overthrows the whole foundation of the relation of the church 
unto him, and salvation by him. 

That which suits my present design, is to evince that it 
is the person of Christ which is the first and principal ob- 
ject of that faith wherewith we are required to believe in him ; 
and that so to do, is not only to assent unto the truth of the 
doctrine revealed by him, but also to place our trust and 
confidence in him, for mercy, relief, and protection; for righ- 
teousness, life, and salvation ; for a blessed resurrection and 
eternal reward. This I shall first manifest from some few 
of those multiplied testimonies, wherein this truth is de- 
clared, and whereby it is confirmed, as also with some ar- 
guments taken from them, and then proceed to ^declare the 
ground, nature, and exercise of this faith itself. 

1st. As unto the testimonies confirming this truth, it must 
be observed of them all in general, that wherever faith is re- 
quired towards our Lord Jesus Christ, it is still called believ- 
ing 'in him,' or 'on his name,' according as faith in God ab- 
solutely is every where expressed. If no more be intended 
but only the belief of the doctrine revealed by him ; then 
whose doctrine soever we are obliged to believe, we may 
be rightly said to believe in them, or to believe on their 


name. For instance; we are obliged to believe the doctrine 
of Paul the apostle, the revelations made by him, and that 
on the hazard of our eternal welfare, by the unbelieving of 
them : yet, that we should be said to believe in Paul, is that 
w^hich he did utterly detest ; 1 Cor. i. 13. 15. 

For the places themselves the reader may consult among 
others, John i. 12. iii. 16. 18. 36. vi. 29. 35. 41. vii. 38, 39. 
Acts xiv. 23. xvi. 31. xix. 4. xxiv. 24. xxvi. 18. Rom. iii. 
26. ix. 33. X. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. 1 John v. 10. 13. There is 
not one of these but sufficiently confirms the truth. Some 
few others not named may be briefly insisted on. 

John xiv. 1. ' Ye believe in God, believe also in me.' The 
distinction made between God and him, limits the name of 
God unto the person of the Father. Faith is required in 
them both, and that distinctly; * Ye believe in God, believe 
also in me.' And it is the same faith, of the same kind, to 
be exercised in the same way and manner, that is required, 
as is plain in the words. They will not admit of a double 
faith, of one faith in God, and of another in Christ, or of a 
distinct way of their exercise. 

Wherefore, as faith divine is fixed on, and terminated in, 
the person of the Father ; so is it likewise distinctly in and 
on the person of the Son ; and it was to evidence his divine 
nature unto them which is the ground and reason of their 
faith, that he gave his command unto his disciples. This 
he farther testifies, ver. 9 — 11. And as unto the exercise 
of this faith, it respected the relief of their souls under trou- 
bles, fears, and disconsolations. * Let not your heart be trou- 
bled^ ye believe in God, believe also in me.' To believe in 
him unto the relief of our souls against troubles, is not to 
assent merely unto the doctrine of the gospel, but also to 
place our trust and confidence in him, for such supplies of 
grace, for such an exercise of the acts of divine power, as 
whereby we may be supported and delivered. And we have 
herein the whole of what we plead. Divine faith acted dis- 
tinctly in, and terminated on, the person of Christ; and that 
with respect unto supplies of grace and mercy from him in 
a way of divine power. 

So he speaks unto Martha, John xi. 25 — 27. * He that 
believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. 



Believes! thou this ?' vvhereunto she answers, 'Yea, Lord; I 
believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.' His person 
was the object of her faith, and her belief in him comprised 
a trust for all spiritual and eternal mercies. 

I shall add one more wherein not only the thing itself, 
but the especial ground and reason of it is declared; Gal. 
11. 20. ' The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the 
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for 
me.' That faith he asserts which is the cause of our spi- 
ritual life; that life unto God, which we lead in the flesh, or 
whilst we are in the body not yet admitted unto sight and 
enjoyment. Of this faith the Son of God is both the au- 
thor and the object, the latter whereof is here principally 
intended. And this is evident from the reason and motive 
of it, which are expressed. This faith I live by, am in the 
continual exercise of, because he * loved me, and gave him- 
self for me.' For this is that which doth powerfully in- 
fluence our hearts to fix our faith in him and on him. And 
that person who so loved us, is the same in whom we do be- 
lieve. If his person was the seat of his own love, it is the 
object of our faith. And this faith is not only our duty, but 
our life. He that hath it not, is dead in the sight of God. 

But I hope it is not yet necessary to multiply testimonies 
to prove it our duty to believe in Jesus Christ ; that is, to 
believe in the person of the Son of God ; for other faith in 
Christ there is none, yet I shall add one or two considerations 
in the confirmation of it. 

1st. There is no more necessary hereunto, namely, to 
prove the person of Christ the Son of God to be the proper 
and distinct object of faith divine, than what we have al- 
ready demonstrated concerning the solemn invocation of 
him. For, saith the apostle, * How shall they call on him in 
whom they have not believed ?' Rom. x. 14. It holds on 
either side. We cannot, we ought not to call on him in 
whom we do not, we oug-ht not to believe. And in whom 
we do believe, on him we ought to call. Wherefore, if it 
be our duty to call on the name of Christ, it is our duty 
to believe in the person of Christ. And if to believe in 
Christ be no more but to believe the doctrine of the gospel 
which he hath revealed ; then every one, whose doctrine we 
are obliged to believe, on them we ought to call also. And 


on this ground we may call on the names of the prophets 
and apostles, as well as on the name of Jesus Christ, and 
be saved thereby. But whereas invocation or prayer pro- 
ceedeth from faith, and that prayer is for mercy, grace, life, 
and eternal salvation ; faith must be fixed on the person so 
called on as able to give them all unto us, or that prayer is 
in vain. 

2dly. Again, that we are baptized into the name of Jesus 
Christ, and that distinctly with the Father, is a sufficient 
evidence of the necessity of faith in his person. For we are 
therein given up unto universal spiritual subjection of soul 
unto him, and dependance on him. Not to believe in him, 
on his name, that is, his person, when we are so given up 
unto him, or baptized into him, is virtually to renounce him. 
But to put a present close unto this contest. Faith in Christ 
is that grace whereby the church is united unto him, incor- 
porated into one mystical body with him. It is thereby 
that he dwells in them, and they in him. By this alone are 
all supplies of grace derived from him unto the whole body. 
Deny his person to be the proper and immediate object of 
this faith, and all these things are utterly overthrown; that 
is, the whole spiritual life and eternal salvation of the church. 

This faith in the person Christ, which is the foundation 
of all that divine honour in sacred adoration and invocation 
which is assigned unto him, may be considered two ways. 
(1st.) As it respects his person absolutely. (2dly.) As he 
is considered in the discharge of the office of mediation. 

(1st.) In the first sense faith is placed absolutely and 
ultimately on the person of Christ, even as on the person of 
the Father. He counts it no robbery herein to be equal 
with the Father. And the reason hereof is because the divine 
nature itself is the proper and immediate object of this faith 
and all the acts of it. This being one and the same in the 
person of the Father and of the Son, as also of the Holy 
Spirit, two things do follow thereon. [1st.] That each per- 
son is equally the object of our faith, because equally parti- 
cipant of that nature which is the formal reason and object 
of it. [2dly.] It follows also, that in acting faith on, and 
ascribing therewithal divine honour unto, any one person, 
the other are not excluded, yea, they are included therein. 

M 2 


For by reason of the mutual inbeing of the divine persons, 
in the unity of the same nature, the object of all spiritual 
worship is undivided. Hence are those expressions of the 
Scriptures ; * He that hath seen the Son, hath seen the Fa- 
ther; he that honoureth the Son, honoureth the Father, for 
he and the Father are one/ 

And to clear our present design, three things may be 
observed from hence, namely, that the divine nature, with all 
its essential properties, is the formal reason, and only ground 
of divine faith. As, 

1st. That the Lord Christ is not the absolute and ultimate 
object of our faith, any otherwise but under this considera- 
tion, of his being partaker of the nature of God, of his being 
in the form of God, and equal unto him. Without this, to 
place our faith in him would be robbery and sacrilege ; as 
is all the pretended faith of them, who believe not his divine 

2dly. There is no derogation from the hoiiour and glory 
of the Father, not the least diversion of any one signal act of 
duty from him, nor from the Holy Spirit, by the especial 
actings of faith on the person of Christ. For all divine ho- 
nour is given solely unto the divine nature. And this being 
absolutely the same in each person, in the honouring of one, 
they are all equally honoured. He that honoureth the Son, 
he therein honoureth the Father also. 

3dly. Hence it appears what is that especial acting of faith 
on the person of Christ which we intend, and which in the 
Scripture is given in charge unto us, as indispensably ne- 
cessary unto our salvation. And there are three things to 
be considered in it. 

(1st.) That his divine nature is the proper formal object 
of this faith, on the consideration whereof alone, it is fixed 
on him. If you ask a reason why I believe on the Son of 
God ; if you intend what cause I have for it, what motives 
unto it, I shall answer, it is because of what he hath done 
for me, whereof afterward ; so doth the apostle. Gal. ii. 20. 
But if you intend, what is the formal reason, ground, and 
warranty whereon I thus believe in him, or place my trust 
and confidence in him, I say it is only this, that he is * over 
all God blessed for ever;' and were he not so, I could not 


believe in him. For to believe in any, is to expect from him 
that to be done for me, which none but God can do. 

(2dly.) That the entire person of Christ as God and man, 
is the immediate object of our faith herein. The divine nature 
is the reason of it; but his divine person is the object of it. 
In placing our faith on him, we consider him as God and 
man in one and the same person. We believe in him be- 
cause he is God ; but we believe in him as he is God and 
man in one person. 

And this consideration of the person of Christ, namely, 
as he is God and man, in our acting of faith on him, is that 
which renders it peculiar, and limits or determines it unto his 
person, because he only is so ; the Father is not, nor the Holy 
Spirit. That faith which hath the person of God and man 
for its object, is peculiarly and distinctly placed on Christ. 
(3dly.) The motives unto this distinct acting of faith on 
his person, are always to be considered, as those also which 
render this faith peculiar. For the things which Christ 
hath done for us, which are the motives of our faith in him, 
were peculiar unto him alone, as in the place before quoted. 
Gal. ii. 20. Such are all the works of his mediation, with 
all the fruits of them whereof we are made partakers. So 
God, in the first command, wherein he requires all faith, 
love, and obedience from the church, enforced it with the 
consideration of a signal benefit which it had received, and 
therein a type of all spiritual and eternal mercies, Exod. 
XX. 23. Herfce two things are evident which clearly state 
this matter. 

[1st.] That faith which we place upon, and the honour 
which we give thereby unto the person of Christ, is equally 
placed on, and honour equally given thereby unto the other 
persons of the Father and the Holy Spirit, with respect unto 
that nature which is the formal reason and cause of it. But 
it is peculiarly fixed on Christ, with respect unto his person 
as God and man, and the motives unto it, in the acts and 
benefits of his mediation. 

[2dly.] All of Christ is considered and glorified in this act- 
ing of faith on him. His divine nature, as the formal cause 
of it; his divine entire person God and man, as its proper 
object ; and the benefits of his mediation, as the especial 
motives thereunto. 


This faith in the person of Christ is the spring and foun- 
tain of our spiritual life. We live by the faith of the Son 
of God. In and by the actings hereof is it preserved, in- 
creased, and strengthened. * For he is our life ;' Col. ii. 4. 
and all supplies of it are derived from him by the actings 
of faith in him. We receive the forgiveness of sins, and an 
inheritance among them that are sanctified, * by the faith 
that is in him;' Acts xxvi. 18. Hereby do we abide in him, 
"without which we can do nothing; John xv. 5. Hereby is 
our peace with God maintained. * For he is our peace;' 
Eph.ii. 14. And in him we have peace according to his pro- 
mise, John xvi. 33. all strength for the mortification of sin, 
for the conquest of temptations, all our increase and growth 
in grace, depend on the constant actings of this faith in him. 
The way and method of this faith is that which we have 
described. A due apprehension of the love of Christ, with 
the effects of it in his whole mediatory work on our behalf, 
especially in his giving himself for us, and our redemption 
by his blood, is the great motive thereunto. They whose 
hearts are not deeply affected herewith, can never believe 
in him in a due manner. ' I live,' saith the apostle, * by the 
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for 
me.' Unless a sense hereof be firmly implanted on our souls ; 
unless we are deeply affected with it, our faith in him would 
be weak and wavering, or rather none at all. The due re- 
membrance of what the blessed Lord Jesus hath done for us ; 
of the ineffable love which was the spring, cause, and foun- 
tain of what he so did ; thoughts of the mercy, grace, peace, 
and glory which he hath procured thereby; are the great and 
unconquerable motives to fix our faith, hope, trust, and 
confidence in him. 

His divine nature is the ground and warranty for our 
so doing. This is that from whence he is the due and pro- 
per object of all divine faith and worship. From the power 
and virtue thereof do we expect and receive all those things 
which in our believing on him we seek after ; for none but 
God can bestow them on us, or work them in us. There is 
in all the actings of our faith on him, the voice of the con- 
fession of Thomas, * My Lord and my God.' 

His divine person wherein he is God and man, wherein 
he hath that nature which is the formal object of divine 


worship, and wherein he wrought all those things which are 
the motives thereunto, is the object of this faith, which giv(5s 
its difference and distinction from faith in God in general, 
and faith in the person of the Father, as the fountain of 
grace, love, and power. 

(2dly.) Faith is acted on Christ under the formal notion 
of mediator between God and man. So it is expressed, 1 Pet. 
i. 21. ' Who by him. do believe in God that raised him up 
from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and 
hope might be In God.' And this acting of faith towards 
Christ, is not contrary unto that before described, nor in- 
consistent with it, though it be distinct from it. To deny 
the person of Christ to fall under this double consideration, 
of a divine person absolutely, wherein he is 'overall, God 
blessed for ever,' and as manifested in the flesh, exercising 
the office of mediator between God and man, is to renounce 
the gospel. And, according unto the variety of these re- 
spects, so are the actings of faith various; some on him ab- 
solutely, on the motives of his mediation ; some on him as 
mediator only. And how necessary this variety is unto the 
life, supportment, and comfort of believers, they all know 
in some measure who are so. -See our exposition on Heb. 
i. 1 — 3. Sometimes faith considers him as on the throne ; 
sometimes as standing at the right hand of God ; sometimes 
as the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Je- 
sus. Sometimes his glorious power; sometimes his infinite 
condescension is their relief. 

Wherefore, in the sense now intended, he is considered as 
the ordinance, as the servant of God ' who raised him up 
from the dead, and gave him glory.' So our faith respects 
not only his person, but all the acts of his office. It is faith 
in his blood ;' Rom iii, 25. It is the will of God, that we 
should place our faith and trust in him and them, as the 
only means of our acceptance with him, of all grace and 
glory from him. This is the proper notion of a mediator. 
So is he not the ultimate object of our faith, wherein it rests, 
but God through him. * Through him have we an access 
by one Spirit unto the Father;' Eph. ii. 18. So he is the way 
whereby we go to God; John xiv. 6. See Heb. x. 19 — 21. 
And this also is faith in him, because he is the immediate, 
though not the ultimate object of it; Acts xxvi. 18. 


This is that which renders our faith in God evangelicaL 
The especial nature of it ariseth from our respect unto God 
in Christ, and through him. And herein faith principally 
regards Christ in the discharge of his sacerdotal office. 
For altliough it is also the principle of all obedience unto 
him in his other offices, yet as unto fixing our faith in God 
through him, it is his sacerdotal office and the effects of it, 
that we rest upon and trust unto. It is through him as 
the high-priest over the house of God, as he who hath 
made for us a new and living way into the holy place, that 
we draw nigh to God ; Heb. iv. 14—16. x.' 19. 21, 22. 
1 John i. 2. 

No comfortable refreshing thoughts oi^ God, no warrant- 
able or acceptable boldness in an approach and access unto 
him, can any one entertain or receive, but in this exercise 
of faith on Christ as the mediator between God and man. 
And if in the practice of religion, this regard of faith unto 
him, this acting of faith on God through him, be not the 
principle whereby the whole is animated and guided, Chris- 
tianity is renounced, and the vain cloud of natural religion 
embraced in the room of it. Not a verbal mention of him, 
but the real intention of heart to come unto God by him is 
required of us ; and thereinto all expectation of acceptance 
with God, as unto our persons or duties is resolved. 

We have had great endeavours of late by the Socinians 
to set forth and adorn a natural religion^ as if it were sufficient 
unto all ends of our living unto God. But as most of its 
pretended ornaments are stolen from the gospel, or are 
framed in an emanation of light from it, such as nature of it- 
self could not rise unto ; so the whole proceeds from a dis- 
like of the mediation of Christ, and even weariness of the 
profession of faith in him. So is it with the minds of men, 
who were never affected with supernatural revelations, with 
the mystery of the gospel, beyond the owning of some no- 
tions of truth, who never had experience of its power in the 
life of God. 

But here lies the trial of faith truly evangelical. Its 
steady beholding of the sun of righteousness proves it ge- 
nuine and from above. And let them take heed who find 
their heart remiss or cold in this exercise of it. When men 
begin to satisfy themselves with general hopes of mercy in 


God without a continual respect unto the interposition and 
mediation of Christ, whereinto their hope and trust is re- 
solved, there is a decay in their faith, and proportionably in 
all other evangelical graces also. Herein lies the my&tery 
of Christian religion, which the world seems to be almost 
weary of. 


Obedience unto Christ ; the nature and causes of it. 

All holy obedience both internal and external is that which 
we proposed as the second part of our religious regard unto 
the person of Christ. His great injunction unto his disci- 
ples is, * That they keep his commandments,* without which, 
none are so. 

Some say the Lord Christ is to be considered as a law- 
giver, and the gospel as a new law given by him, whereby 
our obedience unto him is to be regulated. Some absolutely 
deny it, and will not grant the gospel in any sense to be a 
new law. And many dispute about these things, whilst 
obedience itself is on all hands generally neglected. But 
this is that wherein our principal concernment doth lie. I 
shall not therefore at present immix myself in any needless 
disputations. Those things wherein the nature and neces- 
sity of our obedience unto him is concerned, shall be briefly 

The law under the Old Testament taken generally had 
two parts. (1.) The moral preceptive part of it; and, (2.) 
The institutions of worship appointed forthat season. These 
are jointly and distinctly called the law. 

(1.) In respect unto the first of these, the Lord Christ 
gave no new law, nor was the old abrogated by him, which 
it must be if another were given in the room of it, unto the 
same ends. For the introduction of a new law in the place 
of, and unto the end of a former, is an actual abrogation of 
it. Neither did he add any new precepts unto it, nor give 
any counsels for the performance of duties in matter or man- 
ner beyond what it prescribed. Any such supposition is con- 


trary to the wisdom and holiness of God in giving the lavv^ 
and inconsistent with the nature of the law itself. For God 
never required less of us in the law than all that was due 
unto him. And his prescription of it, included all circum- 
stances and causes that might render any duty at any time 
necessary in the nature or degrees of it. Whatever at any 
time may become the duty of any person towards God, in the 
substance or degrees of it, it is made so by the law. All is 
included in that summary of it, * Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself.* 
Nothing can be the duty of men but what and when it is re- 
quired by the love of God or our neighbour. Wherefore, 
no additions were made unto the preceptive part of the law 
by our Saviour, nor counsels given by him for the perform- 
ance of more than it did require. 

In this regard the gospel is no new law, only the duties 
of the moral and eternal law, are plainly declared in the 
doctrine of it, enforced in its motives, and directed as to 
their manner and end. Nor in this sense did the Lord Christ 
ever declare himself to be anew lawgiver; yea, he declares 
the contrary, that he came to confirm the old ; Matt. v. 17. 

(2.) The law may be considered, as containing the insti- 
tutions of worship, which were given in Horeb by Moses, 
with other statutes and judgments. It was in this sense abo- 
lished by Christ. For the things themselves were appointed, 
but unto the time of reformation. And thereon as the su- 
preme Lord and lawgiver of the gospel church, he gave anew 
law of worship, consisting in several institutions and ordi- 
nances of worship thereunto belonging. SeeHeb.iii. 3 — 6. 
and our exposition of that place. 

Obedience unto the Lord Christ may be considered with 
respect unto both these; the moral law which he confirmed, 
and the law of evangelical worship which he gave and ap- 
pointed. And some few things may be added to clear the 
nature of it. 

[1.] Obedience unto Christ doth not consist merely in 
doing the things which he requireth. So far the church 
under the Old Testament was obliged to yield obedience 
unto Moses ; and we are yet so unto the prophets and apo- 
stles. This is done, or may be so, with respect unto any 
subordinate directive cause of our obedience, when it is not 


formally so denominated from his authority. All obedience 
unto Christ proceeds from an express subjection of our souls 
and consciences unto him. 

[2.] No religious obedience could be due unto the Lord 
Christ directly, by the rule and command of the moral law, 
were he not God by nature also. The reason and foundation 
of all the obedience required therein, is, ' I am the Lord thy 
God; thou shalt have no other gods before me.' This con- 
tains the formal reason of all religious obedience. The So- 
cinians pretend highly unto obedience to the precepts of 
Christ ; but all obedience unto Christ himself they utterly 
overthrow. The obedience they pretend unto him, is but 
obeying God the Father according to his commands ; but 
they take away the foundation of all obedience unto his 
person, by denying his divine nature. And all religious 
obedience unto any, who is not God by nature is idolatry. 
Wherefore, all obedience unto God, due by the moral law, 
hath respect unto the person of Christ, as one God with the 
Father and Holy Spirit, blessed for ever. 

[3.] There is a peculiar respect unto him in all moral 
obedience as mediator. 

1st. In that by the supreme authority over the church 
wherewith he was vested, he hath confirmed all the com- 
mands of the moral law, giving them new enforcements, 
whence he calls them his commands. ' This,' saith he, * is my 
commandment, that you love one another/ which yet was 
the old commandment of the moral law ; * thou shalt love 
thy neighbour as thyself.' Hence the apostle calls it an old 
and new commandment ; 1 John ii. 7, 8. 

This law was given unto the church under the Old Tes- 
tament in the hand of a mediator, that is, of Moses ; Gal. 
iii. 19. It had an originalpower of obliging all mankind unto 
obedience from its first institution or prescription in our 
creation ; which it never lost nor abated in. Howbeit the 
church was obliged to have a respect unto it, as it was given 
■ unto them, * ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.' 
See Mai. iv. 4. Hereon many things hard and difficult did 
ensue, which we are now freed from. We are not obliged 
unto the observance of the moral law itself, as given in the 
hand of that mediator, which gave it the formal reason of a 
covenant unto that people, and had other statutes and judg- 


ments inseparable from it. But the same law continueth 
still in its original authority and power, which it had from 
the beginning, to oblige all indispensably unto obedience 

Howbeit as the church of Israel as such, was not obliged 
unto obedience unto the moral law absolutely considered, 
but as it was given unto them peculiarly in the hand of a 
mediator, that is, of Moses ; no more is the evangelical 
church as such, obliged by the original authority of that 
law, but as it is confirmed unto us in the hand of our Me- 
diator. This renders all our moral obedience evangelical. 
For there is no duty of it, but we are obliged to perform 
it in faith through Christ, on the motives of the love of God 
in him, of the benefits of his mediation, and the grace we 
receive by him ; whatever is otherwise done by us is not ac- 
ceptable unto God. 

They do therefore for the most part but deceive them- 
selves and others, who talk so loudly about moral duties. 
I know of none that are acceptable unto God, which are 
not only materially, but formally so, and no more. 

If the obligation they own unto them, be only the ori- 
ginal power of the moral law, or the law of our creation, 
and they are performed in the strength of that law unto the 
end of it, they are no way accepted of God. But if they 
intend the duties which the moral law requireth, proceeding 
from, and performed by, faith in Christ, upon the grounds 
of the love of God in him, and grace received from him, then 
are they duties purely evangelical. And although the law 
hath never lost, nor ever can lose its original power of oblig- 
ing us unto universal obedience, as we are reasonable crea- 
tures ; yet is our obedience unto it as Christians, as believers, 
immediately influenced by its confirmation unto the evan- 
gelical church in the hand of our Mediator. For, 

2dly. God hath given unto the Lord Christ all power in 
his name, to require this obedience from all that receive the 
gospel. Others are left under the original authority of the 
law, either as implanted in our natures at their first creation, 
as are the Gentiles ; or as delivered by Moses, and written 
in tables of stone, as it was with the Jews ; Rom. ii. 12 — 14. 
But as unto them that are called unto the faith of the gos- 
pel, the authority of Christ doth immediately affect their 
minds and consciences. ' He feeds' or rules his people * in 


the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the 
Lord his God;' Mich. v. 4. All the authority and majesty 
of God, is in him and with him ; so of old, as the great angel 
of God's presence, he was in the church in the wilderness 
with a delegated power ; Exod. xxiii. 20—22. ' Behold I 
send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to 
bring thee into the place which 1 have prepared. Beware 
of him and obey his voice, provoke him not, for he will not 
pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him. But if 
thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak.* 
The name of God the Father is so in him, that is, he is so 
partaker of the same nature with him, that his voice is the 
voice of the Father, ' If thou obey his voice, and do all 
that I speak.' Nevertheless he acts herein as the angel of 
God, with power and authority delegated from him. So is 
he still immediately present with the church requiring obe- 
dience in the name and majesty of God. 

3dly. All judgment upon and concerning this obedience 
is committed unto him by the Father. ' For the Father 
judgeth no man' (that is, immediately as the Father), * but 
hath committed all judgment unto the Son;' John v. 22. 

* He hath given him authority to execute judgment, because 
he is the Son of man;' ver. 27. And his judgment is the 
judgment of God ; for the Father, who judgeth none imme- 
diately in his own person, judgeth all in him ; 1 Pet. i. 17. 

* If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons 
judgeth according to every man's work.' He doth so in and 
by the Son, unto whom all judgment is committed. And 
unto him are we to have regard in all our obedience, unto 
whom we must give our account concerning it, and by whom 
we are and must be finally judged upon it. To this purpose 
speaks the apostle, Rom. xiv. 10—12. * We must all stand 
before the judgment-seat of Christ, For it is written. As I live, 
saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue 
shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give ac- 
count of himself to God.' He proveth that we shall all stand 
before the judgment-seat of Christ, or be judged by him, 
by a testimony of Scripture that we shall be also judged by 
God himself, and give an account of ourselves unto him. 
And as this doth undeniably prove and confirm the divine 
nature of Christ, without the faith whereof, there is neither 


cogency in the apostle's testimony, nor force in his arguing; 
so he declares that God judgeth us only in and by him. In 
this regard of our moral obedience unto Christ, lies the way 
"whereby God will be glorified. 

[2.] All things are yet more plain with respect unto 
institutions of divine worship. The appointment of all divine 
ordinances under the New Testament, was his especial pro- 
vince and work, as the Son and Lord over his own house. 
And obedience unto him in the observance of them is that 
which he gives in especial charge unto all his disciples. 
Matt, xxviii. 18 — 20. And it is nothing but a loss of that 
subjection of soul and conscience unto him, which is indis- 
pensably required of all believers, that hath set the minds 
of so many at liberty to do and observe in divine worship 
what they please, without any regard unto his institutions. 
It is otherwise with respect unto moral duties. For the things 
of the moral law, have an obligation on our consciences an- 
tecedent unto the enforcement of them by the authority of 
Christ, and there holds us fast. But as unto things of the 
latter sort, our consciences can no way be affected with a 
sense of them, or a necessity of obedience in them, but by 
the sole and immediate authority of Christ himself. If a 
sense hereof be lost in our minds, we shall not abide in the 
observance of his commands. 


The especial principle of obedience unto the person of Christ ; which is 
love. Its truth and reality vindicated. 

That which doth enliven and animate the obedience whereof 
we have discoursed, is love. This himself makes the foun- 
dation of all that is acceptable unto him. * If,' saith he, 'ye 
love me, keep my commandments ;' John xiv. 15. As he 
distinguisheth between love and obedience, so he asserts 
the former as the foundation of the latter. He accepts of no 
obedience unto his commands, that doth not proceed from 
love unto his person. That is no love which is not fruitful 
in obedience, and that is no obedience which proceeds not 
from love. So he expresseth on both sides. ' If a man love 

OF tup: person of christ. 175 

me, he will keep my words; and he that loveth me not 
keepeth not my sayings f ver. 23, 24. 

In the Old Testament the love of God was the life and 
substance of all obedience. ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, thy mind and 
strength,' was the sum of the law. This includes in it all 
obedience, and where it is genuine, will produce all the fruits 
of it. And where it was not, no multiplication of duties 
was accepted with him. But this in general we do not now 
treat of. 

That the person of Christ is the especial object of this 
divine love, which is the fire that kindles the sacrifice of our 
obedience unto him ; this is that alone which at present I 
design to demonstrate. 

The apostle hath recorded a very severe denunciation of 
divine wrath against all that love him not. * If any man 
love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, mara- 
natha ;' 1 Cor. xvi. 22. And what was added unto the curse 
of the law, we may add unto this of the gospel ; ' and all the 
people shall say. Amen ;' Deut. xxvii. 26. And on the other 
hand, he prays for grace on all that ' love him in sincerity ;' 
Eph. ii. 26. Wherefore, none who desire to retain the name 
of Christians, can deny in words at least, but that we ought 
with all our hearts to love the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I do not so distinguish love from obedience as though it 
were not itself a part, yea, the chiefest part of our obedience. 
So is faith also, yet is it constantly distinguished from obe- 
dience properly so called. This alone is that which I shall 
demonstrate, namely, that there is, and ought to be in all 
believers, a divine, gracious love unto the person of Christ, 
immediately fixed on him, whereby they are excited unto, 
and acted in, all their obedience unto his authority. Had it 
been only pleaded, that many who pretend love unto Christ, 
do yet evidence that they love him not, it is that which the 
Scripture testifieth, and continual experience doth proclaim. 
If an application of this charge had been made unto them 
whose sincerity in their profession of love unto him can be 
no way evicted, it ought to be borne with patience, amongst 
other reproaches of the same kind that are cast upon them. 
And some things are to be premised unto the confirmation 
of our assertion. 


1. It is granted, that there may be a false pretence of 
love unto Christ. And as this pretence is ruinous unto the 
souls of them in whom it is, so it oft-times renders them pre- 
judicial aiKi troublesome unto others. There ever were, and 
probably ever will be hypocrites in the church ; and a false 
pretence of love is of the essential form of hypocrisy. The 
first great act of hypocrisy with respect unto Christ, was 
treachery veiled with a double pretence of love. He cried, 
* Hail, master ; and kissed him,' who betrayed him. His words 
and actions proclaimed love, but deceit and treachery were 
in his heart. Hence the apostle prays for grace on them 
who love the Lord Jesus, tv cKp^apala; without dissimulation 
or doubling, without pretences and aims at other ends, with- 
out a mixture of corrupt affections ; that is sincerity ; Eph, 
vi. 24. It was prophesied of him, that many who were 
strangers unto his grace, should lie unto him ; Psal. xviii.44. 
Qb wny "iD3 >iD) feignedly submit or yield feigned obedience 
unto him. So is it with them who profess love unto him, 
yet are enemies of his cross, * whose end is destruction, whose 
God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind 
earthly things;' Phil. iii. 18, 19. All that are called Chris- 
tians in the w'orld, do, by owning that denomination, profess 
a love unto Jesus Christ ; but greater enemies, greater haters 
of him he hath not among the children of men, than many 
of them are. This falsely pretended love, is worse than 
avowed hatred ; neither will the pretence of it stand men 
in stead at the last day. No other answer will be given unto 
the plea of it, be it in whom it will, but * depart from me, I 
never knew you, ye workers of iniquity.' Whereas there- 
fore he himself hath prescribed this rule unto all who would 
be esteemed his disciples, 'If ye Jove me, keep my com- 
mandments ;' we may safely conclude all who live in a neg- 
lect of his commands, whatever they pretend or profess, they 
love him not. And the satisfaction which men, through 
much darkness, and many corrupt prejudices, have attained 
unto in the profession of Christian religion,''without an in- 
ternal, sincere love unto Christ [himself, is that which ruins 
religion and their own souls. 

2, As there is a false pretence of love unto Christ, so 
thiere is, or may be, a false love unto him also. The persons 
m whom it is, may in some measure be sincere, and yet their 


love unto Christ may not be pure, nor sincere, such as an- 
swers the principles and rules of the gospel. And as many- 
deceive others, so some deceive themselves in this matter. 
They may think that they love Christ, but indeed do not so. 
And this I shall manifest in some few instances. 

(1.) That love is not sincere and incorrupt, which pro- 
ceedeth not from, which is not a fruit of faith. Those who 
do not first really believe On Christ, can never sincerely 
love him. It is faith alone that worketh by love towards 
Christ and all his saints. If therefore any do not believe 
with that faith which unites them unto Christ, which within 
purifies the heart, and is outwardly effectual in duties of 
obedience, whatever they may persuade themselves con- 
cerning love unto Christ, it is but a vain delusion. Where 
the faith of men is dead, their love will not be living and 

(2.) That love is not so, which ariseth from false ideas 
and representations that men make of Christ, or have made 
of him in their minds. Men may draw images in their minds 
of what they most fancy, and then doat upon them. So 
some think of Christ only as a glorious person exalted in 
heaven at the right hand of God, without farther apprehen- 
sions of his natures and offices. So the Roman missionaries 
represented him unto some of the Indians; concealing from 
them his cross and sufferings. But every false notion con- 
cerning his person or his grace, what he is, hath done, or 
doth, corrupts the love that is pretended unto him. Shall 
we think that they love Christ by whom his divine nature is 
denied? Or that those do so who disbelieve the reality of 
his human nature ? Or those by whom the union of both 
in the same person is rejected? There cannot be true evan- 
gelical love unto a false Christ, such as these imaginations 
do fancy. 

(3.) So is that love, which is not in all things as to causes, 
motives, measures, and ends, regulated by the Scripture. 
This alone gives us the nature, rules, and bounds of sincere 
spiritual love. We are no more to love Christ, than to fear 
and worship him, according unto our own imaginations. 
From the Scripture are we to derive all the principles and 
motives of our love. If either the acts or effects of it 
will not endure a trial thereby, they are false and counterfeit, 



and many such have been pretended unto, as we shall see 

(4.) That is so, unquestionably, which fixeth itself on 
undue objects, which, whatever is pretended, are neither 
Christ, nor means of conveying our love unto him. Such is 
all that love which the Romanists express in their devotion 
unto images, as they fancy of Christ ; crucifixes, pretended 
relics of his cross, and the nails that pierced him, with the 
like superstitious representations of him, and what they 
suppose he is concerned in. For although they express their 
devotion with great appearance of ardent affections, under 
all outvi'ard signs of them, in adorations, kissings, prostra- 
tions, with sighs and tears ; yet all this while it is not Christ 
which they thus cleave unto, but a cloud of their own ima- 
ginations, wherewith their carnal minds are pleased and af- 
fected. That is no God which a man heweth out of a tree, 
though he form it for that end, though he falleth down unto 
it and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, * deliver 
me, for thou art my God ;' Isa. xliv. 17. The authors of 
this superstition, whereby the love of innumerable poor 
souls, is depraved and abused, do first frame in their minds 
what they suppose may solicit or draw out the natural and 
carnal affections of men unto it, and then outwardly repre- 
sent it as an object for them. Wherefore some of their re- 
presentations of him are glorious, and some of them dolorous, 
according as they aim to excite affections in carnal minds. 
But, as I said, these things are not Christ, nor is he any way 
concerned in them. 

(5.) I acknowledge there have been great pretences of 
such a love unto Christ as cannot be justified. Such is that 
which some of the devotionists of the Roman church, have 
endeavoured rather to express out of their fancy, than declare 
out of their experience. Raptures, ecstasies, self-annihi- 
lations, immediate adhesions and enjoyments, without any 
act of the understanding, and with a multitude of other 
swelling words of vanity, they labour to set off what they 
fancy to be divine love. But there wants not evidences of 
truth sufficient to defeat these pretences, be they never so 
specious or glorious. For, 

[1.] As it is by them described, it exceedeth all Scripture 
precedents. For men to assume unto themselves an ap- 


prehension that they love Christ in another manner and 
kind, in a higher degree at least, and thence, to enjoy 
more intimacy with him, more love from him, than did any 
of the apostles, John, or Paul, or Peter, or any other of 
those holy ones, whose love unto him is recorded in the 
Scripture, is intolerable vanity and presumption. But no 
such things as these devotees pretend unto, are mentioned, 
or in the least intimated concerning them, and their love to 
their Lord and Master. No man will pretend unto more love 
than they had, but such as have none at all. 

[2.] It is no way directed, warranted, approved, by any 
command, promise, or rule of the Scripture. As it is with- 
out precedent, so it is without precept. And hereby, whe- 
ther we will or no, all our graces and duties must be tried, 
as unto any acceptation with God. Whatever pretends to 
exceed the direction of the word, may safely be rejected, 
cannot safely be admitted. Whatever enthusiasms or pre- 
tended inspirations may be pleaded, for the singular prac- 
tice of what is prescribed in the Scripture, yet none can be 
allowed for an approved principle of what is not so pre- 
scribed. Whatever exceeds the bounds thereof, is resolved 
into the testimony of every distempered imagination. Nor 
will it avail that these things amongst them are submitted 
unto the judgment of the church. For the church hath no 
rule to judge by but the Scripture ; and it can pass but one 
judgment of what is not warranted thereby, namely, that it 
is to be rejected. 

[3.] As it is described by those who applaud it, it is not 
suited unto the sober sedate actings of the rational faculties 
of our souls. For whereas all that God requireth of us, is 
that we love him with all our souls and all our minds, these 
men cry up a divine love by an immediate adhesion of the 
will and the affections unto God, without any actings of the 
mind and understanding; at all. Love indeed is the reg^ular 
acting of our whole souls by all their faculties and rational 
powers in an adherence unto God. But these men have fancied 
a divine love for them whom they would admire and extol, 
which disturbs all their regular actings, and renders them of 
little or no use in that, which without their due exercise, 
is nothing but fancy. And hence it is, that under pre- 
tence of this love, sundry persons among them, yea, all 

' N 2 


that have pretended unto it, have fallen into such ridiculous 
excessesand open delusions, as sufficiently discoverthe vanity 

of the love itself pretended by them. 

Wherefore we plead for no other love unto the person of 
Christ, but what the Scripture warrants as unto its nature, 
what the gospel requireth of us as our duty, what the natural 
faculties of our minds are suited unto, and given us for, 
what they are enabled unto by grace, and without which in 
some degree of sincerity, no man can yield acceptable obe- 
dience unto him. 

These things being premised, that which we assert is, 
that there is and ought to be in all believers, a religious 
gracious love unto the person of Christ, distinct from, and 
the reason of their obedience unto his commands; that is, it 
is distinct from all other commands ; but is also itself com- 
manded and required of us in a way of duty. 

That there is in the church such a love unto the person 
of Christ, the Scripture testifies both in the precepts it gives 
for it, and the examples of it. And all those who truly be- 
lieve cannot apprehend that they understand any thing of 
faith, or love of Christ, or themselves, by whom it is called 
in question. If therefore 1 should enlarge on this subject, 
a 2;reat part of the doctrine of the Scripture from first to last 
must be represented, and a transcript of the hearts of be- 
lievers, wherein this love is seated and prevalent, be made 
according to our ability. And there is no subject that I 
could more willingly enlarge upon. But I must at present 
contract myself in compliance with my design. Two things 
only I shall demonstrate : 1. That the person of Christ is 
the object of divine love. 2. What is the nature of that 
love in us ; what are the grounds of it, and the motives unto 
it, in them that do believe. 

In reference unto the first of these, the ensuing position 
shall be the subject of the remainder of this chapter. 

The person of Christ is the principal object of the love 
of God, and of the whole creation participant of his image. 
The reason why I thus extend the assertion, will appear in 
the declaration of it. 

(1.) No small part of the eternal blessedness of the holy 
God, consisteth in the mutual love of the Father and the 
Son, by the Spirit. As he is the only-begotten of the 


Father, he is the first, necessary, adequate, complete object 
of the whole love of the Father. Hence he says of himself, 
ihat * from eternity he was by him, as brought up with him, 
and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him ;' 
Prov. viii. 30. which place was opened before. In him was 
the ineffable, eternal, unchangeable delight and compla- 
cency of the Father, as the full object of his love. The 
same is expressed in that description of him, John i. 18. 
* The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father.' 
His being the only begotten Son declares his eternal relation 
unto the person of the Father, of whom he was begotten 
in the entire communication of the whole divine nature. 
Hereon he is in the bosom of the Father; in the eternal 
embraces of his love, as his only begotten Son. The Father 
loves, and cannot but love, his own nature and essential 
image in him. 

Herein originally is God love. * For God is love ;' 1 John 
iv. 8. This is the fountain and prototype of all love, as being 
eternal and necessary. All other acts of love are in God 
but emanations from hence, and effects of it. As he doth 
good, because he is good, so he loveth, because he is love. 
He is love eternally and necessarily in this love of the Son ; 
and all other workings of love are but acts of his will, where- 
by somewhat of it is outwardly expressed. And all love in 
the creation was introduced from this fountain, to give a 
shadow and resemblance of it. 

Love is that which contemplative men have always al- 
most adored. Many things have they spoken to evince it 
to be the light, life, lustre, and glory of the whole creation. 
But the original and pattern of it was always hid from the 
wisest philosophers of old. Something they reached after 
about God's love unto himself, with rest and complacency 
in his own infinite excellencies. But of this ineffable, mu- 
tual love of the Father and the Son, both in and by that 
Spirit which proceeds from them both, they had neither ap- 
prehension nor conjecture. Yet as herein doth the principal 
part (if we may so speak) of the blessedness of the holy God 
consist, so is it the only fountain and prototype of all that is 
truly called love. A blessing and glory which the creation 
had never been made partaker of, but only to express, ac- 


cording to the capacity of their several natures, this infinite 
and eternal love of God. For God's love of himself, which 
is natural and necessary unto the Divine Being, consists in 
the mutual complacency of the Father and the Son by the 
Spirit. And it was to express himself, that God made any 
thing without himself. He made the heavens and the earth 
to express his being, goodness, and power. He created man 

* in his own image,' to express his holiness and righteous- 
ness ; and he implanted love in our natures, to express this 
eternal mutual love of the holy persons of the Trinity. But 
we must leave it under the veil of infinite incomprehensible- 
ness 'y though admiration and adoration of it be not without 
the highest spiritual satisfaction. 

Again, He is the peculiar object of the love of the Fa- 
ther, of the love of God, as he is incarnate, as he hath taken 
on him, and hath now discharged the work of mediation, or 
continues in the discharge of it ; that is, the person of 
Christ, as God-man, is the peculiar object of the divine love 
of the Father. The person of Christ in his divine nature, is 
the adequate object of that love of the Father which is * ad 
intra,' a natural necessary act of the divine essence in its 
distinct personal existence : and the person of Christ as in- 
carnate, as clothed with human nature, is the first and full 
object of the love of the Father in those acts of it, which are 

* ad extra,' or are towards any thing without himself. So he 
declares himself in the prospect of his future incarnation 
and work. ' Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect 
in whom my soul delighteth ;' Isa. xlii. 1. The delight of 
the. soul of God, his rest and complacency, which are the 
great effects of love, are in the Lord Christ as his elect and 
servant in the work of mediation. And the testimony hereof 
he renewed twice from heaven afterward ; Matt. iii. 17. 'Lo, 
a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom 
I am well pleased ;' as it is again repeated. Matt. xvii. 5. 
All things are disposed to give a due sense unto us, of this 
love of God unto him. The testimony concernino-it is twice 
repeated in the same words from heaven. And the words of 
it are emphatical unto the utmost of our comprehension. 

* My Son, my servant, mine elect, my beloved Son in whom 
I rebt, in whom I delight, and am well pleased.' It is the 


will of God to leave upon our hearts a sense of this love unto 
Christ ; for his voice came from heaven, not for his sake 
who was always filled with a sense of this divine love, but 
for ours, that we might believe it. 

This he pleaded as the foundation of all the trust reposed 
in him, and all the power committed unto him. *The Fa- 
ther loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand;' 
John iii. 35. *The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him 
all things that himself doth ;' John v. 20. And the sense or 
due apprehension of it, is the foundation of Christian reli- 
gion. Hence he prays that we may 'know that God hath 
loved him ;' John xvii. 23. 26. 

In this sense, the person of Christ is the Trpwrov ^ektikov, 
the first recipient subject of all that divine love which ex- 
tends itself unto the church. It is all, the whole of it, in 
the first place fixed upon him, and by and through him is 
communicated unto the church. Whatever it receives in 
grace and glory, it is but the streams of this fountain love 
unto himself. So he prays for all his disciples, * that the 
love,' saith he, ' wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in 
them, and I in them ;' John. xvii. 26. They can be partakers 
of no other love, neither in itself nor in its fruits, but that 
alone wherewith the Father first loved him. He loveth him 
for us all, and us no otherwise but as in him. He makes 
us accepted in the beloved; Eph. i. 6. He is the beloved of 
the Father, Kar l^oxrjv : as in all things he was to have the 
pre-eminence ; Col. i. 18. The love of the body is derived 
unto it from the love unto the head. And in the love of him 
doth God love the whole church and no otherwise. He loves 
none but as united unto him, and participant of his nature. 

Wherefore the love of the Father unto the Son, as the 
only-begotten, and the essential image of his person, wherein 
the ineffable delight of the divine nature doth consist, was 
the fountain and cause of all love in the creation, by an act 
of the will of God for its representation. And the love of 
God the Father unto the person of Christ as incarnate, being 
the first adequate object of divine love, wherein there is 
any thing ' ad extra,' is the fountain and especial cause of 
all gracious love towards us and in us. And our love unto 
Christ being the only outward expression and representa- 
tion of this love of the Father unto him, therein consists the 


principal part of our renovation into his image. Nothing 
renders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ, 
for he is the principal object of his love; in him doth his 
soul rest, in him is he always well pleased. Wherever this 
is wanting, whatever there may be besides, there is nothing 
of the image of God. He that loves not Jesus Christ, let 
him be Anathema Maranatha ; for he is unlike unto God, 
his carnal mind is enmity against God. 

('2.) Among those who are in the image of God, the angels 
above are of the first consideration. We are indeed as yet 
much in the dark unto the things that are * within the veil.' 
They are above us as unto our present capacity, and hid from 
us, as unto our present state ; but there is enough in the 
Scripture to manifest the adhesion of angels unto the per- 
son of Christ by divine love. For love proceeding from 
sight, is the life of the church above ; as love proceeding 
from faith, is the life of the church below. And this life the 
angels themselves do live. For, 

[1.] They were all unto their inexpressible present ad- 
vantage and security for the future, brought into that re- 
covery and recapitulation of all things which God hath made 
in him. He hath * gathered together in one all things in 
Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth ; 
even in him ;' Eph. i. 10. The things in heaven, and things 
in earth,angels above, and men below, were originally united 
in the love of God. God's love unto them, whence springs 
their mutual love between themselves, was a bond of union 
between them, rendering them one complete family of God 
in heaven and earth, as it is called, Eph. iii. 15. On the en- 
trance of sin, whereby mankind forfeited their interest in 
the love of God, and lost all love unto him, or any thing for 
him, this union was utterly dissolved, and mutual enmity 
came" into the place of its principle in love. Gad is pleased 
to gather up these divided parts of his family into one, in 
one head, which is Christ Jesus. And as there is hereby a 
union established again between angels and the church in 
love, so their adherence unto the head, the centre, life, and 
spring of this union, is by love and no otherwise. It is not 
faith, but love that is the bond of this union between Christ 
and them; and herein no small part of their blessedness and 
glory in heaven doth consist. 


[2.j That worship, adoration, service, and obedience 
which they yield unto him, are all in like manner animated 
with love and delight. In love they cleave unto him, in love 
they worship and serve him. They had a command to wor- 
ship him on his nativity, liob. i. 6. and they did it with joy, 
exultation, and praises, all effects of love and delight; Luke 
ii. 13, 14. And as they continue about the throne of God, 
they say, with a loud voice, ' Worthy is the Lamb that was 
slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, 
and honour, and glory, and blessing;' Rev. v. 11, 12. Their 
continual ascription of glory and praise unto him, is an effect 
of reverential love and delight ; and from thence also is 
their concernment in his gospel and grace; Eph. iii. 9, 10. 
1 Pet. i. 12. Nor without this love in the highest degree, 
can it be conceived how they should be blessed and happy 
in their continual employment. For they are ' all ministering 
spirits, sent forth to minister for the heirs of salvation;' Heb. 
i. 14. Were they not acted herein by their fervent love 
unto Christ, they could have no delight in their own 

We have not, we cannot have in this world, a full com- 
prehension of the nature of angelical love. Our notions are 
but dark and uncertain in things whereof we can have no ex- 
perience. Wherefore, we cannot have here" a clear intuition 
into the nature of the love of spirits, whilst our own is 
mixed with what derives from the actings of the animal spi- 
rits of our bodies also. But the blessedness of angels doth 
not consist in the endowments of their nature, that they are 
great in power, light, knowledge, and wisdom ; for, not- 
withstanding these things, many of them became devils. 
But the excellency and blessedness of the angelical state 
consist in these two things : 

1st. That they are disposed, and able constantly, inse- 
parably, universally, uninterruptedly to cleave unto God in 
love. And as they do so unto God, so they do unto the per- 
son of Christ, and through him as their head unto God, even 
the Father. 

2dly. Add hereunto that gracious reflex sense which 
they have of the glory, dignity, eternal sweetness, and satis- 
faction which ariseth from hence, and we have the sum of 
angelical blessedness. 


(3.) The church of mankind is the other part of the ra- 
tional creation whereon the image of God is renewed. Love 
unto the person of Christ proceeding from faith, is their life, 
their joy and glory. 

It was so un^o the church under the Old Testament. 
The whole book of Canticles is designed to no other pur- 
pose, but variously to shadow forth, to insinuate and repre- 
sent the mutual love of Christ and the church. Blessed is he 
who understands the sayings of that book, and hath the ex- 
perience of them in his heart. The forty-fifth Psalm, among 
others, is designed unto the same purpose. All the glorious 
descriptions which are given of his person in the residue of 
the prophets, were only means to excite love unto him, and 
desires after him. Hence is he called a>un ^D DTDn, Hag. 
ii. 7. 'The desire of all nations.' He alone who is desirable 
unto, and the only beloved of the church, gathered out of 
all nations. 

The clear revelation of the person of Christ, so as to ren- 
der him the direct object of our love, with the causes and 
reasons of it, is one of the most eminent privileges of the 
New Testament. And it is variously attested in precepts, 
promises, instances, and solemn approbations. 

Wherever he supposeth or requireth this love in any of 
his disciples, it is not only as their duty, as that which they 
were obliged unto by the precepts of the gospel, but as that 
without which no other duty whatever is accepted by him. 
* If,' saith he, ' ye love me, keep my commandments ;' John 
xiv. 15. He so requires love unto himself, as not to expect 
or approve of any obedience unto his commands without it. 
It is a great and blessed duty to feed the sheep and lambs 
of Christ ; yet will not he accept of it unless it proceeds out 
of love unto his person. ' Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou 
me? feed my lambs ;' John xxi. 15 — 17. Three times did he 
repeat the same words to him who had failed in his love to- 
wards him by denying him thrice. Without this love unto 
him, he requires of none to feed his sheep, nor will accept of 
what they pretend to do therein. It were a blessed thing, if 
a due apprehension hereof did always abide with them that 
are called unto that work. 

Hereunto doth he annex those blessed promises which 
comprise the whole of our peace, safety, and consolation in 


this world. * He/ saith he, ' that loveth me, shall be loved 
of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself unto 
him;' John xiv. 21. and ver. 23. 'My Father will love him, 
and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.' 
What heart can conceive, what tongue can express, the glory 
of these promises, or the least part of the grace that is con- 
tained in them ? Who can conceive aright of the divine con- 
descension, love, and grace that are expressed in them? How 
little a portion is it that we know of God in these things? 
But if we value them not, if we labour not for an experience 
of them according unto our measure, we have neither lot nor 
portion in the gospel. The presence and abode of God with 
us as a Father manifesting himself to be such unto us, in 
the infallible pledges and assurances of our adoption ; the 
presence of Christ with us, revealing himself unto us, with all 
those ineffable mercies wherewith these things are accom- 
panied, are all contained in them. And these promises are 
peculiarly given unto them that love the person of Christ, 
and in the exercise of love towards him. 

Hereunto are designed the gospel Gerazim and Ebal, the 
denunciation of blessings and curses. As blessings are de- 
clared to be their portion, ' who love the Lord Jesus in sin- 
cerity ;' Eph. vi. 24. so those who love him not, have the 
substance of all curses denounced against them, even * Ana- 
thema Maranatha;' 1 Cor. xvi. 22. So far shall such persons 
be, whatever they may profess of outward obedience unto 
the gospel, from any blessed interest in the promises of it, 
as that they are justly liable unto final excision from the 
church in this world, and eternal malediction in that which 
is to come. 

It is evident, therefore, that the love of the church, of be- 
lievers, unto the person of Christ, is not a distempered fancy, 
not a deluding imagination, as some have blasphemed, but 
that which the nature of their relation unto him makes ne- 
cessary ; that wherein they express their renovation into 
the image of God, that which the Scripture indispensably 
requires of them, and whereon all their spiritual comforts do 
depend. These things being spoken in general, the parti- 
cular nature, effects, operations, and motives of this divine 
love, must now be farther inquired into. 



The nature, operations, and causes of divine love, as it respects 
the person of Christ. 

That we may the better understand that love unto the per- 
son of Christ which we plead for, some things must be pre- 
mised concerning the nature of divine love in general, and 
thereon its application unto the particular actings and ex- 
ercise of it which we inquire into, will be plain and easy. 

God hath endowed our nature with a faculty and ability 
of fixing our love upon himself. Many can understand no- 
thing of love, but the adherence of their minds and souls 
unto things visible and sensible, capable of a present natu- 
ral enjoyment. For things unseen, especially such as are 
eternal and infinite, they suppose they have a veneration, a 
religious respect, a devout adoration ; but how they should 
love them, they cannot understand. And the apostle doth 
grant that there is a greater difficulty in loving things that 
cannot be seen, than in loving those which are always visi- 
bly present unto us ; 1 John iv. 20. Howbeit this divine love 
hath a more fixed station and prevalency in the minds of 
men, than any other kind of love whatever. For, 

1. The principal end why God endued our natures with 
that great and ruling affection, that hath the most eminent 
and peculiar power and interest in our souls, was in the first 
place, that it might be fixed on himself, that it might be 
the instrument of our adherence unto him. He did not 
create this affection in us, that we might be able by it to cast 
ourselves into the embraces of things natural and sensual. 
No affection hath such power in the soul to cause it to 
cleave unto its object, and to work it into a conformity unto 
it. Most other affections are transient in their operations, 
and work by a transport of nature, as anger, joy, fear, and 
the like ; but love is capable of a constant exercise, is a 
spring unto all other affections, and unites the soul with an 
efficacy not easy to be expressed unto its object. And 
shall we think that God, who made all things for himself, 
did create this rulinir affection in and with our natures. 


merely that we might be able to turn from him, and cleave 
unto other things, with a power and faculty above any we 
have of adherence unto him? Wherefore, at our first crea- 
tion, and in our primitive condition, love was the very soul 
and quickening principle of the life of God, and on our ad- 
herence unto him thereby, the continuance of our relation 
unto him, did depend. The law, rule, and measure of it 
was, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and all thy soul/ For this end did God create this affection 
in us. Not only our persons in their nature and being, but 
in all tlieir powers and faculties, were fitted and prepared 
unto this end, of living unto God, and coming unto the en- 
joyment of him. And all their exercise on created objects 
was to be directed unto this end. Wherefore, the placino- 
of our love on any thing before God, or above him, is a for- 
mal expression of our apostacy from him. 

2. Divine excellencies are a proper adequate object of 
our love. The will indeed can adhere unto nothing in love, 
but what the understanding apprehends as unto its truth 
and being ; but it is not necessary that the understanding 
do fully comprehend the whole nature of that which the will 
doth so adhere unto. Where a discovery is made unto and 
by the mind of real goodness and amiableness, the will there 
can close with its affections. And these are apprehended 
as absolutely the most perfect in the divine nature and holy 
properties of it. Whereas therefore not only that which is 
the proper object of love is in the divine excellencies, but it 
is there only perfectly and absolutely, without the mixture 
of any thing that should give it an allay, as there is in all 
creatures, they are the most suitable and adequate object of 
our love. 

There is no greater discovery of the depravation of our 
natures by sin, and degeneracy of our wills from their ori- 
ginal rectitude, than that whereas we are so prone to the 
love of other things, and therein do seek for satisfaction 
unto our souls, where it is not to be obtained, it is so hard 
and difficult to raise our hearts unto the love of God. Were 
it not for that depravation, he would always appear as the 
only suitable and satisfactory object unto our affections. 

3. The especial object of divine, gracious love, is the 
divine goodness. * How great is his goodness, how great js 


his beauty!' Zech. ix. 17. Nothing is amiable, or a proper 
object of love, but what is good, and as it is so. Hence 
divine goodness, which is infinite, hath an absolutely per- 
fect amiableness accompanying of it. Because his goodness 
is inexpressible, his beauty is so, *How great is his good- 
ness, how great is his beauty !' Hence are we called to give 
thanks unto the Lord, and to rejoice in him, which are 
the effects of love, because he is good; Psal. cvi. 1. 
cxxxvi. 1. 

Neither is divine goodness the especial object of our 
love as absolutely considered. But we have a respect unto 
it, as comprehensive of all that mercy, grace, and bounty, 
which are suited to give us the best relief in our present con- 
dition, and an eternal future reward. Infinite goodness ex- 
erting itself in all that mercy, grace, faithfulness, and bounty, 
which are needful unto our relief and blessedness in our 
present condition, is the proper object of our love. Where- 
as therefore this is done only in Christ, there can be no true 
love of the divine goodness, but in and through him alone. 

The goodness of God as a creator, preserver, and re- 
warder, was a sufficient, yea, the adequate object of all love 
antecedently unto the entrance of sin and misery. In them, 
in God, under those considerations might the soul of man 
find full satisfaction as unto its present and future blessed- 
ness. But since the passing of sin, misery, and death upon 
us, our love can find no amiableness in any goodness, no 
rest, complacency, and satisfaction in any, but what is effec- 
tual in that grace and mercy by Christ, which we stand in 
need of, for our present recovery and future reward. Nor 
doth God require of us that we should love him otherwise 
but as he * is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.' 
So the apostle fully declares it : * In this was manifested 
the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only- 
begotten Son into the world, that we might live through 
him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he 
loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins. 
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to 
us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in 
God, and God in him ;' 1 John iv. 9, 10. 16. God is love, of 
a nature infinitely good and gracious, so as to be the only 
object of all divine love. But this love can no way be 


known, or be so manifested unto us, as that we may and 
ought to love him, but by his love in Christ, his sending of 
him, and loving us in him. Before this, without this, we do 
not, we cannot love God. For * herein is love, not that we 
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the 
propitiation for our sins.' This is the cause, the spring and 
fountain of all our love to him. They are but empty notions 
and imaginations, which some speculative persons please 
themselves withal, about love unto the divine goodness ab- 
solutely considered. For however infinitely amiable it may 
be in itself, it is not so really unto them, it is not suited unto 
their state and condition, without the consideration of the 
communications of it unto us in Christ. 

4. These things being premised, we may consider the 
especial nature of this divine love, although I acknowledge 
that the least part of what believers have an experience of 
in their own souls, can be expressed at least by me. Some 
few things I shall mention, which may give us a shadow of 
it, but not the express image of the thing itself. 

(1.) Desire of union and enjoyment is the first vital act 
of this love. The soul, upon the discovery of the excellencies 
of God, earnestly desires to be united unto them, to be 
brought near unto that enjoyment of them whereof it is ca- 
pable, and wherein alone it can find rest and satisfaction. 
This is essential unto all love ; it unites the mind unto its 
object, and rests not but in enjoyment. God's love unto us 
ariseth out of the overflowing of his own immense goodness, 
whereof he will communicate the fruits and effects unto us. 
God is love, and herein is love, not that we loved God, but 
that he loved us, and sent his only-begotten Son. Yet also 
doth this love of God tend to the bringing of us unto him, 
not that he may enjoy us, but that he may be enjoyed by us. 
This answers the desire of enjoyment in us Job xiv. 15. 
* Thou shalt call me' (that is, out of the dust at the last day), 
' thou wilt have a desire to the work of thy hands.' God's 
love will not rest, until it hath brought us unto himself. But 
our love unto God ariseth from a sense of our own wants, 
our insufficiency to come unto rest in ourselves, or to attain 
unto blessedness by our own endeavours. In this state 
seeing all in God, and expecting all from the suitableness of 
his excellencies unto our rest and satisfaction, our souls 


cleave unto them, with a desire of the nearest union where- 
of our natures are capable. We are made for him, and 
cannot rest until we come unto him. 

Our goodness extends not unto God ; we cannot profit 
him by any thing that we are, or can do. Wherefore, his love 
unto us hath not respect originally unto any good in our- 
selves, but is a gracious, free act of his own. He doth good 
for no other reason but because he is good. Nor can his 
infinite perfections take any cause for their original actings 
without himself. He wants nothing that he would supply 
by the enjoyment of us. But we have indigency in our- 
selves to cause our love to seek an object without ourselves. 
And so his goodness, with the mercy, grace, and bounty in- 
cluded therein is the cause, reason, and object of our love. 
We love them for themselves ; and because we are wanting 
and indigent, we love them with a desire of union and enjoy- 
ment wherein we find that our satisfaction and blessedness 
doth consist. Love in general unites the mind unto the ob- 
ject, the person loving unto the thing or person beloved. So 
is it expressed in an instance of human, temporary, change- 
able love, namely, that of Jonathan to David. * His soul was 
knit to the soul of David, and he loved him as his own soul ; 
1 Sam. xviii. 1. Love had so effectually united them, as that 
the soul of David was as his own. Hence are those expres- 
sions of this divine love, by ' cleaving unto God, following 
hard after him, thirsting, panting after him,' with the like in- 
timations of the most earnest endeavours of our nature after 
union and enjoyment. 

When the soul hath a view by faith (which nothing else 
can give it) of the goodness of God as manifested in Christ, 
that is, of the essential excellencies of his nature as exert- 
ino; themselves in him, it reacheth after him with its most 
earnest embraces, and is restless until it comes unto perfect 
fruition. It sees in God, the fountain of life, and would 
drink of the ' river of. his pleasures ;' Psal. xvi. 8, 9. that in 
his 'presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are 
pleasures for evermore ;' Psal. xvi. 11. It longs and pants to 
drink of that fountain, to bathe itself in that river of plea- 
sures ; and wherein it comes short of present enjoyment, it 
lives in hopes that when we * awake, it shall be satisfied with 
his likeness ;' Psal. xvii. 15. There is nothing grievous 


unto a soul filled with this love, but what keeps it from the 
full enjoyment of these excellencies of God. What doth so, 
naturally and necessarily it groans under. Such is our pre- 
sent state in the body, wherein in some sense we are ' absent 
from the Lord ;' 2 Cor. v. 4. 8, 9. And what doth so morally 
in the deviations of its will and affections, as sin, it hates 
and abhors, and loaths itself for. Under the conduct of this 
love, the whole tendency of the soul is unto the enjoyment 
of God ; it would be lost in itself, and found in him; nothing 
in itself, and all in him. Absolute complacency herein, that 
God is what he is, that he should be what he is, and nothing 
else, and that as such we may be united unto him, and enjoy 
him according to the capacity of our natures, is the life of 
divine love. 

(2.) It is a love of assimilation. It contains in it a de- 
sire and intense endeavour to be like unto God, according 
unto our capacity and measure. The soul sees all goodness, 
and consequently all that is amiable and lovely in God, the 
want of all which it finds in itself. The fruition of his good- 
ness is that which it longs for as its utmost end, and confor- 
mit}'- unto it as the means thereof. There is no man who 
loves not God sincerely, but indeed he would have him to 
be somewhat that he is not, that he might be the more like 
unto him. This such persons are pleased withal whilst they 
can fancy it in any thing ; Psal. 1. 21. They that love him, 
would have him be all that he is, as he is, and nothing else, 
and would be themselves like unto him. And as love hath 
this tendency, and is that which gives disquietment unto the 
soul when and wherein w^e are unlike unto God, so it stirs 
up constant endeavours after assimilation unto him, and 
hath a principal efficacy unto that end. Love is the princi- 
ple that actually assimilates and conforms us unto God, as 
faith is the principle which originally disposeth thereunto. 
In our renovation into the image of God, the transforming 
power is radically seated in faith, but acts itself by love. 
Love proceeding from faith, gradually changeth the soul 
into the likeness of God ; and the more it is in exercise, the 
more is that change effected. 

To labour after conformity vmto God by outward actions 
only, is to make an image of the living God, hewed out of the 
s-tock of a dead tree. It is from this vital principle of love 



that we are not forced into it as by engines, but naturally 
grow up into the likeness and image of God. For when it 
is duly affected with the excellencies of God in Christ, it 
fills the mind with thoughts and contemplations on them, 
and excites all the affections unto a delight in them. And 
where the soul acts itself constantly in the mind's contem- 
plation, and the delight of the affections, it will produce as- 
similation unto the object of them. To love God is the 
only way and means to be like unto him. 

(3.) It is a love of complacency, and therein of benevo- 
lence. Upon that view whicfi we have by spiritual light 
and faith of the divine goodness, exerting itself in the way 
before described, our souls do approve of all that is in God, 
applaud it, adore it, and acquiesce in it. Hence two great 
duties do arise, and hereon do they depend. First, Joyful 
ascriptions of glory and honour unto God. All praise and 
thanksgiving, all blessing, all assignation of glory unto him, 
because of his excellencies and perfections, do arise from 
our satisfactory complacence in them. * The righteous re- 
joice in the Lord, and give thanks at the remembrance of 
his holiness ;' Psal. xcvii. 12. They are so pleased and 
satisfied at the remembrance of God's holiness, that it fills 
their hearts with joy, and causeth them to break forth in 
praises. Praise is nothing but an outward expression of 
the inward complacency of our hearts in the divine perfec- 
tions and their operations. And, secondly. Love herein acts 
itself by benevolence, or the constant inclination of the 
mind unto all things, wherein the glory of God is concern- 
ed. It wills all the things wherein the name of God may be 
sanctified, his praises made glorious, and his will done in 
earth as it is in heaven. As God says of his own love unto 
us, ' that he rejoiceth in it with singing, and resteth in it ;' 
Zeph. iii. 17. as having the greatest complacency in it, re- 
joicing over us with his ' whole heart and his whole soul;' 
Jer. xxxii. 41. so according unto our measure, do we by 
love rest in the glorious excellencies of God, rejoicing in 
them, with our whole hearts and our whole souls. 

(4.) This divine love is a love of friendship. The com- 
munion which we have with God therein, is so intimate and 
accompanied with such spiritual boldness, as gives it that de- 
nomination. So Abraham was called the ' friend of God,' 


Isa. xli. 8. James ii. 23. And because of that mutual 
trust which is between friends, ' the secret of the Lord is 
with them that fear him, and he will shew them his cove- 
nant ;' Psal. XXV. 14. For as our Saviour teacheth us, ser- 
vants, that is, those who are so, and no more, ' know not 
what their Lord doth;' he rules them, commands them, or 
requires obedience from them. But as unto his secret, his 
design and purpose, his counsel and love, they know no- 
thing of it. But saith he unto his disciples, * I have called 
you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, I 
have made known unto you ;' John xv. 15. He proves them 
to be rightly called his friends, because of the communica- 
tion of the secret of his mind unto them. 

This is the great difference between them who are only 
servants in the house of God, and those who are so servants 
as to be friends also. The same commands are given unto 
all equally, and the same duties are required of all equally, 
inasmuch as they are equally servants. But those who are no 
more but so, know nothing of the secret counsel, love, and 
grace of God, in a due manner. For the natural man re- 
ceiveth not the things that are of God. Hence all their 
obedience is servile. They know neither the principal mo- 
tives unto it, nor the ends of it. But they who are so ser- 
vants as to be friends also, they know what their Lord doth; 
the secret of the Lord is with them, and he shew^s them of his 
covenant. They are admitted into an intimate acquaintance 
with the mind of Christ, (* we have the mind of Christ ;' 
1 Cor. ii. 16.) and are thereon encouraged to perform the 
obedience of servants with the love and delight of friends. 

The same love of friendship is expressed by that inti- 
mate converse with, and especial residence that is between 
God and believers ; God dwelleth in them, and they dwell 
in God, for God is love ; 1 John iv. 16. ' If a man,' saith the 
Lord Christ, 'love me, he will keep my words; and my Fa- 
ther will love him, and we will come unto him, and make 
our abode with him;' John xiv. 23. * And if any man hear 
my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will 
sup with him, and he with me ;' Rev. iii. 20. These are not 
empty sound of words; there is substance under them, there 
is truth in them. Those whose hearts are duly exercised in 
and imto the love of God, have experience of the refreshing 

o 2 


approaches both of the Father and of the Son unto their 
souls, in the communications of a sense of their love, and 
pledges of their abode with them. 

These things have I briefly premised concerning the na- 
ture of divine love, that we may the better apprehend what 
we understand by it, in the application of it unto the person 
of Christ. For, 

[1.] The formal object of this love, is the essential pro- 
perties of the divine nature, its infinite goodness in particu- 
lar. Wherever these are, there is the object and reason of 
this love. But they are all of them in the person of the 
Son, no less than in the person of the Father. As therefore 
we love the Father on this account, so are we to love the 
Son also. But, 

[2.] The person of Christ is to be considered as he was 
incarnate or clothed with our nature. And this takes no- 
thing off from the formal reason of this love, but only makes 
an addition unto the motives of it. This indeed for a sea- 
son veiled the loveliness of his divine excellencies, and so 
turned aside the eyes of many from him, For when he took 
on him ' the form of a servant, and made himself of no repu- 
tation,' he had unto them who looked on him with carnal 
eyes, * neither form nor comeliness' that he should be desired 
or beloved. Howbeit the entire person of Christ, God and 
man, is the object of this divine love, in all the acts of the 
whole exercise of it. That single effect of infinite wisdom 
and grace in the union of the divine and human natures, in 
the one person of the Son of God, renders him the object of 
this love in a peculiar manner. The way whereby we may 
attain this peculiar love, and the motives unto it, shall close 
these considerations. 

A due consideration of, and meditation on the proposal 
of the person of Christ unto us in the Scripture, are the pro- 
per foundation of this love. This is the formal reason of 
our faith in him, and love unto him. He is so proposed 
unto us in the Scripture that we may believe in him, and 
love him, and for that very end. And in particular with re- 
spect unto our love, to ingenerate it in us, and to excite it 
unto its due exercise, are those excellencies of his person as 
the principal effect of divine wisdom and goodness, which 
we have before insisted on, frequently proposed unto us. 


To this end is he represented as altogether lovely, and the 
especial glories of his person are delineated, yea, drawn to 
the life, in the holy records of the Old and New Testaments. 
It is no work of fancy or imagination ; it is not the feigning 
images in our minds of such things as are meet to satisfy 
our carnal affections, to excite and act them; but it is a due 
adherence unto that object which is represented unto faith 
in the proposal of the gospel. Therein as in a glass do we 
behold the glory of Christ, who is the image of the invisible 
God, and have our souls filled with transforming affections 
unto him. 

The whole book of Canticles is nothing but a mystical 
declaration of the mutual love between Christ and the 
church. And it is expressed by all such ways and means 
as may represent it intense, fervent, and exceeding all other 
love whatever, which none I suppose will deny, at least on 
the part of Christ. And a great part of it consists in such 
descriptions of the person of Christ and his love, as may 
render him amiable and desirable unto our souls, even alto- 
gether lovely. To what end doth the Holy Spirit so gra- 
phically describe and represent unto us the beauty and de- 
sirableness of his person, if it be not to ingenerate love in 
us unto him ? All want of love unto him on this proposal, 
is the effect of prevalent unbelief. It is pretended that the 
descriptions given of Christ in this book are allegorical, 
from whence nothing can be gathered or concluded. But 
God forbid we should so reflect on the wisdom and love of 
the Holy Spirit unto the church, that he hath proposed unto 
the faith of the church an empty sound and noise of words, 
without mind or sense. The expressions he useth are figu- 
rative, and the whole nature of the discourse as unto its out- 
ward structure is allegorical. But the things intended are 
real and substantial, and the metaphors used in the expres- 
sion of them are suited in a due attendance unto the analogy 
of faith, to convey a spiritual understanding and sense of 
the things themselves proposed in them. The church of 
God will not part with the unspeakable advantage and con- 
solation, those supports of faith, and incentives of love, 
which it receives by that divine proposal of the person of 
Christ, and his love which is made therein, because some 
men have no experience of them, nor understanding in them. 


The faith and love of believers is not to be regulated by the 
ignorance and boldness of them who have neither the one 
nor the other. The title of the forty-fifth Psalm is, ^>\L^, 
nnn> ' A song of loves ;' that is, of the mutual love of 
Christ and the church. And unto this end, that our souls 
may be stirred up unto the most ardent affections tow^ards 
him, is a description given us of his person, as altogether 
lovely. To what other end is he so evidently delineated in 
the whole harmony of his divine beauties by the pencil of 
the Holy Spirit? 

Not to insist on particular testimonies, it is evident unto 
all whose eyes are opened to discern these things, that there 
is no property of the divine nature which is peculiarly amia- 
ble, such as are goodness, grace, love, and bounty, with infi- 
nite power and holiness, but it is represented and proposed 
unto us in the person of the Son of God, to this end, that we 
should love him above all, and cleave unto him. There is 
nothing in the human nature, in that fulness of grace and 
truth which dwelt therein, in that inhabitation of the Spirit 
which was in him without measure, in any thing of those ' all 
things' wherein he hath the pre-eminence, nothing in his 
love, condescension, grace, and mercy, nothing in the work 
that he fulfilled, what he did and suffered therein, nothing 
in the benefits we receive thereby, nothing in the power 
and glory that he is exalted unto at the right hand of God, 
but it is set forth in the Scripture and proposed unto us, 
that believing in him we may love him with all our hearts 
and souls. And besides all this, that singular, that infinite 
effect of divine wisdom, whereunto there is nothing like in 
all the works of God, and wherewith none of them may be 
compared, namely, the constitution of his person by the 
union of his natures therein, whereby he becomes unto us 
the image of the invisible God, and wherein all the blessed 
excellencies of his distinct natures are made most illustri- 
ously conspicuous, in becoming one entire principle of all 
his mediatory operations on our behalf, is proposed unto us 
as the complete object of our faith and love. This is that 
person, whose loveliness and beauty all the angels of God, 
all the holy ones above do eternally admire and adore. In 
him are the infinite treasures of divine wisdom and good- 
ness continually represented unto them. Tliis is he, who is 


the joy, the delight, the love, the glory of the church below. 
'Thou whom our souls do love,' is the title whereby they 
know him and converse with him. Cant. i. 7. iii. 1. 4. This 
is he who is the desire of all nations, the beloved of God 
and men. 

The mutual intercourse on this ground of love between 
Christ and the church, is the life and soul of the whole 
creation ; for on the account hereof all things consist in him. 

There is more glory under the eye of God, in the sighs, 
groans, and mournings of poor souls filled with the love of 
Christ, after the enjoyment of him according to his pro- 
mises, in their fervent prayers for his manifestation of him- 
self unto them, in the refreshments and unspeakable joys 
which they have in his gracious visits and embraces of his 
love, than in the thrones and diadems of all the monarchs 
on the earth. Nor will they themselves part with the inef- 
fable satisfactions which they have in these things, for all 
that this world can do for them, or unto them. ' Mallem 
suere cum Christo, quam regnare cum Csesare.' These 
things have not only rendered prisons and dungeons more 
desirable unto them than the most goodly palaces on future 
accounts ; but have made them really places of such refresh- 
ment and joys, as men shall seek in vain to extract out of 
all the comforts that this world can aftbrd. 

O curvae in terris animae et coelestiura inanes. 

Many there are who not comprehending, not being af- 
fected with that divine, spiritual description of the person 
of Christ which is given us by the Holy Ghost in the Scrip- 
ture, do feign unto themselves false representations of him 
by images and pictures, so to excite carnal and corrupt af- 
fections in their minds. By the help of their outward 
senses, they reflect on their imaginations the shape of a 
human body, cast into postures and circumstances dolorous 
or triumphant, and so by the working of their fancy raise a 
commotion of mind in themselves, which they suppose to 
be love unto Christ. But all these idols are teachers of 
lies. The true beauty and amiableness of the person of 
Christ, which is the formal object and cause of divine love, 
is so far from being represented herein, as that the mind 
is thereby wholly diverted from the contemplation of it. 


For no more can be so pictured unto us, but what may be- 
long unto a mere man, and what is arbitrarily referred unto 
Christ, not b}'^ faith, but by corrupt imagination. 

The beauty of the person of Christ as represented in the 
Scripture, consists in things invisible unto the eyes of flesh. 
They are such as no hand of man can represent or shadow. 
It is the eye of faith alone that can see this king in his 
beauty. What else can contemplate on the uncreated glories 
of his divine nature? Can the hand of man represent the 
union of his natures in the same person, wherein he is pe- 
culiarly amiable? What eye can discern the mutual commu- 
nications of the properties of his different natures in the 
same person which depends thereon, whence it is that God 
laid down his life for us, and purchased his church with his 
own blood ? In these things, O vain man, doth the loveli- 
ness of the person of Christ unto the souls of believers con- 
sist, and not in those strokes of art which fancy hath guided 
a skilful hand and pencil unto. And what eye of flesh can 
discern the inhabitation of the Spirit in all fulness in the 
human nature ? Can his condescension, his love, his grace, 
his power, his compassion, his offices, his fitness and abi- 
lity to save sinners, be deciphered on a tablet, or engraven 
on wood or stone ? However such pictures may be adorned, 
however beautified and enriched, they are not that Christ 
which the soul of the spouse doth love ; they are not any 
means of representing his love unto us, or of conveying our 
love unto him ; they only divert the minds of superstitious 
persons from the Son of God, unto the embraces of a cloud, 
composed of fancy and imagination. 

Others there are who abhor these idols, and when they 
have so done, commit sacrilege. As they reject images, so 
they seem to do all love unto the person of Christ, distinct 
from other acts of obedience, as a fond imagination. But 
the most superstitious love unto Christ, that is. love acted 
in ways tainted with superstition, is better than none at all. 
But with what eyes do such persons read the Scriptures ? 
With what hearts do they consider them? What do they 
conceive is the intention of the Holy Ghost in all those de- 
scriptions which he gives us of the person of Christ as ami- 
able and desirable above all things, making therewithal a 
proposal of him unto our affections, inciting us to receive 


him by faith, and to cleave unto him in love? Yea to what 
end is our nature endued w^ith this affection? Unto what 
end is the power of it renewed in us by the sanctification of 
the Holy Spirit, if it may not be fixed on this most proper 
and excellent object of it ? 

This is the foundation of our love unto Christ, namely, 
the revelation and proposal of him unto us in the Scripture 
as altogether lovely. The discovery that is made therein 
of the glorious excellencies and endowments of his person, 
of his love, his goodness and grace, of his worth and work, 
is that which engageth the affections of believers unto him. 
It may be said, that if there be such a proposal of him made 
unto all promiscuously, then all would equally discern his 
amiableness, and be affected with it, who assent equally unto 
the truth of that revelation. But it hath always fallen out 
otherwise. In the days of his flesh, some that looked on him 
could see neither * form nor comeliness' in him wherefore he 
sliould be desired ? Others sav/ his glory, * the glory of the 
only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' To 
some he is precious, unto others he is disallowed and re- 
jected.; a stone whicli the builders refused, when others 
brought it forth, crying, Grace, grace unto it, as the head of 
the corner. Some can see nothing but weakness in him; 
unto others the wisdom and power of God do evidently shine 
forth in him. Wherefore it must be said, that notwithstand- 
ing that open plain representation that is made of him in the 
Scripture, unless the Holy Spirit gives us eyes to discern it, 
and circumcise our hearts, by the cutting off corrupt preju- 
dices, and all effects of unbelief, implanting in them by the 
efl&cacy of his grace this blessed affection of love unto him, 
all these things will make no impression on our minds. 

As it was with the people on the giving of the law; 
notwithstanding all the great and mighty works which God 
had wrought among them, yet having not given them ' a 
heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear,' which 
he affirms that he had not done, Deut. xxix. 4. they were 
not moved unto faith or obedience by them. So is it in 
the preaching of the gospel. Notwithstanding all the blessed 
revelation that is made of the excellencies of the person of 
Christ therein, yet those into whose hearts God doth not 


shine to give the knowledge of his glory in his face, can dis- 
cern nothing of it, nor are their hearts affected with it. 

We do not therefore in these things, follow cunningly 
devised fables : we do not indulge unto our own fancies and 
imaginations ; they are not unaccountable raptures or ecsta- 
cies which are pretended unto ; nor such an artificial con- 
catenation of thoughts, as some ignorant of these things do 
boast that they can give an account of: our love to Christ 
ariseth alone from the revelation that is made of him in the 
Scripture, is ingenerated, regulated, measured, and is to be 
judged thereby. 


Motives unto the love of Christ. 

The motives unto this love of Christ, is the last thing on 
this head of our religious respect unto him, that I shall 
speak unto. 

When God required of the church the first and highest 
act of religion, the sole foundation of all others, namely, 
to take him as their God, to own, believe, and trust in him 
alone as such, which is wholly due unto him for what he is, 
without any other consideration whatever; yet he thought 
meet to add a motive unto the performance of that duty 
from what he had done for them ; Exod. xx. 1, 2. The sense 
of the first command is, that we should take him alone for 
our God ; for he is so, and there is no other. But in the 
prescription of this duty unto the church, he minds them of 
the benefits which they had received from him, in bringing 
them out of the house of bondao-e. 


God in his wisdom and grace ordereth all the causes and 
reasons of our duty, so as that all the rational powers and 
faculties of our souls maybe exercised therein. Wherefore 
he doth not only propose himself unto us, nor is Christ 
merely proposed unto us as the proper object of our affec- 
tions, but he calls us also unto the consideration of all those 


things that may satisfy our souls that it is the most just, 
necessary, reasonable, and advantageous course for us so to 
fix our affections on him. 

And these considerations are taken from all that he did 
for us, with the reasons and grounds why he did it. We 
love him principally and ultimately for what he is ; but nextly 
and immediately for what he did. What he did for us, is 
first proposed unto us, and it is that which our souls are first 
affected withal. For they are originally acted in all things 
by a sense of the want which they have, and a desire of the 
blessedness which they have not. This directs them unto 
what he hath done for sinners. But that leads immedi- 
ately unto the consideration of what he is in himself. And 
when our love is fixed on him, or his person, then all those 
things wherewith from a sense of our own wants and desires 
we were first affected, become motives unto the confirming 
and increasing of that love. This is the constant method 
of the Scripture ; it first proposeth unto us what the Lord 
Christ hath done for us, especially in the discharge of his 
sacerdotal oflSce, in his oblation and intercession, with the 
benefits which we receive thereby. Hereby it leads us unto 
his person, and presseth the consideration of all other things 
to engage our love unto him. See Phil. ii. 5—10. with 
chap. iii. 8 — 11. 

Motives unto the love of Christ are so great, so many, so 
diffused through the whole dispensation of God in him unto 
us, as that they can by no hand be fully expressed, let it 
be allowed never so much to enlarge in the declaration of 
them ; much less can they be represented in that short dis- 
course whereof but a very small part is allotted unto their 
consideration, such as ours is at present. The studying, the 
collection of them, or so many of them as we are able, the 
meditation on them, and improvement of them, is among 
the principal duties of our whole lives. What I shall offer 
is the reduction of them unto these two heads : 1 . The 
acts of Christ, which is the substance of them : And, 2. 
The spring and fountain of those acts, which is the life of 

1. In general they are all the acts of his mediatory office, 
with all the fruits of them whereof we are made partakers. 
There is not any thing that he did or doth in the discharge 


of his mediatory office, from the first susception of it in his 
incarnation in the womb of the blessed Virgin, unto his pre- 
sent intercession in heaven, but is an effectual motive unto 
the love of him, and as such is proposed unto us in the 
Scripture. Whatever he did or doth with or towards us in 
the name of God, as the king and prophet of the church, 
whatever he did or doth with God for us as our high-priest, 
it all speaks this language in the hearts of them that believe; 
O love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. 

The consideration of what Christ thus did and doth for 
us, is inseparable from that of the benefits which we receive 
thereby. A due mixture of both these, of what he did for 
us, and what we obtain thereby, compriseth the substance 
of these motives. ' Who loved me, and gave himself for me. 
Who loved us, and washed us in his own blood, and made us 
kings and priests unto God. For thou wast slain, and hast 
bought us unto God with thy blood.' And both these are 
of a transcendant nature, requiring our love to be so also. 
Who is able to comprehend the glory of the mediatory act- 
ings of the Son of God, in the assumption of our nature, in 
what he did and suffered therein? And for us, eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to 
conceive, what we receive thereby. The least benefit, and 
that obtained by the least expense of trouble or charge, de- 
serveth love, and leaveth the brand of a crime, where it is 
not so entertained. What then do the greatest deserve, and 
those procured by the greatest expense ; even the price of 
the blood of the Son of God ? 

If we have any faith concerning these things, it will pro- 
duce love, as that love will obedience. Whatever we pro- 
fess concerning them, it springs from tradition and opinion, 
and not from faith, if it engage not our souls into the love 
of him. The frame of heart which ensues on the real faith 
of these things, is expressed, Psal. ciii. 1 — 5. * Bless the 
Lord, O my soul ; and all that is within me, bless his holy 
name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his 
benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; who healeth 
all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; 
\<ho crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies ; 
who satisfieth thy mouth v^ith good things ; so that thy youth 
is renewed like the eagles.' Let men pretend what they will 


there needs no greater, no other evidence, to prove that 
any one doth not really believe the things that are reported 
in the gospel, concerning the mediatory actings of Christ, 
or that he hath no experience in his own soul and conscience 
of the fruits and effects of them, than this, that his heart is 
not engaged by them unto the most ardent love towards his 

He is no Christian who lives not much in the meditation 
of the mediation of Christ, and the especial acts of it. Some 
may more abound in that work than others, as it is fixed, 
formed, and regular. Some may be more able than others to 
dispose their thoughts concerning them, into method and 
order. Some may be more diligent than others in the ob- 
servation of times for the solemn performance of this duty. 
Some may be able to rise to higher and clearer apprehensions 
of them than others. But as for those, the bent of whose 
minds doth not lie towards thoughts of them, whose hearts 
are not on all occasions retreating unto the remembrance of 
them, -who embrace not all opportunities to call them over 
as they are able ; on what grounds can they be esteemed 
Christians ? How do they live by the faith of the Son of God ? 
Are the great things of the gospel, of the mediation of Christ, 
proposed unto us, as those which we may think of when we 
have nothing else to do, that we may meditate upon, or neg- 
lect at our pleasure, as those wherein our concernment is so 
small as that they must give place unto all other occasions 
or diversions whatever? Nay; if our minds are not filled 
with these things ; if Christ doth not dwell plentifully in our 
hearts by faith ; if our souls are not possessed with them, 
and in their whole inward frame and constitution so cast 
into this mould, as to be led by a natural complacency 
unto a converse with them, we are strangers unto the life 
of faith. And if we are thus conversant about these thino-s, 
they will engage our hearts into the love of the person of 
Christ. To suppose the contrary, is indeed to deny the 
truth and reality of them all, and to turn the gospel into a 

Take one instance from among the rest; namely, his death. 
Hath he the heart of a Christian, who doth not often medi- 
tate on the death of his Saviour, who doth not derive his life 
from it? Who can look into the gospel and not fix on those 


lines which either immediately and directly, or through some 
other paths of divine grace and wisdom, do lead him there- 
iiiito? And can any have believing thoughts concerning the 
death of Christ, and not have his heart affected vv^ith ardent 
love unto his person? Christ in the gospel 'is evidently set 
forth, crucified before us/ Can any by the eye of faith look 
on this bleeding dying Redeemer, and suppose love unto his 
person to be nothing but the work of fancy or imagination? 
They know the contrary, who ' always bear about in the body, 
the dying of the Lord Jesus ;' as the apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 
iv. 10. As his whole name, in all that he did, is an oint- 
ment poured forth, for which 'the virgins love him,' Cant. 
i. 3. so this precious perfume of his death, is that where 
with their hearts are ravished in a peculiar manner. 

Again, As there can be no faith in Christ, where there is 
no love unto him, on the account of his mediatory acts ; so, 
where it is not, the want of it casteth persons under the 
highest guilt of ingratitude that our nature is liable unto. 
The highest aggravation of the sin of angels, was their ingra- 
titude unto their Maker. For whereas, by his mere will and 
pleasure, they were stated in the highest excellency, pre- 
eminence, and dignity, that he thought good to communicate 
unto any creatures ; or it may be, that any mere created 
nature is capable of in itself; they were unthankful for 
what they had so received from undeserved goodness and 
bounty, and so cast themselves into everlasting ruin. But 
yet the sins of men in their ingratitude towards Christ on 
the account of what he hath done for them, is attended 
with an aggravation above that of the angels. , For al- 
though the angels were originally instated in that condi- 
tion of dignity which in this world we cannot attain unto, 
yet were they not redeemed and recovered from misery as 
we are. 

In all the crowd of evil and wicked men, that the world 
is pestered withal, there are none by common consent so 
stigmatized for unworthy villany, as those who are signally 
ungrateful for singular benefits. If persons are unthankful 
unto them, if they have not the highest love for them, who 
redeem them from ignominy and death, and instate them in 
a plentiful inheritance (if any such instances may be given), 
and that with the g^reatest expense of labour and char2;e ; 


mankind without any regret, doth tacitly condemn them unto 
greater miseries than those which they were delivered from. 
What then will be the condition of them, whose hearts are 
not so affected with the mediation of Christ, and the fruits of 
it, as to engage the best, the choicest of their affections unto 
him? *'The gospel itself will be a savour of death unto such 
ungrateful wretches. - 

2. That which the Scripture principally insisteth on as 
the motives of our love unto Christ, is his love unto us, 
which was the principle of all his mediatory actings in our 

Lov« is that jewel of human nature which commands a 
valuation wherever it is found. Let other circumstances be 
what they will, whatever distances between persons may be 
made by them, yet real love where it is evidenced so to be, 
is not despised by any but such as degenerate into profli- 
gate brutality. If it be so stated as that it can produce no 
outward effects advantageous unto them that are beloved, 
yet it commands a respect as it were whether we will or no, 
and some return in its own kind. Especially it doth so if 
it be altogether undeserved, and so evidenceth itself to pro- 
ceed from a goodness of nature, and an inclination unto the 
good of them on whom it is fixed. For whereas the essen- 
tial nature of love consisteth in willing good unto them that 
are beloved ; where the act of the will is real, sincere, and 
constantly exercised, without any defect of it on our part ; 
no restraints can possibly be put upon our minds from going 
out in some acts of love again upon its account, unless all 
their faculties are utterly depraved, by habits of brutish and 
filthy lusts. But when this love which is thus undeserved, 
doth also abound in effects troublesome and chargeable in 
them in whom it is, and highly beneficial unto them on whom 
it is placed, if there be any such affection left in the nature 
of any man, it will prevail unto a reciprocal love. And all 
these things are found in the love of Christ unto that degree 
and height, as nothing parallel unto it can be found in the 
whole creation. I shall briefly speak of it under two general 

(1.) The sole spring of all the mediatory actings of Christ, 
both in the susception of our nature, and in all that he did 
and suffered therein, was his own mere love and grace, work- 


ing* by pity and compassion. It is true, he undertook this 
work principally with respect unto the glory of God, and 
out of love unto him. But with respect unto us, his only 
motive unto it was his abundant overflowing love. And 
this is especially remembered unto us in that instance 
wherein it carried him through the greatest difficulties, 
namely, in his death and the oblation of himself on our 
behalf; Gal. ii. 20. Eph, v. 2. 25, 26. 1 John iii. 16. Rev. i. 
5, 6. This alone inclined the Son of God to undertake the 
glorious work of our redemption, and which carried him 
through the death and dread which he underwent in the ac- 
complishment of it. 

Should I eno;ao-e into the consideration of this love of 
Christ, which was the great means of the conveying all the 
effects of divine wisdom and grace unto the church ; that 
glass which God chose to represent himself and all his good- 
ness in unto believers ; that spirit of life in the wheel of all 
the motions of the person of Christ in the redemption of the 
church unto the eternal glory of God, his own and that of 
his redeemed also ; that mirror wherein the holy angels and 
blessed saints, shall for ever contemplate the divine excel- 
lencies in their suitable operations; I must now begin a 
discourse much larger than that which I have passed through. 
But it is not suited unto my present design so to do. Nor 
considering the growing apprehensions of many about the 
person of Christ, which are utterly destructive of the whole 
nature of that love which we ascribe unto him, do I know 
how soon a more distinct explication and defence of it may 
be called for. And this cause will not be forsaken. 

They know nothing of the life and power of the gospel, 
nothing of the reality of the grace of God, nor do they be- 
lieve aright one article of the Christian faith, whose hearts 
are not sensible of the love of Christ herein. Nor is he sen- 
sible of the love of Christ, whose affections are not thereon 
drawn out unto him. I say, they make a pageant of reli- 
gion, a fable for the theatre of the world, a business of 
fancy and opinion, whose hearts are not really affected with 
the love of Christ, in the susception and discharge of the 
work of mediation, so as to have real and spiritually sensible 
affections for him. Men may babble things which they 
have learnt by rote ; they have no real acquaintance with 


Christianity, who imagine that the placing of the most in- 
tense affections of our souls on the person of Christ, the 
loving him with all our hearts because of his love, our being 
overcome thereby, until we are sick of love, the constant 
motions of our souls towards him with delight and adherence, 
are but fancies and imaginations. I renounce that religion, 
be it whose it will, that teacheth, insinuateth, or giveth 
countenance unto such abominations. That doctrine is as 
discrepant from the gospel as the Alcoran, as contrary to 
the experience of believers as what is acted in and by the 
devils, which instructs men unto a contempt of the most 
fervent love unto Christ, or casts reflections upon it. I had 
rather choose my eternal lot and portion with the meanest 
believer, who being effectually sensible of the love of Christ, 
spends his days in mourning that he can love him no more 
than he finds himself on his utmost endeavours for the dis- 
charge of his duty to do, than wdth the best of them, whose 
vain speculations, and a false pretence of reason, puff" them 
up unto a contempt of these things. 

(2.) This love of Christ unto the church, is singular in all 
those qualifications which render love obliging unto reci- 
procal affections. It is so in its reality. There can be no 
love amongst men, but will derive something from that dis- 
order which is in their affections, in their highest actings. 
But the love of Christ is pure and absolutely free from any 
alloy. There cannot be the least suspicion of any thing of 
self in it. And it is absolutely undeserved. Nothing can 
be found amongst men that can represent or exemplify its 
freedom from any desert on our part. The most candid and 
ingenuous love amongst us, is, when we love another for his 
worth, excellency, and usefulness, though we have no singu- 
lar benefit of them ourselves. But not the least of any of 
these things were found in them on whom he set his love, 
until they were wrought in them, as effects of that love 
which he set upon them. 

Men sometimes may rise up unto such a high degree and 
instance in love, as that they will even die for one another. 
But then it must be on a superlative esteem which they have 
of their worth and merit. It may be, saith the apostle, 
treatino- of the love of Christ, and of God in him, ' that for 
a good man one would even dare to die ;' Rom. v. 7. It 



must be for a good man, one who is justly esteemed * com- 
mune bonum/ a public good to mankind ; one whose be- 
nignity is ready to exercise loving-kindness on all occa- 
sions, which is the estate of a good man ; peradventure 
some would even dare to die for such a man. This is the 
height of what love among men can arise unto ; and if it 
hath been instanced in any, it hath been accompanied with 
an open mixture of vain-glory, and desire of renown. But 
the Lord Christ placed his love on us, that love from whence 
he died for us, when we were sinners and ungodly ; that isy 
every thing which might render us unamiable and unde- 
serving. Though we were as deformed as sin could render 
us, and more deeply indebted than the whole creation could 
pay or answer, yet did he fix his love upon us, to free us 
from that condition, and to render us meet for the most in- 
timate society with himself. Never was there love which 
had such effects, which cost him so dear in whom it was, 
and proved so advantageous unto them on whom it was 
placed. In the pursuit of it he underwent every thing that 
is evil in his own person, and we receive every thing that is 
good in the favour of God, and eternal blessedness. 

On the account of these things, the apostle ascribeth a 
constraining power unto the love of Christ, 2 Cor. v. 14. 
And if it constraineth us unto any return unto him, it doth 
so unto that of love in the first place. For no suitable re- 
turn can be made for love but love, at least not without it. 
As love cannot be purchased, * for if a man would give all 
the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be con- 
temned,' Cant. viii. 7. so if a man would give all the world 
for a requital of love, without love, it would be despised. To 
fancy that all the love of Christ unto us, consists in the pre- 
cepts and promises of the gospel, and all our love unto him, 
in the observance of his commands, without a real love in 
him unto our persons like that of a ' husband unto a wife,' 
Eph. v. 25, 26. or a holy affection in our hearts and minds 
unto his person, is to overthrow the whole power of reli- 
gion, to despoil it of its life and soul, leaving nothing but 
the carcase of it. 

This love unto Christ, and unto God in him, because of 
his love unto us, is the principal instance of divine love, the 
touchstone of its reality and sincerity. Whatever men may 


boast of their affectionate endearments unto the divine good- 
ness, if it be not founded in a sense of this love of Christ 
and the love of God in him, they are but empty notions they 
flourish withal, and their deceived hearts feed upon ashes. 
It is in Christ alone that God is declared to be love, without 
an apprehension whereof, none can love him as they ought. 
In him alone, that infinite goodness which is the peculiar 
object of divine love, is truly represented unto us, without 
any such deceiving phantasms, as the workings of fancy, or 
depravation of reason may impose upon us. And on him 
doth the saving communication of all the effects of it de- 
pend. And an infinite condescension is it in the Holy God, 
so to express his * glory in the face of Jesus Christ,' or to 
propose himself as the object of our love in and through 
him. For considering our weakness, as to an immediate 
comprehension of the infinite excellencies of the divine na- 
ture, or to bear the rays of his resplendent glory, seeing 
none can see his face and live, it is the most adorable effect 
of divine wisdom and grace, that we are admitted unto the 
contemplation of them, in the person of Jesus Christ. 

There is yet farther evidence to be given unto this love 
unto the person of Christ, from all those blessed effects of 
it which are declared in the Scripture, and whereof believers 
have the experience in themselves. But something I have 
spoken concerning them formerly in my discourse about 
communion with God ; and the nature of the present de- 
sign, will not admit of enlargement upon them. 


Conformity unto Christ, and following his example. 

The third thing proposed to declare the use of the person 
of Christ in religion, is that conformity which is required 
of us unto him. This is the great design and projection 
of all believers. Every one of them hath the idea or image 
of Christ in his mind ; in the eye of faith, as it is repre- 
sented unto him in the glass of the gospel. KaroTrrpt^ojiitvot 
Tr\v So£av Kvgiov, 2 Cor. iii. 18. ' We behold his glory in a 

p 2 


glass/ which implants the image of it on our minds. And 
hereby the mind is transformed into the same image, made 
like unto Christ so represented unto us, which is the confor- 
mity we speak of. Hence every true believer hath his heart 
under the conduct of an habitual inclination and desire to 
be like unto Christ. And it were easy to demonstrate that 
where this is not, there is neither faith nor love. Faith will 
cast the soul into the form or frame of the thing believed ; 
Rom. vi. 17. And all sincere love worketh an assimilation. 
Wherefore the best evidence of a real principle of the life of 
God in any soul, of the sincerity of faith, love, and obedi- 
ence, is an internal cordial endeavour, operative on all oc- 
casions, after conformity unto Jesus Christ. 

There are two parts of the duty proposed. The first re- 
spects the internal grace and holiness of the human nature 
of Christ; the other his example in duties of obedience. 
And both of them, both materially, as to the things wherein 
they consist, and formally, as they were his, or in him, be- 
long unto the constitution of a true disciple. 

1. Internal conformity unto his habitual grace and holi- 
ness, is the fundamental design of a Christian life. That 
which is the best without it, is a pretended imitation of his 
example in outward duties of obedience. I call it pretended, 
because where the first design is wanting, it is no more but 
so ; nor is it acceptable to Christ, nor approved by him. And 
therefore an attempt unto that end hath often issued in for- 
mality, hypocrisy, and superstition. I shall therefore lay 
down the grounds of this design, the nature of it, and the 
means of its pursuit. 

God, in the human nature of Christ did perfectly renew 
that blessed image of his on our nature, which we lost in 
Adam, with an addition of many glorious endowments which 
Adam was not made partaker of. God did not renew it in 
his nature, as though that portion of it whereof he was par- 
taker, had ever been destitute or deprived of it, as it is with 
the same nature in all other persons. For he derived not 
his nature from Adam in the same way that we do ; nor was 
he ever in Adam as the public representative of our nature 
as we were^ But our nature in him had the image of God 
implanted in it, which was lost and separated from the same 
nature, in all other instances of its subsistence. It pleased 


the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, that he 
should be full of grace and truth, and in all things have the 
pre-eminence. But of these gracious endowments of the 
human nature of Christ, I have discoursed elsewhere. 

2. One end of God in filling the human nature of Christ 
with all grace, in implanting his glorious image upon it, 
was, that he might in him propose an example of what he 
would by the same grace renew us unto, and what we ought 
in a way of duty to labour after. The fulness of grace was 
necessary unto the human nature of Christ, from its hypo- 
statical union with the Son of God. For whereas therein 
the ' fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily/ it became ro 
ayiov, a ' holy thing/ Luke i. 35. It was also necessary 
unto him, as unto his own obedience in the flesh, wherein 
he fulfilled all righteousness, did no sin, * neither was guile 
found in his mouth;' 1 Pet ii. 22. And it was so unto the 
discharge of the oflice he undertook : for * such an high- 
priest became us, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and 
separate from sinners ;' Heb. vii. 26. Howbeit the infinite 
wisdom of God had this farther design in it also, namely, 
that he might be the pattern and example of the renovation 
of the image of God in us, and of the glory that doth ensue 
thereon. He is in the eye of God as the idea of what he 
intends in us, in the communication of grace and glory ; 
and he ought to be so in ours as unto all that we aim at in 
a way of duty. 

He hath * predestinated us to be conformed unto the 
image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among 
many brethren ;' Rom. viii. 30. In the collation of all grace 
on Christ, God designed to make ' him the first-born of many 
brethren ;' that is, not only to give him the power and au- 
thority of the first-born, with the trust of the whole inherit- 
ance to be communicated unto them, but also as the example 
of what he would bring them unto. ' For both he that 
sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all of one, for 
w^hich cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren;' Heb. 
ii. 11. It is Christ who sanctifieth believers ; yet is it from 
God, who first sanctified him, that he and they might be of 
one, and so become brethren, as bearing the image of the 
same Father. God designed and gave unto Christ grace 
;and glory ; and he did it that he might be the prototype of 


what he designed unto us, and would bestow upon us. 
Hence the apostle shews that the effect of this predestina- 
tion to conformity unto the image of the Son, is the com- 
munication of all effectual saving grace, with the glory that 
ensues thereon. Ver. 30. ' Moreover, whom he did predes- 
tinate, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he 
also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glori- 

The great design of God in his grace is, that as we have 
borne the ' image of the first Adam,' in the depravation of 
our natures, so we should bear the ' image of the second' 
in their renovation. As we have borne* the image of the 
earthy,' so we shall bear ' the image of the heavenly ;' 1 Cor. 
XV. 49. And as he is the pattern of all our graces, so he is 
of glory also. All our glory will consist in our being 
* made like unto him,' which what it is doth not as yet ap- 
pear ; 1 John iii.2. For *he shall change even our vile body, 
that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body ;' Phil, 
iii. 21. Wherefore the fulness of grace was bestowed on the 
human nature of Christ, and the image of God gloriously 
implanted thereon, that it might be the prototype and ex- 
ample of what the church was through him to be made par- 
taker of. That which God intends for us in the internal 
communication of his grace, and in the use of all the ordi- 
nances of the church, is, that we may come unto the ' mea- 
sure of the stature of the fulness which is in Christ ;' Ephes. 
iv. 13. There is a fulness of all grace in Christ. Hereunto 
are we to be brought according to the measure that is de- 
signed unto every one of us. ' For unto every one of us is 
given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ;' 
ver. 7. He hath in his sovereign grace assigned different 
measures unto those on whom he doth bestow it. And 
therefore it is called the stature, because as we grow gra- 
dually unto it, as men do unto their just stature; so there is 
a variety in what we attain unto, as there is in the statures 
of men, who are yet all perfect in their proportion. 

3. This image of God in Christ is represented unto us 
in the gospel. Being lost from our nature, it was utterly 
impossible we should have any just comprehension of it. 
There could be no steady notion of the image of God, until 
it was renewed and exemplified in the human nature of 


Christ. And thereon, without the knowledge of him, the 
wisest of men have taken those things to render men most 
like unto God which were adverse unto him. Such were 
the most of those things which the heathens adored as he- 
roic virtues. But being perfectly exemplified in Christ, it 
is now plainly represented unto us in the gospel. Therein 

* with open face we behold as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, and are changed into the same image;' 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
The veil being taken away from divine revelations by the 
doctrine of the gospel, and from our hearts ' by the Lord the 
Spirit,' we behold the image of God in Christ with open face, 
which is the principal means of our being transformed into 
it. The gospel is the declaration of Christ unto us, and the 
glory of God in him, as unto many other ends, so in espe- 
cial, that we might in him behold and contemplate that 
image of God we are gradually to be renewed into. Hence 
we are so therein to ' learn the truth as it is in Jesus, as to 
be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on that 
new man which after God is created in righteousness and 
true holiness,' Ephes. iv. 20. 23, 24. that is, ' renewed after 
the image of him who created him;' Col. iii. 10, 

4. It is therefore evident, that the life of God in us con- 
sists in conformity unto Christ; nor is the Holy Spirit as 
the principal and efficient cause of it given unto us for any 
other end, but to unite us unto him, and make us like 
him. Wherefore the original gospel duty which animates 
and rectifies all others, is a design for conformity unto 
Christ in all the gracious principles and qualifications of 
his holy soul, wherein the image of God in him doth consist. 
As he is the prototype and exemplar in the eye of God for 
the communication of all grace unto us; so he ought to 
be the great example in the eye of our faith in all our obe- 
dience unto God, in our compliance with all that he re- 
quireth of us. 

God himself, or the divine nature in its holy perfections, 
is the ultimate object and idea of our transformation in the 
renewing of our minds. And therefore under the Old Tes- 
tament, before the incarnation of the Son, he proposed his 
own holiness immediately as the pattern of the church. 

* Be ye holy, for the Lord your God is holy;' Lev. xi. 44. 
xix. 2. XX. 5, But the law made nothing perfect. For to 


complete this great injunction, there was yet wanting an ex- 
press example of the holiness required, which is not given 
us but in him, who is the ' first-born, the image of the invi- 
sible God.' 

There was a notion even among the philosophers, that 
the principal endeavour of a wise man was to be like unto 
God. But in the improvement of it the best of them fell 
into foolish and proud imaginations. Howbeit the notion 
itself was the principal beam of our primogenial light, the 
best relic o^'-i^ur natural perfections. And those who 
are not some way under the power of a design to be like 
unto God, are every way like unto the devil. But those 
persons who had nothing but the absolute essential proper- 
ties of the divine nature to contemplate on in the light of 
reason, failed all of them both in the notion itself of con- 
formity unto God, and especially in the practical improve- 
ment of it. Whatever men may fancy to the contrary, it is 
the design of the apostle in sundry places of his writings to 
prove that they did so, especially Rom. i. I Cor. i. Where- 
fore it was an infinite condescension of divine wisdom and 
grace gloriously to implant that image of his which we are 
to endeavour conformity unto, on the human nature of 
Christ, and then so fully to represent and propose it unto us 
in the revelation of the gospel. 

The infinite perfections of God considered absolutely in 
themselves, are accompanied with such an incomprehensible 
glory, as is hard to conceive how they are the object of our 
imitation. But the representation that is made of them in 
Christ, as the image of the invisible God is so suited to the 
renewed faculties of our souls, so congenial unto the new 
creature, or the gracious principle of spiritual life in us, 
that the mind can dwell on ^he contemplation of them, and 
be thereby transformed into the same image. 

Herein lies much of the life and power of Christian reli- 
gion, as it resides in the souls of men. This is the prevail- 
ing design of the minds of them that truly believe the gos- 
pel ; they would in all things be like unto Jesus Christ. 
And I shall briefly shew, (1.) What is required hereunto: 
and, (2.) What is to be done in a way of duty for the attain- 
ing that end. 

[1.] A spiritual light to discern the beauty, glory, and 


amiableness of grace in Christ, is required hereunto. We 
can have no real design of conformity unto him, unless we 
have their eyes, who ' saw his glory, the glory of the only- 
begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth ;' John i. 14. 
Nor is it enough that we seem to discern the glory of his 
person, unless we see a beauty and excellency in every 
grace that is in him. ' Learn of me,' saith he, ' for I am 
meek and lowly in heart;' Matt. xi. 29. If we are not 
able to discern an excellency in meekness and lowliness of 
heart (as they are things generally despised), how shall we 
sincerely endeavour after conformity unto Christ in them ? 
The like may be said of all other his gracious qualifications. 
His zeal, his patience, his self-denial, his readiness for the 
cross, his love unto his enemies, his benignity to all man- 
kind, his faith and fervency in prayer, his love to God, his 
compassion towards the souls of men, his unweariedness in 
doing good, his 'purity, his universal holiness ; unless we 
have a spiritual light to discern the glory and amiableness 
of them all as they were in him, we speak in vain of any de- 
sign for conformity unto him. And this we have not, un- 
less God shine into our hearts to give us the knowledge 
of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. It is, I say, a 
foolish thing to talk of the imitation of Christ, whilst really 
through the darkness of our minds we discern not that there 
is an excellency in the things wherein we ought to be like 
unto him. 

[2.] Love unto them so discovered in a beam of heavenly 
light, is required unto the same end. No soul can have a 
design of conformity unto Christ, but his, who so likes and 
loves the graces that were in him, as to esteem a participa- 
tion of them in their power, to be the greatest advantage, 
to be the most invaluable privilege that can in this world be 
attained. It is the savour of his good ointments for which 
the virgins love him, cleave unto him, and endeavour to be 
like him. In that whereof we now discourse, namely, of 
conformity unto him, he is the representative of the image 
of God unto us. As if we do not love and prize above all 
things those gracious qualifications and dispositions of 
mind wherein it doth consist, whatever we may pretend of 
the imitation of Christ in any outward acts or duties of 
obedience, we have no design of conformity unto him. He 


who sees and admires the glory of Christ as filled with these 
graces, as he * was fairer than the children of men,' because 
* grace was poured into his lips,' unto whom nothing is so 
desirable, as to have the same mind, the same heart, the 
same spirit that was in Christ Jesus, he is prepared to press 
after conformity unto him. And unto such a soul the re- 
presentation of all these excellencies in the person of Christ, 
is the great incentive, motive, and guide, in and unto all 
internal obedience unto God. 

Lastly, That wherein we are to labour for this conformity 
may be reduced unto two heads. 

[1.] An opposition unto all sin, in the root, principle, 
and most secret springs of it, or original cleavings unto our 
nature. ' He did no sin, neither was there any guile found 
in his mouth.' * He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate 
from sinners/ He was the 'Lamb of God without spot or 
blemish ;' like unto us, yet without sin. Not the least tinc- 
ture of sin did ever make an approach unto his holy nature. 
He was absolutely free from every drop of that fomes, 
which hath invaded us in our depraved condition. Where- 
fore to be freed from all sin, is the first general part of an 
endeavour for conformity unto Christ. And although we 
cannot perfectly attain hereunto in this life, as we have * not 
already attained, nor are already perfect,' yet he who groan- 
eth not in himself after it, who doth not loath every thing 
that is of the remainder of sin in him, and himself for it, 
who doth not labour after its absolute and universal extir- 
pation, hath no sincere design of conformity unto Christ, 
nor can so have. He who endeavours to be like him, must 
' purify himself, even as he is pure.' Thoughts of the 
purity of Christ, in his absolute freedom from the least tinc- 
ture of sin, will not suffer a believer to be negligent at any 
time, for the endeavouring the utter ruin of that which 
makes him unlike unto him. And it is a blessed advantage 
unto faith in the work of mortification of sin, that we have 
such a pattern continually before us. 

[2.] The due improvement of, and continual growth in 
every grace, is the other general part of this duty. In the 
exercise of his own all-fulness of grace, both in mo^al duties 
of obedience, and the especial duties of his office, did the 
glory of Christ on the earth consist. Wherefore to abound 


ill the exercise of every grace, to grow in the root, and 
thrive in the fruit of them, is to be conformed unto the 
image of the Son of God. 

2. The following the example of Christ in all duties to- 
wards God and men, in his whole conversation on the earth, 
is the second part of the instance now given concerning the 
use of the person of Christ in religion. The field is large 
which here lies before us, and filled with numberless blessed 
instances. I cannot here enter into it ; and the mistakes that 
have been in a pretence unto it, requires that it should be 
handled distinctly and at large by itself, which, if God will, 
may be done .in due time. One or two general instances 
wherein he was most eminently our example, shall close 
this discourse. 

(1.) His meekness, lowliness of mind, condescension 
unto all sorts of persons ; his love and kindness unto man- 
kind, his readiness to do good unto all, with patience and 
forbearance, are continually set before us in his example. I 
place them all under one head, as proceeding all from the 
same spring of divine goodness, and having effects of the 
same nature. With respect unto them, it is required that 
* the same mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus,' Phil. 
ii. 5. and that we * walk in love, as he also loved us ;' Eph. 
V. 2. 

In these things was he the great representative of the 
divine goodness unto us. In the acting of these graces on 
all occasions did he declare and manifest the nature of God 
from whom he came. And this was one end of his exhibi- 
tion in the flesh. Sin had filled the world with a repre- 
sentation of the devil and his nature, in mutual hatred, 
strife, variance, envy, wrath, pride, fierceness, and rage, 
ao-ainst one another, all which are of the old murderer. The 
instances of a cured, of a contrary frame were obscure and 
weak in the best of the saints of old. But in our Lord 
Jesus, the light of the glory of God herein first shone upon 
the world. In the exercise of these graces which he most 
abounded in, because the sins, weaknesses, and infirmities 
of men gave continual occasion thereunto, did he represent 
the divine nature, as love, as infinitely good, benign, merci- 
ful, and patient, as delighting in the exercise of these its holy 
properties. In them was the Lord Christ our example in 


an especial manner. And they do in vain pretend to be his 
disciples, to be followers of him, who endeavour not to 
order the whole course of their lives in conformity unto him 
in these things. 

One Christian who is meek, humble, kind, patient, and 
useful unto all, that condescends to the ignorance, weak- 
nesses, and infirmities of others, that passeth by provoca- 
tions, injuries, contempt, with patience, and with silence, 
unless where the glory and truth of God call for a just vin- 
dication ; that pitieth all sorts of men in their failings and 
miscarriages, who is free from jealousies and evil surmises, 
that loveth what is good in all men, and all men even 
wherein they are not good, nor do good, doth more express 
the virtues and excellencies of Christ, than thousands can 
do with the most magnificent works of piety or charity, 
where this frame is wanting in them. For men to pretend 
to follow the example of Christ, and in the mean time to be 
proud, wrathful, envious, bitterly zealous, calling for fire 
from heaven to destroy men, or fetching it themselves from 
hell, is to cry, * Hail unto him,' and to crucify him afresh 
unto their power. 

(2.) Self-denial, readiness for the cross, with patience 
in sufferings, are the second sort of things which he calls 
all his disciples to follow his example in. It is the funda- 
mental law of his gospel, that if any one will be his disciple, 

* he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow him.' 
These things in him, as they are all of them summarily re- 
presented, Phil. ii. 5 — 8. by reason of the glory of his 
person, and the nature of his sufferings, are quite of another 
kind than that we are called unto. But his grace in them 
all is our only pattern, in what is required of us. 'Christ 
hath suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should 
follow his steps, who when he was reviled, reviled not again, 
when he suffered, he threatened not;' 1 Pet. ii. 21 — 23. 
Hence are we called to look unto 'Jesus, the author and 
finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, 
endured the cross, and despised the shame.' For we are to 

* consider him, who endured such contradiction of sinners 
in himself, that we faint not ;' Heb. xii. 2, 3. Blessed be 
God for this example ; for the glory of the condescension, 
patience, faith, and endurance of Jesus Christ in the extre- 


mity of all sorts of sufferings. This hath been the pole-star 
of the church in all its storms ; the guide, the comfort, sup- 
portment and encouragement of all those holy souls, who 
in their several generations, have in various degrees under- 
gone persecution for righteousness' sake, and yet continu- 
eth so to be unto them who are in the same condition. 

And I must say, as I have done on some other occasions 
in the handling of this subject, that a discourse on this one 
instance of the use of Christ in religion, from the considera- 
tion of the person who suffered, and set us this example; of 
the principle from whence, and the end for which, he did it; 
of the variety of evils of all sorts he had to conflict withal ; 
of his invincible patience under them all, and immoveable- 
ness of love and compassion unto mankind, even his perse- 
cutors; the dolorous afflictive circumstances of his sufferings 
from God and men ; the blessed efficacious workings of his 
faith and trust in God unto the uttermost; with the glorious 
issue of the whole, and the influence of all these considera- 
tions unto the consolation and supportment of the church, 
would take up more room and time than what is allotted unto 
the whole of that, whereof it is here the least part. I shall 
leave the whole under the shade of that blessed promise, 
* If so be that we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified 
together ; for I reckon that the sufferings of this present 
time are not to be compared with the glory that shall be re- 
vealed in us ;' Rom. viii. 17, 18. 

The last thing proposed concerning the person of Christ, 
was the use of it unto believers, in the whole of their rela- 
tion unto God, and duty towards him. And the things be- 
longing thereunto, may be reduced unto these general heads : 
(1.) Their sanctification, which consisteth in these four 
things : [1.] The mortification of sin. [2.] The gradual 
renovation of our natures. [3.] Assistances in actual obe- 
dience. [4.] The same in temptations and trials. 

(2.) Their justification, with its concomitants and conse- 
quents; as, [1.] Adoption. [2.] Peace. [3.] Consolation 
and joy in life and death. [4.] Spiritual gifts unto the edi- 
fication of themselves and others. [5.] A blessed resurrec- 
tion. [6.] Eternal glory. 

There are other things which also belong hereunto : as 
their guidance in the course of their conversation in this 


world ; direction unto usefulness in all states and conditions ; 
patient waiting for the accomplishment of God's promises to 
the church; the communication of federal blessings unto 
their families; and Ihe exercise of loving-kindness towards 
mankind in general ; with sundry other concernments of the 
life of faith of the like importance ; but they may be all re- 
duced unto the general heads proposed. 

What should have been spoken with reference unto these 
things, belongs unto these three heads : 

1st. A declaration that all these things are wrought in, 
and communicated unto believers, according to their various 
natures, by an emanation of grace and power from the person 
of Jesus Christ, as the head of the church, as he who is ex- 
alted and made a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance 
and the forgiveness of sins. 

2dly. A declaration of the way and manner how believers 
do live upon Christ in the exercise of faith, whereby, accord- 
ing to the promise and appointment of God, they derive from 
him the whole grace and mercy whereof in this world they 
are made partakers, and are established in the expectation 
of what they shall receive hereafter by his power. And that 
two things do hence ensue : (1st.) The necessity of universal 
evangelical obedience, seeing it is only in and by the duties 
of it, that faith is, or can be, kept in a due exercise unto the 
ends mentioned. (2dly.) That believers do hereby increase 
continually with the increase of God, and grow up into him 
who is the head, until they become the fulness of him who 
filleth all in all. 

3dly. A conviction that a real interest in, and participa- 
tion of, these things, cannot be obtained any other way, but 
by the actual exercise of faith on the person of Jesus Christ. 

These things were necessary to be handled at large with 
reference unto the end proposed. But for sundry reasons, 
the whole of this labour is here declined. For some of the 
particulars mentioned, I have already insisted on in other 
discourses heretofore published, and that with respect unto 
the end here designed. And this argument cannot be han- 
dled as it doth deserve, unto full satisfaction, without an 
entire discourse concerning the life of faith, which my pre- 
sent design will not admit of. 



An humble inquiry into^ and prospect of, the infinite wisdom of God, in the 
constitution of the person of Christ, and the way of salvation thereby. 

From the consideration of the things before insisted on, we 
may endeavour, according unto our measure, to take a view 
of, and humbly adore, the infinite wisdom of God, in the 
holy contrivance of this great * mystery of godliness, God 
manifest in the flesh.' As it is a spiritual evangelical mys- 
tery, it is an effect of divine wisdom, in the redemption and 
salvation of the church, unto the eternal glory of God. And 
as it is a ' great mystery,' so it is the mystery of the ' mani- 
fold wisdom of God,' Eph. iii. 9, 10. that is, of infinite wis- 
dom working in great variety of actings and operations, 
suited unto, and expressive of, its own infinite fulness : for 
herein were * all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' 
laid up, and laid out; Col. ii. 3. An argument this is, in 
some parts whereof divers of the ancient writers of the church 
have laboured, some occasionally, and some with express 
design. I shall insist only on those things which Scripture 
light leads us directly unto. The depths of divine wisdom 
in this glorious work, are hid from the eyes of all living. 
* God alone understandeth the way thereof; and he knoweth 
the place thereof;' as he speaks. Job xxviii. 21. 23, Yet is 
it so glorious in its effects, that ' destruction and death say. 
We have heard the fame of it with our ears ;' ver. 22. The 
fame and report of this divine wisdom reach even unto hell. 
Those who eternally perish, shall hear a fame of this wis- 
dom in the glorious effects of it, towards the blessed souls 
above, though some of them would not believe it here in the 
light of the gospel, and none of them can understand it 
there, in their everlasting darkness. Hence the report which 
they have of this wisdom is an aggravation of their misery. 
These depths we may admire and adore, but we cannot 
comprehend : * For who hath known the mind of the Lord 
herein, or with whom took he counsel ?' Concerning the ori- 
ginal causes of his counsels in this great mystery, we can 
only say, ' O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom 
and knowlede:e of God, how unsearchable are his judgments. 


and his ways past finding out.' This alone is left unto us 
in the way of duty, that in the effects of them, we should 
contemplate on their excellency, so as to give glory to God, 
and live in aholy admiration of his wisdom and grace. For 
to give glory unto him, and admire him is our present duty, 
until he * shall come eternally to be glorified in his saints, 
and admired in all them that believe ;' 2 Thess. i. 10. 

We can do no more but stand at the shore of this 
ocean, and adore its unsearchable depths. What is delivered 
from them by divine revelation we may receive as pearls of 
price, to enrich and adorn our souls. 'For secret things 
belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are 
revealed, unto us, that we may do the words of his law ;* 
Deut. xxix. 29. We shall not therefore in our inquiry into 
this great mystery, intrude ourselves into the things which 
we have not seen, but only endeavour a right understanding 
of what is revealed concerning it. For the end of all divine 
revelations is our knowledge of the things revealed, with our 
obedience thereon; and unto this end, things revealed do 
belong unto us. 

■ Some things in general are to be premised unto our pre- 
sent inquiry. 

1. We can have no view or due prospect of the wisdom 
of God in any of his works, much less in this of ' sending 
his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,' or the constitution of 
his person, and the work of redemption to be accomplished 
thereby, unless we consider also the interest of the other 
holy properties of the divine nature in them. Such are his 
holiness, his righteousness, his sovereign authority, his 
goodness, love, and grace. 

There are three excellencies of the divine nature princi- 
pally to be considered in all the external works of God. 
(1.) His goodness, which is the communicative property 
thereof. This is the eternal fountain and spring of all divine 
communications. Whatever is good in and unto any crea- 
ture, is an emanation from divine goodness. * He is good, 
and he doth good.' That which acts originally in the divine 
nature, unto the communication of itself in any blessed or 
gracious effects unto the creatures, is goodness. 

(2.) Wisdom, which is the directive power or excellency 
of the divine nature. Hereby God guides, disposeth, orders. 


and directs all things unto his ovyn glory, in and by their 
own immediate proper ends; Prov. xvi. 4. Rev. iv. 11. 

(3.) Power, which is the effective excellency of the di- 
vine nature, effectingand accomplishing what wisdom doth 
design and order. 

Whereas wisdom therefore is that holy excellency or 
power of the Divine Being, wherein God designs, and 
whereby he effects the glory of all the other properties of his 
nature, we cannot trace the paths of it in any work of God, 
unless we know the interest and concernment of those other 
properties in that work. For that which wisdom principally 
designs, is the glorification of them. And unto this end the 
effective property of the divine nature, which is almighty 
power, always accompanies, or is subservient unto, the di- 
rective or infinite wisdom, which is requisite unto per- 
fection in operation. What infinite goodness will commu- 
nicate ad extra, what it will open the eternal fountain of the 
Divine Being and all-sufficiency to give forth ; that infinite 
wisdom designs, contrives, and directs to the glory of God ; 
and what v/isdom so designs, infinite power effects. See 
Isa. xl. 13—15. 17. 28. 

2. We can have no apprehensions of the interest of the 
other properties of the divine nature in this great mystery of 
godliness, whose glory was designed in infinite wisdom, 
without the consideration of that state and condition of our 
own wherein they are so concerned. That which was de- 
signed unto the eternal glory of God in this great work of 
the incarnation of his Son, was the redemption of mankind, 
or the recovery and salvation of the church. What hath 
been disputed by some concerning it, without respect unto 
the sin of man, and the salvation of the church, is curiosity, 
and indeed presumptuous folly. The whole Scripture con- 
stantly assigneth this sole end of that effect of divine good- 
ness and wisdom, yea, asserts it as the only foundation of 
the gospel; John iii. 16. Wherefore unto a due contempla- 
tion of divine wisdom in it, it is necessary we should con- 
sider what is the nature of sin, especially of that first sin, 
wherein our original apostacy from God did consist ; wha*- 
was the condition of mankind thereon ; what is the con- 
cernment of the holy God therein, on the account of the 
blessed properties of his nature; what way was suited unto 
vot. xii. Q 


our recovery, that God might be glorified in them all. 
Without a previous consideration of these things, we can 
have no due conceptions of the wisdom of God in this glo- 
rious work, which we inquire after. Wherefore I shall so far 
speak of them, that if it be the will of God, the minds of 
those who read and consider them, may be opened and pre- 
pared to give admittance unto some rays of that divine 
wisdom in this glorious work, the lustre of whose full light 
we are not able in this world to behold. 

When there was a visible pledge of the presence of God 
in the * bush that burned' and was not consumed, Moses 
said, he * would turn aside to see that great sight ;' Exod. 
iii.3. And this great representation of the glory of God 
being made and proposed unto us, it is certainly our duty 
to divert from all other occasions unto the contemplation 
of it. But as Moses was then commanded to * put off his 
shoes, the place whereon he stood being holy ground ;' so 
it will be the wisdom of him that writes, and of them that 
read, to divest themselves of all carnal affections and imagi- 
nations, that they may draw nigh unto this great object of 
faith, with due reverence and fear. 

The first thing we are to consider in order unto the end 
proposed is, the nature of our sin and apostacy from God. 
For from thence we must learn the concernment of the divine 
excellencies of God in this work. And there are three 
things that were eminent therein. 

(1.) A reflection on the honour of the holiness and wis- 
dom of God, in the rejection of his image. He had newly 
' made man in his own image.' And this work he so ex- 
presseth as to intimate a peculiar effect of divine wisdom in 
it, whereby it was distinguished from all other external 
works of creation whatever. Gen. i. 26, 27. * And God 
said. Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. 
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God 
created he him.' No where is there such an emphasis of ex- 
pression concerning any work of God. And sundry things 
are represented as peculiar therein. 

[1st.] Thatthe word of consultation and that of execution 
are distinct. In all other works of creation, the word of 
determination and execution, was the same. When he cre- 
ated light which seems to be the beauty and glory of the 


whole creation, he only said, ' Let there be light, and there 
was light;' Gen. i. 3. So was it with all other things. But 
when he comes unto the creation of man, another process is 
proposed unto our faith. These several words are distinct, 
not in time, but in nature. ' God said. Let us make man in 
our image and likeness;' and thereon it is added distinctly, 
as the execution of that antecedent counsel ; * so God made 
man in his own image.' This puts a signal eminency on this 
work of God. 

[2dly.] A distinct peculiar concernment of all the per- 
sons of the holy Trinity, in their consultation and operation, 
is in like manner proposed unto us. ' And God said, Let us 
make man.' The truth hereof I have sufficiently evinced 
elsewhere, and discovered the vanity of all other glosses and 
expositions. The properties of the divine nature princi- 
pally and originally considerable in all external operations 
(as we have newly observed) are goodness, wisdom, and 
power. In this great work divine goodness exerted itself 
eminently and effectually in the person of the Father ; the 
eternal fountain and spring, as of the divine nature, so of 
all divine operations. Divine wisdom acted itself pecu- 
liarly in the person of the Son, this being the principle no- 
tion thereof, the eternal wisdom of the Father. Divine 
power wrought effectually in the person of the Holy Spirit ; 
w^ho is the immediate actor of all divine operations. 

[3dly.] The proposition of the effecting this work being 
by way of consultation, represents it a signal effect of infi- 
nite wisdom. These expressions are used to lead us unto 
the contemplation of that wisdom. 

Thus ' God made man in his own image,' that is, in such a 
rectitude of nature as represented his righteousness and ho- 
liness, in such a state and condition as had a reflection on 
it of his power and rule. The former was the substance of 
it, the latter a necessary consequent thereof. This repre- 
sentation, I say, of God, in power and rule, was not that 
imao'e of God wherein man was created, but a consequent 
of it. So the words and their order declare. * Let us make 
man in our image, and after our likeness, and let them have 
dominion over the fish of the sea,' &c. Because he was 
made in the image of God, this dominion and rule were 
o'vanted unto him. So fond is their imagination who would 

Q 2 


have the image of God to consist solely in these things. 
Wherefore the loss of the image of God was not originally 
the loss of power and dominion, or a right thereunto. But 
man was deprived of that right, on the loss of that image 
which it was granted unto. Wherein it did consist, see 
Eccles. vii. 29. Eph. iv. 24. 

Three things God designed in this communication of his 
image unto our nature, which were his principal ends in the 
creation of all things here below. And therefore was di- 
vine wisdom more eminently exerted therein, than in all the 
other works of this inferior creation. 

1. The first was, that he might therein make a represen- 
tation of his holiness and righteousness among his creatures. 
This was not done in any other of them. Characters they 
had on them of his goodness, wisdom, and power. In these 
things the ' heavens declare the glory of God, and the fir- 
mament sheweth his handy work.' His eternal power and 
Godhead are manifest in the things that are made. But 
none of them, not the whole fabric of heaven and earth, 
with all their glorious ornaments and endowments, were 
either fit or able to receive any impressions of his holiness 
and righteousness, of any of the moral perfections, or uni- 
versal rectitude of his nature. Yet in the demonstration 
and representation of these things doth the glory of God 
principally consist. Without them he could not be known 
and glorified as God. Wherefore he would have an image 
and representation of them in the creation here below. And 
this he will always have so long as he will be worshipped 
by any of his creatures. And therefore, when it was lost in 
Adam it was renewed in Christ, as hath been declared. 

2. The second was, that it might be a means of rendering 
actual glory unto him, from all other parts of the creation. 
Without this, which is as the animating life and form of the 
whole, the other creatures are but as a dead thing. They 
could not any way declare the glory of God, but passively 
and objectively. They were as an harmonious well-tuned 
instrument, which gives no sound unless there be a skilful 
hand to move and act it. What is light if there be no eye 
to see it? or what is music if there be no ear to hear it? 
How glorious and beautiful soever any of the works of 
creation appear to be, from impressions of divine power, 


wisdom, and goodness on them, yet, without this image of 
God in man, there was nothing here below to understand 
God in them, to glorify God by them. This alone is that 
whereby in a way of admiration, obedience, and praise, we 
were enabled to render unto God all the glory which he de- 
signed from those works of his power. 

3. The third was, that it might be a means to bring man 
unto that eternal enjoyment of himself, which he was fitted 
for and designed unto. For this was to be done in a way 
of obedience ; * do this and live,' was that rule of it which 
the nature of God and man, with their mutual relation unto 
one another, did require. But we were made meet for this 
obedience, and enabled unto it, only by virtue of this image 
of God implanted in our natures. It was morally a power 
to live unto God in obedience, that we might come to the 
enjoyment of him in glory. 

Evident it is, that these were the principal ends of God 
in the creation of all things. Wherefore this constitution 
of our nature, and the furnishment of it with the image of 
God, was the most eminent effect of infinite wisdom in all 
the outward works of the divine nature. 

(2.) In the entrance of sin, and by apostacy from God, 
man voluntarily rejected and defaced this blessed represen- 
tation of the righteousness and holiness of God, this great 
effect of his goodness and wisdom, in its tendency unto his 
eternal glory, and our enjoyment of him. No greater dis- 
honour could be done unto him, no endeavour could have 
been more pernicious in casting contempt on his counsel. 
For as his holiness, which was represented in that image, 
was despoiled, so we did what lay in us to defeat the con- 
trivance of his wisdom. This will be evident by reflecting 
on the ends of it now mentioned. For, 

[1.] Hereon there remained nothing in all the creation 
here below, whereby any representation might be made of 
God's holiness and righteousness, or any of the moral per- 
fections of his nature. How could it be done this imaofe 
being lost out of the world? The brute inanimate part of 
the creation, however stupendously great in its matter, and 
glorious in its outward form, was no way capable of it. 
The nature of man under the loss of this image, fallen, de- 
praved, polluted, and corrupted, gives rather a representation 


and image of Satan, than of God. Hence instead of 
goodness, love, righteousness, holiness, peace, all virtues 
usefully communicative and effective of the good of the 
whole race of mankind, which would have been effects of 
this image of God, and representatives of his nature, the 
whole world from and by the nature of man, is filled with 
envy, malice, revenge, cruelty, oppression, and all engines 
of promoting self, whereunto man is wholly turned as fallen 
off from God. He that would learn the divine nature, from 
the representation that is made of it, in the present actings 
of the nature of man, will be gradually led unto the devil 
instead of God. Wherefore no greater indignity could be 
offered unto divine wisdom and holiness, than there v^as in 
this rejection of the image of God wherein we were created. 

[2.] There was no way left whereby glory might redound 
unto God from the remainder of the creation here below. 
For the nature of man alone was designed to be the way 
and means of it, by virtue of the image of God implanted 
on it. Wherefore man by sin did not only draw off himself 
from that relation unto God wherein he was made, but drew 
off the whole creation here below with himself into a use- 
lessness unto his glory. And upon the entrance of sin, be- 
fore the cure of our apostacy was actually accomplished, 
the generality of mankind divided the creatures into two 
sorts; those above, or the heavenly bodies, and those here 
below. Those of the first sort they worshipped as their 
gods ; and those of the other sort they abused unto their 
lusts. Wherefore God was every way dishonoured in and 
by them all, nor was there any glory given him on their ac- 
count. What some attempted to do of that nature, in a 
wisdom of their own, ended in folly and a renewed disho- 
nour of God, as the apostle declares, Rom. i. 18, 19. 21, 22. 

[3.] Man hereby lost all power and ability of attaining 
that end for which he was made, namely, the eternal enjoy- 
ment of God. Upon the matter, and as much as in us lay, 
the whole end of God in the creation of all things here be- 
low was utterly defeated. 

But that which was the malignity and poison of this sin, 
was the contempt that was cast on the holiness of God, 
whose representation, and all its express characters, were 
utterly despised and rejected therein. Herein then lay the 


concernment of the holiness or righteousness of God in this 
sin of our nature, which we are inquiring after. Unless 
some reparation be made for the indignity cast upon it in 
the rejection of the image and representation of it, unless 
there be some way whereby it may be more eminently ex- 
alted in the nature of man, than it was debased and despised 
in the same nature ; it was just, equal, righteous with God, 
that which becomes the rectitude and purity of his nature, 
that mankind should perish eternally in that condition where- 
into it was cast by sin. 

It was not, therefore, consistent with the glory of God, 
that mankind should be restored, that this nature of ours 
should be brought unto the enjoyment of him, unless his 
holiness be more exalted, be more conspicuously represented 
in the same nature, than ever it was depressed or despised 
thereby. The demonstration of its glory in any other na- 
ture, as in that of angels, would not serve unto this end, as 
we shall see afterward. 

We must now a little return unto what we before laid 
down. Wisdom being the directive power of all divine ope- 
rations, and the end of all those operations being the glory 
of God himself, or the demonstration of the excellencies of 
the holy properties of his nature, it was incumbent thereon 
to provide for the honour and glory of divine holiness in 
an exaltation answerable unto the attempt for its debase- 
ment. Without the consideration hereof, we can have no 
due prospect of the actings of infinite wisdom in this great 
work of our redemption and recovery by the incarnation of 
the Son of God. 

(3.) Sin brought disorder and disturbance into the whole 
rule and government of God. It was necessary from the 
infinite wisdom of God, that all things should be made in 
perfect order and harmony, all in a direct subordination 
unto his glory. There could have been no original defect 
in the natural or moral order of things, but it must have 
proceeded from a defect in wisdom. For the disposal of all 
things into their proper order belonged unto the contriv- 
ance thereof. And the harmony of all things among them- 
selves, with all their mutual relations and aspects, in a regu- 
lar tendency unto their proper and utmost end, whereby 
though every individual subsistence or being hath a pecu- 


liar end of its own, yet all their actings and all their ends 
tend directly unto one utmost common end of them all, is 
the principal effect of wisdom. And thus was it at the be- 
ginning, when God himself beheld the universe, and * lo it 
was exceeding good/ 

All things being thus created and stated, it belonged 
unto the nature of God to be the rector and disposer of 
them all. 

It was not a mere free act of his will, whereby God 
chose to rule and govern the creation, according unto the 
law of the nature of all things, and their relation unto him ; 
but it was necessary from his divine being and excellencies, 
that so he should do. Wherefore it concerned both the 
wisdom and righteousness of God to take care that either 
all things should be preserved in the state wherein they 
were created, and no disorder be suffered to enter into the 
kingdom and rule of God, or that in a way suited unto them, 
his glory should be retrieved and re-established. For God 
is not the God of confusion, neither the author nor approver 
of it, neither in his works nor in his rule. But sin actually 
brought disorder into the kingdom and rule of God. And 
this it did not in any one particular instance, but that which 
was universal as unto all things here below. For the ori- 
ginal harmony and order of all things consisted in their 
subordination unto the glory of God. But this they all lost, 
as was before declared. Hence he who looked on them in 
their constitution, and to manifest his complacency in them, 
affirmed them to be * exceeding good,' immediately on the 
entrance of sin, pronounced a curse on the whole earth, and 
all things contained therein. 

To suffer this disorder to continue unrectified, was not 
consistent with the wisdom and righteousness of God. It 
would make the kingdom of God to be like that of Satan, 
full of darkness and confusion. Nothing is more necessary 
unto the good of the universe, and without which it were 
better it were annihilated, than the preservation of the ho- 
nour of God in his government. And this could no other- 
wise be done, but by the infliction of a punishment propor- 
tionable in justice unto the demerit of sin. Some think this 
might be done by a free dismission of sin, or a passing it 
over without any punishment at all. But what evidence 


should we then have that good and evil vs^ere not alike, and 
almost equal unto God in his rule, that he doth not like sin 
as well as uprightness ? Nor would this supposition leave 
any grounds of exercising justice among men. For if God 
in his rule of all things dismissed the greatest sin without 
any penalty inflicted, what reason have we to judge that 
evils among ourselves should at all be punished? That 
therefore be far from God, that the righteous should be as 
the wicked ; * Shall not the Judge of all the world do right?' 
Wherefore the order of God's rule being broken, as it 
consisted in the regular obedience of the creature, and dis- 
order with confusion being brought thereby into the king- 
dom and government of God ; his righteousness, as it is the 
rectoral virtue and power of the divine nature, required that 
his glory should be restored, by reducing the sinning crea- 
ture again into order by punishment. Justice, therefore, 
must be answered and complied withal herein, according 
unto its eternal and unanswerable law, in away suited unto the 
glory of God, or the sinning creature must perish eternally. 
Herein the righteousness of God, as the rectoral virtue 
of the divine nature, was concerned in the sin and apostacy 
of men. The vindication and glory of it, to provide, that 
in nothing it were eclipsed or dimini*shed, was incumbent on 
infinite wisdom according unto the rule before laid down. 
That must direct and dispose of all things anew unto the 
glory of the righteousness of God, or there is no recovery 
of mankind. And in our inquiry after the impressions of 
divine wisdom, on the great and glorious means of our re- 
storation under consideration, this provision made thereby 
for the righteousness of God in his rule and government of 
all, is greatly to be attended to. 

(4.) Man by sin put himself into the power of the devil, 
God's greatest adversary. The devil had newly by rebellion 
and apostacy from his first condition, cast himself under the 
eternal displeasure and wrath of God. God had righteously 
purposed in himself, not to spare him, nor contrive any way 
for his deliverance unto eternity. He on the other side was 
become obdurate in his malice and hatred of God, design- 
ing his dishonour and the impeachment of his glory with 
the utmost of his remaining abilities. In this state of things,. 


man voluntarily leaves the rule and conduct of God, with 
all his dependence upon him, and puts himself into the 
power of the devil. For he believed Satan above God, that 
is, placed his faith and confidence in him, as unto the way 
of attaining blessedness and true happiness. And in whom 
we place our trust and confidence, them do we obey, what- 
ever we profess. Herein did God's adversary seem for a 
season to triumph against him, as if he had defeated the 
great design of his goodness, wisdom, and power. So he 
would have continued to do, if no way had been provided 
for his disappointment. 

This, therefore, also belonged unto the care of divine 
wisdom, namely, that the glory of God in none of the holy 
properties of his nature did suffer any diminution hereby. 

xAlII this, and inconceivably more than we are able to ex- 
press, being contained in the sin of our apostacy from God ; 
it must needs follow that the condition of all mankind be- 
came thereby inexpressibly evil. As we had done all the 
moral evil which our nature was capable to act, so it was 
meet we should receive all the penal evil which our nature 
was capable to undergo. And it all issued in death tempo- 
ral and eternal, inflicted from the wrath of God. 

This is the first thing to be considered in our tracing the 
footsteps of divine wisdom, in our deliverance by the incar- 
nation of the Son of God. Without due conceptions of the 
nature of this sin and apostacy, of the provocation given 
unto God thereby, of the injury attempted to be done unto 
the glory of all his properties, of his concernment in their 
reparation, with the unspeakable misery that mankind was 
fallen into, we cannot have the least view of the glorious 
actings of divine wisdom in our deliverance by Christ. And 
therefore, the most of those who are insensible of these 
things, do wholly reject the principal instances of infinite 
wisdom in our redemption, as we shall yet see farther after- 
ward. And the great reason why the glory of God in Christ, 
doth so little irradiate the minds of many, that it is so much 
neglected and despised, is because they are not acquainted 
nor affected with the nature of our first sin and apostacy, 
neither in itself, nor its woful effects and consequents. 

But on the supposition of these things, a double inquiry 


ariseth with reference unto the wisdom of God, and the 
other holy properties of his nature immediately concerned 
in our sin and apostacy. 

1. Whereas man by sin had defaced the image of God, 
and lost it, whereby there was no representation of his holi- 
ness and righteousness left in the whole creation here below ; 
no way of rendering any glory to him, in, for, or by, any 
other of his works ; no means to bring man unto the enjoy- 
ment of God for which he was made. And whereas he had 
brought confusion and disorder into the rule and kingdom 
of God, which according unto the law of creation and its 
sanction could not be rectified but by the eternal ruin of the 
sinner ; and had moreover given up himself unto the rule 
and conduct of Satan : whether I say hereon, it was meet 
with respect unto the holy properties of the divine nature, 
that all mankind should be left eternally in this condition, 
without remedy or relief; or whether there were not a con- 
decency and suitableness unto them, that at least our nature 
in some portion of it should be restored. 

2. Upon a supposition that the granting of a recovery 
was suited unto the holy perfections of the divine nature, act- 
ing themselves by infinite wisdom, what rays of that wisdom 
may we discern in the finding out and constitution of the 
way and means of that recovery. 

The first of these I shall speak briefly unto in this place, 
because I have treated more largely concerning it in ano- 
ther. For there are many things which argue a condecency 
unto the divine perfections herein ; namely, that mankind 
should not be left utterly remediless in that guilt of misery 
whereinto it was plunged. I shall at present only insist on 
one of them. 

God had originally created two sorts of intellectual crea- 
tures capable of the eternal enjoyment of himself; namely, 
angels and men. That he would so make either sort or both, 
was a mere effect of his sovereign wisdom and pleasure. 
But on a supposition that he would so make them, they 
must be made for his glory. These two sorts thus created, 
he placed in several habitations prepared for them, suitable 
unto their natures, and the present duties required of them; 
the angels in heaven above, and men on earth below. Sin 
first invaded the nature of angels, and cast innumerable mul- 


titudes of them out of their primitive condition. Hereby 
they lost their capacity of, and right unto, that enjoyment of 
God, which their nature was prepared and made meet for. 
Neither would God ever restore them thereunto. And in the 
instance of dealing with them, when he ' spared them not, 
but shut them up in chains of everlasting darkness unto the 
judgment of the great day,' he manifested how righteous it 
was to leave sinning apostate creatures in everlasting misery. 
If any thing of relief be provided for any of them, it is a 
mere effect of sovereign grace and wisdom, whereunto God 
Was no way obliged. Howbeit the whole angelical nature 
that was created in a capacity for the eternal enjoyment of 
God, perished not. Nor doth it seem consistent with the 
wisdom and goodness of God, that the whole entire species 
or kind of creatures made capable of glory in the eternal en- 
joyment of him, should at once immediately be excluded 
from it. That such a thing should fall out as it were acci- 
dently without divine provision and disposal, would argue a 
defect in wisdom, and a possibility of a surprisal into the 
loss of the whole glory he designed in the creation of all 
thino-s. And to have it a mere effect of divine ordination 
and disposal, is as little consistent with his goodness. 
Wherefore, the same nature which sinned and perished in 
the angels that fell, abideth in the enjoyment of God, in 
those myriads of blessed spirits, which * left not their first 

The nature of man was in like manner made capable of 
the eternal enjoyment of God. This was the end for which 
it was created, unto the glory of him by whom it was made. 
For it became the divine wisdom and goodness, to give unto 
every thing an operation and end suited unto its capacity. 
And these in this race of intellectual creatures, were to live 
unto God, and to come unto the eternal enjoyment of him. 
This operation and end their nature being capable of, they 
being suited unto it, unto them it was designed. But sin 
entered them also ; we also ' sinned and came short of the 
glory of God.' The inquiry hereon is, whether it became 
the divine goodness and wisdom that this whole nature, in all 
that were partakers of it, should fail and come short of that 
end for which alone it was made of God. For whereas the 
angels stood in their primitive condition every one in his 


own individual person, the sin of some did not prejudice 
others, who did not sin actually themselves. But the whole 
race of mankind stood all in one common head and state ; 
from whom they were to be educed and derived by natural 
generation. The sin and apostacy of that one person, was 
the sin and apostacy of us all. ' In him all sinned and died/ 
Wherefore, unless there be a recovery made of them, or of 
some from among them, that whole species of intellectual 
nature, the whole kind of it, in all its individuals, which was 
made capable of doing the will of God, so as to come unto 
the eternal fruition of him, must be eternally lost and ex- 
cluded from it. This we may say became not the w^isdom 
and goodness of God, no more than it would have done to 
have suffered the whole angelical nature in all its individuals 
to have perished for ever. No created understanding could 
have been able to discern the glory of God in such a dispen- 
sation, whereby it would have had no glory. That the 
whole nature in all the individuals of it, which was framed 
by the power of God out of nothing, and made what it was 
for this very end, that it might glorify him, and come unto 
the enjoyment of him, should eternally perish, if any way of 
relief for any portion of it were possible unto infinite wisdom, 
doth not give an amiable representation of the divine excel- 
lencies unto us. 

It was therefore left on the provision of infinite wisdom, 
that this great effect of recovering a portion of fallen man- 
kind out of this miserable estate, wherein there was a suitable- 
ness, a condecency unto the divine excellencies, should be 
produced. Only it was to be done on and by a free act of 
the will of God ; for otherwise there was no obligation on 
him from any of his properties so to do. 

But it may be yet said on the other side, that the nature 
of man was so defiled, so depraved, so corrupted, so alien- 
ated and separated from God, so obnoxious unto the curse 
by its sin and apostacy, that it was not reparable to the glory 
of God ; and therefore it would not argue any defect in di- 
vine power, nor any unsuitableness unto divine wisdom and 
goodness, if it were not actually repaired and restored. I 
answer two things. 

(1.) The horrible nature of the first sin, and the heinous- 
ness of our apostacy from God therein, were such and so 


great, as that God thereon might righteously and suitably 
unto all the holy properties of his nature, leave mankind to 
perish eternally in that condition whereinto they had cast 
themselves. And if he had utterly forsaken the whole race 
of mankind in that condition, and left them all as remediless 
as the fallen angels, there could have been no reflection on 
his goodness, and an evident suitableness unto his justice 
and holiness. Wherefore, wherever there is any mention in 
the Scripture of the redemption or restoration of mankind, 
it is constantly proposed as an effect of mere sovereign 
grace and mercy. See Eph.i. 3 — 11. And those who pre- 
tend a great difficulty at present in the reconciliation of 
the eternal perishing of the greatest part of mankind, with 
those notions we have of the divine goodness, seem not to 
have sufficiently considered what was contained in our ori- 
ginal apostacy from God ; nor the righteousness of God in 
dealing with the angels that sinned. For when man had 
voluntarily broken all the relation of love and moral good 
between God and him, had defaced his image, the only re- 
presentation of his holiness and righteousness in this lower 
world, and deprived him of all his glory from the works of 
his hands, and had put himself into the society, and under 
the conduct of the devil ; what dishonour could it have been 
unto God, what diminution would there have been of his 
glory, if he had left him unto his own choice, to eat for ever 
of the fruit of his own ways, and to be filled with his own 
devices unto eternity ? It is only infinite wisdom that could 
find out a way for the salvation of any one of the whole race 
of mankind, so as that it might be reconciled unto the glory 
of his holiness, righteousness, and rule. Wherefore, as we 
ought always to admire sovereign grace in the few that shall 
be saved ; so we have no ground to reflect on divine good- 
ness in the multitudes that perish, especially considering 
that they all voluntarily continue in their sin and apostacy. 
(2.) I grant the nature of man was not reparable nor re- 
coverable, by any such actings of the properties of God as 
he had exerted in the creation and rule of all things. Were 
there not other properties of the divine nature than what 
were discovered and revealed in the creation of all ; were 
not some of them so declared capable of an exercise in an- 
other way or in higher degrees than what had as yet been 


instanced in, it must be acknowledged that the reparation of 
mankind could not be conceived compliant with the divine 
excellencies nor to be effected by them. I shall give one in- 
stance in each sort, namely, first in properties of another 
kind than any which had been manifested in the works of 
creation, and then the actings of some of them so manifested, 
in another way, or farther degree than what they were be- 
fore exerted in or by. 

[1.] Of the first sort, are love, grace, and mercy, which 
I refer unto one head, their nature being the same, as they 
have respect unto sinners. For although these were none of 
them manifested in the works of creation, yet are they no 
less essential properties of the divine nature, than either 
pfower, goodness, or wisdom. With these it was that the 
reparation of our nature was compliant, unto them it had a 
condecency, and the glory of them infinite wisdom designed 
therein. That wisdom on which it is incumbent to provide 
for the manifestation of all the other properties of God's na- 
ture, contrived this work unto the glory of his love, mercy, 
and grace, as in the gospel it is every where declared. 

[2.] Of the second sort is divine goodness. This as the 
communicative property of the divine nature, had exerted it- 
self in the creation of all things. Howbeit it had not done 
so perfectly, it had not done so to the uttermost. But the 
nature of goodness being communicative, it belongs unto its 
perfection, to act itself unto the uttermost. This it had not 
yet done in the creation. Therein 'God made man,' and 
acted his sroodness in the communication of our beino- unto 
us, with all its endowments. But there yet remained an- 
other effect of it, which was that God should be made man, 
as the way unto, and the means of, our recovery. 

These things being premised, we proceed to inquire more 
particularly by what way and means the recovery of man- 
kind might be wrought, so as that God might be glorified 

If fallen man be restored and reinstated in his primitive 
condition, or brought into a better, it must either be by 
himself, or by some other undertaking for him. For it must 
be done by some means or other. So great an alteration in 
the whole state of things was made by the entrance of sin, 
that it was not consistent with the glory of any of the di- 


vine excellencies, that a restoration of all things should be 
made by a mere act of power, without the use of any means 
for the removal of the cause of that alteration. That man 
himself could not be this means, that is, that he could not 
restore himself, is openly evident. Two ways there were 
whereby he might attempt it, and neither jointly nor seve- 
rally could he do any thing in them. 

1. He might do it by returning unto obedience unto 
God on his own accord. He fell off from God on his own 
accord by disobedience, through the suggestion of Satan. 
Wherefore, a voluntary return unto his former obedience, 
would seem to reduce all things unto their first estate. But 
this way was both impossible, and upon a supposition of it, 
would have been insufficient unto the end designed. For, 

(1.) This he could not do. He had by his sin and fall 
lost that power whereby he was able to yield any acceptable 
obedience unto God. And a return unto obedience, is an 
act of greater power, than a. persistency in the way and 
course of it, and more is required thereunto. But all man's 
original power of obedience consisted in the image of God. 
This he had defaced in himself, and deprived himself of. 
Having therefore lost that power which should have enabled 
him to live unto God in his primitive condition, he could not 
retain a greater power in the same kind to return thereunto. 
This indeed was that which Satan deceived and deluded 
him withal ; namely, that by his disobedience he should ac- 
quire new light and power, v.^hich he had not yet received; 
he should be * like unto God.' But he was so far from any 
advantage by his apostacy, that one part of his misery con- 
sisted in the loss of all power or ability to live to God. 

This is the folly of that Pelagian heresy, which is now a 
third time attempting to impose itself on the Christian world. 
It supposeth that men have a power of their own to return 
unto God, after they had lost the power they had of abiding 
with him. It is not indeed as yet pretended by many, that 
the first sin was a mere transient act, that no way vitiated 
our nature, or impaired the power, faculty, or principle of 
obedience in us. A wound, they say, a disease, a weakness, 
it brought upon us, and rendered us legally obnoxious unto 
death temporal, which we were naturally liable unto before. 
Wherefore it is not said that men can return unto that per- 


feet obedience which the law required ; but that they can 
comply with, and perform that which the gospel requireth 
in the room thereof For they seem to suppose, that the 
gospel is not much more but an- accommodation of the rule 
of obedience unto our present reason and abilities, with some 
motives unto it, and an example for it in the personal obe- 
dience and suffering of Christ. For whereas man forsook 
the law of obedience first prescribed unto him, and fell into 
various incapacities of observing it, God did not, as they 
suppose, provide in and by the gospel a righteousness 
whereby the law might be fulfilled, and effectual grace to 
raise up the nature of man unto the performance of accept- 
able obedience ; but only brings down the law and the rule 
of it into a compliance unto our weakened, diseased, de- 
praved nature ; than which, if any thing can be spoken more 
dishonourably of the gospel, I know it not. However 
this pretended power of returning unto some kind of obe- 
dience, but not that which was required of us in our primi- 
tive condition, is no way sufficient unto our restoration, as 
is evident unto all. 

(2.) As man could not effect his own recovery, so he 
would not attempt it. For he was fallen into that condition 
wherein, in the principles of all his moral operations, he was 
at enmity against God; and whatever did befall him, he 
would choose to continue in his state of apostacy. For he 
was wholly * alienated from the life of God.' He likes it not, 
as that which is incompliant with his dispositions, inclina- 
tions, and desires, as inconsistent with every thing wherein 
he placeth his interest. And hence as he cannot do what 
he should through impotency, he will not even do what he 
can through obstinacy. It may be we know not distinctly 
what to ascribe unto men's impotency, and what unto his ob- 
stinacy ; but between both, he neither can nor will return 
unto God. And his power unto good, though not sufficient 
to bring him again unto God, yet is it not so small but that 
he always chooseth not to make use of it unto that end. In 
brief, there was left in man a fear of divine power, a fear of 
God because of his greatness, which makes him do many 
things which otherwise he would not do ; but there is not 
left in him any love unto divine goodness, without which h6 
cannot choose to return unto God. 



(3.) But let us leave these things which men will dis- 
pute about, though in express contradiction unto the Scrip- 
ture and the experience of them that are wrought upon to 
believe ; and let us make an impossible supposition, that 
man could and would return unto his primitive obedience, 
yet no reparation of the glory of God suffering in the loss 
of the former state of all things would thereon ensue. What 
satisfaction would be hereby made for the injury offered 
unto the holiness, righteousness, and wisdom of God, whose 
violation in their blessed effects was the principal evil of 
sin ? Notwithstanding such a supposition, all the disorder 
that was brought into the rule and government of God by 
sin, with the reflection of dishonour upon him, in the rejec- 
tion of his image, would still continue. And such a resti- 
tution of things, wherein no provision is made for the repa- 
ration of the glory of God, is not to be admitted. The 
notion of it may possibly please men in their apostate con- 
dition, wherein they are wholly turned off from God, and 
into self; not caring what becomes of his glory, so it may 
go well with themselves. But it is highly contradictory 
unto all equity, justice, and the whole reason of things, 
wherein the glory of God is the principal and centre of all. 

Practically things are otherwise among many. The most 
profligate sinners in the world that have a conviction of an 
eternal condition, would be saved. Tell them it is incon- 
sistent with the glory of the holiness, righteousness, and 
truth of God, to save unbelieving impenitent sinners, they 
are not concerned in it. Let them be saved, that is, eter- 
nally delivered from the evil they fear, and let God look 
unto his own glory ; they take no care about it. A soul 
that is spiritually ingenuous, would not be saved in any 
way but that whereby God may be glorified. Indeed, to 
be saved, and not unto the glory of God, implies a con- 
tradiction. For our salvation is eternal blessedness, in a 
participation of the glory of God. 

Secondly, It followeth, therefore, that man must make 
satisfaction unto the justice of God, and thereby a repara- 
tion of his glory that he may be saved. This, added unto 
a complete return unto obedience, would effect a restitu- 
tion of all things ; it would do so as unto what was past, 
though it would make no new addition of glory unto God. 


But this became not the nature and efficacy of divine wis- 
dom. It became it not merely to retrieve what was past, 
without a new manifestation and exaltation of the divine 
excellencies. And therefore, in our restitution by Christ, 
there is such a manifestation and exaltation of the divine 
properties, as incomparably exceeds whatever could have 
ensued on, or been effected by the law of creation, had man 
continued in his original obedience. But at present it is 
granted that this addition of satisfaction unto a return 
unto obedience, would restore all things unto their first 
condition. But as that return was impossible unto man, 
so was this satisfaction for the injury done by sin much 
more. For suppose a mere creature, such as man is, such 
as all men are, in what condition you please, and under all 
advantageous circumstances, yet, whatever he can do towards 
God, is antecedently and absolutely due from him in that 
instant wherein he doth it, and that in the manner wherein 
it is done. They must all say whon they have done all 
that they can do, ' we are unprofitable servants, we have 
done what was our duty.' Wherefore it is impossible that 
by any thing a man can do well, he should make satisfac- 
tion for any thing he hath done ill. For what he so doth, 
is due in and for itself. And to suppose that satisfaction 
will be made for a former fault, by that whose omission 
would have been another, had the former never been com- 
mitted, is madness. An old debt cannot be discharged 
with ready money for new commodities ; nor can past in- 
juries be compensated by present duties, which we are anew 
obliged unto. Wherefore mankind, being indispensably 
and eternally obliged unto the present performance of all 
duties of obedience unto God, according to the utmost of 
their capacity and ability, so as that the non-performance 
of them in their season, both as unto their matter and man- 
ner, would be their sin, it is utterly impossible that by any 
thing, or all that they can do, they should make the least 
satisfaction unto God for any thing they have done against 
him ; much less for the horrible apostacy whereof we treat. 
And to attempt the same end by any way which God hath 
not appointed, which he hath not made their duty, is a new 
provocation of the highest nature. See Micah vi. 6 — 8. 
It is therefore evident on all these considerations, that 




all mankind as unto any endeavours of their own, any thing 
that can be fancied as possible for them to design or do, 
must be left irreparable in a condition of eternal misery. 
And unless we have a full conviction hereof, we can neither 
admire nor entertain the mystery of the wisdom of God in 
our reparation. And therefore it hath been the design of 
Satan in all ages, to contrive presumptuous notions of men's 
spiritual abilities, to divert their minds from the contem- 
plation of the glory of divine wisdom and grace, as alone 
exalted in our recovery. 

We are proceeding on this supposition, that there was a 
condecency unto the holy perfections of the divine nature, 
that mankind should be restored, or some portion of it re- 
covered unto the enjoyment of himself; so angelical nature 
was preserved unto the same end in those that did not sin. 
And we have shewed the general grounds whereon it is im- 
possible that fallen man should restore or recover himself. 
Wherefore we must, in the next place, inquire what is neces- 
sary unto such a restoration, on the account of that con- 
cernment of the divine excellencies in the sin and apostacy 
of man, which we have stated before. For hereby we may 
obtain light, and an insight into the glory of that wisdom 
whereby it was contrived and effected. And the things fol- 
lowing among others may be observed unto that end. 

1. It was required that there should be an obedience 
yielded unto God, bringing more glory unto him, than dis- 
honour did arise and accrue from the disobedience of man. 
This was due unto the glory of divine holiness in giving of 
the law. Until this was done, the excellency of the law as 
becoming the holiness of God, and as an effect thereof 
could not be made manifest. For if it were never kept in 
any instance, never fulfilled by any one person in the world, 
how should the glory of it be declared? how should the 
holiness of God be represented by it? how should it be evi- 
dent that the transgression of it was not rather from some 
defect in the law itself, than from any evil in them that 
should have yielded obedience unto it ? The obedience 
yielded by the angels that stood and sinned not, made it 
manifest that the transgression of it by them that fell and 
sinned, was from their own wills, and not from any unsuit- 
ableness unto their nature and state in the law itself. But 


if the law given unto man should never be complied withal 
in perfect obedience by any one whatever, it might be 
thought that the law itself was unsuited unto our nature, 
and impossible to be complied withal. Nor did it become 
infinite wisdom to give a law, whose equity, righteousness, 
and holiness, should never be exemplified in obedience ; 
should never be made to appear, but in the punishment in- 
flicted on its transgressors. Wherefore the original law of 
personal righteousness was not given solely nor primarily 
that men might suffer justly for its transgression, but that 
God might be glorified in its accomplishment. If this be 
not done, it is impossible that men should be restored unto 
the glory of God. If the law be not fulfilled by obedience^ 
man must suffer evermore for his disobedience, or God must 
lose the manifestation of his holiness therein. Besides, 
God had represented his holiness in that image of it which 
was implanted on our nature, and which was the principle 
enabling us unto obedience. This also was rejected by sin, 
and therein the holiness of God despised. If this be not 
restored in our nature, and that with advantages above 
what it had in its first communication, we cannot be reco- 
vered unto the glory of God. 

2. It was necessary that the disorder brought into the 
rule and government of God by sin and rebellion should be 
rectified. This could no otherwise be done but by the in- 
fliction of that punishment, which in the unalterable rule 
and standard of divine justice was due thereunto. The dis- 
mission of sin on any other terms, would leave the rule of 
God under unspeakable dishonour and confusion. For 
where is the righteousness of government, if the highest sin 
and provocation that our nature was capable of, and which 
brought confusion on the whole creation below, should for 
ever go unpunished? The first express intimation that God 
gave of his righteousness in the government of mankind, 
was his threatening a punishment equal unto the demerit of 
disobedience, if man should fall into it. 'In the day thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt die.' If he revoke and disannul 
this sentence, how shall the glory of his righteousness in the 
rule of all be made known ? But how this punishment should 
be undergone, which consisted in man's eternal ruin, and yet 
manbeeternally saved, was a work for divine wisdom to con- 


trive. This therefore was necessary unto the honour of God's 
righteousness, as he is the supreme Governor and Judge 
of all the earth. 

3. It was necessary that Satan should be justly despoiled 
of his advantage and power over mankind unto the glory of 
God. For he was not to be left to triumph in his success. 
And inasmuch as man was on his part rightfully given up 
unto him, his deliverance was not to be wrought by an act 
of absolute dominion and power, but in a way of justice and 
lawful judgment; which things shall be afterward spoken 

Without these things the recovery of mankind into the 
favour and unto the enjoyment of God was utterly impos- 
sible, on the account of the concernment of the glory of his 
divine perfections in our sin and apostacy. 

How all this might be effected ; how the glory of the 
holiness and righteousness of God in his law and rule, and 
in the primitiveconstitutionof our nature might be repaired; 
how his goodness, love, grace, and mercy might be manifest- 
ed and exalted in this work of the reparation of mankind, 
was left unto the care and contrivance of infinite wisdom. 
From the eternal springs thereof must this work arise, or 
cease for ever. 

To trace some of the footsteps of divine wisdom herein, 
in and from the revelation of it by its effects, is that which 
lieth before us. And sundry things appear to have been 
necessary hereunto. As 

1. That all things required unto our restoration, the whole 
work wherein they consist, must be wrought in our own 
nature, in the nature that had sinned, and which was to be 
restored and brought unto glory. On supposition, T say, of 
the salvation of our nature, no satisfaction can be made 
unto the glory of God for the sin of that nature, but in the 
nature itself that sinned and is to be saved. For whereas 
God gave the law unto man as an effect of his wisdom and 
holiness, which he transgressed in his disobedience; wherein 
could the glory of them or either of them be exalted, if the 
same law were complied withal and fulfilled in and by a na- 
ture of another kind, suppose that of angels ? For notwith- 
standing any such obedience, yet the law might be unsuited 
unto the nature of man whereunto it was originally pre- 


scribed. Wherefore there would be a veil drawn over the 
glory of God, in giving the law unto man, if it were not fulfilled 
by obedience in the same nature. Nor can there be any 
such relation between the obedience and suffering's of one 
nature, in the stead and for the disobedience of another, as 
that glory might ensue unto the wisdom, holiness, and jus- 
tice of God, in the deliverance of that other nature thereon. 

The Scripture abounds in the declaration of the necessity 
hereof, with its condecency unto divine wisdom. Speaking 
of the way of our relief and recovery; * Verily/ saith the apo- 
stle, ' he took not on him the nature of angels ;' Heb. ii. 16. 
Had it been the recovery of angels which he designed, he 
would have taken their nature on him. But this would have 
been no relief at all unto us, no more than the assuming of 
our nature is of advantage unto the fallen angels ; the obe- 
dience and sufferings of Christ therein, extended not at all 
unto them, nor was it just or equal that they should be re- 
lieved thereby. AVhat then was required unto our deliver- 
ance ? why, saith he, * forasmuch as the children were par- 
takers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part 
of the same ;' ver. 14. It was human nature (here expressed 
by flesh and blood) that was to be delivered, and therefore 
it was human nature wherein this deliverance was to be 
wrought. This the same apostle disputes at large, Rom. 
V. 12 — 19. The sum is, that as * by one man's disobedience 
many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one' (of 
one man Christ Jesus, ver. 15.) *are many made righteous.* 
The same nature that sinned must work out the reparation 
and recovery from sin. So he affirms again, 1 Cor. xv. 21. 
* For since by man came death, by man came also the resur- 
rection from the dead.' No otherwise could our ruin be 
retrieved, nor our deliverance from sin with all the conse- 
quents of it be effected which came by man, which were 
committed and deserved in and by our nature, but by man, 
by one of the same nature with us. This therefore in the 
first place became the wisdom of God, that the work of de- 
liverance should be wrought in our own nature, in the nature 
that had sinned. 

2; That part of human nature, wherein or whereby this 
work was to be effected, as unto the essence or substance of 
it, was to be derived from the common root or stock of the 


same nature, in our first parents. It would not suffice here- 
unto, that God should create a man out of the dust of the 
earth, or out of nothing of the same nature in general with 
ourselves. For there would be no cognation or alliance be- 
tween hira and us, so that we should be any way concerned 
in what he did or suffered. For this alliance depends solely 
hereon, *" that God hath of one blood made all nations of men;' 
Acts xvii. 26. Hence it is that the genealogy of Christ is 
given us in the gospel, not only from Abraham, to declare 
the faithfulness of God in the promise that he should be of 
his seed, but from Adam also, to manifest his relation unto 
the common stock of our nature, and unto all mankind 

The first discovery of the wisdom of God herein, was in 
that primitive revelation, that the deliverer should be of * the 
seed of the woman;' Gen. iii. 15. No other but he who 
was so could * break the serpent's head,' or * destroy the 
work of the devil,' so as that we might be delivered and re- 
stored. He was not only to be partaker of our nature, but 
he was so to be, by being ^ the seed of the woman ;' Gal. iv.4. 
He was not to be created out of nothing, nor to be made of 
the dust of the earth, but so ' made of a woman,' as that 
thereby he might receive our nature from the common root 
and spring of it. Thus he ' who sanctifieth and they who 
are sanctified are all of one,' Heb. ii. 11. I? hog, that is, 
^vpa/maTog, of the same mass, of one nature and blood ; 
whence he is not ashamed to call them brethren. This also 
was to be brought forth from the treasures of infinite 

3. This nature of ours, wherein the work of our recovery 
and salvation is to be wrought and performed, was not to be 
so derived from the original stock of our kind or race, as 
to bring along with it the same taint of sin, and the same 
liableness unto guilt, upon its own account, as accompany 
every other individual person in the world. For, as the 
apostle speaks, 'such a high-priest became us' (and as a high- 
priest was he to accomplish this work), * as was holy, harm- 
less, undefiled, separate from sinners.' For, if this nature 
in him were so defiled as it is in us ; if it were under a 
deprivation of the image of God, as it is in our persons be- 
fore our renovation, it could do nothing that should be ac- 


ceptable unto him. And if it were subject unto guilt on 
its own account, it could make no satisfaction for the sin of 
others. Here, therefore, again occurs nodus vindice dignus, a 
difficulty which nothing but divine wisdom could expedite. 

To take a little farther view hereof, we must consider on 
what grounds these things (spiritual defilement and guilt) 
do adhere unto our nature as they are in all our individual 
persons. And the first of these is, that our entire nature, 
as unto our participation of it, was in Adam, as our head 
and representative. Hence his sin became the sin of us 
all, is justly imputed unto us, and charged on us. * In 
him we all sinned ;' all did so who were in him as their com- 
mon representative when he sinned. Hereby we became the 
natural * children of wrath,' or liable unto the wrath of God 
for the common sin of our nature, in the natural and legal 
head or spring of it. And the other is, that we derive our 
nature from Adam by the way of natural generation. By 
that means alone is the nature of our first parents as defiled 
communicated unto us. For by this means do we become to 
appertain unto the stock,- as it was degenerate and corrupt. 
Wherefore that part of our nature, wherein and whereby this 
great work was to be wrought, must, as unto its essence 
and substance, be derived from our first parents, yet so as 
never to have been in Adam as a common representative; 
nor be derived from him by natural generation. 

The bringing forth of our nature in such an instance, 
wherein it should relate no less really and truly unto the 
first Adam than we do ourselves, whereby there is the 
strictest alliance of nature between him so partaker of it, 
and us, yet so, as not in the least to participate of the 
guilt of the first sin, nor of the defilement of our nature 
thereby, must be an effect of infinite wisdom, beyond the 
conceptions of any created understanding. And this, as we 
know, was done in the person of Christ; for his human 
nature was never in Adam as his representative, nor was he 
comprised in the covenant wherein he stood. For he de- 
rived it legally, only from and after the first promise, 
when Adam ceased to be a common person. Nor did it pro- 
ceed from him by natural generation, the only means of 
the derivation of its depravation and pollution. For it was 
a ' holy thing,' created in the womb of the Virgin by the 


power of the Most High. ' O the depths of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God !' 

It was necessary therefore on all these considerations, 
it was so unto the glory of the holy properties of the divine 
nature, and the reparation of the honour of his holiness and 
righteousness, that he by whom the work of our recovery 
was to be wrought, should be a man, partaker of the nature 
that sinned, yet free from all sin, and all the consequents of 
it. And this did divine wisdom contrive and accomplish in 
the human nature of Jesus Christ. 

But yet, in the second place, on all the considerations 
before-mentioned, it is no less evident, that this work could 
not be wrought or effected by him who was no more than 
a mere man, who had no nature but ours, who was a human 
person, and no more. There was no one act which he was 
to perform, in order unto our deliverance, but did require a 
divine power to render it efficacious. But herein lies that 
great mystery of godliness, whereunto a continual opposi- 
tion hath been made by the gates of hell, as we manifested 
in the entrance of this discourse. But whereas it belongs 
unto the foundation of our faith, we must inquire into it, and 
confirm the truth of it with such demonstrations as divine 
revelation doth accommodate us withal. And three things 
are to be spoken unto. 

First, We are to give in rational evidences, that the re- 
covery of mankind was not to be effected by any one who 
was a mere man, and no more, though it were absolutely 
necessary that a man he should be ; he must be God also. 

Secondly, We must inquire into the suitableness or 
condecency unto divine wisdom, in the redemption and sal- 
vation of the church by Jesus Christ, who was God and 
man in one person. And thereon give a description of the 
person of Christ and its constitution, which suiteth all the 
ends of infinite wisdom in this orlorious work. The first of 
these falls under sundry plain demonstrations. 

1. That human nature might be restored, or any portion 
of mankind be eternally saved unto the glory of God, it was 
necessary, as we proved before, that an obedience should 
be yielded unto God and his law, which should give and 
bring more glory and honour unto his holiness, than there 
was dishonour reflected on it, by the disobedience of us all. 


Those who are otherwise minded, care not what becomes of 
the glory of God, so that wicked, sinful man may be saved 
one way or other. But these thoughts spring out of our 
apostacy, and belong not unto that estate wherein we loved 
God above all, and preferred his glory above all, as it was 
with us at the first in the original constitution of our nature. 
But such an obedience could never be yielded unto God by 
any mere creature whatever ; not by any one who was only 
a man, however dignified and exalted in state and condition 
above all others. For to suppose that God should be pleased 
and glorified with the obedience of any one man, more 
than he was displeased and dishonoured by the disobedi- 
ence of Adam, and all his posterity, is to fancy things that 
have no ground in reason or justice, or any way suitable 
unto divine wisdom and holiness. He who undertaketh 
this work must have somewhat that is divine and infinite to 
put an infinite value on his obedience ; that is, he must be 

2. The obedience of such a one, ofa mere man, could have 
no influence at all on the recovery of mankind, nor the 
salvation of the church. For whatever it were, it would 
be all due from him for himself, and so could only profit or 
benefit himself. For what is due from any on his own ac- 
count, cannot redound or be reckoned unto the advantage of 
another. But there is no mere creature, nor can there be 
any such, but he is obliged for himself unto all the obedi- 
ence unto God, that he is capable of the performance of in 
this world, as we have before declared. Yea, universal obe- 
dience in all possible instances is so absolutely necessary 
unto him as a creature made in dependence on God, and for 
the enjoyment of him, that the voluntary omission of it in 
any one instance, would be a criminal disobedience, ruinous 
unto his own soul. Wherefore, no such obedience could be 
accepted as any kind of compensation for the disobedience 
of others, or in their stead. He then that performs this obe- 
dience must be one who was not originally obliged thereunto, 
on his own account or for himself. And this must be a di- 
vine person and none other ; for every mere creature is so 
obliged. And there is nothing more fundamental in gospel 
principles, than that the Lord Christ in his divine person 
was above the law, and for himself owed no obedience there- 


unto. But by his own condescension, as he was made of a 
woman for us, so he was made under the law for us. And 
therefore, those by whom the divine person of Christ is de- 
nied, do all of them contend that he yielded obedience unto 
God for himself, and not for us. But herein they bid de- 
fiance unto the principal effect of divine wisdom, wherein 
God will be eternally glorified. 

3. The people to be freed, redeemed, and brought unto 
glory, were great and innumerable ; ' a great multitude which 
no man can number ;' Rev. vii. 9. The sins which they were 
to be delivered, ransomed, and justified from, for which a 
propitiation was to be made, were next unto absolutely in- 
finite. They wholly surpass the comprehension of any 
created understanding, or the compass of imagination. And 
in every one of them there was something reductively infi- 
nite, as committed against an infinite majesty. The miseries 
which hereon all these persons were obnoxious unto, were 
infinite, because eternal ; or all that evil which our nature 
is capable to suffer, was by them all eternally to be under- 

By all these persons, in all these sins, there was an in- 
road made on the rule and government of God, an affront 
given unto his justice in the violation of his law. Nor can 
any of them be delivered from the consequents hereof in 
eternal misery, without a compensation and satisfaction made 
unto the justice of God. To assert the contrary, is to sup- 
pose that upon the matter, it is all one to him whether he 
be obeyed or disobeyed, whether he be honoured or disho- 
noured in and by his creatures. And this is all one as to 
deny his very being ; seein g itopposeth the glory of his 
essential properties. Now to suppose that a mere man, by 
his temporary suffering of external pains, should make sa- 
tisfaction unto the justice of God for all the sins of all these 
persons so as it should be right and just with him, not only 
to save and deliver them from all the evils they were liable 
unto, but also to bring them unto life and glory, is to con- 
stitute a mediation between God and man that should con- 
sist in appearance and ostentation, and not be an effect of 
divine wisdom, righteousness, and holiness, nor have its 
foundation in the nature and equity of things themselves. 
For the things supposed will not be reduced unto any rules 


of justice or proportion, that one of them should be con- 
ceived in any sense to answer unto the other ; that is, 
there is nothing which answers any rule, notions, or concep- 
tions of justice ; nothing that might be exemplary unto men 
in the punishment of crimes, that the sins of an infinite 
number of men, deserving every one of them eternal death, 
should be expiated by the temporary sufferings of one mere, 
man, so as to demonstrate the righteousness of God in the 
punishment of sin. But God doth not do these things for 
shew or appearance, but according unto the real exigence 
of the holy properties of his nature. And on that sup- 
position there must be a proportion between the things 
themselves, namely, the sufferings of one, and the deliverance 

Nor could the faith of man ever find a stable foundation 
to fix upon on the supposition before-mentioned. No faith 
is able to conflict with this objection, that the sufferings of 
one mere man should be accepted with God as a just com- 
pensation for the sins of the whole church. Men who in 
things of this nature satisfy themselves with notions and 
fancies may digest such suppositions ^ but those who make 
use of faith for their own delivery from under a conviction 
of sin, the nature and demerit of it, with a sense of the 
wrath of God, and the curse of the law against it, can find 
no relief in such notions or apprehensions. But it became 
the wisdom of God, in the dispensation of himself herein 
unto the church, so to order things, as that faith might have 
an immoveable rock to build upon. This alone it hath in 
the person of Christ, God and man, his obedience and suf- 
ferings. Wherefore, those by whom the divine nature of 
the Lord Christ is denied, do all of them absolutely deny 
also that he made any satisfaction unto divine justice for 
sin. They will rather swallow all the absurdities which the 
absolute dismission of sin without satisfaction or punish- 
ment doth bring along with it, than grant that a mere man 
could make any such satisfaction by his temporary sufferinos 
for the sins of the world. And on the other hand, whoever 
doth truly and sincerely believe the divine person of Christ, 
namely, that he was God and man in one person, and as 
such a person acted in the whole work of mediation, he 
cannot shut his eyes against the glorious light of this truth. 


that what he did and suftered in that work, must have an 
intrinsic worth and excellency in it, out-balancing all the 
€vil in the sins of mankind ; that more honour and glory- 
accrued unto the holiness and law of God by his obedience, 
than dishonour was cast on them by the disobedience of 
Adam and all his posterity. 

4. The way whereby the church was to be recovered and 
saved was by such works and actings, as one should take 
on himself to perform in the way of an office committed 
unto him for that end. For whereas man could not recover, 
ransom, nor save himself, as we have proved, the whole must 
be wrou2;ht for him by another. The undertaking hereof 
by another, must depend on the infinite wisdom, counsel, 
and pleasure of God, with the will and consent of him who 
was to undertake it. So also did the constitution of the 
way and means in particular whereby this deliverance was 
to be wrought. Hereon it became his office to do the 
things which were required unto that end. But w^e have 
before proved apart by itself that no office unto this pur- 
pose could be discharged towards God, or the whole church, 
by any one who was a man only. I shall not therefore here 
farther insist upon it, although there be good argument in 
it unto our present purpose. 

5. If man be recovered, he must be restored into the 
same state, condition, and dignity, wherein he was placed 
before the fall. To restore him with any diminution of ho- 
nour and blessedness, was not suited unto divine wisdom 
and bounty. Yea, seeing it was the infinite grace, goodness, 
and mercy of God to restore him, it seems agreeable unto 
the glory of divine excellencies in their operations, that he 
should be brought into a better and more honourable con- 
dition than that which he had lost. But before the fall, 
man was not subject nor obedient unto any but unto God 
alone. Somewhat less he was in dignity than the angels, 
howbeit he owed them no obedience, they were his fellow- 
servants. And as for all other things here below, they were 
made ' subject unto him, and put under his feet,' he himself 
being in subjection unto God alone. But if he were re- 
deemed and restored by one who was a mere creature, he 
could not be restored unto this state and dignity. For on 
all grounds of right and equity, he must owe all service and 


obedience unto him by whom he was redeemed, restored, and 
recovered, as the author of the state wherein he is. For 
when we are ' bought with a price, we are not our own,' as 
the apostle affirms; 1 Cor. vi. 19,20. We are therefore 
his who hath bought us, and him are we bound to serve in 
our souls and bodies which are his. Accordingly in the 
purchase of us, the Lord Clirist became our absolute Lord, 
unto whom we owe all religious subjection of soul and con- 
science ; Rom. xiv. 7 — 9. It would follow therefore that 
if we were redeemed and recovered by the interposition of 
a mere creature, if such a one were our Redeemer, Saviour, 
and Deliverer, into the service of a mere creature, that is, 
religious service and obedience, we should be recovered. 
And so they believe who affirm the Lord Christ to be a man 
and no more. But on this supposition we are so far from 
an advancement in state and dignity by our restoration, 
that we do not recover what we were first instated in. For 
it belonged thereunto, that we should owe religious service 
and obedience unto him alone who was God by nature over 
all blessed for ever. And they bring all confusion into 
Christian religion, who make a mere creature the object of 
our faith, love, adoration, invocation, and all sacred wor- 
ship. But in our present restoration we are made subject 
anew as unto religious service only unto God alone. 
Therefore the holy angels, the head of the creation, do 
openly disclaim any such service and veneration from us, 
because they are only the fellow-servants of them that have 
the testimony of Jesus ; Rev. xix. 10. Nor hath God put 
the ' world to come,' the gospel state of the church into sub- 
jection unto angels or any other creature, but only unto the 
Son, who is Lord over his own house, even he that made all 
things, who is God ; Heb. iii. 4 — 6. Wherefore we are re- 
stored into our primitive condition to be in spiritual sub- 
jection unto God alone. . He therefore by whom we are re- 
stored, unto whom we owe all obedience and religious ser- 
vice, is, and ought to be God also. And as they utterly 
overthrow the gospel who affirm that all the obedience of it 
is due unto him who is a man and no more, as do all by 
whom the divine nature of Christ is denied ; so they debase 
themselves beneath the dignity of the state of redemption, 
and cast dishonour on the mediation of Christ, who subject 


themselves in any religious service to saints or angels, or 
any other creatures whatever. 

On these suppositions, which are full of light and evi- 
dence, infinite wisdom did interpose itself, to glorify all the 
other concerned excellencies of the glory of God, in such a 
way as might solve all difficulties, and satisfy all the ends 
of God's glory, in the recovery and redemption of mankind. 
The case before it was as foUoweth. 

Man by sin had cast the most inconceivable dishonour 
on the righteousness, holiness, goodness, and rule of God, 
and himself into the guilt of eternal ruin. In this state it 
became the wisdom and goodness of God, neither to suffer 
the whole race of mankind to come short eternally of that 
enjoyment of himself for which it was created, nor yet to 
deliver any one of them, without a retrieval of the eternal 
honour of his righteousness, holiness, and rule, from the di- 
minution and waste that was made of it by sin. As this 
could no way be done, but by a full satisfaction unto jus- 
tice and an obedience unto the law, bringing and yielding 
more honour unto the holiness and righteousness of God, 
than they could any way lose by the sin and disobedience 
of man ; so this satisfaction must be made, and this obedi- 
ence be yielded in and by the same nature that sinned or 
disobeyed, whereby alone the residue of mankind may be 
interested in the benefits and effects of that obedience, and 
satisfaction. Yet was it necessary hereunto, that the na- 
ture wherein all this was to be performed, though derived 
from the same common stock with that whereof in all our 
persons we are partakers, should be absolutely free from the 
contagion and guilt, which with it, and by it are commu- 
nicated unto our persons, from that common stock. Unless 
it were so, there could be no undertaking in it for others, it 
would not be able to answer for itself. But yet on all these 
suppositions, no undertaking, no performance of duty, in 
human nature could possibly yield that obedience unto God, 
or make that satisfaction for sin, whereon the deliverance 
of others might ensue, unto the glory of the holiness, righte- 
ousness, and rule of God. 

In this state of things did infinite wisdom interpose it- 
self, in that glorious ineffable contrivance of the person of 
Christ, or of the divine nature in the eternal Son of God, 


and of ours in the same individual person. Otherwise this 
work could not be accomplished ; at least all other ways 
are hidden from the eyes of all living, no created under- 
standing being able to apprehend any other way whereby 
it might so have been unto the eternal glory of God. This 
therefore is such an effect of divine wisdom, as will be the 
object of holy adoration and admiration unto eternity ; as 
unto this life, how little a portion is it we know of its ex- 
cellency ? 


Other evidences of divine wisdom in the contrivance of the work of re~ 
demption, in and hy the person of Christ, in effects evidencing a conde- 
cency thereunto. 

That which remains of our present inquiry, is concerning 
those evidences of divine condecency or suitableness unto 
infinite wisdom and goodness, which we may gather from the 
nature of this work, and its effects, as expressed in divine 
revelation. Some few instances hereof 1 shall choose out 
from amongst many that might be insisted on. 

1. Man was made to serve God in all things. In his 
person, in his soul and body, in all his faculties, powers, 
and senses, in all that was given unto him or intrusted with 
him, he was not his own, but every way a servant, in all 
that he was, in all that he had, in all that he did or was to 
do. This he was made for, this state and condition was ne- 
cessary unto him as a creature. It could be no otherwise 
with any that was so, it was so with the angels who were 
greater in dignity and power than man. The very name of 
creature includes the condition of universal subjection and 
service unto the Creator. This condition in and by his sin, 
Adam designed to desert, and to free himself from. He 
would exalt himself out of the state of service and obedi- 
ence, absolute and universal, into a condition of self-suffi- 
ciency of domination and rule. He would be as God, like 
unto God, that is, subject no more to him, be in no more 
dependence on him, but advance his own will above the 

VOL. XII. & 


will of God. And there is somewhat of this in every sin ; 
the sinner would advance his own will in opposition unto, 
and above the will of God. But what was the event hereof? 
Man by endeavouring to free himself from absolute subjec- 
tion and universal service, to invade absolute dominion, fell 
into absolute and eternal ruin. 

For our recovery out of this state and condition, consi- 
dering how we cast ourselves into it, the way insisted on, 
was found out by divine wisdom, namely, the incarnation of 
the Son of God. For he was Lord of all, had absolute do- 
minion over all, owed no service, no obedience for himself, 
being in the form of God, and equal unto him. From this 
state of absolute dominion, he descended into a condition 
of absolute service. As Adam sinned and fell by leaving 
that state of absolute service which was due unto him, 
proper unto his nature, inseparable from it, to attempt a 
state of absolute dominion, which was not his own, not due 
unto him, not consistent with his nature ; so the Son of 
God, being made the second Adam, relieved us by descend- 
ing from a state of absolute dominion, which was his own, 
due to his nature, to take on him a state of absolute service, 
which was not his own, nor due unto him. And this being 
inconsistent with his own divine nature, he performed it, 
by taking our nature on him, making it his own. He de- 
scended as much beneath himself in his self-humiliation, as 
Adam designed to ascend above himself in his pride and 

The consideration of the divine grace and wisdom herein, 
the apostle proposeth unto us, Phil. ii. 6 — 8. ' Who, being in 
the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God : but made himself of no reputation, and took upon 
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of 
men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled 
himself, and became obedient imto death, even the death of 
the cross.' Adam being in the form, that is, the state and 
condition of a servant, did by robbery attempt to take upon 
him the 'form of God,' or to make himself equal unto him. 
The Lord Christ being in the ' form of God,' that is, his es- 
sential form of the same nature with him, accounted it no 
robbery to be in the state and condition of God, to be 
* equal to him.' But being made in the ' fashion of a man,' 


takino; on him our nature, he also submitted unto the form 
or the state and condition of a servant therein. He had 
dominion over all, owed service and obedience unto none, 
being in the * form of God,' and equal unto him, the condi- 
tion which Adam aspired unto. But he condescended unto 
a state of absolute subjection and service for our recovery. 
This did no more belong unto him on his own account, than 
it belonged unto Adam to be like unto God, or equal to 
him. Wherefore it is said that he humbled himself unto it, 
as Adam would have exalted himself unto a state of dignity 
which was not his due. 

This submission of the Son of God unto an estate of ab- 
solute and universal service, is declared by the apostle, 
Heb. X. 5. For those words of the psalmist, ' Mine ears 
hast thou digged' or bored, Psal. xl. 6. he renders, 'a body 
hast thou prepared me.' There is an allusion in the words 
of the prophecy unto him under the law, who gave up him- 
self in absolute and perpetual service; in sign whereof his 
ears were bored with an awl. So the body of Christ was 
prepared for him, that therein he might be in a state of ab- 
solute service unto God. So he became to have nothing of 
his own, the original state that Adam would have forsaken, 
no not his life, he was obedient unto the death. 

This way did divine wisdom find out and contrive, 
whereby more glory did arise unto the holiness and righte- 
ousness of God from his condescension unto universal ser- 
vice and obedience, who was over all God blessed for ever ; 
than dishonour was cast upon them by the self-exaltation of 
him, who being in all things a servant, designed to be like 
unto God. 

2. Adam was poor in himself as a creature must be. 
What riches he had in his hand or power, they were none of 
his own, they were only trusted with him for especial ser- 
vice. In this state of poverty he commits the robbery of 
attempting to be like unto God. Being poor he would 
make himself rich by the rapine of an equality with God. 
This brought on him and us all, as it was meet it should, 
the loss of all that we were intrusted with. Hereby we lost 
the image of God, lost our right unto the creatures here be- 
low, lost ourselves and our souls. This was the issue of his 
attempt, to be rich when he was poor. 

s 2 


111 this State infinite wisdom hath provided for our relief 
unto the glory of God. * For the Lord Jesus Christ being 
rich in himself, for our sakes he became poor, that we 
through his poverty might be rich ;' 2 Cor. 8, 9. He was 
rich in that riches which Adam designed by robbery. For 
.* he was in the form of God, and accounted it no robbery to 
be equal with God.' But he made himself poor for our 
sakes, with poverty w^hich Adam would have relinquished ; 
yea to that degree that 'he had not where to lay his head,' 
he had nothing. Hereby he made a compensation for what 
he never made spoil of, or paid what he never took. In 
this condescension of his, out of grace and love to mankind, 
was God more glorified, than he was dishonoured in the sin- 
ful exaltation of Adam out of pride and self-love. 

3. The sin of man consisted formally in disobedience; 
and it was the disobedience of him who was every ^vay and 
in all things obliged unto obedience. For man by all that 
he was, by all that he had received, by all that he expected 
or was farther capable of, by the constitution of his own 
nature, by the nature and authority of God w^ith his relation 
thereunto, was indispensably obliged unto universal obedi- 
ence. His sin therefore was the disobedience of him who 
was absolutely obliged unto obedience by the very consti- 
tution of his beins: and necessary relation unto God. This 
was that which rendered it so exceeding sinful, and the con- 
sequents of it eternally miserable. And from this obligation 
his sin, in any one instance, was a totalrenunciation of all 
obedience unto God. 

The recompense with respect unto the glory of God, for 
disobedience, must be by obedience, as hath been before de- 
clared. And if there be not a full obedience yielded unto 
the law of God in that nature that sinned, man cannot be 
saved without an eternal violation of the glory of God there- 
in. But the disobedience of him who was every way ob- 
liged unto obedience, could not be compensated but by his 
obedience, who was no way obliged thereunto. And this 
could be only the obedience of him that is God (for all 
creatures are obliged to obedience for themselves), and it 
could be performed only by him who v^^as man. Wherefore, 
for the accomplishment of this obedience, he who in his own 
person, as God, was above the law, was in his human nature. 


in his own person, a man, made under the law. Had he not 
been made under the law, what he did could not have been 
obedience; and had he not been in himself above the law, 
his obedience could not have been beneficial unto us. The 
sin of Adam (and the same is in the nature of every sin) 
consisted in this, that he who was naturally every way mider 
the law, and subject unto it, would be every way above the 
law, and no way obliged by it. Wherefore it was taken 
away unto the glory of God, by his obedience, who being in 
himself above the law, no way subject unto it, yet submitted, 
humbled himself, to be * made under the law,' to be every 
way obliged by it. See Gal. iii. 13. iv. 4. This is the sub- 
ject of the discourse of the apostle, Rom. v. from ver. 12. 
to the end of the chapter. 

Unto the glory of God, in all these ends the person of 
Christ, as an effect of infinite wisdom, was meet and able to 
be a mediator and undertaker between God and man. In 
the union of both our natures in the same person, he was so 
meet by his relation unto both ; unto God by filiation, or son- 
ship ; unto us by brotherhood, or nearness of kindred ; Heb. 
ii, 14. And he was able from the dignity of his person : 
for the temporary sufferings of him who was eternal, was a 
full compensation for the eternal sufferings of them who 
were temporary. 

4. God made man the lord of all thinos here below. He 
was, as it were, the heir of God, as unto the inheritance of this 
world in present, and as unto a blessed state in eternal glory. 
But he lost all right and title hereunto by sin. He made 
forfeiture of the whole, by the law of the tenure whereby he 
held it, and God took the forfeiture. Wherefore he desfgns 
a new heir of all, and vests the whole inheritance of heaven 
and earth in him, even in his Son. He 'appointed him the 
heir of all things ;' Heb. i. 3. This translation of God's in- 
heritance the apostle declares, Heb. ii. 6 — 9. for the words 
which he cites from Psal. viii. 4 — 6. ' What is man, that thou 
art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou visitest 
him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, 
and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest 
him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou 
hast put all things under his feet ;' do declare the original 
condition of mankind in general. But man forfeited the 


dominion and inheritance that he was intrusted withal, and 
God settleth it anew, solely in the man Christ Jesus. So 
the apostle adds, * We see not all things put under him,' 
but we see it all accomplished in Jesus; ver. 9. But as all 
other inheritances do descend with theirs, so did this unto 
him, with its burden. There was a great debt upon it, the 
debt of sin. This he was to undergo, to make payment of, 
or satisfaction for, or he could not rightly enter upon the 
inheritance. This could no otherwise be done but by his 
suffering in our nature, as hath been declared. He who 
was the heir of all, was in himself to purge our sins. Herein 
did the infinite wisdom of God manifest itself, in that he 
conveyed the inheritance of all things unto him who was 
meet and able so to enter upon it, so to enjoy and possess 
it, as that no detriment or damage might arise unto the 
riches, the revenue, the glory of God, from the waste made 
by the former possessor. 

5. Mankind was to be recovered unto faith and trust in 
God, as also unto the love of him above all. All these things 
had utterly forsaken our nature ; and the reduction of them 
into it, is a work of the greatest difficulty. We had so pro- 
voked God, he had given such evidences of his wrath and 
displeasure against us, and our minds thereon were so 
alienated from him, as we stood in need of the strongest 
motives, and highest encouragements, once to attempt to 
return unto him, so as to place ^11 our faith and trust in him, 
and all our love upon him. 

Sinners generally live in a neglect and contempt of God, 
in an enmity against him; but whenever they are convinced 
of a necessity to endeavour a return unto him, the first thing 
they have to conflict withal, is fear. Beginning to under- 
stand who and what he is, as also how things stand between 
him and them, they are afraid to have any thing to do with 
him, and judge it impossible that they should find accept- 
ance with him. This was the sense that Adam himself had 
upon his sin, when he was afraid, and hid himself. And the 
sense of other sinners is frequently expressed unto the same 
purpose in Scripture. See Isa. xxxiii. 14. Micah vi. 6, 7. 

All these discouragements are absolutely provided against 
in that way of our recovery which infinite wisdom hath found 
out. It were a thing delightful to dwell on the securities 


given us therein, as unto our acceptance in all those princi- 
ples, acts, and duties wherein the renovation of the image of 
God doth consist. I must contract my meditations, and 
shall therefore instance in some few things only unto that 

(1.) Faith is not capable of greater encouragement or 
confirmation than lieth in this one consideration, that what 
we are to believe unto this end, is delivered unto us by God 
himself in our nature. What could confirm our faith and 
hope in God, what could encourage us to expect acceptance 
with God, like this ineffable testimony of his good-will unto 
us ? The nature of things is not capable of greater assur- 
ance, seeing the divine nature is capable of no greater con- 

This the Scripture proposeth as that which gives a just 
expectation that against all fears and oppositions we should 
close with divine calls and invitations to return unto God. 
' Last of all he sent unto them his son, saying. They will 
reverence my son/ Matt. xxi. 37. they will believe the mes- 
sage which I send by him. * He hath spoken unto us by his 
Son, who is the brightness of his glory, and the express 
image of his person ;' Heb. i. 1 — 3. The consideration 
hereof is sufficient to dispel all that darkness and confusion 
which fear, dread, and guilt do bring on the minds of men, 
when they are invited to return unto God, That that God 
against whom we have sinned, should speak unto us, and 
treat with us, in our own nature, about a return unto him- 
self, is the utmost that divine excellencies could condescend 
iinto. And as this was needful for us (though proud men 
and senseless of sin understand it not), so, if it be refused, 
it will be attended with the sorest destruction ; Heb. xii. 25. 

(2.) This treaty principally consists in a divine declara- 
tion, that all the causes of fear and dread upon the account 
of sin, are removed and taken away. This is the substance 
of the gospel, as it is declared by the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 
18—21. Wherefore, if hereon we refuse to return unto God, 
to make him the object of our faith, trust, love, and delight, 
it is not by reason of any old or former sin, not of that of 
our original apostacy from God, nor of the effects of it 
against the law, by the means of a new sin, outdoing them 


all in guilt and contempt of God. Such is final unbelief 
against the proposal of the gospel. It hath more malignity 
in it than all other sins whatever. But by this way of our re- 
covery, all cause of fear and dread is taken away, all pretences 
of a distrust of the love and good-will of God are defeated; 
so that if men will not hereon be recovered unto him, it is 
from their hatred of him, and enmity unto him, the fruits 
whereof they must feed on to eternity. 

(3.) Whereas, if we will return unto God by faith, we are 
also to return unto liim in love, what greater motive can 
there be unto it, than that infinite love of the Father and the 
Son unto us, which is gloriously displayed in this way of 
our recovery? See 1 John iv. 9, 10. ' Si amare pigebat, 
saltem redamare ne pigeat.' 

(4.) The whole race of mankind falling into sin against 
God, and apostacy from him, there was no example left unto 
them to manifest how excellent, how glorious, and comely a 
thing it is to live unto God, to believe and trust in him, to 
cleave unto him unchangeably by love. For they were utter 
strangers unto what is done by angels above, nor could be 
affected with their example. But without a pattern of these 
things, manifesting their excellency and reward, they could 
not earnestly endeavour to attain unto them. This is given 
us most conspicuously in the human nature of Christ. See 
Heb. xii. 13. Hereby, therefore, every thing needful for our 
encouragement to return unto God, is in infinite wisdom 
provided for, and proposed unto us. 

6. Divine wisdom in the w^ay of our recovery by Jesus 
Christ, God manifest in the flesh, designed to glorify a state 
of obedience unto God, and to cast the reproach of the most 
inexpressible folly on the relinquishment of that state by sin. 
For as God would recover and restore us, so he would do it 
in a way of obedience on our part, of that obedience which 
we had forsaken. The design of man which was imposed on 
him by the craft of Satan, was to become wise like unto 
God, knowing good and evil. The folly of this endeavour 
was quickly discovered in its effects. Sense of nakedness, 
with shame, misery, and death, immediately ensued thereon. 
But divine wisdom thought meet to aggravate the re- 
proach of this folly. He would let us see wherein the true 


knowledge of good and evil did consist, and how foolishly 
we had aspired unto it by a relinquishment of that state of 
obedience wherein we were created. 

Job xxviii. from ver. 12. unto the end of the chapter, 
there is an inquiry after wisdom, and the place of its habi- 
tation. All creatures give an account that it is not in them, 
that it is hid from them, only they have heard the fame 
thereof. All the context is to evince that it is essentially 
and originally only in God himself. But if we cannot com- 
prehend it in itself, yet may we not know what is wisdom 
unto us, and what is required thereunto ? Yes, saith he, 
* For unto man he said. Behold, the fear of the Lord is 
wisdom ; and to depart from evil, that is understanding ;* 
ver. 28. Man, on the other hand, by the suggestion of 
Satan, thought, and now of himself continues to think, 
otherwise ; namely, that the way to be wise is to relinquish 
these things. The world will not be persuaded that ' the 
fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to depart from evil is un- 
derstanding.' Yea, there is nothing that the most of men 
do more despise and scorn, than thoughts that true wisdom 
doth consist in faith, love, fear, and obedience unto God. 
See Psal. xiv. 6. Whatever else may be pleaded to be in 
it, yet sure enough they are, that those who count it wis- 
dom, are but fools. 

To cast an everlasting reproach of folly on this contri- 
vance of the devil and man, and uncontrollably to evince 
wherein alone true wisdom doth consist, God would glorify 
a state of obedience. He would render it incomparably 
more amiable, desirable, and excellent, than ever it could 
have appeared to have been in the obedience of all the angels 
in heaven, and men on earth, had they continued therein. 
This he did in this way of our recovery, in that his own 
eternal Son entered into a state of obedience, and took upon 
him the * form,' or condition, * of a servant' unto God. 

What more evident conviction could there be of the folly 
of mankind in hearkening unto the suggestion of Satan, to 
seek after wisdom in another condition? How could that 
great maxim, which is laid down in opposition unto all vain 
thoughts of man, be more eminently exemplified ; that ' the 
fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to depart from evil, 
that is understanding?' What greater evidence could be 


given, that the nature of man is not capable of a better con- 
dition, than that of service and universal obedience unto 
God ? How could any state be represented more amiable, 
desirable, and blessed ? In the obedience of Christ, of the 
Son of God in our nature, apostate sinners are upbraided 
with their folly, in relinquishing that state, which by his 
susception of it, is rendered so glorious. What have we 
attained, by leaving that condition, which the eternal Son 
of God delighted in ? 'I delight,' saith he, ' to do thy will, 
O my God; yea, thy law is in the midst of my bowels;' 
Psal. xl. 8. It is the highest demonstration, that our nature 
is not capable of more order, more beauty, more glory, than 
consists in obedience unto God. And that state which we 
fell into upon our forsaking of it, we now know to be all 
darkness, confusion, and misery. 

Wherefore, seeing God in infinite grace and mercy would 
recover us unto himself; and in his righteousness and holi- 
ness would do this in a way of obedience, of that obedience 
which we had forsaken ; it hath an eminent impression of 
divine wisdom upon it, that in this mystery of God manifest 
in the flesh, the only means of our recovery, he would cast 
the reproach of the most inexpressible folly on our apos- 
tacy from a state of it, and render it amiable and desirable 
unto all who are to return unto him. 

To bear the shame of this folly, to be deeply sensible of 
it, and to live in a constant prospect and view of the glory 
of obedience in the person of Christ, with a sedulous en- 
^deavour for conformity thereunto, is the highest attainment 
of our wisdom in this world; and whosoever is otherwise 
minded, is so at his own utmost peril. 

7. God in infinite wisdom hath by this means secured 
the whole inheritance of this life, and that which is to come 
from a second forfeiture. Whatever God will bestow on 
the children of men, he grants it unto them in the way of an 
inheritance. So the land of Canaan, chosen out for a re- 
presentative of spiritual and eternal things, was granted 
unto Abraham and his seed for an inheritance. And his 
interest in the promise is expressed by being ' heir of the 
world.' All the things of this life that are really good and 
useful unto us, do belong unto this inheritance. So they 
did when it was vested in Adam. All things of grace and 


gloiy do so also. And the whole of the privilege of be- 
lievers is, that they are heirs of salvation. Hence * godli- 
ness hath the promise of the life that now is, and that which 
is to come ;' 1 Tim. iv. 5. And the promise is only of the 
inheritance. This inheritance, as was before intimated, was 
lost in Adam, and forfeited into the hand of the great Lord, 
the great possessor of heaven and earth. In his sovereign 
grace and goodness he was pleased again to restore it, as 
unto all the benefits of it unto the former tenants, and that 
with an addition of grace, and a more exceeding weight of 
glory. But withal, infinite wisdom provides that a second 
forfeiture shall not be made of it. Wherefore, the grant of 
it is not made immediately unto any of those for whose use 
and benefit it is prepared and granted. They had been 
once tried and failed in their trust unto their own eternal 
beggary and ruin, had not infinite grace interposed for their 
relief. And it did not become the wisdom and glory of 
God to make a second grant of it which might be frustrate 
in like manner. Wherefore he would not commit it again 
unto any mere creature whatever ; nor could it safely have 
been so done with security unto his glory. For, 

(1.) It was too great a trust, even the whole inheritance 
of heaven and earth, all the riches of grace and glory, to be 
committed unto any one of them. God would not give this 
glory unto any one creature. If it be said, it was first com- 
mitted unto Adam, and therefore to have it again, is not an 
honour above the capacity of a creature ; I say, that the na- 
ture of the inheritance is greatly changed. The whole of 
what was intrusted with Adam, comes exceedingly short of 
what God hath now prepared as the inheritance of the 
church. There is grace in it, and glory added unto it, 
which Adam neither had, nor could have right luito. It is 
now of that nature, as could neither be intrusted with, nor 
communicated by, any mere creature. Besides, he that hath 
it is the object of the faith and trust of the church, nor can 
any be interested in any part of this inheritance, without 
the exercise of those and all other graces on him, whose the 
inheritance is. And so to be the object of our faith, is the 
prerogative of the divine nature alone. 

(2.) No mere creature could secure this inheritance that 
it should be lost no more ; and yet if it were so, it would 


be highly derogatory unto the glory of God. For two 
things were required hereunto. [1.] That he in whom this 
trust is vested, should be in himself incapable of any such 
failure, as through which, by the immutable eternal law of 
obedience unto God, a forfeiture of it should be made. 
[2.] That he undertake for them all who shall be heirs of 
salvation, who shall enjoy this inheritance, that none of 
them should lose or forfeit their own personal interest in it, 
or the terms whereon it is conveyed and communicated 
unto them. But no mere creature was sufficient unto these 
ends. For no one of them in and by himself, in the consti- 
tution of his nature, is absolutely free from falling from 
God, himself. They may receive, the angels in heaven, 
and the glorified saints have received, such a confirmation 
in and by grace, as that they shall never actually apostatize 
or fall from God. But this they have not from themselves, 
nor the principles of their ow^n nature, which is necessary 
unto him that shall receive this trust. For so when it was 
first vested in Adam, he was left to preserve it b}^ the innate 
concreated abilities of his own nature. And as unto the 
latter, all the ang-els in heaven cannot undertake to secure 
the obedience of any one man, so as that the conveyance of 
the inheritance may be sure unto him. Wherefore with re- 
spect hereunto, those angels themselves, though the most 
holy and glorious of all the creatures of God, have no 
greater trust or interest, than to ' be ministering spirits, 
sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salva- 
tion ;' Heb. i. 14. So unmeet are they to have the whole 
inheritance vested in any of them. 

But all this infinite wisdom hath provided for in the 
great ' mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.' God 
herein makes his only Son the heir of all things, and vests 
the whole inheritance absolutely in him. For the promise, 
which is the court-roll of heaven, the only external mean 
and record of its conveyance, was originally made unto 
Christ only. God * said not, And unto thy seeds, as of many; 
but as of one. And to thy seed, which seed is Christ ;' Gal. 
iii. 16. And we become again heirs of God, only as we are 
joint heirs with Christ; Rom. viii. 17. that is, by being 
taken into a participation of that inheritance which is vested 
in him alone. For many may be partakers of the benefit of 


that, whose right and title is in one alone, when it is con- 
veyed unto him for their use. And hereby the ends before- 
mentioned are fully provided for. For, 

(1.) He who is thus made the heir of all is meet to be 
intrusted with the glory of it. For where this grant is so- 
lemnly expressed, it is declared that he is the 'brightness 
of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person;' 
Heb. i. 2, 3. and that by him the worlds were made. He 
alone was meet to be this heir, who is partaker of the divine 
nature, and by whom all things were created. For such 
things belong unto it, as cannot appertain unto any other. 
The reader may consult, if he please, our exposition of that 
place of the apostle. 

(2.) Any failure in his own person was absolutely impos- 
sible. The subsistence of the human nature in the person 
of the Son of God, rendered the least sin utterly impossible 
unto him. For all the moral operations of that nature are 
the acts of the person of the Son of God. And hereby not 
only is the inheritance secured, but also an assurance that 
it is so, is given unto all them that do believe. This is the 
life and soul of all gospel comforts, that the whole inherit- 
ance of grace and glory is vested in Christ, where it can 
never suffer loss or damage. When we are sensible of the 
want of grace, should we go unto God^ and say, * Father, 
give us the portion of goods that falls unto us,' as the pro- 
digal did, we should quickly consume it, and bring our- 
selves unto the utmost misery as he did also. But in Christ 
the whole inheritance is secured for evermore. 

(3.) He is able to preserve all those who shall be heirs 
of this inheritance, that they forfeit not their own personal 
interest therein, according unto the terms of the covenant, 
whereby it is made over to them. He can and will, by the 
power of his grace, preserve them all unto the full enjoy- 
ment of the purchased inheritance. We hold our title by 
the rod, at the will of the Lord. And many failures we are 
liable unto whereon we are * in misericordia domini,' and are 
subject unto amercements. But yet the whole inheritance 
being granted imto Christ, is eternally secured for us, and 
we are by his grace preserved from such offences against 
the supreme Lord, or committing any such wastes, as should 
cast us out of our possession. See Psal. Ixxxix* 27 — 32. 


Thus in all things infinite wisdom hath provided, that no 
second forfeiture should be made of the inheritance of grace 
and glory, which as it would have been eternally ruinous 
unto mankind, so it was inconsistent with the glory and 
honour of God. 

8. The wisdom of God was gloriously exalted in the 
righteous destruction of Satan and his interest, by the in- 
carnation and mediation of the Son of God. He had pre- 
vailed against the first way of the manifestation of divine 
glory ; and therein both pleased and prided himself. No- 
thing could ever give such satisfaction unto the malicious 
murderer, as the breach he had occasioned between God 
and man, with his hopes and apprehensions that it would be 
eternal. He had no other thoughts, but that the whole race 
of mankind which God had designed unto the enjoyment of 
himself, should be everlastingly ruined. So he had satisfied 
his envy against man in his eternal destruction with himself, 
and his malice against God in depriving him of his. glory. 
Hereon, upon the distance that he had made between God 
and man, he interposed himself, and boasted himself for a 
long season, as ' the God of this world,' who had all power 
over it and in it. It belonged unto the honour of the wis- 
dom of God, that he should be defeated in this triumph. 
Neither was it meet that this should be done by a mere act 
of sovereign omnipotent power. For he would yet glory in 
his craft and the success of it, that there was no way to dis- 
appoint him, but by crushing him with power, without re- 
spect unto righteousness, or demonstration of wisdom. 
Wherefore it must be done in such a way, as wherein he 
might see unto his eternal shame and confusion, all his arts 
and subtleties defeated by infinite wisdom, and his enter- 
prise overthrown in away of right and equity. The remark 
that the Holy Ghost puts on the serpent which was his in- 
strument in drawing man unto apostacy from God, namely, 
that he was * subtle above all the beasts of the field,' is only 
to intimate wherein Satan designed his attempt, and from 
whence he hoped for his success. It was not an act of 
power or rage, but of craft, counsel, subtlety and deceit. 
Herein he gloried and prided himself; wherefore the way to 
disappoint him with shame, must be a contrivance of infi- 
nite wisdom, turning all his artifices into mere folly. 


This work of God, with respect unto him, is expressed 
in the Scripture two ways ; first, it is called the spoiling of 
him, as unto his power, and the prey that he had taken. 
The strong man armed was to be bound, and his goods 
spoiled. The Lord Christ, by his death, * destroyed him 
that had the power of death, that is, the devil/ He * led 
captivity captive,' spoiling principalities and powers, tri- 
umphing over them in his cross. So Abraham, when he 
smote the kings, not only delivered Lot who was their cap- 
tive, but also took all their spoils. Again, it is expressed 
by the destruction of his works. * For this cause was the 
Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of 
the devil.' The spoils which he had in his own power were 
taken from him, and the works which he had erected in the 
minds of men were demolished. The web which he had 
w^ove to clothe himself withal, as the God of this world, was 
unravelled to the last thread. And although all this seems 
to represent a work of power, yet was it indeed an effect of 
wisdom and righteousness principally. 

For the power which Satan had over mankind was in 
itself unjust. For (1.) he obtained it by fraud and deceit. 
* The serpent beguiled Eve.' (2.) He possessed it with in- 
justice, with respect unto God, being an invader of his right 
and possession. (3.) He used and exercised it with malice, 
tyranny, and rage; so as tha{ it was every way unjust both 
in its foundation and execution. With respect hereunto he 
was justly destroyed by omnipotent power, which puts forth 
itself in his eternal punishment. But on the other side, 
mankind did suffer justly under his power, being given up 
unto it in the righteous judgment of God. For one may 
suffer justly what another doth unjustly inflict. As when 
one causelessly strikes an innocent man, if he strikes him 
again, he who did the first injury suffereth justly, but the 
other doth unjustly in revenging himself. Wherefore, as 
man was given up unto him in a way of punishment, he was 
a lawful captive, and was not to be delivered but in a way 
of justice. And this was done in a way that Satan never 
thought of. For by the obedience and sufferings of the Son 
of God incarnate, there was full satisfaction made unto the 
justice of God for the sins of man, a reparation of his glory, 
and an exaltation of the honour of his holiness, with all the 


other properties of his nature, as also of his law, outba- 
lancing all the diminution of it by the first apostacy of man- 
kind, as hath been declared. Immediately hereon all the 
charms of Satan were dissolved, all his chains loosed, his 
darkness that he had brought on the creation dispelled, his 
whole plot and design defeated ; whereon he saw himself, 
and was exposed unto all the holy angels of heaven, in all 
the counsels, craft, and power he had boasted of, to be no- 
thing but a congeries, a mass of darkness, malice, folly, im- 
potency, and rage. 

Hereon did Satan make an entrance into one of the prin- 
cipal parts of his eternal torments, in that furious self-ma- 
ceration which he is given up unto on the consideration of 
his defeat and disappointment. Absolute power he always 
feared, and what it would produce ; for he believes that, 
and trembles. But against any other way he thought he 
had secured himself. It lieth plain to every understanding, 
what shame, confusion, and self-revenge, the proud apos- 
tate was cast into upon his holy, righteous disappointment 
of his design; whereas he had always promised himself to 
carry his cause, or at least to put God to act in the de- 
struction of his dominion, by mere omnipotent power, with- 
out regard unto any other properties of his nature. To find 
that which he contrived for the destruction of the glory of 
God, the disappointment of his ends in the creation of all 
things, and the eternal ruin of mankind, to issue in a more 
glorious exaltation of the holy properties of the divine na- 
ture, and an unspeakable augmentation of blessedness unto 
mankind itself, is the highest aggravation of his eternal tor- 
ments. This was a work every way becoming the infinite 
wisdom of God. 

9. Whereas there are three distinct persons in the holy 
Trinity, it became the wisdom of God, that the Son, the 
second person, should undertake this work, and be incar- 
nate. I shall but sparingly touch on this glorious mystery; 
for as unto the reason of it, it is absolutely resolved into 
the infinite wisdom and sovereign counsel of the divine will. 
And all such things are the objects of a holy admiration, 
not curiously to be inquired into. To intrude ourselves into 
the things which we have not seen, that is, which are not 
revealed in those concernments of them which are not re- 


vealed, is not unto the advantage of faith in our edification. 
But as unto what is declared of them, either immediately 
and directly, or by their relation unto other known truths, 
we may meditate on them unto the improvement of faith 
and love towards God. And some things are thus evident 
unto us in this mystery. 

(1.) We had by sin lost the image of God, and thereby 
all gracious acceptance with him, all interest in his love and 
favour. In our recovery, as we have declared, this image is 
again to be restored unto us, or we are to be renewed into 
the likeness of God. And there was a condecency ^lnto di- 
vine wisdom, that this work should in a peculiar manner be 
effected by him who is the essential image of God, that is, 
the Father. This, as we have formerly shewed, was the per- 
son of the Son. Receiving his personal subsistence, and 
therewithal the divine nature, with all its essential proper- 
ties from the Father by eternal generation, he was thereon 
the express image of his person, and the brightness of his 
glory. Whatever is in the person of the Father, is in the 
person of the Son, and being all received from the Father, 
he is his essential image. And one end of his incarnation 
was that he might be the representative image of God unto 
us. Whereas therefore in the work of our recovery, the image 
of God should be restored in us, there was a condecency 
that it should be done by him who was the essential imao-e 
of God. For it consists in the communication of the effects 
and likeness of the same image unto us, which was essen- 
tially in himself. 

(2.) We were by nature the sons of God. We stood in 
relation of sons unto him by virtue of our creation, the com^ 
munication of his image and likeness, with the preparation 
of an inheritance for us. On the same accounts the angels 
are frequently called the sons of God. This title, this re- 
lation unto God, we utterly lost by sin, becoming aliens 
from him, and enemies unto him. Without a recovery into 
this estate we cannot be restored, nor brought unto the en- 
joyment of God. And this cannot be done but by adoption. 
Now it seems convenient unto divine wisdom, that he should 
recover our sonship by adoption, who was himself the es- 
sential and eternal Son of God. 

(3.) The sum of what we can comprehend in this great 



mystery ariseth from the consideration of the order of the 
holy persons of the blessed Trinity in their operations. For 
their order herein doth follow that of their subsistence. 
Unto this great work there are peculiarly required, authority, 
love, and power, all directed b3'^ infinite wisdom. These ori- 
ginally reside in the person of the Father, and the acting 
of them in this matter is constantly ascribed unto him. He 
sent the Son, as he gives the Spirit, by an act of sovereign 
authority. And he sent the Son from his eternal love ; he 
loved the world, and sent his Son to die. This is constantly 
assigned to be the effect of the love and grace of the Father. 
And he wrought in Christ, and he works in us, with respect 
unto the end of this mystery, with the ' exceeding greatness 
of his power ;' Eph. i. 18. The Son, who is the second per- 
son in the order of subsistence, in the order of operation puts 
the whole authority, love, and power of the Father in execu- 
tion. This order of subsistence and operation thereon, is 
expressly declared by the apostle, 1 Cor. viii. 6. ' Unto us 
there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, 
and we in him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all 
things, and we by him.' The Father is the original fountain 
and spring, £? ou, from whom, whose original authority, love, 
goodness and power, are all these things. That expression 
of * from him,* peculiarly denotes the eternal original of all 
things. But how are this authority, goodness, love, and 
power in the Father, whence all these things spring and 
arise, made effectual, how are their effects wrought out and 
accomplished? * There is one Lord, even Jesus Christ,' a dis- 
tinct person from the Father, ^l ov, ' by whom are all things.' 
He works in the order of his subsistence, to execute, work, 
and accomplish all that originally proceedeth from the Fa- 
ther. By the Holy Spirit, who is the third person in order 
of subsistence, there is made a perfecting application of the 
whole unto all its proper ends. 

Wherefore this work of our redemption and recovery, 
being the especial effect of the authority, love, and power 
of the Father, it was to be executed in and by the person of 
the Son ; as the application of it unto us is made by the 
Holy Ghost, Hence it became not the person of the Fa- 
ther to assume our nature ; it belonged not thereunto in the 
order of subsistence and operation in the blessed Trinity. 


The authority, love, and power whence the whole work pro- 
ceeded, were his in a peculiar manner. But the execution 
of what infinite wisdom designed in them and by them, be- 
longed unto another. Nor did this belong unto the person 
of the Holy Spirit, who in order of divine operation follow- 
ing that of his subsistence, was to perfect the whole work, 
in making application of it unto the church when it was 
wrought. Wherefore it was every way suited unto divine 
wisdom, unto the order of the holy persons in their subsist- 
ence and operation, that this work should be undertaken and 
accomplished in the person of the Son. What is farther 
must be referred unto another world. 

These are some few of those things wherein the infinite 
wisdom of God in this holy contrivance giveth forth some 
rays of itself into enlightened minds, and truly humbled 
souls. But how little a portion of it is heard by us ? How 
weak, how low are our conceptions about it ? We cannot 
herein find out the Almighty unto perfection. No small part 
of the glory of heaven will consist in that comprehension 
which we shall have of the mystery of the wisdom, love, and 
grace of God herein. 

Howbeit we are with all diligence to inquire into it whilst 
we are here in the way. It is the very centre of all glorious 
evangelical truths ; not one of them can be understood, be- 
lieved, or improved as they ought, without a due compre- 
hension of their relation hereunto ; as we have shewed be- 

This is that which the prophets of old inquired into and 
after with all diligence, even the mystery of God manifest 
in the flesh,with theglory that ensued thereon; 1 Pet. i. 11. 
Yet had they not that light to discern it by, which we 
have. The ' least in the kingdom of God/ as to the know- 
ledge of this mystery may be above the greatest of them. 
And ought we not to fear lest our sloth under the beams of 
the sun should be condemned by their diligence in the twi- 
light ? 

This the angels bow down to look into, although their 
concerns therein were not equal to ours. But angels are 
angels, and prophets were prophets ; we are a generation of 
poor sinful men who are little concerned in the glory of God 
or our own duty. 

T 2 


Is it not much to be lamented that many Christians con- 
tent themselves with a very superficiary knov^^ledge of these 
things? How are the studies, the abilities, the time, and di- 
ligence of many excellent persons engaged in, and laid out 
about, the works of nature, and the effects of divine wisdom 
and power in them, by whom any endeavour to inquire in- 
to this glorious mystery is neglected, if not despised ? Alas, 
the light of divine wisdom in the greatest works of nature, 
holds not the proportion of the meanest star unto the sun in 
its full strength, unto that glory of it which shines in this 
mystery of God manifest in the flesh, and the work accom- 
plished thereby. A little time shall put an end unto the 
whole subject of their inquiries, with all the concernment 
of God and man in them for evermore. This alone is that 
which fills up eternity, and which although it be now with 
some a nothing, yet will shortly be all. 

Is it not much more to be lamented, that many who are 
called Christians do even despise these mysteries? Some 
oppose them directly with pernicious heresies about the per- 
son of Christ, denying his divine nature, or the personal 
union of his two natures, whereby the whole mystery of in- 
finite wisdom is evacuated and rejected. And some there 
are who though they do not deny the truth of this mystery, 
yet they both despise and reproach such as with any dili- 
gence endeavour to inquire into it. I shall add the. words 
used on a like occasion, unto them who sincerely believe 
the mysteries of the gospel. * But ye beloved, building up 
yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy 
Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the 
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life.' And the 
due contemplation of this mystery will certainly be attended 
with many spiritual advantages. 

[1.] It will bring in steadfastness in believing as unto 
the especial concerns of our own souls ; so as to give unto 
God the glory that is his due thereon. This is the work, 
these are the ends of faith ; Rom. v. 1—5. We see how 
many Christians who are sincere believers, yet fluctuate in 
their minds with great uncertainties as unto their own state 
and condition. The principal reason of it, is because they 
are unskilful in the word of righteousness, and so are babes 
in a weak condition, as the apostle speaks ; Heb. v. 13. 


This is the way of spiritual peace. When the soul of a be- 
liever is able to take a view of the glory of the wisdom of 
God, exalting all the other holy properties of his nature in 
this great mystery unto our salvation, it will obviate all fears, 
remove all objections, and be a means of bringing in assured 
peace into the mind ; which without a due comprehension 
of it, will never be attained. 

[2.] The acting of faith hereon, is that which is accom- 
panied with its great power to change and transform the 
soul into the image and likeness of Christ. So is it express- 
ed by the apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 18. * We all with open face 
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed 
into the same image from glory to glory," even as by the 
Spirit of the Lord.' We all beholding ; KaTowTpi^ofxevoi, not 
taking a transient glance of these things, but diligently in- 
specting them, as those do who through a glass design a 
steady view of things at a distance. That which we are 
thus to behold by the continued actings of faith in holy con- 
templation, is the 'glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus 
Christ/ as it expressed, chap. iv. 6. which is nothing but that 
mystery of godliness, in whose explanation we have been 
engaged. And what is the effect of the steady contempla- 
tion of this mystery by faith ? jU£Tajuojo0ou/x£3'<i, ' we are chang- 
ed,^ made quite other creatures than we were, cast into the 
form, figure, and image of Jesus Christ, the great design of 
all believers in this world. Would we then be like unto 
Christ ? Would we bear the image of the heavenly, as we have 
borne the image of the earthy? Is nothing so detestable unto 
us as the deformed image of the old man, in the lusts of the 
mind and of the flesh? Is nothing so amiable and desirable 
as the image of Christ and the representation of God in him? 
this is the way, this is the means of attaining the end which 
we aim at. 

[3.] Abounding in this duty is the most effectual means 
of freeing us in particular from the shame and bane of pro- 
fession in earthly mindedness. There is nothing so unbe- 
coming a Christian, as to have his mind always exercised 
about, always filled with, thoughts of earthly things. And 
accordino- as men's thou<]fhts are exercised about them, their 
affections are increased and inflamed towards them. These 
things mutually promote one another, and there is a kind of 


circulation in them. Multiplied thoughts inflame affections, 
and inflamed affections increase the number of thoughts con- 
cerning them. Nothing is more repugnant unto the whole 
life of faith, nothing more obstructive unto the exercise of all 
grace, than a prevalency of this frame of mind. And at this 
season in an especial manner it is visibly preying on the 
vitals of religion. To abound in the contemplation of this 
mystery, and in the exercise of faith about it, as it is dia- 
metrically opposed unto this frame, so it will gradually cast 
it out of the soul. And without this we shall labour in the 
fire ibr deliverance from this pernicious evil. 

[4.] And hereby are we prepared for the enjoyment of 
glory above. No small part of that glory consists in the 
eternal contemplation and adoration of the wisdom, good- 
ness, love, and power of God in this mystery, and the effects 
of it, as shall afterward be declared. 

And how can we better or otherwise be prepared for it, 
but by the implanting a sense of it on our minds by sedulous 
contemplation whilst we are in this world ? God will not 
take us into heaven, into the vision and possession of hea- 
venly glory, with our heads and hearts reeking with the 
thoughts and affections of earthly things. He hath appoint- 
ed means to make us * meet for the inheritance of the saints 
in light,' before he will bring us into the enjoyment of it. 
And this is the principal way whereby he doth it. For 
hereby it is that we are ' changed into the image of Christ 
from glory to glory/ and make the nearest approaches unto 
the eternal fulness of it. 


The nature of the person of Christy and the hypostatieal union 
of his natures declared. 

The nature or constitution of the person of Christ hath been 
commonly spoken unto, and treated of, in the writings both 
of the ancient and modern divines. It is not my purpose 
in this discourse to handle any thing that hath been so fully 


already declared by others. Howbeit to speak something 
of it in this place, is necessary unto the present work; and 
Ishall do it in answer unto a double end or design. 

First, To help those that believe, in the regulation of 
their thoughts about this divine person, so far as the Scrip- 
ture goeth before us. It is of great importance unto our 
souls, that we have right conceptions concerning him ; not 
only in general, and in opposition unto the pernicious he- 
resies of them by whom his divine person, or either of his 
natures are denied ; but also in those especial instances 
wherein it is the most ineffable effect of divine wisdom and 
grace. For although the knowledge of him mentioned in 
the gospel, be not confined merely unto his person in the 
constitution thereof, but extends itself unto the whole work 
of his mediation, with the desio;n of God's love and p:race 
therein, with our own duty thereon ; yet is this knowledge 
of his person the foundation of all the rest, wherein, if we 
mistake or fail, our whole building in the other parts of the 
knowledge of him will fall unto the ground. And although 
the saving knowledge of him is not to be obtained without 
especial divine revelation. Matt. xvi. 17. or saving illumi- 
nation, 1 John V. 20. nor can we know him perfectly, until 
we come where he is to behold his glory ; 1 John xvii. 24. 
yet are instructions from the Scripture of use to lead us 
into those farther degrees of the knowledge of him which 
are attainable in this life. 

Secondly, To manifest in particular how ineffably dis- 
tinct the relation between the Son of God and the man 
Christ Jesus, is from all that relation and union which may 
be between God and believers, or between God and any 
other creature. The want of a true understanding hereof, 
is the fundamental error of many in our days. We shall 
manifest thereupon how * it pleased the Father that in him 
should all fulness dwell,' so that in all things *he might have 
the pre-eminence ;' Col. i. 18, 19. And I shall herein wholly 
avoid the curious inquiries, bold conjectures, and unwarrant- 
able determinations of the schoolmen and some others. For 
many of them designing to explicate this mystery, by ex- 
ceeding the bounds of Scripture light and sacred sobriety, 
have obscured it. Endeavouring to render all things plain 
unto reason, they have expressed many things unsound as 


unto faith, and fallen into manifold contradictions among 
themselves. Hence Aquinas affirms, that three of the ways 
of declaring the hypostatical union which are proposed by 
the master of the sentences, are so far from probable opi- 
nions, as that they are downright heresies. I shall there- 
fore confine myself in the explication of this mystery unto 
the propositions of divine revelation, with the just and ne- 
cessary expositions of them. 

What the Scripture represents of the wisdom of God in 
this great work, may be reduced unto these four heads. 

1. The assumption of our nature into personal subsist- 
ence with the Son of God. 

2. The union of the two natures in that single person 
which is consequential thereon. 

3. The mutual communication of those distinct natures, 
the divine and human, by virtue of that union. 

4. The enunciations or predications concerning the per- 
son of Christ, which follow on that union and communion. 

1. The first thing in the divine constitution of the per- 
son of Christ as God and man, is assumption. That ineffa- 
ble divine act I intend, whereby the person of the Son of 
God assumed our nature, or took it into a personal subsist- 
ence with himself. This the Scripture expresseth some- 
times actively with respect unto the divine nature acting in 
the person of the Son, the nature assuming; sometimes pas- 
sively with respect unto the human nature, the nature as- 
sumed. The first it doth, Heb. ii. 14. 16. ' Forasmuch as 
the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also him- 
self likewise took part of the same. For verily he took not 
on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the 
seed of Abraham.' Phil. ii. 6, 7. ' Being in the form of 
God, he took on him the form of a servant;' and in sun- 
dry other places. The assumption, the taking of our hu- 
man nature to be his own, by an ineffable act of his power 
and grace, is clearly expressed. And to take it to be his 
own, his own nature, can be no otherwise but by giving it a 
subsistence in his own person ; otherwise his own nature it 
is not, nor can be. Hence God is said to * purchase his 
church with his own blood,' Acts xx. 28. That relation and 
denomination of* his own,' is from the single person of him 
whose it is. The latter is declared, John i. 14. * The Word 


was made flesh/ Rom. viii. 3. ' God sent his own Son in 
the likeness of sinful flesh.' Gal. iv. 4. ' Made of a woman, 
made under the law.' Rom. i. 3. * Made of the seed of 
David according to the flesh.' The eternal Word, the Son 
of God, was not made flesh, not made of a woman, nor of 
the seed of David, by the conversion of his substance or 
nature into flesh, which implies a contradiction, and besides 
is absolutely destructive of the divine nature. He could 
no otherwise, therefore, be made flesh, or made of a woman, 
but in that our nature w^as made his, by his assuming of it 
to be his own. The same person who before was not flesh, 
was not man, was made flesh as man, in that he took our 
human nature to be his own. 

(1.) This ineffable act, is the foundation of the divine 
relation between the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. 
We can only adore the mysterious nature of it ; * great is 
this mystery of godliness.* Yet may we observe sundry 
things to direct us in that duty. 

[L] As unto original efficiency, it was the act of the 
divine nature, and so consequently of the Father, Son, and 
Spirit. For so are all outward acts of God, the divine na- 
ture being the immediate principle of all such operations. 
The wisdom, power, grace, and goodness exerted therein, are 
essential properties of the divine nature. Wherefore, the 
acting of them originally belongs equally unto each person, 
equally participant of that nature. 

[2.] As unto authoritative designation, it was the act of 
the Father. Hence is he said to ' send his Son in the like- 
ness of sinful flesh,' Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iv. 4. 

[3.] As unto the formation of the human nature, it was 
the peculiar act of the Spirit; Luke i. 35. 

[4.] As unto the term of the assumption, or the taking 
of our nature unto himself, it was the peculiar act of the 
person of the Son. Herein, as Damascen observes, the other 
persons had no concurrence, but only kuto, j5ov\r)(Tiv kol Iv- 
doKiav, ' by counsel and approbation.' 

(2.) This assumption was the only immediate act of the 
divine nature on the human in the person of the Son. All 
those that follow in subsistence, sustentation, with all others 
that are communicative, do ensue thereon. 

(3.) This assumption and the hypostatical union are dis- 


tinct and different in the formal reason of them. [1]. Assump- 
tion is the immediate act of the divine nature in the person 
of the Son on the human ; union is mediate by virtue of that 
assumption. [2.] Assumption is unto personality ; it is 
that act whereby the Son of God and our nature became one 
person. Union is an act or relation of the natures subsist- 
ing in that one person. [3.] Assumption respects the act- 
ing of the divine, and the passion of the human nature, the 
one assumeth, the other is assumed. Union respects the 
mutual relation of the natures unto each other. Hence the 
divine nature may be said to be united unto the human, as 
well as the human unto the divine ; but the divine nature 
cannot be said to be assumed as the human is. Wherefore, 
assumption denotes the acting of the one nature, and the 
passion of the other, union the mutual relation that is be- 
tween them both. 

These things may be safely affirmed, and ought to be 
firmly believed, as the sense of the Holy Ghost in those ex- 
pressions, ' He took on him the seed of Abraham ; he took 
on him the form of a servant;' and the like. And who can 
conceive the condescension of divine goodness, or the act- 
ings of divine wisdom and power therein ! 

2. That which followeth hereon, is the union of the two 
natures in the same person, or the hypostatical union. This 
is included and asserted in a multitude of divine testimonies; 
Isa. vii. 14. * Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 
and shall call his name Immanuel,' as Matt. i. 23. He who 
was conceived and born of the virgin was Immanuel, or God 
with us ; that is, God manifest in the flesh, by the union of 
his natures in the same person. Isa. ix. 6. ' To us a child is 
born, to us a son is given : and his name shall be called Won- 
derful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace.' That the same person should be the 
' mighty God,' and a * child born,' is neither conceivable nor 
possible, nor can be true, but by the union of the divine 
and human natures in the same person. So he said of him- 
self, * Before Abraham was, I am ;' John viii. 58. That he, 
the same person who then spake unto the Jews, and as a 
man was little more than thirty years of age, should also be 
before Abraham, undeniably confirms the union of another 
nature in the same person with that wherein he spoke those 


word^, and without which they could not be true. He had 
not only another nature which did exist before Abraham, 
but the same individual person who then spoke in the hu- 
man nature, did then exist. See to the same purpose, John 
i. 14. Acts XX. 28. Rom. ix. 5. Col. ii. 9. 1 John iii. 16. 

This union the ancient church affirmed to be made 
arpeiTTwg, ' without any change' in the person of the Son of 
God, which the divine nature is not subject unto ; adiapi- 
rtjg, with a distinction of natures, but ' without any divi- 
sion' of them by separate subsistences ; aavjxvTiog, * with- 
out mixture' or confusion; axopiariog, * without separation' 
or distance. And ouffiwSwc, ' substantially/ because it was 
of two substances or essences, in the same person, in opposi- 
tion unto all accidental union, as the * fulness of the God- 
head dwelt in him bodily.' 

These expressions were found out and used by the an- 
cient church, to prevent the fraud of those who corrupted the 
doctrine of the person of Christ, and (as all of that sort ever 
did, and yet continue so to do) obscured their pernicious 
sentiments under ambiguous expressions. And they also 
made use of sundry terms which they judged significant of 
this great mystery, or the incarnation of the Son of God. 
Such are IvcapKbyaig, ' incarnation ;' IvdMixanoaig, * embody- 
ing ;' lvav^pM-Ky\(sig, * inhumanation ;' r} SttnroTiKri ^mSruuLia, 
KoX irapovaia, 17 olKOVOfiiay to the same purpose ; r/ ^m crapKog 
ojutX/a, ' his conversation, in or by the flesh ;' 7) dia avOpwiro- 
T7]Tog (paviptjjaig, * his manifestation by humanity ;' >/ iXevaig, 
* the advent;' >/ Kevwmg, ' the exinanition,' or humiliation ; 
r) row XpiGTov lTn(l)avBia, ' the appearance' or manifestation ' of 
Christ;' // cfwiraTaj^aaigt * the condescension.' Most of 
these expressions are taken from the Scripture, and are used 
therein with respect unto this mystery, or some concern- 
ments of it. Wherefore, as our faith is not confined unto 
any one of these words or terms, so as that we should be 
obliged to believe not only the things intended, but also the 
manner of its expression in them, so, so far as they explain 
the thing intended according unto the mind of the Holy 
Ghost in the Scripture, and obviate the senses of men of 
corrupt minds, they are to be embraced and defended as 
useful helps in teaching the truth. 

That whereby it is most usually declared in the writings 

284 A declartAtion of the mystery 

of the ancients, is x«p^C evivoeuyg, * gratia unionis/ the ' grace 
of union ;' which form of words some manifesting them- 
selves strangers unto, do declare how little conversant they 
are in their writings. Now, it is not any habitual inherent 
grace residing subjectively in the person, or human nature 
of Christ, that is intended, but things of another nature. 

(1.) The cause of this union is expressed in it. This is 
the free grace and favour of God towards the man Christ 
Jesus, predestinating, designing, and taking him into actual 
union with the person of the Son,without respect unto, or fore- 
sight of, any precedent dignity or merit in him ; 1 Pet. i. 20. 

Hence is that of Austin, " Ea gratia fit ab initio fidei 
su8e homo quicunque Christianus, qua gratia homo ille ab 
initio factus est Christus.' De Praedest. Sanct. cap. 15. For 
whereas all the inherent grace of the human nature of Christ, 
and all the holy obedience which proceeded from it, was 
consequent in order of nature unto this union, and an effect 
of it, they could in no sense be the meritorious or procuring 
causes of it; it was of grace. 

(2.) It is used also by many and designed to express the 
peculiar dignity of the human nature of Christ. This is that 
wherein no creature is participant, nor ever shall be unto 
eternity. This is the fundamental privilege of the human 
nature of Christ, which all others, even unto his eternal 
glory, proceed from, and are resolved into. 

(3.) The glorious meetness and ability of the person of 
Christ, for and unto all the acts and duties of his mediatory 
office. For they are all resolved into the union of his na- 
tures in the same person, without which not one of them 
could be performed unto the benefit of the church. And 
this is that ' arace of our Lord Jesus Christ,' which renders 
him so glorious and amiable unto believers. ' Unto them 
that believe he is precious.' 

The common prevalent expression of it at present in the 
church is the hypostatical union ; that is, the union of the 
divine and human nature in the person of the Son of God, 
the human nature having no personality nor subsistence of 
its own. 

With respect unto this union, the name of Christ is 
called * Wonderful/ as that which hath thejpre-eminence in 
all the effects of divine wisdom. And it is a singular effect 


thereof. There is no other union in things divine or hu- 
man, in things spiritual or natural, whether substantial or 
accidental, that is of the same kind with it, it differs speci- 
fically from them all. 

[1.] The most glorious union is that of the divine per- 
sons in the same being or nature ; the Father in the Son, 
the Son in the Father, the Holy Spirit in them both, and 
both in him. But this is a union of distinct persons in the 
unity of the same single nature. And this, I confess, is 
more glorious than that whereof we treat ; for it is in God 
absolutely, it is eternal, of his nature and being. But this 
union we speak of, is not God, it is a creature, an effect of 
divine wisdom and power. And it is different from it 
herein, inasuiuch as that is of many distinct persons in the 
same nature, this is, of distinct natures in the same person. 
That union is natural, substantial, essential, in the same na- 
ture ; this, as it is not accidental, as we shall shew, so it is 
not properly substantial, because it is not of the same na- 
ture, but of divers in the same person, remaining distinct in 
their essence and substance, and is therefore peculiarly hy- 
postatical or personal. Hence Austin feared not to say^ that 
* Homo potius est in filio Dei, quam filius in Patre ;* De Trin. 
lib. i. cap. 10. But that is true only in this one respect, 
that the Son is not so in the Father as to become one person 
with him. In all other respects it must be granted, that the 
in-being of the Son in the Father, the union between them, 
which is natural, essential, and eternal, doth exceed this in 
glory, which was a temporary, external act of divine wis- 
dom and grace. 

[2.] The most eminent substantial union in things natu- 
ral, is that of the soul and body constituting an individual 
person. There is, I confess, some kind of similitude be- 
tween this union and that of the different natures in the per- 
son of Christ; but it is not of the same kind or nature. 
And the dissimilitudes that are between them, are more and 
of greater importance than those things are wherein there 
seems to be an agreement between them. For, 

1st, The soul and body are so united, as to constitute 
one entire nature. The soul is not human nature, nor is the 
body, but it is the consequent of their union. Soul and 
body are essential parts of human nature, but complete hu- 


man nature they are not but by virtue of their union. But 
the union of the natures in the person of Christ, doth not 
constitute a new nature that either was not, or was not com- 
plete before. Each nature remains the same perfect, complete 
nature after this union. 

2dly, The union of the soul and body doth constitute 
that nature which is made essentially complete thereby, 
a new individual person, with a subsistence of its own, 
which neither of them was, nor had before that union. But 
although the person of Christ, as God and man, be consti- 
tuted by this union, yet his person absolutely, and his indi- 
vidual subsistence, was perfect, absolutely antecedent unto 
that union. He did not become a new person, another per- 
son than he was before, by virtue of that union ; only that 
person assumed human nature to itself to be its own, into 
personal subsistence. 

3dly, Soul and body are united by an external effi- 
cient cause, or the power of God ; and not by the act of one 
of them upon another. But this union is effected by that 
act of the divine nature towards the human, which we have 
before described. 

4thly, Neither soul nor body have any personal sub- 
sistence before their union ; but the sole foundation of this 
union was in this, that the Son of God was a self-subsisting 
person from eternity. 

[3.] There are other unions in things natural which are 
by mixture of composition. Hereon something is produced 
composed of various parts, which is not what any of them 
are. And there is a conversion of things, when one thing 
is substantially changed into another, as the water in the 
miracle that Christ wrought was turned into wine. But 
this union hath no resemblance unto any of them. There 
is not a Kpacrig, ' a mixture,' a contemporation of the divine 
and human natures into one third nature, or the conversion 
of one into another. Such notions of these things some 
fancied of old. Eutyches supposed such a composition and 
mixture of the two natures in the person of Christ, as that 
the human nature at least should lose all its essential pro- 
perties, and have neither understanding nor will of its own. 
And some of the Arians fancied a substantial change of that 
created divine nature which they acknowledged, into the 


human. But these imaginations, instead of professing Christ 
to be God and man, would leave him indeed neither God nor 
man; and have been sufficiently confuted. Wherefore the 
union we treat of hath no similitude unto any such natural 
union as is the effect of composition or mutation. 

[4.] There is an artificial union wherewith some have illus- 
trated this mystery; as that of fire and iron in the same 
sword. The sword is one ; the nature of fire and that of 
iron different; and the acts of them distinct; the iron cuts, 
the fire burns ; and the effects distinct ; cutting and burn- 
ing; yet is the agent or instrument but one sword. Some- 
thing of this nature may be allowed to be spoken in way of 
allusion ; but it is a weak and imperfect representation of 
this mystery on many accounts. For the heat in iron is 
rather an accident than a substance, is separable from it ; 
and in sundry other things diverts the mind from due appre- 
hensions of this mystery. 

[5.] There is a spiritual union, namely, of Christ and 
believers ; or of God in Christ and believers, which is excel- 
lent and mysterious, such as all other unions in nature are 
made use of in the Scripture to illustrate and represent. 
This some among us do judge to be of the same kind with 
that of the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. Only 
they say they differ in degrees. The eternal Word was so 
united unto the man Christ Jesus, as that thereby he was 
exalted inconceivably above all other men, though never so 
holy ; and had greater communications from God than any 
of them. Wherefore he was on many accounts the Son of 
God in a peculiar manner, and by a communication of names 
is called God also. This being the opinion of Nestorius, re- 
vived again in the days wherein we live, I shall declare 
wherein he placed the conjunction or union of the two 
natures of Christ, whereby he constituted two distinct per- 
sons of the Son of God, and the Son of man, as these now 
do, and briefly detect the vanity of it. For the whole of it 
consisted in the concession of sundry things that were true 
in particular, making use of the pretence of them, unto the 
denial of that wherein alone the true union of the person of 
Christ did consist. 

Nestorius allowed the presence of the Son of God, with 
the man Christ Jesus, to consist in five things. 


1st. He said he was so present with him, Kara Tropao-rao-tv, 
or by inhabitation, as man dwells in a house or a ship to 
rule it. He dwelt in him as his temple. So he dwells in all 
that believe, but in him in a more especial manner. And 
this is true with respect unto that fulness of the Spirit 
whereby God was with him and in him; as he is with and in 
all believers, according unto the measures wherein they are 
made partakers of him. But this answers not that divine 
testimony, that * in him dwelt all the fulness of the God- 
head bodily;' Col. ii. 9. The fulness of the Godhead is the 
entire divine nature. This nature is considered in the per- 
son of the Son, or eternal Word, for it was the Word that was 
made flesh. And this could no otherwise dwell in him 
bodily, really, substantially, but in the assumption of that 
nature to be his own. And no sense can be given unto this 
assertion to preserve it from blasphemy; that the fulness of 
the Godhead dwelleth in any of the saints bodily. 

2dly. He allowed an especial presence, Kara a^iaLv, as 
some call it, that is, by such a union of affections as is be- 
tween intimate friends. The soul of God rested always in 
that man ; in him was he well pleased, and he was wholly 
given up in his affections unto God. This also is true; but 
there is that which is no less true that renders it useless 
unto the pretensions of Nestorius. For he allowed the divine 
person of the Son of God ; but whatever is spoken of this 
nature concerning the love of God unto the man Christ 
Jesus, and of his love to God, it is the person of the Father 
that is intended therein ; nor can any one instance be given 
where it is capable of another interpretation. For it is still 
spoken of with reference unto the work that he was sent of 
the Father to accomplish, and his own delight therein. 

3dly. He allowed it to be kut a^iav, by way of dignity 
and honour. For this conjunction is such, as that whatever 
honour is given unto the Son of God, is also to be given 
unto that Son of man. But herein to recompense his sacri- 
ledge in taking away the hypostatical union from the church, 
he would introduce idolatry into it. For the honour that is 
due unto the Son of God is divine, religious, or the owning 
of all essential divine properties in him, with a due sub- 
jection of soul unto him thereon. But to give this honour 
unto the man Christ Jesus, without a supposition of the sub- 


sistence of his human nature in the person of the Son of 
God, and solely on that account, is highly idolatrous. 

4thly. He asserted it to be Kara TavrofdovXiav, or on the 
account of the consent and agreement that was between the 
will of God, and the will of the man Christ Jesus. But no 
other union will thence ensue, but what is between God and 
the angels in heaven ; in whom there is a perfect compli- 
ance with the will of God in all things. Wherefore, if this 
be the foundation of this union, he might be said to take on 
him the nature of angels, as well as the seed of Abraham, 
which is expressly denied by the apostle, Heb. ii. 16, 17. 

5thly. KaO' ojudjvv/jiiav, by an equivocal denomination, 
the name of the one person, namely, of the Son of God, 
being accommodated unto the other, namely the son of man. 
So they were called gods unto whom the word of God came. 
But this no way answers any one divine testimony, where- 
in the name of God is assigned unto the Lord Christ, as 
those wherein God is said ' to lay down his life for us,' and 
to * purchase his church with his own blood,' to come and 
be ' manifest in the flesh/ wherein no homonymy or equivo- 
cation can take place. By all these ways he constituted a 
separable accidental union, wherein nothing in kind, but in 
degree only, was peculiar unto the man Christ Jesus. 

But all these things, so far as they are true, belong unto 
the third thing to be considered in his person, namely, the 
communion, or mutual communication of the distinct na- 
tures therein. But his personal union consists not in any 
of them, nor in all of them together. Nor do they answer 
any of the multiplied testimonies given by the Holy Ghost 
unto this glorious mystery. Some few of them may be 

• The word was made flesh ;' John i» 14. There can be 
but two senses of these words. (1st.) That the word ceased 
to be what it was, and was substantially turned into flesh. 
(2dly.) That continuing to be whatit was, it was made to be 
also what before it was not. The first sense is destructive 
of the Divine Being, and all its essential properties. The 
other can be verified only herein, that the Word took that 
flesh, that is, our human nature to be his own, his own na- 
ture wherein he was made flesh, which is that we plead for. 
For this assertion, that the person of the Son took our na- 



ture to be his own, is the same with that of the assumption 
of the human nature into personal subsistence with himself. 
And the ways of the presence of the Son of God with the 
man Christ Jesus before-mentioned, do express nothing in 
answer unto this divine testimony, that ' the Word was 
made flesh.' 

* Being in the form of God he took on him the form of a 
servant, and became obedient;' Phil. ii. 7, 8. That by his 
being *in the form of God,' his participation in and of the 
same divine nature with the Father is intended, these men 
grant. And that herein he was a person distinct from him 
Nestorius of old acknowledged, though it be by ours denied. 
But they can fancy no distinction that shall bear the deno- 
mination and relation of Father and Son, but all is inevitably 
included in it, which we plead for under that name. This 
person *took on him the form of a servant;' that is, the na- 
ture of man in the condition of a servant. For it is the 
same with his being made of a woman, made under the law; 
or taking on him the seed of Abraham. And this person 
became obedient. It was in the human nature, in the form 
of a servant, wherein he was obedient. Wherefore that hu- 
man nature was the nature of that person, a nature which he 
took on him and made his own, wherein he would be obe- 
dient. And that the human nature is the nature of the per- 
son of him who was in the form of God, is that hypostatical 
union which we believe and plead for, 

* To us a son is given, to us a child is born, and he shall 
be called the mighty God ;' Isa. ix. 6. The child and the 
mighty God are the same person, or he that is ' born a child' 
cannot be rightly called ' the mighty God.' And the truth 
of many other expressions in the Scripture hath its sole 
foundation in this hypostatical union. So the Son of God 
took on him the seed of Abraham, was * made of a woman,' 
did ' partake of flesh and blood,' was ' manifest in the flesh,' 
that he who was born of the blessed virgin, was ' before 
Abraham,' that he was made of the * seed of David accord- 
ing to^the flesh,' whereby God purchased the ' church with 
his own blood,' are all spoken of one and the same person, 
and are not true but on the account of the union of the two 
natures therein. And all those who plead for the accidental 
metaphorical union, consisting in the instances before men- 


tioned, do know well enough, that the true Deity of our Lord 
Jesus Christ is opposed by them. 

3. Concurrent with, and in part consequent unto, this 
union is the communion of the distinct natures of Christ hy- 
postatically united. And herein we may consider, (1.) What 
is peculiar unto the divine nature: (2.) What is common 
unto both. 

(1.) There is a threefold communication of the divine 
nature unto the human, in this hypostatical union. 

[1.] Immediate in the person of the Son. This is sub- 
sistence. In itself it is avuTrojraroc, that which hath not a 
subsistence of its own, which should give it individuation 
and distinction from the same nature in any other person. 
But it hath its subsistence in the person of the Son, which 
thereby is its own. The divine nature, as in that person, is 
its suppositum. 

[2.] By the Holy Spirit he filled that nature with an all- 
fulness of habitual grace, which I have at large explained 

[3.] In all the acts of his office, by the divine nature, he 
communicated worth and dignity unto what was acted in 
and by the human nature. 

For that which some have for a long season troubled the 
church withal, about such a real communication of the pro- 
perties of the divine nature unto the human, which should 
neither be a transfusion of them into it, so as to render it 
the subject of them; nor yet consist in a reciprocal deno- 
mination from their mutual in-being in the same subject, it 
is that which neither themselves do, nor can any other well 

(2.) Wherefore concerning the communion of the na- 
tures in this personal union, three things are to be observed, 
which the Scripture, reason, and the ancient church, do all 
concur in. 

[1.] Each nature doth preserve its own natural, essential 
properties, entirely unto, and in itself; without mixture, 
without composition or confusion, without such a real com- 
munication of the one unto the other, so as that the one 
should become the subject of the properties of the other. 
The Deity, in the abstract, is not made the humanity, nor on 
the contrary. The divine nature is not made temporary, 

u 2 


finite, limited, subject to passion or alteration by this imiou; 
nor is the human nature rendered immense, infinite, omni- 
potent. Unless this be granted, there will not be two na- 
tures in Christ, a divine and a human ; nor indeed either 
of them, but somewhat else, composed of both. 

[2.] Each nature operates in him according unto its es- 
sential properties. The divine nature knows all things, up- 
holds all things, rules all things, acts by its presence every 
where; the human nature was born, yielded obedience, died, 
and rose again. But it is the same person,, the same Christ, 
that acts all these things, the one nature being his, no less 
than the other. Wherefore, 

[3.] The perfect complete work of Christ in every act 
of his mediatory office, in all that he did as the King, Priest, 
and Prophet of the church, in all that he did and sufl:ered, 
in all that he continueth to do for us, in or by virtue of whe- 
ther nature soever it be done or wrought, is not to be con- 
sidered as the act of this or that nature in him alone, but it is 
the act and work of the whole person, of him that is both 
God and man in one person. And this gives occasion, 

4. Unto that variety of enunciations which is used in 
the Scripture concerning him, which I shall name only and 

(1.) Some things are spoken of the person of Christ, 
wherein the enunciation is verified with respect unto one na- 
ture only. As the ' Word was with God, and the Word was 
God;' John i. 1. 'Before Abraham was, I am;' John viii. 
58. ' Upholding all things by the word of his power ;' Heb. 
i. 3. These things are all spoken of the person of Christ; 
but belong unto it on account of his divine nature. So is it 
said of him. ' To us is a child born, to us a son is given ;' 
Isa. ix. 6. * A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;' 
Isa. liii. 3. They are spoken of the person of Christ, but 
are verified in human nature only, and the person on the ac- 
count thereof. 

(2.) Sometimes that is spoken of the person which be- 
longs not distinctly and originally unto either nature, but 
doth belong unto him on the account of their union in him, 
which are the most direct enunciations concerning the per- 
son of Christ. So is he said to be the head, the king, priest, 
and prophet of the church ; all which offices he bears, and 


performs the acts of them, not on the singular account of 
this or that nature, but of the hypostatical union of them 

(3.) Sometimes his person being denominated from one 
nature, the properties and acts of the other are assigned 
unto it. So they * crucified the Lord of glory.' He is the 
Lord of glory on the account of his divine nature only ; 
thence is his person denominated, when he is said to be 
crucified, which was in the human nature only. ' So God 
purchased his church with his own blood ;' Acts xx. 28. 
The denomination of the person is from the divine nature 
only ; he is God ; but the act ascribed unto it, or what he 
did by his own blood, was of the human nature only. But 
the purchase that was made thereby, was the work of the 
person, as both God and man. So on the other side, 
' the Son of Man who is in heaven ;' John iii. 13. The de- 
nomination of the person is from the human nature only; 
'the Son of man.' That ascribed unto it was with the re- 
spect unto the divine nature only ; * who is in heaven.' 

(4.) Sometimes the person being denominated from one 
nature, that is ascribed unto it which is common unto both; 
or else being denominated from both, that which is proper 
unto one only is ascribed unto him. See Rom. ix. 4. Matt, 
xxii. 42. - 

These kinds of enunciations the ancients expressed by 
lvcL)0<ayri, 'alteration;' aXkaidxrig, 'permutation;' KOLvoTr]^, 
' communion ;' t/jottoc avri^oa^ixiq, ' the manner of mutual po- 
sition ;' Koiv{i}via\^i(j)\xaT{i)v, 'the communication of proper- 
ties ;' and other the like expressions. 

These things I have only mentioned, because they are 
commonly handled by others in their didactical and pole- 
mical discourses concerning the person of Christ ; and could 
not well be here utterly omitted. 



The exaltation of Christ ; with his present state and condition in glory 
during' the continuance of his mediatory office. 

The apostle describing the great mystery of godliness, 
* God manifest in the flesh ;' by several degrees of ascent, 
he carrieth it within the vail, and leaves it there in glory, 
aveXiifp^t] ev ^o^y, 1 Tim. iii. 16. God w^as manifest in the 
flesh, and * received up into glory.' This assumption of our 
Lord Jesus Christ into glory, or his glorious reception in 
heaven, with his state and condition therein, is a principal 
article of the faith of the church, the great foundation of its 
hope and consolation in this world. This also we must 
therefore consider in our meditations on the person of 
Christ, and the use of it in our religion. 

That which I especially intend herein, is his present 
state in heaven in the discharge of his mediatory office 
before the consummation of all things. Hereon doth the 
glory of God, and the especial concernment of the church, at 
present depend. For at the end of this dispensation he 
shall give up the kingdom unto God, even the Father, or 
cease from the administration of his mediatory office and 
power, as the apostle declares, 1 Cor. xv. 24 — 28. ' Then 
cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the king- 
dom unto God, even the Father ; when he shall have put 
down all rule and all authority and power. For he must 
reign, until he hath 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 that he is excepted, who 
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.' 

All things fell by sin into an enmity unto the glory of 
God, and the salvation of the church. The removal of this 
enmity, and the destruction of all enemies, is the work that 
God committed unto his Son, in his incarnation and media^ 
tion; Eph. i. 10. This he was variously to accomplish in 


the administration of all his offices. The enmity between 
God and us immediately, he removed by the blood of his 
cross, whereby he made peace; Eph. ii. 14 — 16. Which 
peace he continues and preserves by his intercession ; Heb. 
vii. 26. 1 John ii. 2. The enemies themselves of the church's 
eternal welfare, namely, sin, death, the world, Satan, and 
hell, he subdues by his power. In the gradual accom- 
plishment of this work ; according as the church of the 
elect is brought forth in successive generations (in every 
one whereof the same work is to be performed), he is to 
continue unto the end and consummation of all things. 
Until then, the whole church will not be saved, and there- 
fore his work not be finished. He will not cease his work 
whilst there is one of his elect to be saved, or one enemy 
to be subdued. He shall not faint, nor give over, until he 
hath sent forth judgment unto victory. 

For the discharge of this work, he hath a sovereign 
power over all things in heaven and earth committed unto 
him. Herein he doth and must reign. And so absolutely 
is it vested in him, that upon the ceasing of the exercise of 
it, he himself is said to be made subject unto God. It is 
true, that the Lord Christ, in his human nature, is always 
less than, or inferior unto, God, even the Father. In that 
sense, he is in subjection unto him now in heaven. But yet 
he hath an actual exercise of divine power, wherein he is 
absolute and supreme. When this ceaseth, he shall be sub- 
ject unto the Father in that nature, and only so. Where- 
fore when this work is perfectly fulfilled and ended, then 
shall all the mediatory actings of Christ cease for evermore. 
For God will then have completely finished the whole de- 
sign of his wisdom and grace, in the constitution of his 
person and offices, and have raised up, and finished, the 
whole fabric of eternal glory. Then will God ' be all in all.' 
In his ow^n immense nature and blessedness he shall not 
only be 'all' essentially and causally, but 'in all' also: he 
shall immediately be all in and unto us. 

This state of things, when God shall immediately * be 
all in all,^ w^e can have no just comprehension of in this life. 
Some refreshing notions of it may be framed in our minds, 
from those apprehensions of the divine perfections which 
reason can attain unto ; and their suitableness to yield eter- 


nal rest, satisfaction, and blessedness, in that enjoyment of 
them, whereof our nature is capable. Howbeit of these 
things in particular, the Scripture is silent ; however it tes- 
tifies our eternal reward and blessedness to consist alone in 
the enjoyment of God. 

But there is somewhat else proposed, as the immediate 
object of the faith of the saints at present, as unto what they 
shall enjoy upon their departure out of this world. And 
Scripture revelations extend unto the state of things unto 
the end of the w^orld, and no longer. 

AVherefore heaven is now principally represented unto us, 
as the place of the residence and glory of Jesus Christ, in 
the administration of his office ; and our blessedness to 
consist in a participation thereof, and communion with him 
therein. So he prays for all them who are given him of his 
Father, ' that they may be where he is, to behold his glory ;' 
John xvii. 24. It is not the essential glory of his divine 
person that he intends, which is absolutely the same with 
that of the Father : but it is a glory that is peculiarly his 
own ; a glory which the Father hath given him, because he 
loved him. * My glory which thou gavest me, for thou 
lovedst me.' Nor is it merely the glorified state of his hu- 
man nature that he intendeth, as was before declared in the 
consideration of the fifth verse of this chapter, where he 
prayeth for this glory. However, this is not excluded; for 
unto all those that love him, it will be no small portion of 
their blessed refreshment, to behold that individual nature, 
wherein he suffered for them, undergoing all sorts of re- 
proaches, contempts, and miseries, now unchangably stated 
in incomprehensible glory. But the glory which God gives 
unto Christ, in the phrase of the Scripture, principally is the 
glory of his exaltation in his mediatory office. It is the ' all 
power' that is given him in heaven and earth ; the ' name' that 
he hath 'above every name,' as he sits on the right hand of 
the majesty on high. In the beholding and contemplation 
hereof, with holy joy and delight, consists no small part of 
that blessedness and glory which the saints above at present 
enjoy, and which all others of them shall so do, who depart 
this life before the consummation of all things. And in the 
due consideration hereof consists a great part of the exercise 
of that faith, which is * the evidence of things not seen, and 


which by making them present unto us, supplies the room of 
sight. This is the ground whereon our hope doth anchor ; 
namely, the things ' within the veil/ Heb. vi. 19. which di- 
rects us unto the temple administration of the mediatory 
office of Christ. And it is for the strengthening of our faith 
and hope in God, through him, that we do, and that we 
ought to inquire into these things. 

The consideration of the present state of Christ in hea- 
ven, may be reduced unto three heads : 

1. The glorification of his human nature; what it hath 
in common with, and wherein it differs in kind from, the 
glory of all saints whatever. 

2. His mediatory exaltation ; or the especial glory of his 
person as mediator. 

3. The exercise and discharge of his office in this state 
of things ; which is what at present I shall principally in- 
quire into. I shall not speak at all of the nature of glori- 
fied bodies, nor of any thing that is common unto the hu- 
man nature of Christ, and the same nature in glorified saints ; 
but only what is peculiar unto himself. And hereunto I 
shall premise one general observation. 

All perfections whereof human nature is capable, abiding 
what it was in both the essential parts of it, soul and body, 
do belong unto the Lord Christ in his glorified state. To 
ascribe unto it what is inconsistent with its essence^ is not 
an assignation of glory unto its state and condition, but a 
destruction of its being. To affix unto the human nature 
divine properties, as ubiquity or immensity, is to deprive it 
of its own. The essence of his body is no more changed 
than that of his soul. It is a fundamental article of faith, that 
he is in the same body in heaven, wherein he conversed here 
on earth ; as well as the faculties of his rational soul are con- 
tinued the same in him. This is that ' holy thing' which was 
framed immediately by the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the 
virgin. This is that * Holy One' which, when it was in the 
grave, saw no corruption. This is that body which was 
offered for us, wherein he bare our sins on the tree. To 
fancy any such change in, or of, this body, by its glorifica- 
tion, as that it should not continue essentially and substan- 
tially the same that it was, is to overthrow the faith of the 
church in a principal article of it. We believe that the very 


same body wherein he suffered for us, without any alteration 
as unto its substance, essence, or integral parts, and not 
another body of an ethereal, heavenly structure, wherein is 
nothing of flesh, blood, or bones, by which he so frequently 
testified the faithfulness of God in his incarnation, is still 
that temple wherein God dwells, and wherein he administers 
in the holy place not made with hands. The body which 
was pierced, is that which all eyes shall see, and no other. 

On this foundation I willingly allow all perfections in the 
glorified human nature of Christ, which are consistent with 
its real form and essence. I shall, therefore, only in some 
instances inquire into the present glory of the human nature 
of Christ, wherein it differs either in kind or degree from the 
glory of all other saints whatever. For even among them 
I freely allow different degrees in glory, which the eternal 
order of things, that is, the will of God, in the disposal of all 
things unto his own glory, doth require. 

(1.) There is that wherein the present glory of the human 
nature of Christ differeth, in kind and nature, from that which 
any other of the saints are partakers of, or shall be so after 
the resurrection. And this is, 

[1.] The eternal subsistence of that nature of his, in the 
person of the Son of God. As this belongs unto its dig- 
nity and honour, so it doth also unto its inherent glory. 
This is, and shall be, eternally peculiar unto him, in distinc- 
tion from, and exaltation above, the whole creation of God, 
angels, and men. Those by whom this is denied, instead of 
the glorious name whereby God doth call him, ' Wonderful, 
Counsellor, the Mighty God,' &c. do call him Icabod, where 
is the glory ? or, there is none that is peculiar unto him. 
But the mystery hereof, according unto our measure, and in 
answer unto our design, we have already declared. And 
this glory he had indeed in this world, from the first instant 
of his incarnation or conception in the womb. But, as unto 
the demonstration of it, he emptied himself, and made him- 
self of no reputation under the form of a servant. But now 
the glory of it is illustriously displayed in the sight of all his 
holy ones. Some inquire, whether the saints in heaven do 
perfectly comptehend the mystery of the incarnation of the 
Son of God? I do not well understand what is meant by 
perfectly comprehend: but this is certain, that what we have 


now by faitli, we shall have there by sight. For as we live 
now by faith, so shall we there by sight. No finite creature 
can have an absolute comprehension of that which is infinite. 
We shall never search out the Almighty to perfection in any 
of his works of infinite wisdom. Wherefore this only I shall 
say, there is such a satisfactory evidence in heaven, not 
only of the truth, but also of the nature of this mystery, as 
that the glory of Christ therein is manifest as an eternal ob- 
ject of divine adoration and honour. The enjoyment of hea- 
ven is usually called the beatifical vision ; that is, such an 
intellectual present view, apprehension, and sight of God, 
and his glory, especially as manifested in Christ, as will 
make us blessed unto eternity. Wherefore, in the contem- 
plation of this mystery doth a great part of our blessedness 
consist; and farther, our thoughts cannot attain. This is 
tha^ wherein the glory of the human nature of Christ doth 
essentially excel, and differ from that of any other blessed 
creature whatever. And hereon other things do depend. For, 
[2.] Hence the union of the human nature of Christ unto 
God, and the communications of God unto it, are of another 
kind than those of the blessed saints. In these things, 
namely, our union with God, and his communications unto 
us, doth our blessedness and glory consist. 

In this world, believers are united unto God by faith. It 
is by faith that they cleave unto him with purpose of heart. 
In heaven, it shall be by love. Ardent love, with delight, 
complacency, and joy, from a clear apprehension of God's 
infinite goodness and beauty now made present unto us, 
now enjoyed by us, shall be the principle of our eternal ad- 
herence unto him and union with him. His communications 
unto us here, are by an external efficiency of power. He 
communicates of himself unto us in the effects of his good- 
ness, grace, and mercy, by the operations of his Spirit in us. 
Of the same kind will all the communications of the divine 
nature be unto us unto all eternity. It will be by what he 
v/orketh in us by his Spirit and power. There is no other 
way of the emanation of virtue from God, unto any creature. 
But these things in Christ are of another nature. This 
union of his human nature unto God, is immediate in the 
person of the Son; ours is mediate by the Son as clothed 
with our nature. The way of the communications of the divine 


nature unto the human in his person, is what we cannot com- 
prehend ; we have no notion of it; nothing whereby it may- 
be illustrated. There is nothing equal to it, nothing like it, 
in all the works of God. As it is a creature, it must subsist 
in eternal dependence on God; neither hath it any thing but 
what it receives from him. For this belongs essentially 
unto the divine nature, to be the only independent eternal 
spring and fountain of all being and goodness. Nor can 
Omnipotency itself exalt a creature into any such condition, 
as that it should not always, and in all things, depend abso- 
lutely on the Divine Being. But as unto the way of the 
communications between the divine and human nature in 
the personal union, we know it not. But whether they be 
of life, power, light, or glory, they are of another kind than 
that whereby we do or shall receive all things. For all 
things are given unto us, are wrought in us, as was said, by 
an external efficiency of power. The glorious immediate 
emanations of virtue, from the divine unto the human nature 
of Christ, we understand not. Indeed the actings of natures 
of different kinds, where both are finite in the same person 
one towards the other, is of a difficult apprehension. Who 
knows how directive power and efficacy proceeds from the 
soul, and is communicated unto the body, unto every the 
least minute action, in every member of it; so as that there 
is no distance between the direction and the action, or the 
accomplishment of it; or how, on the other hand, the soul is 
affected with sorrow or trouble in the moment wherein the 
body feeleth pain, so as that no distinction can be made 
between the body's sufferings and the soul's sorrow? How 
much more is this mutual communication in the same per- 
son of divers natures above our comprehension, where one 
of them is absolutely infinite ? Somewhat will be spoken 
to it afterward. And herein doth this eternal glory differ 
from that of all other glorified creatures whatever. And, 

[3.] Hence the human nature of Christ, in his divine per- 
son, and together with it, is the object of all divine adora- 
tion and worship; Rev. v. 13. All creatures whatever do 
for ever ascribe ' blessing, honour, glory, and power, unto 
the Lamb,' in the same manner as unto him who sits on the 
throne. This we have declared before. But no other crea- 
ture either is, or ever can be, exalted into such a condition 


of glory, as to be the object of any divine worship, from the 
meanest creature which is capable of the performance of it. 
Those who ascribe divine or religious honour unto the saints 
or angels, as is done in the church of Rome, do both rob 
Christ of the principal flower of his imperial crown, and 
sacrilegiously attempt to adorn others with it, which they 

[4.] The glory that God designed to accomplish in and 
by him, is now made evident unto all the holy ones that are 
about the throne. The great design of the wisdom and 
grace of God from eternity, was to declare and manifest all 
the holy glorious properties of his nature, in and by Jesus 
Christ. And this is that wherein he will acquiesce, with 
which he is w^ell pleased. When this is fully accomplished, 
he will use no other way or means for the manifestation of 
his glory. Herein is the end and blessedness of all. 

Wherefore the principal work of faith, whilst we are in 
this world, is to behold this glory of God, as so represented 
unto us in Christ. In the exercise of faith therein, is our 
conformity unto him carried on unto perfection ; 2 Cor. iii. 
18. And unto this end, or that we ia?.y do so, he power- 
fully communicates unto our minds a saving internal light, 
without which we can neither behold his glory, nor give 
glory unto him. ' He who commanded light to shine out 
of darkness, shines into our hearts to give us the light of the 
knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ;' 2 Cor. 
iv. 6. The end, I say, why God communicates a spiritual 
supernatural light unto the minds of believers, is that they 
may be able to discern the manifestation and revelation of 
his glory in Christ; which is hid from the world; Eph. i. 
17 — 19. Col. ii. 2. Howbeit, whilst we are here, we see it 
but * darkly as in a glass ;' it is not evident unto us in its 
own lustre and beauty. Yea, the remainder of our darkness 
herein, is the cause of all our weakness, fears, and disconso- 
lations. Want of a steady view of this glory of God, is 
that which exposeth us unto impressions from all our temp- 
tations. And the light of our minds therein, is that whereby 
we are changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ. 

But in heaven this is conspicuously and gloriously mani- 
fest unto all the blessed ones that are before the throne of 
God. They do not behold it by faith in various degrees of 


light, as we do here below. They have not apprehensions 
of some impressions of divine glory on the person of Christ 
and the human nature therein, with the work which he did 
perform, which is the utmost of our attainment. But they 
behold openly and plainly the whole glory of God, all the 
characters of it, illustriously manifesting themselves in him, 
in what he is, in what he hath done, in what he doth. Di- 
vine wisdom, grace, goodness, love, power, do all shine forth 
in him unto the contemplation of all his saints in whom he 
is admired. And in the vision hereof consists no small part 
of our eternal blessedness. For what can be more satisfac- 
tory, more full of glory unto the souls of believers, than 
clearly to comprehend the mystery of the wisdom, grace, 
and love of God in Christ ? This is that which the prophets, 
at a great distance, inquired diligently into ; that which the 
angels bow down to look towards; that whose declaration 
is the life and glory of the gospel. To behold in one view 
the reality, the substance of all that was typified and repre- 
sented by the beautiful fabric of the tabernacle and temple 
which succeeded in the room thereof; of all the utensils of 
them, and services performed in them; all that the promises 
of the Old Testament did contain, or the declarations of the 
New ; as it is the most satisfactory, blessed, and glorious 
state, that by the present light of faith we can desire or long 
for, so it evidenced a glory in Christ of another kind and 
nature, than what any creature can be participant in. I 
shall therefore state it unto our consideration, with some few 
observations concerning it. 

1st. Every believer seeth here in this life, an excel- 
lency, a glory in the mystery of God in Christ. They do 
so in various degrees, unless it be in times of temptation, 
when any of them walk in darkness, and have no light. The 
view and prospect hereinto is far more clear, and accom- 
panied with more evidence in some, than in others, accord- 
ing unto the various degrees of their faith and light. The 
spiritual sight of some is very weak, and their views of the 
glory of God in Christ are much obscured with inevidence, 
darkness, and instability. This, in many, is occasioned by 
the weakness of their natural ability, in more, by spiritual 
sloth and negligence, in that they have not habitually ' ex- 
ercised their senses to discern good and evil,' as the apo- 


stle speaks, Heb. v. 14. Some want instruction, and some 
have their minds corrupted by false opinions. Howbeit, all 
true believers have the * eyes of their understanding opened/ 
to discern, in some measure, the glory of God, as represented 
to them in the gospel. Unto others it is foolishness ; or 
they think there is that darkness in it whereunto they 
cannot approach. But all the darkness is in themselves. 
This is the distinguishing property and character of saving- 
faith ; it beholds the glory of God in the face of Jesus 
Christ ; it makes us to discern the manifestation of the 
glory of God in Christ, as declared in the gospel. 

2dly. Our apprehension of this glory is the spring of all 
our obedience, consolation, and hope, in this world. Faith 
discovering this manifestation of the glory of God in Christ, 
engageth the soul unto universal obedience, as finding 
therein abundant reason for it, and encouragement unto it. 
Then is obedience truly evangelical, when it ariseth from 
this acting of faith, and is thereon accompanied with liberty 
and gratitude. And herein is laid all the foundation of our 
consolations for the present, and hope for the future. For 
the whole security of our present and future condition de- 
pends on the actings of God towards us, according as he 
hath manifested himself in Christ. 

3dly. From the exercise of faith herein, doth divine love, 
love unto God, proceed ; therein alone it is enlivened and 
inflamed. On these apprehensions doth a believing soul 
cry out. How great is his goodness? how great is his 
beauty? God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, 
is the only object of divine love. Under that representation 
of him alone, can the soul cleave unto him with ardent love, 
constant delight, and intense aifections. All other notions 
of love unto God in sinners, as we are all, are empty fancies. 

4thly. All believers are, or should be, conversant in their 
minds about these things, with longings, expectations, and 
desires after nearer approaches unto them, and enjoyments 
of them. And if we are not so, we are earthly, carnal and 
unspiritual. Yea, the want of this frame, the neglect of this 
duty, is the sole cause why many professors are so carnal in 
their minds, and so worldly in their conversations. But this 
is the state of them who live in tlie due exercise of faith. 


This they pant and breath after; namely, that they may be 
delivered from all darkness, unstable thoughts, and imper- 
fect apprehensions, of the glory of God in Christ. After 
these things do those who have received the * first-fruits of 
the Spirit,' groan within themselves. This glory they would 
' behold with open face/ not as at present * in a glass,' but 
in its own beauty. What do we want ? what would we be 
at ? what do our souls desire ? is it not that we might have 
a more full, clear, stable, comprehension of the wisdom, 
love, grace, goodness, holiness, righteousness, and power of 
God, as declared and exalted in Christ unto our redemption 
and eternal salvation ? To see the glory of God in Christ, to 
understand his love unto him, and valuation of him, to com- 
prehend his nearness unto God, all evidenced in his media- 
tion, is that which he hath promised unto us, and which we 
are pressing after. See John xvii. 23, 24. 

5thly. Heaven will satisfy all those desires and expecta- 
tions. To have them fully satisfied, is heaven and eternal 
blessedness. This fills the souls of them who are already 
departed in the faith, with admiration, joy, and praises. See 
Rev. v. 9 — 11. Herein is the glory of Christ absolutely of 
another kind and nature, than that of any other creature 
whatever. And from hence it is, that our glory shall prin- 
cipally consist in beholding his glory, because the whole 
glory of God is manifested in him. 

And by the way, we may see hence the vanity as v/ell as 
the idolatry of them who would represent Christ in glorj;^, 
as the object of our adoration in pictures and images. They 
fashion wood or stone into the likeness of a man. They 
adorn it with colours and flourishes of art, to set it forth 
unto the senses and fancies of superstitious persons, as hav- 
ing a resemblance of glory. And when they have done, 
they lavish gold out of the bag, as the prophet speaks, in 
various sorts of supposed ornaments ; such as are so only to 
the vainest sort of mankind ; and so propose it as an image 
or resemblance of Christ in glory. But what is there in it 
that hath the least respect thereunto, the least likeness of it? 
Nay, is it not the most effectual means that can be devised 
to divert the minds of men from true and real apprehensions 
of it ? Doth it teach any thing of the subsistence of the 
human nature of Christ in the person of the Son of God ? 


Na}^, doth it not obliterate all thoughts of it ? What is re- 
presented thereby of the union of it unto God, and the im- 
mediate communications of God unto it ? Doth it declare 
the manifestation of all the glorious properties of the di- 
vine nature in him? One thing indeed they ascribe unto it 
that is proper unto Christ, namely, that it is to be adored - 
and worshipped, whereby they add idolatry unto their folly; 
persons who know not what it is to live by faith, whose 
minds are never raised by spiritual heavenly contemplations, 
who have no design in religion but to gratify their inward 
superstition by their outward senses, may be pleased for a 
time, and ruined for ever, by these delusions. Those who 
have real faith in Christ, and love unto him, have a more 
glorious object for their exercise. 

And we may hereby examine both our own notions of 
the state of glory, and our preparations for it, and whether 
we are in any measure * made meet for the inheritance of 
the saints of light.' More grounds of this trial will be af- 
terward suggested, these laid down may not be passed by. 
Various are the thoughts of men about the future state, the 
things which are not seen, which are eternal. Some rise no 
higher, but unto hopes of escaping hell, or everlasting mi- 
Series, when they die. Yet the heathen had their Elysian 
fields, and Mahomet his sensual paradise. Others have ap- 
prehensions of I know not what glistering glory, that will 
please and satisfy them, they know not how, when they can 
be here no longer. But this state is quite of another nature, 
and the blessedness of it is spiritual and intellectual. Take 
an instance in one of the things before laid down. The glory 
of heaven, consists in the full manifestation of divine wis- 
dom, goodness, grace, holiness, of all the properties of the 
nature of God in Christ. In the clear perception and con- 
stant contemplation hereof, consists nO small part of eter- 
nal blessedness. What then are our present thoughts of 
these things? What joy, what satisfaction have we in the 
sight of them, which we have by faith through divine reve- 
lation ? What is our desire to come unto the perfect com- 
prehension of them ? How do we like this heaven ? What 
do we find in ourselves that will be eternally satisfied here- 
by ? According as our desires are after them, such and no 
other are our desires of the true heaven, of the residence of 



blessedness and glory. Neither will God bring us unto 
heaven whether we will or no. If through the ignorance and 
darkness of our minds, if through the earthliness and sen- 
suality of our affections, if through a fulness of the world, 
and the occasions of it, if by the love of life, and our present 
enjoyments, we are strangers unto these things, we are not 
conversant about them, we long not after them ; we are not 
in the way towards their enjoyment. The present satisfac- 
tion we receive in them by faith, is the best evidence we 
have of an indefeasible interest in them. How foolish is it 
to lose the first fruits of these things in our own souls, those 
entrances into blessedness, which the contemplation of them 
through faith would open unto us, and hazard our everlast- 
ing enjoyment of them, by an eager pursuit of an interest in 
perishing things here below. This, this is that which ruins 
the souls of most, and keeps the faith of many at so low 
an ebb, that it is hard to discover any genuine working 

of it. 

(2.) The glory of the human nature of Christ differs from 
that of the saints after the resurrection, in things which 
concern the degrees of it. For, 

ri.l The glory of his body is the example and pattern of 
what they shall be conformed unto. 'Who shall change 
our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glo- 
rious body, according to the working whereby he is able 
even to subdue all things unto himself;' Phil. iii. 21. Our 
bodies were made vile by the entrance of sin. Thence they 
became brothers to the worms, and sisters unto corruption. 
To death and the grave, with rottenness and corruption there- 
in, they are designed. At the resurrection they shall be 
new-framed, fashioned and moulded. Not only all the de- 
triment and disadvantage they received by the entrance of 
sin shall be removed, but many additions of glorious qua- 
lifications which they had not in their primitive natural con- 
stitution shall be added unto them. And this shall be done 
by the almighty power of Christ ; that working or exercise 
of it, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. 
But of this state whereinto we shall be changed by the power 
of Christ, his own body is the pattern and example. A simi- 
litude of it is all that we shall attain unto. And that which 
is the idea and exemplar in any state, is the rule and stand- 


ard unto all others. Such is the glory of Christ ; ours con- 
sists in conformity thereunto ; \vhich gives him the pre- 

[2.] As the state of his body is more glorious than ours 
shall be, so will that of his soul in itself be made appear to 
be more excellent than what we are capable of. For that 
fulness of the Spirit without measure, and of all grace which 
his nature was capacitated for by virtue of the hypostatical 
union, doth now shine forth in all excellency and glory. 
The grace that w;as in Christ in this world, is the same with 
that which is in him now in heaven. The nature of it was 
not changed, when he ceased to be viator, but is only 
brought into a more glorious exercise now he is compre- 
hensor. And all his graces are now made manifest, the veil 
being taken from them, and light communicated to discern 
them. As in this world, he had unto the most neither form 
nor comeliness for which he should be desired, partly from 
the vail which was cast on his inward beauty, from his out- 
w^drd condition, but principally from the darkness which 
was on their minds, whereby they were disenabled to discern 
the glory of spiritual things ; notwithstanding which, some 
then in the light of faith ' saw his glory, as the glory of the 
only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth :' so 
now the veil is removed, and the darkness wholly taken 
away from the minds of the saints ; he is in the glory of his 
graces altogether lovely and desirable. And although the 
o:race which is in believers, be of the same nature with that 
which is Christ Jesus, and shall be changed into glory, after 
the likeness of his, yet is it, and always shall be, incompre- 
hensibly short of what dwells in him. And herein also 
doth his glory gradually excel that of all other creatures 

But we must here draw a vail over what yet remains. 
For it doth not yet appear what we ourselves shall be. Much 
less is it evident what are, and what will be, the glories of 
the head above all the members ; even then when we shall 
' be made like unto him.' But it must be remembered, that 
whereas, at the entrance of this discourse, we so proposed 
the consideration of the present state of the Lord Christ in 
heaven, as that which should have an * end at the consum- 
mation of all things :' what hath been spoken concerning 

X 2 


the glory of his human nature in itself, is not of that kind, 
but what abideth unto eternity. All the things mentioned 
abide in him, and unto him, for evermore. 

2. The second thing to be considered in the present state 
and condition of Christ, is his mediatory exaltation. And 
two things with respect thereunto may be inquired into. 
(1.) The way of his entrance into that state above. (2.) The 
state itself, with the glory of it. 

(1.) The way of entrance into the exercise of his media- 
tory office in heaven, is expressed, 1 Tim. iii. 16. * He was 
received into glory/ or rather gloriously. And he ' entered 
into glory ;' Luke xxiv. 26. This assumption and entrance 
into glory was upon his ascension described. Acts i, 9. 11. 
' He was taken up into heaven,' avEX{](l>^r] Iv ^o^y, by an act 
of divine power ; and ' he went into heaven,' elat]\^ev ug ^o^rjv, 
in his own choice and will, as that which he was exalted 
unto. And this ascension of Christ, in his human nature 
into heaven, is a fundamental article of the faith of the church. 
And it falls under a double consideration. 

[1.] As it was triumphant, as he was a king. 

[2.] As it was gracious, as he was a priest. His ascen- 
sion as unto change of place, from earth to heaven, and 
as unto the outward manner of it, was one and the same, and 
at once accomplished. But as unto the end of it, which is 
the exercise of all his offices, it had various respects, vari- 
ous prefigurations, and is distinctly proposed unto us, with 
reference unto them. 

[1.] In his ascension, as it was triumphant, three things 
may be considered. 

1st. The manner of it, with its representation of old. 

2dly. The place whereinto he ascended. 

3dly. The end of it, or what was the work which he had 
to do thereon. 

1st. As unto the manner of it, it was openly triumphant 
and glorious. So is it described, Ephes. iv. 8. He ' as- 
cended up on high ; he led captivity captive, and gave gifts 
unto men.' And respect is had unto, the prefiguration of it, 
at the giving of the law, Psal. Ixviii. 17, 18. where the 
glory of it is more fully expressed, ' The chariots of Qod 
are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels ; the Lord is 
among them as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast as- 


cended on high, thou hast led captivity captive/ &c. The 
most glorious appearance of God upon the earth, under the 
Old Testament, was that on Mount Sinai, in the giving of 
the law. And as his presence was there attended with all 
his glorious angels ; so, when upon the finishing of that 
work, he returned or ascended into heaven, it was in the 
way of a triumph with all that royal attendance. And this 
prefigured the ascent of Christ into heaven, upon his ful- 
filling of the law, all that was required in it, or signified by 
it. He ascended triumphantly after he had given the law, 
as a figure of his triumphant ascent after he had fulfilled 
it. Having then ' spoiled principalities and powers, he 
made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them / Col. 
ii. 15. So he led captivity captive; or all the adverse 
powers of the salvation of the church, in triumph at his 
chariot wheels. I deny not but that his leading ' captivity 
captive,' principally respects his spiritual conquest over 
Satan, and the destruction of his power. Yet whereas he is 
also said to ' spoil principalities and powers, making shew 
of them openly,' and triumphing over them, I no way doubt 
but Satan, the head of the apostacy, and the chief princes of 
darkness, were led openly in sight of all the holy angels, as 
conquered captives. The ^seed of the woman' having now 
broken the ' head of the serpent.' This is that which is so 
emphatically expressed. Psalm xlvii. throughout. The 
ground and cause of all the triumphant rejoicing of the 
church therein declared, is, that God was * gone up with a 
shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet,' ver. 5. which 
is nothing but the glorious ascent of Christ into heaven, 
said to be accompanied with shouts, and the sound of a 
trumpet, the expressions of triumphant rejoicing, because 
of the glorious acclamations that were made thereon, by all 
the attendants of the throne of God. 

2dly. The place whither he thus ascended, is on high. 
* He ascended up on high ;' Ephes. iv. 8. That is, heav»en. 
He went into heaven; Acts i. 11. And the ' heavens must 
receive him;' ver. 3. 21. Not these aspectable heavens 
which we behold. For in his ascension ' he passed through 
them,' Heb. iv. 14. and is made ' higher than they ;' chap.vii. 
27. But into the place of the residence of God in glory and 
majesty ; Heb. i. 3. viii, 1. xii. 2. There on ' the throne of 


God,' Rev. iii. 21. 'On the right hand of the majesty on 
high/ he sits down in the full possession and exercise of all 
power and authority. This is the palace of this king of 
saints and nations. There is his royal eternal throne ; Heb. 
i. 8. ' And many crowns are on his head,' Rev. xix. 12. or 
all dignity and honour. And he who, in a pretended imita- 
tion of him, wears a triple crown, hath upon his own head 
thereby, 'the name of blasphemy;' Rev. xiii. 1. There are 
before him his 'sceptre of righteousness,' his ' rod of iron,' all 
the reoalia of his glorious kingdom. For by these emblems 
of power doth the Scripture represent unto us his sovereign 
divine authority in the execution of his kingly office. Thus 
he ascended triumphantly, having conquered his enemies ; 
thus he reigneth gloriously over all. 

3diy. The end for which he thus triumphantly ascended 
into heaven, is twofold. 

(1st.) The overturning and destruction of all his enemies 
in all their remaining powers. He rules them *with a rod of 
iron,' and in his due time will 'dash them in pieces as a pot- 
ter's vessel ;' Psal. ii. 9. For he must ' reign until all his 
enemies are made his footstool ;' 1 Cor. xv. 25, 26. Psal. 
ex. 1. Although at present, for the most part, they despise 
his authority, yet they are all absolutely in his power, and 
shall fall under his eternal displeasure. 

(2dly.) The preservation, continuation, and rule of his 
church, both as unto the internal state of the souls of them 
that believe, and the external order of the church in its wor- 
ship and obedience, and its preservation under, and from all, 
oppositions and persecutions in this world. There is in 
each of these such a continual exercise of divine wisdom, 
power, and care, the effects of them are so great and mar- 
vellous, and the fruits of them so abundant unto the glory 
of God, that the world would ' not contain the books that 
might be written' of them ; but to handle them distinctly is 
not our present design. 

[2.1 His ascension may be considered as gracious ; as 
the ascent of a high priest. And herein the things before- 
mentioned are of a distinct consideration. 

1st. As to the manner of it, and the design of it, he gives 
an account of them himself; John xx. 17. His design herein 
was not the taking on him the exercise of his power, kingdom. 


und glorious rule ; but the acting with God on the behalf 
of his disciples. * I go,' saith he, ' to my Father, and to 
your Father, to my God, and to your God ;' not his God and 
Father with respect unto eternal generation, but as he was 
their God and Father also. And he was so, as he was their 
God and Father in the same covenant with himself; wherein 
he was to procure of God all good things for them. Through 
the blood of this everlasting covenant, namely, his own 
blood, w^hereby this covenant was established, and all the 
good things of it secured unto the church, he was ' brought 
again from the dead/ that he might live ever to communi- 
cate them unto the church; Heb. xiii. 20, 21. With this 
design in his ascension, and the effects of it, did he often 
comfort and refresh the hearts of his disciples, when they 
were ready to faint on the apprehensions of his leaving of 
them here below ; John xiv. 1, 2. xvi. 5 — 7. And this 
w^as typified by the ascent of the high priest, unto the tem- 
ple of old. The temple w^as situated on a hill, high and 
steep, so as that there was no approach unto it but by stairs. 
Hence in their wars it was looked on as a most impregna- 
ble fortress. And the solemn ascent of the high-priest into 
it on the day of expiation, had a resemblance of this ascent 
of Christ into heaven. For after he had offered the sacri- 
fices in the outward court, and made atonement for sin, be 
entered into the most holy place, a type of heaven itself, as 
the apostle declares, Heb. ix. 24. of heaven, as it was the 
place whereinto our high priest was to enter. And it was a 
joyful ascent, though not triumphant. All the Psalms, from 
the 120th to the 134th, inclusively, whose titles are C2*1*W 
m'PI^Dn, 'songs of degrees, 'or rather ascents or risings, being 
generally songs of praise and exhortations to have respect 
unto the sanctuary, were sung to God at the resting places 
of that ascent, especially was this represented on the day of 
jubilee. The proclamation of the jubilee was on the same 
day that the high priest entered into the holy place ; and at 
the same time ; namely, on the * tenth day of the seventh 
month;' Levit. xvi. 29. xxv. 9. Then did the trumpet 
sound throughout the land, the whole church ; and liberty 
was proclaimed unto all servants, captives, and such as had 
sold their possessions; that they might return unto them 
again. This being a great type of the spiritual deliverance 


of the church, the noise of the trumpet was called the joy- 
ful sound, Psal. Ixxxix. 15. * Blessed are the people that 
know the joyful sound, they shall walk, O Lord, in the light 
of thy countenance/ Those who are made partakers of 
spiritual deliverance, shall walk before God in a sense of his 
love and grace. This is the ascent of our high priest into 
his sanctuary, when he ' proclaimed the "acceptable year of 
the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God ; to comfort 
all that mourn ; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, 
to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, 
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ; that they 
might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the 
Lord, that he might be glorified ;' Isa. Ixi. 2, 3. For in this 
ascension of Christ, proclamation was made in the gospel, 
of mercy, pardon, peace, joy, and everlasting refreshments, 
unto all that were distressed by sin, with a communication 
of righteousness unto them, to the eternal glory of God. 
Such was the entrance of our high priest into heaven, with 
acclamations of joy and praise unto God. 

2dly. The place whereinto he thus entered was the sanc- 
tuary above, the * tabernacle not made with hands ;' Heb. 
viii. 2. It was into heaven itself, not absolutely, but as it 
is the temple of God, as the throne of grace and mercy- 
seat are in it, which must farther be spoken unto imme- 

3dly. The end why the Lord Christ thus ascended, and 
thus entered into the holy place, was * to appear in the pre- 
sence of God for us,' and to * make intercession for all that 
come unto God by him;' Heb. vii. 26, 27. ix. 24. 25. 

He ascended triumphantly into heaven, as Solomon 
ascended into his glorious throne of judgment ; described 
1 Kings X. 18 — 20. As David was the type of his conquest 
over all the enemies of his church, so was Solomon of his 
glorious reign. The types were multiplied because of their 
imperfection. Then came unto him the queen of Sheba, 
the type of the Gentile converts and the church. When 
CD'Qj; >in3, the ' voluntaries of the people' (those made wil- 
ling in the day of his power, Psal. ex. 3.) * gathered them- 
selves to the people of the God of Abraham,' and were taken 
in his covenant; Psal. xlvii. 9. But he ascended graciously, 
as the high-priest went into the holy place. Not to rule all 


things gloriously with mighty power, not to use his ' sword 
and his sceptre/ but to * appear as an high priest' in a * gar- 
ment down to the foot, and a golden girdle about his paps/ 
Rev. i. 13. as in a tabernacle, or temple, before a throne of 
grace. His sitting down at the right hand of the Majesty 
on high, adds to the glory of his priestly office, but belongs 
not unto the execution of it. So it was prophesied of him, 
that * he should be a priest on his throne / Zech. vi. 13. 

It may be added hereunto, than when he thus left this 
world and ascended into glory, the great promise he made 
unto his disciples, as they were to be preachers of the gos- 
pel, and in them unto all that should succeed them in that 
office, was, that he would 'send the Holy Spirit unto them/ 
to teach and guide them, to lead them into all truth, to de- 
clare unto them the mysteries of the will, grace, and love of 
God, for the use of the whole church. This he promised to 
do, and did, in the discharge of his prophetical office. And 
although his giving * gifts unto men' was an act of his kingly 
power, yet it was for the end of his prophetical office. 

From what hath been spoken, it is evident that the Lord 
Christ ' ascended into heaven/ or was received up into glory, 
with this design, namely, to exercise his office of mediation 
in the behalf of the church, until the end should be. As 
this was his grace, that when he was rich, for our sakes he 
became poor ; so when he was made rich again for his own 
sake, he lays forth all the riches of his glory and power on 
our behalf. 

2. The glory of the state and condition whereinto Christ 
thus entered, is the next thing to be considered. For he is 
set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. And a& 
his ascension with the ends of it were twofold, or of a double 
consideration, so was his glory that ensued thereon. For 
his present mediatory state consists either in the glory of 
his power and authority ; or in the glory of his love and 
grace ; his glory as a king, or his glory as a priest. For 
the first of these, or his royal glory, in sovereign power and 
autiiority over the whole creation of God, all in heaven and 
earth, persons and things, angels and men, good and bad, 
alive and dead, all things spiritual and eternal, grace, gifts, 
and glory; his right and power, or ability, to dispose of all 
things according unto his will and pleasure I have so fully 


and distinctly declared it, in my exposition on, Heb. i. 3. as 
that I shall not here again insist upon it. His present glory, 
in the way of love and grace ; his glory as a Priest, will be 
manifested in what doth ensue. 


2^ he exercise of the mediatory office of Christ in heaven. 

The third and last thing which we proposed unto considera- 
tion, in our inquiry into the present state and condition of 
the person of Christ in heaven, is the exercise and discharge 
of his mediatory office in behalf of the church ; especially as 
he continueth to be a * minister of the sanctuary, and of the 
true tabernacle, which God hath fixed and not man.' 

All Christians acknowledge that his present state is a 
state of the highest glory, of exaltation above the whole 
creation of God, above every name that is or can be named ; 
and hereon they esteem their own honour and safety to de- 
pend. Neither do they doubt of his power, but take it for 
granted that he can do whatever he pleaseth, which is the 
ground of their placing all their confidence in him. But we 
must shew, moreover, that his present state is a state of office 
power, work, and duty. He leads not in heaven a life of 
mere glory, majesty, and blessedness, but a lifaof office, 
love, and care also. *He lives as the mediator of the church, 
as the king, priest, and prophet thereof. Hereon do our 
present safety, and our future eternal salvation depend. 
Without the continual actings of the office, power, and care 
of Christ, the church could not be preserved one moment. 
And the darkness of our faith herein, is the cause of all our 
disconsolations, and most of our weaknesses in obedience. 
Most men have only general and confused notions and ap- 
prehensions of the present state of Christ with respect unto 
the church. And by some, all considerations of this nature 
are despised and derided. But revealed things belong unto 
us ; especially such as are of so great importance unto the 
glory of God, and the saving of our own souls ; such as thi^i 


is concerning the present state of the person of Christ in 
heaven, with respect unto his office, power, and care. 

Thus he is at once represented in all his offices, Rev. v. 
6. ' And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and 
of the four living creatures, stood a lamb as it had been 
slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the 
seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.' The whole 
representation of the glory of God, with all his holy attend- 
ants, is here called his ' throne,' whence Christ is said to be 
in the 'midst' of it. And this he is in his kingly glory; 
with respect also whereunto he is said to have ' seven horns/ 
or perfect power for the accomplishment of his will. And 
with respect unto his sacerdotal office, he is represented as 
a ' lamb that had been slain ;' it being the virtue of his ob- 
lation that is continually effectual for the salvation of the 
church. For as the ' Lamb of God,' in the offering of him- 
self, he * takes away the sins of the world.' And as a pro- 
phet he is said to have * seven eyes,' which are the ' seven 
spirits of God ;' or a perfect fulness of all spiritual light and 
wisdom in himself, with a power for the communication of 
gifts and grace for the illumination of the church. 

The nature of these offices of Christ, what belongs unto 
them and their discharge, as was before intimated, I have 
declared elsewhere. 1 do now no farther consider them but 
as they relate unto the present state and condition of the 
person of Christ in heaven. And because it would be too 
long a work to treat of them all distinctly, I shall confine 
myself unto the consideration of his priestly office, with what 
depends thereon. And with respect thereunto the things 
ensuing may be observed. 

1. The Lord Christ entered into heaven, the place of the 
residence of the glory of God, as into a temple, a tabernacle, 
a place of sacred worship. He did so as the high-priest of 
the church, Heb. vi. 9. 24. * He is not entered into the holy 
places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, 
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God 
for us.' He is entered into heaven, as it was figured by the 
tabernacle of old, which was the place of all sacred and so- 
lemn worship. And therefore is he said to enter into it 
' through the veil;' Heb. vi. 19, 20. x. 19, 20. Which was 
the way of entrance into the most holy place both in the 


tabernacle and temple. Heaven is not only a palace, a throne, 
as it is God's throne, Matt. v. 3, 4. but it is a temple 
wherein God dwells, not only in majesty and power, but in 
grace and mercy. It is the seat of ordinances and solemn 
worship. So is it represented, Rev. vii. 15. 17. It is said 
of the whole number of the saints above that have passed 
through the tribulations of this world ; that they are ' before 
the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his tem- 
ple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 
And the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed 
them, and lead them unto living fountains of water.' See 
also chap. viii. 1 — 4. The worship of the church below, 
may also be herein comprised; but it is by virtue of com- 
munion with that above. This is that heaven which the souls 
of believers do long for an entrance into. Other apprehen- 
sions of it are but uncertain speculations. 

2. In this temple, this sanctuary, the Lord Christ conti- 
nueth gloriously to minister before the throne of grace, in 
the discharge of his office. See Heb. iv. 14 — 16. ix. 24. 
As the high-priest went into the holy place to minister for 
the church unto God, before the ark and mercy-seat, which 
were types of the throne of grace ; so doth our high-priest 
act for us in the real presence of God. He did not enter 
the holy place only to reside there in a way of glory, but to 
do temple-work, and to give unto God all that glory, 
honour, and worship, which he will receive from the church. 
And we may consider, both 

(1.) What this work is, and 

(2.) How it is performed. 

[L] In general; herein Christ exerteth and exerciseth 
all his love, compassion, pity, and care towards the church, 
and every member of it. This are we frequently called unto 
the consideration of, as the foundation of all our consola- 
tion, as the fountain of all our obedience. See Heb. ii. 17, 18. 
iv. 15, 16. V.2. Thoughts hereof are the relief of believers 
in all their distresses and temptations ; and the effects of 
it, are all their supplies of grace, enabling them to persevere 
in their obedience. He doth appear for them as the great 
representative of the church to transact all their affairs with 
God. And that for three ends. 

1st, To make effectual the atonement that he hath made 


for sin. By the continual representation of it, and of him- 
self as a ' lamb that had been slain,' he procures the appli- 
cation of the virtues and benefits of it in reconciliation and 
peace with God, unto their souls and consciences. Hence 
are all believers sprinkled and washed with his blood in all 
generations ; in the application of the virtues of it unto 
them, as shed for them. 

2dly. To undertake their protection, and to plead their 
cause against all the accusations of Satan. He yet accuseth 
and chargeth them before God. But Christ is their advo- 
cate at the throne of grace, effectually frustrating all his 
attempts ; Rev. xii. 10. Zech. iii. 2. 

3dly. To intercede for them ; as unto the communica- 
tion of all grace and glory, all supplies of the Spirit, the 
accomplishment of all the promises of the covenant towards 
them, 1 John ii. 1, 2. This is the work of Christ in heaven. 
In these things, as the high-priest of the church, doth he 
continue to administer his mediatory office on their behalf. 
And herein is he attended with the songs and joyful accla- 
mations of all the holy ones that are in the presence of 
God, giving glory to God by him. 

(2.) As unto the manner of this glorious administration, 
sundry things are to be considered. 

[1.] That this transaction of things in heaven, being in 
the temple of God, and before the throne of grace, is a 
solemn instituted worship at present, which shall cease at 
the end of the world. Religious worship it is; or that 
wherein and whereby all the saints above do give glory to 
God. And it is instituted worship, not that which is merely 
natural, in that it is God's especial appointment in and by 
Christ the Mediator. It is a church state which is consti- 
tuted hereby, wherein these glorious ordinances are cele- 
brated ; and such a state as shall not be eternal, but hath 
its time allotted unto it. And believers at present, have, by 
faith, an admission into communion with this church above, 
in all its divine worship. For ' we are come unto mount 
Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jeru- 
salem, and to an innumerable company of angels ; to the 
general assembly and church of the first-born, which are 
written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the 


spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the Mediator 
of the new covenant, and to ^^^ ^^^-nd of sprinkling, which 
speaketh better thinp- ' 1 ;' Heb. xii. 22—24. 

A chiirc^ ''^^ ^xpressly represent 

_^ieat assembly : the 
names ot tud v..xc4ioii-o.ei..e unuci tin. vJld Testament. And 
it is a state above, the heavenly Jerusalem, where are all the 
holy angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; in 
themselves, though not in their state as to the restitution of 
their bodies at the resurrection. And a holy worship is 
there in this great assembly. For not only is Jesus in it as 
the Mediator of the covenant ; but there is the * blood of 
sprinkling' also, in the effectual application of it unto the 
church. Hereinto have we an entrance. In this holy as- 
sembly and worship have we communion by faith whilst we 
are here below; Heb. x. 19—22. O that my soul might 
abide and abound in this exercise of faith : that I might yet 
enjoy a clearer prospect of this glory, and inspection into 
the beauty and order of this blessed 'assembly. How in- 
conceivable is the representation that God here makes of 
the glory of his wisdom, love, grace, goodness, and mercy, 
in Christ? How excellent is the manifestation of the glory 
and honour of Christ in his person and offices, the glory 
given him by the Father ? How little a portion do we know, 
or can have experience in, of the refreshing, satiating com- 
munications of divine love and goodness, unto all the mem- 
bers of this assembly ; or of that unchangeable delight in 
beholdino' the glory of Christ, and of God in him ; of that 
ardency of affections wherewith they cleave unto him, and 
continual exultation of spirit, whereby they triumph in the 
praises of God, that are in all the members of it? To enter 
into this assembly by faith, to join with it in the assignation 
of praises unto ' him that sits on the throne, and to the lamb 
for evermore,' to labour after a frame of heart in holy affec- 
tions, and spiritual delight, in some correspondency with 
that which is in the saints above, is the duty, and ought to 
be the design, of the church of believers here below. So 
much as we are farthered and assisted herein by our present 
ordinances, so much benefit and advantage have we by 
them, and no more. A constant, view of this glory, will 


cast contempt on all the desirable things of this world, and 
deliver our minds from any dreadful apprehensions of what 
is most terrible''therein. 

[2.] This heavenly worship in the sanctuary above, ad- 
ministered by the high-priest over the house of God, is 
conspicuously glorious. The glory of God is the great end 
of it, as shall be immediately declared ; that is, the manifes- 
tation of it. The manifestation of the;glory of God consists 
really in the effects of his infinite wisdom, goodness, grace, 
and power; declaratively in the express acknowledgment of 
it with praise. Herein, therefore, doth the solemn worship 
of God, in the sanctuary above consist ; setting aside only 
the immediate actino;s of Christ in his intercession. It is a 
glorious express acknowledgment of the wisdom, love, 
goodness, grace, and power of God, in the redemption, 
sanctification, and salvation of the church by Jesus Christ, 
with a continual ascription of all divine honour unto him in 
the way of praise. For the manner of its performance, our 
present light into it, is but dark and obscure. Some things 
have an evidence in them. As, 

1st. That there is nothing carnal in it, or such things as 
are suited unto the fancies and imaginations of men. In the 
thoughts of heaven, most persons are apt to frame images 
in their minds of such carnal things as they suppose they 
could be delighted withal. But they are far remote from 
the worship of this holy assembly. The worship of the 
gospel, which is spiritually glorious, makes a nearer ap- 
proach unto it, than that of the temple, which was outwardly 
and carnally so. 

2dly. It is not merely mental ; or transacted only in the 
silent thoughts of each individual person. For, as we have 
shewed, it is the worship of a church assembly wherein they 
have all communion, and join in the performance of it. We 
know not well the way and mannner of communication be- 
tween angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. It is 
expressed in the Scripture by voices, postures and gestures ; 
which although they are not of the same nature as abso- 
lutely ours are, yet are they really significant of the things 
they would express, and a means of mutual communication. 
Yea 1 know not how far God may give them the use of voice 
and words, whereby to express his praise, as Moses talked 


with Christ, at his transfiguration ; Matt. xvii. 3. But the 
manner of it is such, as whereby the whole assembly above 
do jointly set forth and celebrate the praises of God. And 
the glory hereof consisteth in three things. 

[1.] The blessed and beautiful order of all things in 
that sanctuary. Job describes the grave beneath to be a 
^ place without any order, and where the light is as dark- 
ness,' chap. X. 22. All above is order and light ; every per- 
son and thing in its proper place and exercise. 

1st. Heaven itself is a temple, a sanctuary, made so 
by the especial presence of God, and the ministration of 
Christ in the tabernacle of his human nature. 

2dly. God is on the throne of grace; gloriously exalted 
on the account of his grace, and for the dispensation of it. 
To the saints above, he is on the throne of grace, in that 
they are in the full enjoyment of the effects of his grace, 
and do give glory unto him on the account thereof. He is 
so also with respect unto the church here below, in the con- 
tinual communications of grace and mercy through Christ. 

3dly. The Lord Christ, in his human nature, is before the 
throne, acting his mediatory office and power in behalf of 
the church. 

4thly. All the holy angels in the various orders and 
degrees of their ministration, are about the throne con- 
tinually. So, 

5thly. Are the Spirits of just men made perfect, in the 
various measures of light and glory. And these things were 
obscurely represented in the order of the church at its first 
erection in the wilderness ; for the ordinances of God among 
them were patterns or figures of heavenly things ; Heb.ix. 23. 
(1st.) In the midst was the tabernacle or sanctuary which 
represented the sanctuary or temple above. (2dly.) In the 
most holy place, were the ark. and mercy-seat represen- 
tatives of the throne of grace. (3dly.) The ministry of the 
high-priest, a type of the ministry of Christ. (4thly.) The 
Levites who attended on the priest, did represent the mi- 
nistry of angels, attending on Christ in the discharge of his 
office. And, (5thly.) round about them were the tribes in 
their order. 

[2.] In the full, clear apprehensions which all the blessed 
ones have of the glory of God in Christ, of the work and 


effects of his wisdom and grace towards mankind. These 
are the foundation of all divine worship. And because our 
conceptions and apprehensions about them, are dark, low, 
obscure, and inevident, our worship is weak and imperfect 
also. But all is open unto the saints above. We are in 
the dust, the blood, the noise of the battle ; they are vic- 
toriously at peace, and have a perfect view of what they 
have passed through, and what they have attained unto. 
They are come to the springs of life and light, and are filled 
with admiration of the grace of God in themselves and one 
another. What they see in God, and in Jesus Christ, what 
they have experience of in themselves, what they know and 
learn from others, are all of them inconceivable and inex- 
pressible. It is well for us, if we have so much experience 
of these things, as to see a real glory in the fulness and per- 
fection of them. The apprehensions by sight without mix- 
ture of unsteadiness or darkness, without the allay of fears 
or temptations, with an ineffable sense of the things them- 
selves on their hearts or minds, are the springs or motives of 
the holy worship which is in heaven. 

[3.] In the glorious manner of the performance of it. 
Now whereas it ariseth from sight and present enjoyment, 
it must consist in a continual ascription of glory and praise 
unto God ; and so it is described in the Scripture ; see Rev. 
iv. 9 — 11. with Isa. vi. 3. And how little a portion of the 
glory of these things is it, that we can apprehend. 

3. In this solemn assembly before the throne of grace, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, the great high-priest, doth represent 
and render acceptable unto God, the worship of the church 
here below. So it is expressed. Rev. viii. 3,4. 'And an 
angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, 
and there was given unto him much incense, that he should 
offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar 
which was before the throne ; and the smoke of the incense 
which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up unto 
God out of the angel's hand.' It is a representation of the 
high-priest burning incense on the golden altar on the day 
of atonement, when he entered into the most holy place. 
For that altar was placed just at the entrance of it, directly 
before the ark and mercy- seat, representing the throne of 
God. This angel therefore is our high-priest ; none else 



could approach that altar, or offer incense on it, the smoke 
whereof was to enter into the holy place. And the ' prayers 
of all saints' is asynecdochical expression of the whole wor- 
ship of the church. And this is presented before the throne 
of God, by this high-priest. And it is not said that their 
prayers came unto the throne of God, but the smoke of the 
incense out of the hand of the angel did so. For it is the 
incense of the intercession of Christ alone that gives them 
their acceptance with God. Without this, none of our 
prayers, praises, or thanksgivings, would ever have access 
into the presence of God, or unto the throne of grace. 
Blessed be God for this relief, under the consideration of 
the weakness and imperfection of them. Wherefore in him 
and by him alone, do we represent all our desires, and 
prayers, and whole worship to God. And herein, in all our 
worship do we ourselves 'enter into the most holy place;' 
Heb. X. 19. We do it not merely by faith, but by this es- 
pecial exercise of it, in putting our prayers into the hand of 
this high-priest. 

There are three things in all our worship that would hin- 
der its access unto God, and acceptance with him, as also 
keep off comfort and peace from our consciences. The first 
is the sin or iniquity that cleaves unto it ; secondly, the 
weakness or imperfection that at best is in it; and thirdly, 
the unworthiness of the persons by whom it is performed. 
With reference unto these things the law could never con- 
summate or perfect the consciences of them that came unto 
God by the sacrifices of it. But there are three things in 
the sacerdotal ministration of Christ, that removes and takes 
them all away, whereon we have access with boldness unto 
God. And they are, (1.) The influence of his oblation. 
(2.) The efficacy of his intercession ; and, (3.) The dignity 
of his person. Through the first of these he bears and takes 
away all the iniquity of our holy things ; as Aaron did ty- 
pically of old, by virtue of the plate of gold, with the name 
of God (a figure of Christ), on his forehead ; Exod. xxviii. 36 
— 38. He hath made atonement for them in the blood of 
his oblation, and they appear not in the presence of God. 
Through the second, or the efficacy of his intercession, he 
gives acceptance unto our prayers and holy worship, with 
power and prevalency before God. For this is that incense 


whose smoke or sweet perfume comes up with the prayers 
of all saints unto the throne of God. Through the third, 
or the dignity of his person, wherein he appears as the re- 
presentative of his whole mystical body, he takes away from 
our consciences that sense of our own vileness and unwor- 
thiness, which would not suffer us to approach with boldness 
unto the throne of grace. In these things consists the life 
of the worship of the church, of all believers, without which 
as it would not be acceptable unto God, so we could have 
neither peace nor consolation in it ourselves. 

4. Herein hath the church that is triumphant, communion 
with that which is yet militant. The assembly above have 
not lost their concernment in the church here below. As we 
rejoice in their glory, safety, and happiness, that having 
passed through the storms and tempests, the temptations, 
sufferings, and dangers of this life and world, as they are 
harboured in eternal glory unto the praise of God in Christ; 
so are they full of affections towards their brethren exercised 
with the same temptations, difficulties, and dangers, which 
they have passed through, with earnest desires for their de- 
liverance and safety. Wherefore when they behold the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as the great high-priest over the house 
of God, presenting their prayers, with all their holy worship 
unto him, rendering them acceptable by the incense of his 
own intercession, it fills them with satisfaction, and conti- 
nually excites them unto the assignation of praise, and 
glory, and honour unto him. This is the state of the saints 
above, with respect unto the church here below. This is all 
which may be herein ascribed unto them, and this may safely 
be so. What some have fancied about their own personal 
intercession, and that for particular persons, is derogatory 
unto the honour of Jesus Christ, and inconsistent with their 
present condition. But in these things consist their com- 
munion with the church here below. A love they have unto 
it, from their union with it in the same mystical body; Eph. 
i. 10. A sense they have of its condition from the experi- 
ence they tiad of it in the days of their flesh. A great con- 
cernment they have for the glory of God in them, and a fer- 
vent desire of their eternal salvation. They know that with- 
out them they shall not be absolutely consummate or made 
perfect in their whole persons; Rev. vi. 11. In this state 

Y 2 


of things, they continually behold the Lord Jesus Christ, 
presenting their prayers before the throne of grace, making 
intercession for them, appearing to plead their cause against 
all their adversaries, transacting all their affairs in the pre- 
sence of God, taking care of their salvation that not one of 
them shall perish. This continually fills them with a holy 
satisfaction and complacency, and is a great part of the sub- 
ject matter of their incessant praises and ascriptions of 
glory unto him. Herein lies the concernment of the church 
above in that here below ; this is the communion that is be- 
tween them, whereof the person of Christ in the discharge 
of his office is the bond and centre. 

5. There is herein a full manifestation made of the wis- 
dom of God, in all the holy institutions of the tabernacle 
and temple of old. Herein the veil is fully taken off from 
them, and that obscure representation of heavenly things is 
brought forth unto light and glory. It is true, this is done 
unto a great degree in the dispensation of the gospel. By 
the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the discharge of his 
mediatory office in this world, the substance of what they 
did prefigure is accomplished. And in the revelations of 
the gospel, the nature and end of them is declared. How- 
beit they extended their signification also unto things within 
the veil, or the discharge of the priestly office of Christ in 
the heavenly sanctuary ; Heb. ix. 24. Wherefore, as we 
have not yet a perfection of light to understand the depth 
of the mysteries contained in them ; so themselves also 
were not absolutely fulfilled until the Lord Christ discharged 
his office in the holy place. This is the glory of the pat- 
tern which God shewed unto Moses in the mount, made 
conspicuous and evident unto all. Therein especially do 
the saints of the Old Testament, who were exercised all 
their days in those typical institutions, whose end and de- 
sign they could not comprehend, see the manifold wisdom 
and goodness of God in them all, rejoicing in them for 

6. All that the Lord Christ receives of the Father on the 
account of this holy interposition and mediation for the 
church, he is endowed with sovereign authority and al- 
mighty power in himself to execute and accomplish. There- 
fore is he said, as a priest, to be 'made higher than the 


heavens/ and as a * priest to sit down at the right hand of 
the majesty on high;' Heb. viii. 2. This glorious power 
doth not immediately belong unto him on the account of 
his sacerdotal office, but it is that qualification of his per- 
son which is necessary unto the effectual discharge of it. 
Hence it is said of him, that he should ' bear the glory, and 
sit and rule upon his throne, and should be a priest upon 
his throne / Zech. vi. 13. A throne is insigne regium, 
and properly belongs unto Christ with respect unto his 
kingly office; Heb. i. 8, 9. Howbeit the power accompa- 
nying and belonging unto his throne, being necessary unto 
the effectual discharge of his priestly office, as he sits and 
rules on his throne, so it is said that he is a * priest on his 
throne' also. 

This is one instance of the present state of Christ in hea- 
ven, and of the work which he doth there perform, and the 
only instance 1 shall insist upon. He was made a priest 
' after the power of an endless life,' the life which he now 
leads in heaven ; and * lives for ever to make intercession for 
us.' He was dead, but is alive, and lives for evermore, and 
hath the keys of hell and death, all power over the enemies 
of his church. God on a throne of grace; Christ the high- 
priest, so on his right hand in glory and power, as yet to be 
* before the throne' in the virtue of his sacerdotal office, 
with the whole concernment of the church on his hand, 
transacting all things with God for them: all the holy an- 
gels, and the ' spirits of just men made perfect' encompassing 
the throne with continual praises unto God, even the Father 
and him, on the account of the work of infinite wisdom, 
goodness, and grace, in his incarnation, mediation, and sal- 
vation of the church thereby ; himself continuing to manage 
the cause of the whole church before God, presenting all 
their prayers and services unto him, perfumed with his own 
intercession, is that resemblance of heaven and its present 
glory, which the Scripture offers unto us. But alas how 
weak, how dark, how low, are our conceptions and appre- 
hensions of these heavenly things ? we see yet as through 
a glass darkly, and know but in part. The time is ap- 
proaching when we shall see these things with open face, 
and know even as we are known. The best improvement 
we can make of this prospect, whilst faith supplies the 


place of future sight, is to be stirred up thereby unto holy 
longings after a participation in this glory, and constant 
diligence in that holy obedience whereby we may arrive 

What remaineth yet to be spoken on this subject, hath 
respect unto these two ensuing propositions : 

(1.) All the effects of the offices of Christ, internal, spi- 
ritual, and eternal, in grace and glory ; all external fruits of 
their dispensation in providence towards the church, or its 
enemies, are wrought by divine power ; or are the effects of 
an emanation of power from God. They are all wrought 
* by the exceeding greatness of his power, even as he wrought 
in Christ himself when he raised him from the dead;' Eph.i. 
18. For all the outward works of God, such as all these 
are, which are wrought in and for the church, are necessa- 
rily immediate effects of divine power ; nor can be of an- 
other nature. 

(2.) Upon supposition of the obedience of Christ in this 
life, and the atonement made by his blood for sin, with his 
exaltation thereon, there is nothing in any essential property 
of the nature of God, nothing in the eternal, unchangeable 
law of obedience to hinder, but that God might work all 
these things in us unto his own honour and glory, in the 
eternal salvation of the church, and the destruction of all its 
enemies, without a continuance of the administration of the 
offices of Christ in heaven, and all that sacred solemnity of 
worship, wherewith it is accompanied. 

These things being certain and evident, we may inquire 
thereon, whence it is that God hath ordered the continua- 
tion of all these things in heaven above, seeing these ends 
might have been accomplished without them, by immediate 
acts of divine power. 

The great * works of God are sought out of them that 
have pleasure in them ;' Psal. cxi. 2. This therefore being 
a great work of God, which he hath wrought and revealed 
unto us, especially in the effects and fruits of it, and that for 
the manifestation of his wisdom and grace, it is our duty to 
inquire into it with all humble diligence. * For revealed 
things belong unto us and our children, that we may do the 
will of God for our good.' Wherefore, 

[L] God would have it so, for the manifestation of his 


own glory. This is the first great end of all the works of 
God. That it is so, is a fundamental principle of our reli- 
gion. And how his works do glorify him, is our duty to in- 
quire. The essential glory of God is always the same, eter- 
nal and immutable. It is the being of God, with that re- 
spect which all creatures have unto it. For glory adds a 
supposition of relation unto being. But the manifestations 
of his glory are various, according to the pleasure of his will. 
Wherefore, that which he chooseth to manifest his glory in 
and by at one time, he may cease from using it unto that 
end at another. For its being a means of the manifestation 
of his glory, may depend on such circumstances, such a state 
of things, which being removed, it ceaseth to be. So of old 
he manifested and represented his glory in the tabernacle 
and temple, and the holy pledges of his presence in them, 
and was glorified in all the worship of the law. But now he 
ceaseth so to do, nor is any more honoured by the services 
and ceremonies of religion therein prescribed. If the whole 
structure of the temple, and all its beautiful services, were 
now in being on the earth, no glory would redound unto 
God thereby, he would receive none from it. To expect the 
glory of God in them would be a high dishonour unto him. 
And God may at any time begin to manifest his glory, by 
such ways and means as he did not formerly make use of 
unto that purpose. So is it with all gospel ordinances, 
which state will be continued unto the consummation of all 
things here below, and no longer, for then shall they all 
cease, God will be no more glorified in them or by them. 
So hath God chosen to glorify himself in heaven by this ad- 
ministration of all things in and by Jesus Christ, whereunto 
also there is an end determined. 

And in the continuation of this holy worship in the 
sanctuary above, God doth manifest his glory on many ac- 
counts, and resteth therein. 

1st. He doth it in and unto the saints who departed this 
life under the Old Testament. They came short in glory of 
w^hat they now enter into, who die in the faith of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. For, not to dispute about, nor determine po- 
sitively, what was their state and condition before the as- 
cension of Christ into heaven, or what was the nature of the 
blessed receptacle of their souls ; it is manifest that they 


did not, they could not behold the glory of God, and the 
accomplishment of the mystery of his wisdom and will, in 
Jesus Christ, nor was it perfectly made known unto them. 
Whatever was their rest, refreshment, and blessedness ; 
whatever were their enjoyments of the presence of God ; yet 
was there no throne of grace erected in heaven, no high- 
priest appearing before it ; no Lamb as it had been slain, no 
joint ascription of glory unto him that sits on the throne, 
and the Lamb for ever; God 'having ordained some better 
things for us, that they without us should not be made per- 
fect/ See Eph. iii. 9, 10. 

This was that, and this was that alone, so far as in the 
Scripture it is revealed, wherein they came short of that 
glory which is now enjoyed in heaven. And herein consists 
the advantage of the saints above them, who now die in 
faith. Their state in heaven was suited unto their faith and 
worship on the earth. They had no clear distinct know- 
ledo-e of the iilcarnation and mediatory office of Christ, by 
their revelations and services. Only they believed that the 
promise of deliverance, of grace and mercy, should be in and 
by him accomplished. Their reception into heaven, that 
which they were made meet and prepared for by their faith 
and worship, was suited thereunto. They had a blessed rest 
and happiness above what we can comprehend ; for who 
knows what it is to be in the glorious presence of God, 
though at the greatest distance ? They were not immediately 
surprised with an appearance of that glory which they had 
no distinct apprehensions of in this world. Neither they 
nor the angels knew clearly either the sufferings of Clirist, 
or the glory that should ensue. But they saw and knew 
that there was yet something farther to be done in heaven 
and earth, as yet hid in God and the counsels of his will, for 
the exaltation of his glory in the complete salvation of the 
church. This they continued waiting for, in the holy place 
of their refreshment above. Faith gave them, and it gives 
us, an entrance into the presence of God, and makes us meet 
for it. But what they immediately enjoyed, did not in its 
whole kind exceed what their faith directed unto ; no more 
doth ours. Wherefore they were not prepared for a view of 
the present glory of heaven ; nor did enjoy it. But the 
saints under the New Testament, who are clearly instructed 


by the gospel in the mysteries of the incarnation and medi- 
ation of Christ, are by their faith and worship made meet for 
an immediate entrance into this glory. This they long for, 
this they expect and are secured of, from the prayer of our 
Saviour ; that they be, when they leave this world, where 
he is, to behold his glory. 

But now upon the entrance of Christ into the heavenly 
sanctuary, all those holy ones were admitted into the -same 
glory, with what the saints under the New Testament do 
enjoy. Hereon with open face they behold the use and end 
of those typical services and ordinances wherein these things 
were shadowed out unto them. No heart can conceive that 
inefi'able addition of glory which they received hereby. The 
mystery of the wisdom and grace of God in their redemp- 
tion and salvation by Christ was now fully represented unto 
them ; what they had prayed for, longed for, and desired to 
see in the days of their flesh on the earth, and waited for 
so long in heaven, was now gloriously made manifest unto 
them. Hereon did glorious light and blessed satisfaction 
come into and upon all those blessed souls, who died in the 
faith, but had not received the promise, only beheld it afar 
off. And hereby did God greatly manifest his own glory 
in them and unto them, which is the first end of the con- 
tinuation of this state of things in heaven. This makes me 
judge that the season of Christ's entrance into heaven as 
the holy sanctuary of God, was the greatest instance of cre- 
ated glory, that ever was or ever shall be unto the consum- 
mation of all things. And this as for other reasons, so be- 
cause all the holy souls who had departed in the faith from 
the foundation of the world, were then received into the 
glorious light of the counsels of God, and knowledge of the 
effects of his grace by Jesus Christ. 

Want of a due apprehension of the truth herein, hath 
caused many, especially those of the church of Rome, to 
follow after vain imaginations about the state of the souls 
of the faithful, departed under the Old Testament. Gene- 
rally they shut them up in a subterranean limbus, whence 
they were delivered by the descent of Christ. But it is con- 
trary unto all notions and revelations of the respect of God 
unto his people : contrary to the life and nature of faith, 
that those who have passed through their course of obe- 


dience in this world, and finished the work given unto them, 
should not enter upon their departure into blessed rest in 
the presence of God. Take away the persuasion hereof, and 
the whole nature of faith is destroyed. But into the fulness 
of present glory they could not be admitted, as hath been 

Moreover, God hereby manifests his glory unto the holy 
angels themselves. These things wherein it doth consist 
were hid in himself even from them, from the foundation of 
the world ; hidden in the holy counsels of his will ; Eph. 
iii. 9. Wherefore unto these * principalities and powers in 
heavenly places, the manifold wisdom of God was made 
known by the church ;' ver. 10. The church being redeemed 
by the blood of Christ, and himself thereon exalted in this 
glory, they came to know the ' manifold wisdom of God,' by 
the effects of it, which before they earnestly desired to look 
into; 1 Pet. i. 12. Hereby is all the glory of the counsels 
of God in Christ made conspicuous unto them; and they 
receive themselves no small advancement in glory thereby. 
For in the present comprehension of the mind of God, and 
doing of his will, doth their blessedness consist. 

Heaven itself was not what it is, before the entrance of 
Christ into the sanctuary for the administration of his office. 
Neither the saints departed, nor the angels themselves, were 
participant of that glory which now they are. Neither yet 
doth this argue any defect in heaven, or the state thereof in 
its primitive constitution. For the perfection of any state 
hath respect unto that order of things which it is originally 
suited unto. Take all things in the order of the first crea- 
tion, and with respect thereunto, heaven was perfect in glory 
from the beginning. Howbeit there was still a relation and 
regard in it unto the church of mankind on the earth, which 
was to be translated thither. But by the entrance of sin, all 
this order was disturbed, and all this relation was broken. 
And there followed thereon an imperfection in the state of 
heaven itself; for it had no longer a relation unto, or com- 
munion with, them on earth, nor was a receptacle meet for 
men who were sinners to be received into. Wherefore by 
the blood of the cross, God ' reconciled all things unto him- 
self, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven ;' 
Coir i. 20. Or gathered all things into one in him, 'both 


which are in heaven, and which are in the earth ;' Eph. i. 10. 
Even the things in heaven, so far stood in need of a reconci- 
hation, as that they might be gathered together in one, with 
the things on earth ; the glory whereof is manifested in this 
heavenly ministration. And the apostle affirms that the 
* heavenly things themselves were purified by the sacrifice 
of Christ;' Heb. ix. 23. Not that they were actually defiled 
in themselves, but without this purification they were not 
meet for the fellowship of this mystery in the joint-worship 
of the whole society in heaven and earth, by Jesus Christ. 
Hence, therefore, there is a continual manifestation of the 
glory of God unto the angels themselves. They behold his 
manifold wisdom and grace in the blessed effects of it, which 
were treasured up in the holy counsels of his will from eter- 
nity. Hereby is their own light and blessedness advanced, 
and they are filled with admirations of God, ascribing praise, 
honour, and glory unto him for evermore. For the behold- 
ing of the mystery of the wisdom of God in Christ, which is 
here so despised in the dispensation of the gospel, is the 
principal part of the blessedness of the angels in heaven, 
which fills them with eternal delight, and is the ground of 
their ascribing praise and glory unto him for evermore. 

This is that manifestative glory wherewith God satisfieth 
himself, until the end determined shall be. On the account 
hereof he doth and will bear with things in this world, unto 
the appointed season. For whilst the creation is in its pre- 
sent posture, a revenue of glory must be taken out of it for 
God, and longer than that is done it cannot be continued. 
But the world is so full of darkness and confusion, of sin 
and wickedness, of enmity against God, is so given up to 
villany, unto all the ways whereby God may be dishonoured, 
that there is little or no appearance of any revenue of glory 
unto him from it. Were it not on the secret account of di- 
vine wisdom, it would quickly receive the end of Sodom and 
Gomorrah. The small remnant of the inheritance of Christ, 
is shut up in such obscurity, that as unto visible appearance 
and manifestation, it is no way to be laid in the balance 
against the dishonour that is done unto him by the whole 
world. But whilst things are in this ])osture here below, God 
hath a solemn honour, glory, and worship above in the pre- 
sence of all his holy ones, wherein he resteth and takes plea- 


sure. In his satisfaction herein, he will continue things in 
this world unto all the ends of his wisdom, goodness, righte- 
ousness, and patience, let it rage in villany and wickedness 
as it pleaseth. And so when any of the saints who are 
wearied and even worn out with the state of things in this 
world, and it may be understand not the grounds of the pa- 
tience of God, do enter into this state, they shall unto their 
full satisfaction behold that glory which abundantly com- 
pensates the present dishonour done to God here below. 

[2.] This state of things is continued ' for the glory of 
Christ himself.' The office of mediator was committed by 
God the Father unto his only-begotten Son, no other being 
able to bear or discharge it. See Isa. vi. 9. Rev. v. 1 — 6. 
But in the discharge of this office it was necessary he should 
condescend unto a mean and low condition, and to undergo 
things difficult, hard, and terrible; Phil. ii. 6 — 8. Such were 
the things which our Lord Jesus Christ underwent in this 
world ; his undergoing of them being necessary unto the 
discharge of his office; yea, it consisted therein. Herein 
was he exposed unto reproach, contempt, and shame, with all 
the evils that Satan or the world could bring upon him. 
And besides, he was for us, and in our stead, to undergo the 
' curse of the law,' with the greatest of terrors and sorrows 
in his soul, until he gave up the ghost. These things were 
necessary unto the discharge of his office, nor could the sal- 
vation of the church be wrought out without them. But do 
we think that God would commit so glorious an office unto 
his only Son to be discharged in this manner only ? Let it be 
granted that after he had so accomplished the will of God in 
this world, he had himself entered into glory ; yet if he 
should so cease the administration of his office, that must 
be looked on as the most afflictive and dolorous that ever 
was undergone. But it was the design of God to glorify the 
office itself, as an effect of his wisdom, and himself therein ; 
yea, so as that the very office itself should be an everlasting 
honour to his Son as incarnate. Unto this end the adminis- 
tration of it is continued in glory in his hand, and he is ex- 
alted in the discharge of it. For this is that glory which he 
prays that all his disciples may be brought unto him to be- 
hold. The time between his ascension, and the end of all 
things is allotted unto the glory of Christ in the administra- 


tion of his office in the heavenly sanctuary. And from hence 
doth the apostle prove him ' as a high-priest/ to be far more 
glorious than those who were called unto that office under 
the law: Heb. viii. 1 — 3. Herein it is manifest unto ano;els 
and men, how glorious a thing it is to be the only king, priest, 
and prophet of the church. Wherefore, as it behoved Christ 
in the discharge of his office to suffer; so after his sufferings 
in the discharge of the same office he was to enter into his 
glory ; Rev. i. 18. 

[3.] God hath respect herein unto those who depart in 
the faith, in their respective generations, especially those 
who died betimes, as the apostles and primitive Christians. 
And sundry things may be herein considered. 

1st. There are two things which believers put a great price 
and value on in this world, and which sweeten every condi- 
tion unto them. Without them the world would be a noi- 
some dungeon unto them, nor could they be satisfied with 
a continuance therein. The one is the service of Christ. 
Without an opportunity of being exercised herein, they 
could not abide here with any satisfaction. They who 
know it not so to be, are under the power of worldly-mind- 
edness. The meanest service of Christ hath refreshment in 
it. And as to those who have opportunities and abilities 
for great instances of service, they do not know on just 
grounds, nor are able to determine themselves, whether it 
be best for them to continue in their service here below, or 
to enter into the immediate service of Christ above ; so 
glorious, so excellent is it to be usefully serviceable unto 
the Lord Jesus. So was it with the apostle, Phil. i. 21 — 
26. so may it be with others, if they serve him in the same 
spirit, with the same sincerity, though their ability in ser- 
vice be not like unto his. For neither had he any thing 
but what he received. Again, they have the enjoyment of 
Christ in the ordinances of gospel worship. By these means 
do they live, in these things is the life of their souls. 

In this state of things God will not call them hence 
unto their loss ; he will not put an end unto these privileges 
without an abundant recompense and advantage. What- 
ever we enjoy here, yet still to depart hence and to be with 
Christ shall be far better ; Phil. i. 23. For, 

(1st.) Although service here below shall cease, and be 


given over unto other hands who are to have their share 
herein ; yet on tlie continuance of this state of things in 
heaven, there is also a continuation of service unto Christ, 
in a way inexpressibly more glorious, than what we are in 
this life capable of. Upon their admittance into this state 
of things above, they are before the throne of God, and 
serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth 
on the throne shall dwell among them ; Rev. vii. 15. The 
whole state of the glorious worship of God before described, 
is here respected ; and herein is a continual service per- 
formed unto him that sits on the throne and unto the Lamb. 
Wherefore it is so far from being loss, in being called off 
from service here below, as that in point of service itself, it 
is an inconceivable advancement. 

(2dly.) The enjoyment of Christ in and by the ordinances 
of his worship, is the immediate fountain and spring of all 
our refreshments and consolations in this world ; Psal. 
Ixxxvii. 7. But what is it unto the blessed immediate en- 
joyment of him in heaven? Hence the blessedness of the 
state above is described, by being with Christ, being with 
Christ for ever, in the presence and immediate enjoyment 
of him. The light of the stars is useful and relieving in a 
dark night as we are on our way, but what are they when 
the sun ariseth ? Will any man think it a loss that upon 
the rising of the sun they shall not enjoy their light any 
more, though in the night they knew not what to have done 
without it? It may be we cannot conceive how it will be 
best for us, to forego the use of sacraments, ministry, and 
the Scripture itself. But all the virtue of the streams is in 
the fountain; and the immediate enjoyment of Christ un- 
speakably exceeds whatever by any means we can be made 
partakers of here below. 

In this blessed state have the holy apostles, all the pri- 
mitive martyrs and believers from the time of their disso- 
lution, enjoyed full satisfaction and solace, in the glorious 
assembly above; Rev. vii. 15 — 17, &c. 

2dly. Hereby there is a continuation of communion be- 
tween the church triumphant above, and that yet militant 
here below. That there is such a communion between glo- 
rified saints and believers in this world, is an article of 
faith. Both societies are but one church, one mystical 


body, have one head, and a mutual concernment in each 
other. Yea the spring and means of this communion is no 
small part of the glory of the gospel. For before the saints 
under the Old Testament had the mystery of the glory of 
God in Christ with our redemption thereby revealed unto 
them, in the way before declared ; this communion was very 
obscure ; but we are now taken into the light and glory of 
it, as the apostle declares; Heb. xii. 22 — 24. 

I know some have perverted the notions of this commu- 
nion unto idolatrous superstition ; and so have all other 
truths of the gospel been abused, and wrested unto the de- 
struction of the souls of men ; all the Scriptures have been 
so dealt withal; 2 Pet. iii. 16. But they deceived them- 
selves in this matter, the truth deceiveth none. Upon a 
supposition of communion, they gathered that there must 
of necessity be an immediate communication between them 
above and us below. And if so, they knew no way for it, 
no means of it, but by our praying unto them, and their 
praying for us. But they were under the power of their 
own deceivings. Communion doth not require immediate 
mutual communication, unless it be among persons in the 
same state, and that in such acts as wherein they are mu- 
tually assisting and helpful unto one another. But our 
diiferent states will admit of no such intercourse, nor do 
we stand in need of any relief from them, or can be helped 
by any acts of their love, as we may aid and help one an- 
other here below. Wherefore the centre of this communion 
is in Christ alone, and our exercise of it is upon him only, 
with respect unto them. 

Yet hereon some deny that there is any such communion 
between the members of the church, or the mystical body of 
Christ in these divers states. And they suppose it is so 
declared in that of the prophet, Isa. Ixiii. 16. * Doubtless, 
thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and 
Israel acknowledge us not.' But there is nothing of any 
such importance in these words. The church under a deep 
sense of its present state, in its unworthy walking and mul- 
tiplied provocations, profess themselves to be such, as that 
their forefathers in covenant could not own them as their 
children and posterity in the faith. Hereupon they appeal 
unto the infinite mercy and faithfulness of God, which ex- 


tend themselves even unto that condition of unworthiness, 
which was enough to render them utterly disowned by the 
best of men, however otherwise concerned in them. But to 
suppose the church above^ which hath passed through its 
course of faith and obedience in afflictions, tribulations, and 
persecutions, to be ignorant of the state of the church here 
below, in general, and unconcerned in it ; to be without de- 
sires of its success, deliverance, and prosperity unto the 
glory of Christ, is to lay them asleep in a senseless state, 
without the exercise of any grace, or any interest in the 
glory of God. And if they 'cry for vengeance' on the ob- 
durate persecuting world. Rev. vi. 10. shall we suppose they 
have no consideration nor knowledge of the state of the 
church suffering the same things which they did themselves. 
And to put it out of question, they are minded of it in the 
next verse by Christ himself ; ver. 11. 

But that which at present I alone intend, is the joint 
communion of the whole church in the worship of God in 
Christ. Were all that die in the Lord, immediately re- 
ceived into that state wherein God * shall be all in all,' 
without any use of the mediation of Christ, or the worship 
of praise and honour given unto God by him, without being- 
exercised in the ascription of honour, glory, power, and do- 
minion unto him on the account of the past and present dis- 
charge of his office, there could be no communion between 
them and us. But whilst they are in the sanctuary, in the 
temple of God, in the holy worship of Christ, and of God in 
him, and we are not only employed in the same work in sa- 
cred ordinances suited unto our state and condition, but in 
the performance of our duties, do by faith * enter in within 
the veil,' and approach unto the same throne of grace in the 
most holy place^ there is a spiritual communion between 
them and us. So the apostle expresseth it, Heb. xii. 22 — 24. 

3dly. It is tlie way that God hath appointed to prepare 
the holy souls above for the enjoyment of that eternal state 
which shall ensue at the end of all things. As we are here, 
in and by the word and other ordinances, prepared and made 
meet for the present state of things in glory, so are they by 
the temple worship of heaven fitted for that state of things 
when Christ shall * give up the kingdom unto the Father, that 
God may be all in all.' 


[4.] Respect is had herein unto the faith of the church 
yet militant on the earth, and that among others in two 

1st. For the encouragement of their faith. God could, 
as we have observed, upon the supposition of the atonement 
and reconciliation made by the blood of Christ, have saved 
the church by mere sovereign acts of power. But whereas 
it was unto his glory that we should be saved in the vray of 
faith and obedience, this way was necessary unto our en- 
couragement therein. For it is in the nature of faith, it is a 
grace suited unto that end, to seek for and receive aid, help, 
and relief, from God continually, to enable us unto obe- 

For this end the Lord Christ continueth in thedischaro-e 
of his office, whereby he is able to save us unto the utter- 
most, that we may receive such supplies by and from him. 
The continual use that faith makes of Christ unto this pur- 
pose, as he gloriously exerciseth his mediatory office and 
power in heaven, cannot fully be declared. Neither can any 
believer who is acted by present gospel light and grace, 
conceive how the life of faith can be led or preserved 
without it. No duties are we called unto, no temptations 
are we exercised withal, no sufferings do we undergo, no dif- 
ficulties, dangers, fears, have we to conflict withal, nothing 
is there in life or death, wherein the glory of God or our 
own spiritual welfare is concerned, but faith finds and takes 
relief and encouragement, in the present mediatory life and 
power of Christ in heaven, with the exercise of his love, 
care, and compassion therein. So he proposeth himself unto 
our faith, Rev. i. 17, 18. 

2dly. That our faith may be guided and directed in all our 
accesses unto God in his holy worship. Were nothing pro- 
posed unto us but the immensity of the divine essence, we 
should not know how to make our approaches unto it. And 
thence it is that those who are unacquainted with the glory 
of this dispensation, who know not how to make use of 
Christ in his present state for an access unto God, are always 
inventing ways of their own (as by saints, angels, images) 
for that end ; for an immediate access unto the divine es- 
sence they cannot fancy. Wherefore, to end this discourse 
in one word ; all the present faith and worship of God in the 

VOL. XII. z 


church here on earth, all access unto him for grace, and all 
acceptable ascriptions of glory unto his divine majesty, do 
all of them in their being and exercise, wholly depend on, 
and are resolved into, the continuation of the mediatory 
actings of Christ in heaven and glory. 

I shall close this discourse with a little review of some- 
what that passed before. From the consideration of that 
place of the apostle, wherein he affirms, ' that at the end, 
Christ shall give up the kingdom unto the Father,' I declared 
that all the state of things which we have described, shall 
then cease, and all things issue in the immediate enjoy- 
ment of God himself. I would extend this no farther than 
as unto what concerneth the exercise of Christ's mediatory 
office with respect unto the church here below, and the 
enemies of it. But there are some things which belong 
unto the essence of this state which shall continue unto all 
eternity; as, 

1st. I do believe that the person of Christ, in and by his 
human nature, shall be for ever the immediate head of the 
whole glorified creation. God having gathered all things 
unto a head in him, the knot or centre of that collection 
shall never be dissolved. We shall never lose our relation 
unto him; nor he his unto us. 

2dly. I do therefore also believe, that he shall be the 
means and way of communication between God and his 
glorified saints for ever. What are, what will be the glo- 
rious communications of God unto his saints for ever, in 
life, light, power, joy, rest, and ineffable satisfaction (as all 
must be from him unto eternity), I shall not now inquire. 
But this 1 say, they shall be all made in and through the 
person of the Son, and the human nature therein. That 
tabernacle shall never be folded up, never be laid aside as 
useless. And if it be said, that I cannot declare the way 
and manner of the eternal communications of God himself 
unto his saints in glory by Christ ; I shall only say, that I 
cannot declare the way and manner of his communications 
of himself in grace by Christ unto the souls of men in this 
world, and yet I do believe it. How much more must we 
satisfy ourselves with the evidence of faith alone in those 
things, which as yet, are more incomprehensible. And our 
adherence unto God, by love and delight, shall always be 


through Christ. For God will be conceived of unto eternity, 
accordino; to the manifestation that he hath made of himself, 
in him, and no otherwise. This shall not be by acting faith 
with respect unto the actual exercise of the mediation of 
Christ, as now we cleave unto God ; but it shall be by the 
all-satisfying acting of love unto God, as he hath manifested 
himself, and wdll manifest himself in Christ. 

3dly. The person of Christ, and therein his human na- 
ture, shall be the eternal object of divine glory, praise, and 
worship. The life of glory is not a mere state of contem- 
plation. Vision is the principle of it, as faith is of the life 
of grace. Love is the great vital acting of that principle, in 
adherence unto God with eternal delight. But this is ac- 
tive in it also. It shall be exercised in the continual ascrip- 
tion and assignation of glory, praise, and honour unto God, 
and the glorious exercise of all sorts of grace therein ; hereof 
the Lamb, the person of Christ, is the eternal object with 
that of the Father and the Spirit ; the human nature in the 
Son, admitted into the communion of the same eternal 










Christian Reader, 

The design of the ensuing Discourse, is to declare 
some part of that glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
which is revealed in the Scripture, and proposed as 
the principal object of our faith, love, delight, and 
admiration. But alas ! after our utmost and most 
diligent inquiries, we must say, how little a portion 
is it of him that we can understand ! His glory is in- 
comprehensible, and his praises are unutterable. 
Some things an illuminated mind may conceive of 
it ; but what we can express in comparison of what 
it is in itself, is even less than nothing. But as for 
those who have forsaken the only true guide herein, 
endeavouring to be wise above what is written, and 
to raise their contemplations by fancy and imagina- 
tion above Scripture revelation (as many have done), 
they have darkened counsel without knowledge, ut- 
tering things which they understand not, which have 
no substance or spiritual food of faith in them. 

Howbeit, that real view which we may have of 
Christ and his glory in this world by faith, however 
weak and obscure that knowledge which we may 
attain of them by divine revelation, is inexpressibly 
to be preferred above all other wisdom, understand- 
ing, or knowledge whatever. So it is declared by 
him, who will be acknowledged a competent judge 
in these things ; 'Yea doubtless' (saith he), ' I account 


all these things but loss, for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.' He who doth 
not so, hath no part in him. 

The revelation made of Christ in the blessed gos- 
pel, is far more excellent, more glorious, and more 
filled with rays of divine wisdom and goodness, than 
the whole creation; and the just comprehension of 
it, if attainable, can contain or afford. Without the 
knowledge hereof, the mind of man, however priding 
itself in other inventions and discoveries, is wrapped 
up in darkness and confusion. 

This, therefore, deserves the severest of our 
thoughts, the best of our meditations, and our ut- 
most diligence in them. For if our future blessed- 
ness shall consist in being where he is, and beholding 
of his glory ; what better preparation can there be 
for it, than in a constant previous contemplation of 
that glory in the revelation that is made in the gos- 
pel, unto this very end, that by a view of it, we may 
be gradually transformed into the same glory. 

I shall not, therefore, use any apology for the 
publishing of the ensuing meditations, intended first 
for the exercise of my own mind, and then for the 
edification of a private congregation, which is like to 
be the last service I shall do them in that kind. 
Some may by the consideration of them be called to 
attend unto the same duty with more diligence than 
formerly, and receive directions for the discharge of 
it ; and some may be provoked to communicate their 
greater light and knowledge unto the good of many. 
And that which I design farther in the present Dis- 
course, is to give a brief account of the necessity and 
use, in life and death, of the duty exhorted unto. 

Particular motives unto the diligent discharge of 
this duty, will be pressed in the Discourse itself. 
Here some things more general only shall be premised. 


For all persons not immersed in sensual pleasures, 
not overdrenched in the love of this world, and pre- 
sent things, who have any generous or noble thoughts 
about their own nature, being, and end, are under 
the highest obligation to betake themselves unto 
this contemplation of Christ and his glory. With- 
out this they shall never attain true rest or satisfac- 
tion in their own minds. He it is alone in whom the 
race of mankind may boast and glory, on whom all 
its felicities do depend. For, 

1. He it is in whom our nature, which was de- 
based as low as hell by apostacy from God, is exalted 
above the whole creation. Our nature, in the origi- 
nal constitution of it, in the persons of our first pa- 
rents, was crowned with honour and dignity. The 
image of God wherein it was made, and the domi- 
nion over the lower world wherewith it was in- 
trusted, made it the seat of excellency, of beauty, 
and of glory. But of them all it was at once di- 
vested and made naked by sin, and laid grovelling in 
the dust from whence it was taken. ' Dust thou art, 
and to dust thou shalt return,' was its righteous 
doom. And all its internal faculties were invaded by 
deformed lusts ; every thing that might render the 
whole unlike unto God, whose image it had lost. 
Hence it became the contempt of angels, the domi- 
nion of Satan, who being the enemy of the whole 
creation, never had any thing or place to reign in, 
but the debased nature of man. Nothing was now 
more vile and base, its glory was utterly departed. 
It had both lost its peculiar nearness unto God, 
which was its honour, and was fallen into the great- 
est distance from him of all creatures, the devils only 
excepted, which was its ignominy and shame. And 
in this state, as unto any thing in itself, it was left to 
perish eternally. 


In this condition, lost, poor, base, yea, cursed, 
the Lord Christ the Son of God found our nature. 
And hereon, in infinite condescension and compassion, 
sanctifying a portion of it unto himself, he took it to 
be his own in a holy, ineffable subsistence, in his own 
person. And herein again the same nature, so de- 
pressed into the utmost misery, is exalted above the 
whole creation of God. For in that very nature, 
God hath * set him at his own right hand in the hea- 
venly places, far above all principalities, and powers, 
and might, and dominion, and every name that is 
named, not only in this world, but also in that which 
is to come.' This is that which is so celebrated by 
the psalmist, with the highest admiration, Psal. viii. 
3 — 8. This is the greatest privilege we have among 
all our fellow-creatures ; this we may glory in, and 
value ourselves upon. Those who engage this na- 
ture on the service of sensual lusts and pleasures, 
who think that its felicity and utmost capacities con- 
sist in their satisfaction with the accomplishment of 
other earthly temporary desires, are satisfied with it 
in its state of apostacy from God. But those who 
have received the light of faith and grace ; so as 
rightly to understand the being and end of that na- 
ture whereof they are partakers, cannot but rejoice 
in its deliverance from the utmost debasement into 
that glorious exaltation, which it hath received in the 
person of Christ. And this must needs make thoughts 
of him full of refreshment unto their souls. Let us 
take care of our persons ; the glory of our nature is 
safe in him. For, 

2. In him the relation of our nature unto God, 
is eternally secured. We were created in a cove- 
nant relation unto God. Our nature was related 
unto him in a way of friendship, of likeness, and 
complacency. But the bond of this relation and 


union was quickly broken by our apostacy from him. 
Hereon our whole nature became to be at the utmost 
moral distance from God, and enmity against him, 
which is the depth of misery. But God, in infinite 
wisdom and grace, did design once more to recover 
it, and take it again near unto himself. And he 
would do it in such a way, as should render it ut- 
terly impossible that there should ever be a separa- 
tion between him and it any more. Heaven and 
earth may pass away, but there shall never be a dis- 
solution of the union between God and our nature 
any more. He did it, therefore, by assuming it into 
a substantial union with himself, in the person of the 
Son. Hereby the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in it 
bodily, or substantially, and eternally. Hereby is 
its relation unto God eternally secured. And among 
all the mysterious excellencies which relate here- 
unto, there are two which continually present them- 
selves unto our consideration. 

1. That this nature of ours, is capable of this 
glorious exaltation and subsistence in God. No 
creature could conceive how omnipotent wisdom, 
power, and goodness^ could actuate themselves unto 
the production of this effect. The mystery hereof, 
is the object of the admiration of angels, and will be 
so of the whole church, unto all eternity. What is 
revealed concerning the glory, way, and manner of it, 
in the Scripture, I have declared in my treatise con- 
cerning the mystery of godliness, or the person of 
Christ. What mind can conceive, what tongue can 
express, who can sufficiently admire the wisdom, 
goodness, and condescension of God herein! And 
whereas he hath proposed unto us this glorious ob- 
ject of our faith and meditation, how vile and foolish 
are we, if we spend our thoughts about other things 
in a neglect of it ! 


2. This is also an ineffable pledge of the love of 
God unto our nature. For although he will not take 
it in any other instance, save that of the man Christ 
Jesus, into this relation with himself, by virtue of 
personal union ; yet therein he hath given a glorious 
pledge of his love unto, and valuation of, that nature. 
For 'verily he took not on him the nature of angels, 
but he took on him the seed of Abraham.' And this 
kindness extends unto our persons, as participant of 
that nature. For he designed this glory unto the 
man Christ Jesus^ that he might be the first-born of 
the new creation, that we might be made conformable 
unto him according to our measure ; and as the mem- 
bers of that body, whereof he is the head, we are 
participant in this glory. 

3. It is he, in whom our nature hath been carried 
successfully,- and victoriously, through all the oppo- 
sitions that it is liable unto, and even death itself. 
But the glory hereof I shall speak unto distinctly in 
its proper place, which follows, and therefore shall 
here pass it by. 

4. He it is, who in himself hath given us a pledge 
of the capacity of our nature to inhabit those blessed 
regions of light, which are far above these aspectable 
heavens. Here we dwell in tabernacles of clay, that 
are ' crushed before the moth;' such as cannot be 
raised, so as to abide one foot-breadth above the 
earth we tread upon. The heavenly luminaries 
which we can behold, appear too great and glorious 
for our cohabitation. We are as grasshoppers in our 
own eyes, in comparison of those gigantic beings; 
and they seem to dwell in places, which would im- 
mediately swallow up, and extinguish our natures. 
How then shall we entertain an apprehension of be- 
ing carried and exalted above them all ? to have an 
everlasting subsistence in places incomprehensibly 


more glorious than the orbs wherein they reside? 
What capacity is there in our nature of such a ha- 
bitation ? But hereof the Lord Christ hath given us 
a pledge in himself. Our nature in him, is passed 
through these aspectable heavens, and is exalted far 
above them. Its eternal habitation is in the blessed 
regions of light and glory ; and he hath promised 
that w^here he is, there we shall be, and that for ever. 
Other encouragements there are innumerable to 
stir us up unto diligence in the discharge of the 
duty here proposed; namely, a continual contem- 
plation of the glory of Christ in his person, office, and 
grace. Some of them, the principal of them, which 
I have any acquaintance with, are represented in the 
ensuing Discourse. I shall, therefore, here add the 
peculiar advantage which we may obtain in the dili- 
gent discharge of this duty. Which is, that it w41l 
carry us cheerfully, comfortably, and victoriously, 
through life and death, and all that we have to con- 
flict withal in either of them. 

And let it be remembered, that I do here suppose 
what is written on this subject in the ensuing Dis- 
course, as being designed to prepare the minds of the 
readers for the due improvement of it. 

As unto this present life, it is well known what it 
is unto the most of them, \yho concern themselves in 
these things. Temptations, afflictions, changes, sor- 
rows, dangers, fears, sickness, and pains, do fill up 
no small part of it. And on the other hand, all our 
earthly relishes, refreshments, and comforts, are un- 
certain, transitory, and unsatisfactory ; all thinos of 
each sort being imbittered by the remainders of sin. 
Hence every thing wherein we are concerned, hath 
the root of trouble and sorrow in it. Some labour 
under wants, poverty, and straits all their days ; 
and some have very few hours free from pains and 


sickness. And all these things, with others of an 
alike nature, are heightened at present, by the cala- 
mitous season wherein our lot is fallen. All things 
almost in all nations are filled with confusions, dis- 
orders, dangers, distresses, and troubles; wars and 
rumours of wars, do abound, with tokens of farther 
approaching judgments ; ' distress of nations, with 
perplexities, men's hearts failing them for fear, and 
for looking after those things which are coming on 
the earth.' There is in many places ^ no peace unto 
him that goeth out, nor to him that cometh in, but 
great vexations are on the inhabitants of the world ; 
nation is destroyed of nation, and city of city, for 
God doth vex them with all adversity.' And in the 
mean time, vexation^ with the ungodly deeds of 
wicked men, doth greatly farther the troubles of life ; 
the sufferings of many also for the testimony of their 
consciences are deplorable, with the divisions and 
animosities^ that abound aniongst all sorts of Chris- 

But the shortness, the vanity, the miseries of 
human life, have been the subject of the complaints 
of all sorts of considering persons, heathens as well 
as Christians ; nor is it my present business to insist 
upon them. My inquiry is only after the relief 
which we may obtain against all these evils, that we 
faint not under them, that we may have the victory 
over them. 

This in general is declared by the apostle, 2 Cor. 
iv. ' We are troubled on every side, yet not dis- 
tressed ; we are perplexed, but not in despair ; per- 
secuted, but not forsaken ; cast down, but not de- 
stroyed. But for this cause we faint not, but though 
our outward man perish, yet the inward man is re- 
newed day by day. For our light affliction, which 
is but for a moment, worketh for us a more exceed- 


ing and eternal weight of glory. While we look not 
at the things which are seen, but at the things which 
are not seen : for the things which are seen, are tem- 
poral ; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.' 

Our beholding by faith things that are not seen, 
things spiritual and eternal, will alleviate all our af- 
flictions, make their burden light, and preserve our 
souls from fainting under them. Of these things the 
glory of Christ whereof we treat, is the principal, 
and in a due sense comprehensive of them all. For 
we behold the ' glory of God himself, in the face of 
Jesus Christ.' He that can at all times retreat unto 
the contemplation of this glory, will be carried above 
the perplexing prevailing sense of any of these evils, 
of a confluence of them all. ' Crus nil sentit in ner- 
vo dum animus est in coslo.' 

It is a woful kind of life, when men scramble 
for poor perishing reliefs in their distresses. This 
is the universal remedy and cure, the only balsam 
for all our diseases. Whatever presseth, urgeth, 
perplexeth ; if we can but retreat in our minds unto 
a view of this glory, and a due consideration of our 
own interest therein ; comfort and supportment will 
be administered unto us. Wicked men in their dis- 
tresses (which sometimes overtake even them also), 
are like * a troubled sea that cannot rest.' Others 
are heartless and despond, not without secret repin- 
ings at the wise disposals of divine providence, espe- 
cially when they look on the better condition (as 
they suppose) of others. And the best of us all are 
apt to wax faint and weary, when these things press 
upon us in an unusual manner, or under their long 
continuance, without a prospect of relief. This is 
the strong hold which such prisoners of hope are to 
turn themselves unto. In this contemplation of the 


glory of Christ, they will find rest unto their own 
souls. For, 

1. It will herein, and in the discharge of this 
duty, be made evident, how slight and inconsider- 
able all these things are from whence our troubles 
and distresses do arise. For they all grow on this 
root of an over-valuation of temporal things. And 
unless we can arrive unto a fixed judgment that all 
things here below are transitory and perishing, 
reaching only unto the outward man, or the body 
(perhaps unto the killing of it), that the best of them 
have nothing that is truly substantial or abiding in 
them ; that there are other things wherein we have 
an assured interest, that are incomparably better 
than they, and above them, it is impossible but that 
we must spend our lives in fears, sorrows, and dis- 
tractions. One real view of the glory of Christ, 
and of our own concernment therein, will give us a 
full relief in this matter. For what are all the things 
of this life ; what is the good or evil of them, in com- 
parison of an interest in this transcendent glory? 
When we have due apprehensions hereof, when our 
minds are possessed with thoughts of it, when our 
affections reach out after its enjoyments, let pain, 
and sickness, and sorrows, and fears, and dangers, 
and death, say what they will, we shall have in rea- 
diness wherewith to combat with them, and over- 
come them ; and that on this consideration, that they 
are all outward, transitory, and passing away ; where- 
as our minds are fixed on those things which are 
eternal, and filled with incomprehensible glory. 

2. The minds of men are apt by their troubles to 
be cast into disorder, to be tossed up and down, and 
disquieted with various affections and passions. So 
the psalmist found it in himself, in the time of his 


distress; whence he calls himself unto that account: 
' Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and why art 
thou disquieted in me V And indeed, the mind on all 
such occasions, is its own greatest troubler. It is 
apt to let loose its passions of fear and sorrow, which 
act themselves in innumerable perplexing thoughts, 
until it is carried utterly out of its own power. But 
in this state a due contemplation of the glory of 
Christ, will restore and compose the mind, bring it 
into a sedate, quiet frame, wherein faith will be able 
to say unto the winds and waves of distempered 
passions, Peace, be still ; and they shall obey it. 

3. It is the way and means of conveying a sense 
of God's love unto our souls, which is that alone 
where ultimately we find rest in the midst of all the 
troubles of this life, as the apostle declares, Rom. v. 
2 — 5. It is the Spirit of God, who alone communi- 
cates a sense of this love unto our souls ; it is ' shed 
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.' Howbeit, 
there are ways and means to be used on our part, 
whereby we may be disposed and made meet to re- 
ceive these communications of divine love. Among 
these the principal is the contemplation of the glory 
of Christ insisted on, and of God the Father in him. 
It is the season, it is the way and means, at which 
and whereby the Holy Ghost will give a sense of the 
love of God unto us, causing us thereon to * rejoice 
with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' This will 
be made evident in the ensuing discourse. This will 
lift the minds and hearts of believers above all the 
troubles of this life, and is the sovereign antidote that 
will expel all the poison that is in them, which other- 
wise might perplex and enslave their souls. 

I have but touched on these things, as designing 
to enlarge somewhat on that which doth ensue. 
And this is the advantage we may have in the dis- 

VOL. XII. 2 a 


charge of this duty with respect unto death itself. It 
is the assiduous contemplation of the glory of Christ, 
which will carry us cheerfully and comfortably into it, 
and through it. My principal work having been now 
for a long season to die daily, as living in a continual 
expectation of my dissolution, I shall on this occasion 
acquaint the reader with some few of my thoughts and 
reliefs, with reference unto death itself. 

There are sundry things required of us, that we 
may be able to encounter death cheerfully, constantly, 
and victoriously. For want of these, or some of them, 
I have known gracious souls, who have lived in a kind 
of bondage for fear of death all their days. We know 
not how God will manage any of our minds and souls 
in that season, in that trial. For he acts towards us in 
all such things, in a way of sovereignty. But these 
are the things which he requireth of us in a way of 

First, Peculiar actings of faith to resign and commit 
our departing souls into the hand of him, who is able 
to receive them, to keep and preserve them, as also to 
dispose of them into a state of rest and blessedness, 
are required of us. 

The soul is now parting with all things here below, 
and that for ever. None of all the things which it 
hath seen, heard, or enjoyed, by its outward senses, can 
be prevailed with to stay with it one hour, or to take 
one step with it, in the voyage wherein it is engaged. 
It must alone by itself launch into eternity. It is en- 
tering an invisible world, which it knows no more of 
than it hath received by faith. None hath come from 
the dead to inform us of the state of the other world. 
Yea, God seems on purpose so to conceal it from us, 
that we should have no evidence of it, at least as unto 
the manner of things in it, but what is given unto 
faith b'^divine revelation. Hence those who died and 


were raised again from the dead, unto any continuance 
among men, as Lazarus, probably knew nothing of the 
invisible state. Their souls were preserved by the 
power of God in their being, but bound up as unto pre- 
sent operations. This made a great emperor cry out 
on the approach of death ; ^ O animula, tremula, vagula, 
blandula; quae nunc abibis in loca horrida, squalida,' 
&c. * O poor, trembling, wandering soul, into what 
places of darkness and defilement art thou going !' • 

How is it like to be after the few moments, which 
under the pangs of death we have to continue in this 
world? Is it an annihilation that lies at the door? Is 
death the destruction of our whole being, so as that 
after it we shall be no more? So some would have the 
state of things to be. Is it a state of subsistence in a 
wandering condition, up and down the world, under the 
influence of other more powerful spirits that rule in the 
air, visiting tombs and solitary places, and sometimes 
making appearances of themselves by the impressions 
of those more powerful spirits, as some imagine from 
the story concerning Samuel arid the witch of Endor, 
and as it is commonly received in the papacy, out of a 
compliance with their imagination of purgatory? Or 
is it a state of universal misery and woe ? a state inca- 
pable of comfort or joy? Let them pretend what they 
please, who can understand no comfort or joy in this 
life, tut what they receive by their senses, they can 
look for nothing else. And whatever be the state of 
this invisible world, the soul can undertake nothinof of 
its own conduct after its departure from the body. It 
knows that it must be absolutely at the disposal of an- 

Wherefore, no man can comfortably venture on 
and into this condition, but in the exercise of that 
faith, which enables him to resign and give up his de- 
parting soul into the hand of God, who alone is able 

2 A 2 



to receive it, and to dispose it into a condition of rest 
and blessedness. So speaks the apostle, 'I am not 
ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am 
persuaded, that he is able to keep that which I have 
committed unto him, against that day.' 

Herein, as in all other graces, is our Lord Jesus 
Christ our great example. He resigned his departing 
spirit into the hands of his Father, to be owned and 
preserved by him, in its state of separation. 'Father, 
into thy hands I commit my spirit,' Luke xxiii. 46. as 
did the psalmist, his type, in an alike condition ; Psal. 
xxxi. 5. But the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ herein, 
the object and exercise of it, what he believed and 
trusted unto, in this resignation of his spirit into the 
hand of God, is at large expressed in the sixteenth 
Psalm. "' I have,' said he, ' set the Lord always before 
me : because he is at my right hand, I shall not be 
moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory re- 
joiceth ; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou 
wilt not leave my soul in hell ; neither wilt thou suffer 
thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me 
the path of life ; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy 
right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' He left 
his soul in the hand of God, in full assurance that it 
should suffer no evil in its state of separation, but 
should be brought again with his body into a blessed 
resurrection, and eternal glory. So Stephen resigned 
his soul, departing under violence, into the hands of 
Christ himself. When he died, he said, ' Lord Jesus, 
receive my spirit.' 

This is the last victorious act of faith, wherein its 
conquest over its last enemy death itself doth consist. 
Herein the soul says, in and unto itself. Thou art now 
taking leave of time unto eternity; all things about thee 
are departing as shades, and will immediately disap- 
pear. The things which thou art entering into are 


yet invisible; such as 'eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, nor will they enter into the heart of man fully 
to conceive.' Now, therefore, with quietness and con- 
fidence give up thyself unto the sovereign power, 
PTace, truth, and faithfulness of God, and thou shalt 
find assured rest and peace. 

But Jesus Christ it is, who doth immediately re- 
ceive the souls of them who believe in him. So we 
see in the instance of Stephen. And what can be a 
PTeater encourao:ement to resio^n them into his hands, 
than a daily contemplation of his glory in his person, 
his power, his exaltation, his office, and grace? Who 
that believes in him, that belongs unto him, can fear to 
commit his departing spirit unto his love, power, and 
care ? Even we also shall hereby in our dying moments 
see, by faith, heaven opened, and Jesus standing at the 
right hand of God, ready to receive us. This added 
unto the love which all believers have unto the Lord 
Jesus, which is enflamed by contemplation of his 
glory, and their desires to be with him where he is, it 
will strengthen and confirm our minds in the resigna- 
tion of our departing souls into his hand. 

Secondly, It is required in us unto the same end, 
that we be ready and willing to part with the flesh, 
wherewith we are clothed, with all things that are use- 
ful and desirable thereunto. The alliance, the relation, 
the friendship, the union, that are between the soul and 
the body, are the greatest, the nearest, the firmest, that 
are or can be among mere created beings. There is 
nothing like it, nothing equal unto it. The union of 
three persons in the one single divine nature, and the 
union of two natures in one person of Christ, are infi- 
nite, ineffable, and exempted from all comparison. But 
among created beings, the union of these two essential 
parts of the same nature in one person, is most excel- 
lent. Nor is any thing equal to it, or like it, found in 


any other creatures. Those who among them have 
most of life, have either no bodies, as angels ; or no 
souls, but what perish with them, as all brute creatures 

x4Lngels being pure immaterial spirits, have nothing 
in them, nothing belonging unto their essence, that can 
die. Beasts have nothing in them that can live when 
their bodies die. The soul of a beast cannot be pre- 
served in a separate condition, no not by an act of Al- 
mighty power ; for it is not ; and that which is not, 
cannot live. It is nothing but the body itself in an 
act of its material powers. 

Only the nature of man in all the works of God is 
capable of this convulsion. The essential parts of it 
are separable by death, the one continuing to exist and 
act its especial powers in a separate state or condition. 
The powers of the whole entire nature acting in soul 
and body in conjunction, are all scattered and lost by 
death. But the powers of one essential part of the 
same nature, that is of the soul, are preserved after 
death in a more perfect acting and exercise than before. 
This is peculiar unto human nature, as a mean partak- 
ing of heaven and earth, of the perfection of angels 
above, and of the imperfection of the beasts below. 
Only there is this difference in these things : our parti- 
cipation of the heavenly spiritual perfections of the an- 
gelical nature, is for eternity ; our participation of the 
imperfections of the animate creatures here below, is 
but for a season. For God hath designed our bodies 
unto such a glorious refinement at the resurrection, as 
that they shall have no more alliance unto that brutish 
nature, which perisheth for ever. For we shall be 
laayyeXoL, like unto angcls, or equal to them. Our bo- 
dies shall no more be capable of those acts and opera- 
tions which are now common to us with other living 
creatures here below. 


This is the pre-eminence of the nature of man, as 
the wise man declares. For unto that objection of 
atheistical epicureans, ' As the one dieth, so dieth the 
other; they have all one breath, so that a man hath no 
pre-eminence above a beast, and all go into one place, 
all are of the dust, and all turn to the dust again :' he 
granteth, that as unto their bodies it is for a season, in 
them we have a present participation of their nature ; 
but, saith he, here lieth the difference, * Who knoweth 
the spirit of a man that goeth upward, and the spirit of 
a beast that goeth downward unto the earth V Unless 
we know this, unless we consider the different state of 
the spirit of men and beasts, we cannot be delivered 
from this atheism; but the thoughts hereof will set us 
at liberty from it. They die in like manner, and their 
bodies go equally to the dust for a season; but the 
beast hath no spirit, no soul, but what dies with the 
body and goes to the dust. If they had, their bodies 
also must be raised again unto a conjunction with them ; 
otherwise, death would produce a new race of crea- 
tures unto eternity. But man hath an immortal soul, 
saith he, a heavenly spirit, which when the body goes 
into the dust for a season, ascends to heaven (where the 
guilt of sin, and the curse of the law, interpose not), 
from whence it is there to exist and to act all its native 
powers in a state of blessedness. 

But as I said, by reason of this peculiar intimate 
vinion and relation between the soul and body, there 
is in the w^hole nature a fixed aversation from a dis- 
solution. The soul and body are naturally and ne- 
cessarily unwilling to fall into a state of separation, 
wherein the one shall cease to be what it was, and 
the other knows not clearly how it shall subsist. The 
body claspeth about the soul, and the soul receiveth 
strange impressions from its embraces ; the entire 


nature existing in the union of them both, being un- 
alterably averse unto a dissolution. 

Wherefore, unless we can overcome this inclina- 
tion, we can never die comfortably or cheerfully. We 
would indeed rather choose to be 'clothed upon, that 
mortality might be swallowed up of life,' that the 
clothing of glory might come on our whole nature, 
soul and body, without dissolution. But if this may 
not be, yet then do believers so conquer this inclina- 
tion by faith and views of the glory of Christ, as to 
attain a desire of this dissolution. So the apostle 
testifies of tiimself, ' i have a desire to depart, and to 
be with Christ, which is far better' than to abide 
here ; Phil. i. 23. saith he, ^TnOviiiav lyoj. Not an 
ordinary desire, not that which worketh in me now 
and then ; but a constant, habitual inclination working 
in vehement acts and desires. And what doth he so 
desire ? It is avakvaai, ' to depart,' say we, out of this 
body, from this tabernacle, to leave it for a season. 
But it is such a departure as consists in the dissolu- 
tion of the present state of his being, that it should 
not be what it is. But how is it possible that a man 
should attain such an inclination unto, such a readi- 
ness for, such a vehement desire of, a dissolution ? It 
is from a view by faith of Christ and his glory, 
whence the soul is satisfied, that to be with him is 
incomparably better than in its present state and 

He therefore that would die comfortably, must 
be able to say within himself and to himself; Die, 
then, thou frail and sinful flesh ; ' dust thou art, and 
unto dust thou shalt return.' I yield thee up unto 
the righteous doom of the Holy One. Yet therein 
also I give thee into the hand of the great refiner, 
who will hide thee in thy grave, and by thy consump- 


tion purify thee from all thy corruption and disposi- 
tion to evil. And otherwise this will not be. After 
a Ions: sincere endeavour for the mortification of all 
sin, 1 find it will never be absolutely perfect, but 
by this reduction into the dust. Thou shalt no more 
be a residence for the least remainder of sin unto 
eternity, nor any clog unto my soul in its actings on 
God. Rest therefore in hope; for God, in his ap- 
pointed season, when he shall have a desire unto the 
work of his hands, will call unto thee, and thou shalt 
answer him out of the dust. Then shall he by an 
act of his Almighty power, not only restore thee 
unto thy pristine glory, as at the first creation, when 
thou wast the pure workmanship of his hands; but 
enrich and adorn thee with inconceivable privileges 
and advantages. Be not then afraid ; away with all 
reluctancy, go into the dust, rest in hope, for thou 
shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days. 

That which will enable us hereunto, in an emi- 
nent manner, is that view and consideration of the 
glory of Christ, which is the subject of the ensuing- 
meditations. For he who is now possessed of all 
that glory, underwent this dissolution of nature as 
truly and really as ever we shall do. 

Thirdly, There is required hereunto, a readiness 
to comply with the times and seasons wherein God 
would have us depart and leave this world. Many 
think they shall be willing to die when their time is 
come ; but they have many reasons, as they suppose, 
to desire that it may not yet be, which for the most 
part arise merely from fear, and aversation of death. 
Some desire to live that they may see more of that 
glorious work of God for his church, which they be- 
lieve he will accomplish. So Moses prayed that he 
might not die in the wilderness, but go over Jordan 
and see the good land, and that goodly mountain. 


and Lebanon, the seat of the church, and of the wor- 
ship of God ; which yet God thought meet to deny 
unto him. And this denial of the request of Moses, 
made on the highest consideration possible, is in- 
structive unto all in the like case. Others may judge 
themselves to have some work to do in the world, 
wherein they suppose that the glory of God, and good 
of the church is concerned, and therefore would be 
spared for a season. Paul knew not clearly whether 
it were not best for him to abide awhile longer in 
the flesh on this account. And David often depre- 
cates the present season of death, because of the 
work which he had to do for God in the world. 
Others rise no higher than their own private inter- 
ests or concerns with respect unto their persons, their 
families, their relations, and goods in this world. 
They would see these things in a better or more 
settled condition, before they die, and then they shall 
be most willing so to do. But it is the love of life 
that lies at the bottom of all these desires in men, 
which of itself will never forsake them. But no man 
can die cheerfully or comfortably, who lives not in 
a constant resignation of the time and season of his 
death unto the will of God, as well as himself with 
respect unto death itself. Our times are in his hand, 
at his sovereign disposal, and his will in all things 
must be complied withal. Without this resolution, 
without this resignation, no man can enjoy the least 
solid peace in this world. 

Fourthly, As the times and seasons, so the ways 
and means of the approaches of death have especial 
trials, which unless w^e are prepared for them, will 
keep us under bondage with the fear of death itself. 
Long wasting wearing consumptions, burning fevers, 
strong pains of the stone, or the like from within, 
or sword, fire, tortures, with shame and reproach 


from without, may be in the way of the access of 
death unto us. Some who have been wholly freed 
from all fears of death, as a dissolution of nature, 
who have looked on it as amiable, and desirable in 
itself, have yet had great exercise in their minds 
about these ways of its approach. They have ear- 
nestly desired, that this peculiar bitterness of the cup 
might be taken away ; to get above all perplexities 
on the account of these things, is part of our wisdom 
in dying daily. And we are to have always in a rea- 
diness, those graces and duties which are necessary 
thereunto. Such are a constant resignation of our- 
selves, in all events, unto the sovereign will, pleasure, 
and disposal of God. * May he not do what he will 
with his own V Is it not right and meet it should be 
so ? Is not his will in all things infinitely holy, wise, 
just, and good ? Doth he not know what is best for 
us, and what conduceth most unto his own glory ? 
Doth not he alone do so ? So is it to live in the exer- 
cise of faith, that if God calls us unto any q( those 
things, which are peculiarly dreadful unto our na- 
tures, he will give us such supplies of spiritual 
strength and patience, as shall enable us to undergo 
them, if not with ease and joy, yet with peace and qui- 
etness beyond our expectation. Multitudes have had 
experience that those things which at a distance have 
had an aspect of overwhelming dread, have been far 
from unsupportable in their approach, when strength 
hath been received from above to encounter with 
them. And moreover it is in this case required, that 
we be frequent and steady in comparing these things 
with those which are eternal, both as unto the mi- 
sery, which we are freed from, and that blessedness 
which is prepared for us. But I shall proceed no 
farther with these particulars. 

There is none of all the things we have insisted 


on, neither the resignation of a departing soul into 
the hand of God, nor a willingness to lay down this 
flesh in the dust, nor a readiness to comply with 
the will of God, as to the times and seasons, or the 
way and manner of the approach of death, that can 
be attained unto, without a prospect of that glory 
that shall give us a new state far more excellent than 
what we here leave or depart from. This we can- 
not have, whatever we pretend, unless we have some 
present views of the glory of Christ. An apprehen- 
sion of the future manifestation of it in heaven, will 
not relieve us, if here we know not what it is, and 
wherein it doth consist ; if we have not some pre- 
vious discovery of it in this life. This is that which 
will make all things easy and pleasant unto us, even 
death itself, as it is a means to bring us unto its full 

Other great and glorious advantages which may 
be obtained in the diligent discharge of the duty here 
proposed, might be insisted on ; but that the things 
themselves discoursed of will evidently discover, and 
direct us unto the spring and reasons of them : be- 
sides, weakness, weariness, and the near approaches 
of death do call me off from any farther labour in this 




Father^ I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me ivhere 
I am: that they may behold my glory, which thou hast yiven me. — 
John xvii. 24. 

The high-priest under the law, when he was to enter into 
the holy place on the solemn day of atonement, was to take 
both his hands full of sweet incense from the golden table 
of incense, to carry along with him in his entrance. He 
had also a censer filled with fire, that was taken from the 
altar of burnt-offerings, where atonement was made for sin 
with blood. Upon his actual entrance through the veil, he 
put the incense on the fire in the censer, until the cloud of 
its smoke covered the ark, and the mercy-seat. See Lev. 
xvi. 12, 13. And the end hereof was to present unto God, 
in the behalf of the people, a sweet smelling savour from the 
sacrifice of propitiation. See the declaration of these things 
in our exposition of Heb. ix. 

In answer unto this mystical type, the great High Priest 
of the church, our Lord Jesus Christ, being to enter into 
the * holy place not made with hands,' did by the glorious 
prayer recorded in this chapter, influenced from the blood 
of his sacrifice, fill the heavens above, the glorious place of 
God's residence, with a cloud of incense, or the sweet per- 
fume of his blessed intercession, typed by the incense offered 
by the bigh-priest of old. By the same eternal fire where- 
with he offered himself a bloody sacrifice to make atonement 
for sin, he kindled in his most holy soul those desires for 
the application of all its benefits unto his church, which are 
here expressed, and wherein his intercession doth consist. 

It is only one passage in the verse above named, that at 
present I design an inquiry into. And this is the subject 


matter of what the Lord Christ here desires in the behalf of 
those given him by the Father; namely, that they may be- 
hold his glory. 

It is evident, that in this prayer the Lord Christ hath 
respect unto his own glory, and the manifestation of it, 
which he had in the entrance asked of the Father, ver. 4, 5. 
But in this place he hath not so much respect unto it as his 
own, as unto the advantage, benefit, satisfaction, and bless- 
edness of his disciples, in the beholding of it. For these 
things were the end of all that mediatory glory which was 
given unto him. So Joseph charged his brethren, when he 
had revealed himself unto them, that they should ' tell his 
father of all his glory in Egypt ;' Gen. xlv. 13. This he did, 
not for an ostentation of his own glory, but for the satis- 
faction which he knew his father would take in the know- 
ledo-e of it. And such a manifestation of his glory unto his 
disciples doth the Lord Christ here desire, as might fill them 
with blessed satisfaction for evermore. 

This alone which is here prayed for, will give them such 
satisfaction, and nothing else. The hearts of believers are 
like the needle touched by the loadstone, which cannot rest 
until it comes to the point whereunto by the secret virtue of 
it, it is directed. For being once touched by the love of 
Christ, receiving therein an impression of secret ineffable 
virtue, they will ever be in motion, and restless, until they 
come unto him, and behold his glory. That soul which can 
be satisfied without it, that cannot be eternally satisfied with 
it, is not partaker of the efficacy of his intercession. 

I shall lay the foundation of the ensuing meditations in 
this one assertion, namely, that one of the greatest privileges 
and advancements of believers, both in this world, and unto 
eternity, consists in their beholding the glory of Christ. 
This therefore he desires for them in this solemn intercession, 
as the complement of all his other requests in their behalf; 
* that they may behold my glory.' "Iva OtwpCjcri, that they 
may see, view, behold, or contemplate on my glory. The 
reasons why I assign not this glorious privilege only unto 
the heavenly state, which is principally respected in this 
place, but apply it unto the state of believers in this world 
also, with their duties and privileges therein, shall be imme- 
diately declared. 

All unbelievers do in their heart call Christ ' Ichabod ;' 


* Where is the ojory V They see neither * form nor come- 
liness in him,' that he should be desired. They look on him 
as Michal, Saul's daughter, did on David ' dancing before 
the ark/ when she despised him in her heart. They do not 
indeed (manyof them) ' call Jesus anathema,' but cry, ' Hail, 
Master,' and then crucify him. 

Hence have we so many cursed opinions advanced in de- 
rogation unto his glory, some of them really destructive of all 
that is truly so ; yea, denying the ' only Lord that bought us/ 
and substituting a false Christ in his room. And others there 
are who express their slight thoughts of him and his glory, 
by bold irreverent inquiries, of what use his person is in our 
religion; as though there were any thing in our religion, that 
hath either reality, substance, or truth, but by virtue of its 
relation thereunto. And by their answers, they bring their 
own inquiries yet nearer unto the borders of blasphemy. 

Never was there an age since the name of Christians was 
known upon the earth, wherein there was such a direct op- 
position made unto the person and glory of Christ, as there 
is in that wherein w^e live. There were indeed in the first 
times of the church, swarms of proud, doting, brainsick 
persons, who vented many foolish imaginations about him, 
which issued at length in Arianism, in whose ruins they 
were buried. The gates of hell in them, prevailed not against 
the rock on which the church is built. But as it was said 
of Caesar, * Solus accessit sobrius, ad perdendam rempub- 
licam;' * He alone went soberly about the destruction of 
the commonwealth;' so we now have great numbers who 
oppose the person and glory of Christ, under a pretence of 
sobriety of reason, as they vainly plead. Yea, the disbelief 
of the mysteries of the Trmity, and the incarnation of the 
Son of God, the sole foundation of Christian religion, is so 
diffused in the world, as that it hath almost devoured the 
power and vitals of it. And not a few, who dare not yet 
express their minds, do give broad intimations of their in- 
tentions and good will towards him, in making them the 
object of their scorn and reproach, who desire to know no- 
thing but him, and him crucified. 

God in his appointed time will effectually vindicate his 
honour and glory, from the vain attempts of men of corrupt 
minds against them. 

In the mean time, it is the duty of all those who * love 


the Lord Jesus in sincerity/ to give testimony in a peculiar 
manner unto his divine person and glory, according unto 
their several capacities, because of the opposition that is 
made against them. 

I have thought myself on many accounts obliged to cast 
my mite into this treasury. And I have chosen so to do, 
not in a way of controversy (which formerly I have engaged 
in), but so, as together with the vindication of the truth, to 
promote the strengthening of the faith of true believers, their 
edification in the knowledge of it ; and to express the expe- 
rience which they have, or may have, of the power and reality 
of these things. 

That which at present I design to demonstrate is, that 
the beholding of the glory of Christ, is one of the greatest 
privileges and advancements that believers are capable of in 
this world, or that which is to come. It is that whereby 
they are first gradually conformed unto it, and then fixed in 
the eternal enjoyment of it. For here in this life, ' beholding 
his glory, they are changed or transformed into the likeness 
of it,' 2 Cor. iii. 18. and hereafter, they shall be * for ever 
like unto him,' because they * shall see him as he is;' 1 John 
iii. 1, 2. Hereon do our present comforts, and future 
blessedness depend. This is the life and reward of our 
souls. ' He that hath seen him, hath seen the Father also ;' 
John xiv. 9. For we discern the ' light of the knowledge of 
God, only in the face of Jesus Christ ;' 2 Cor iv. 6. 

There are, therefore, two ways or degrees of beholding 
the glory of Christ, which are constantly distinguished in 
the Scripture. The one is by faith in this world, which is 
the evidence of things not seen ; the other is by sight, or 
immediate vision in eternity. 2 Cor. v. 7. * We walk by 
faith and not by sight.' We do so whilst we are in this 
world, ' whilst we are present in the body, and absent from 
the Lord ;' ver. 8. But we shall live and walk by sight here- 
after. And it is the Lord Christ and his glory, which are 
the immediate object both of this faith and sight. For we 
here ' behold him darkly in a glass' (that is, by faith), * but we 
shall see him face to face' (by immediate vision). * Now we 
know him in part : but then we shall know him as we are 
known;' 1 Cor. xiii. 12. What is the difference between 
these two ways of beholding the glory of Christ, shall be 
afterward declared. 


It is the first way, namely, by vision in the light of glory 
that is principally included in that prayer of our blessed 
Saviour, that his disciples may be ' where he is, to behold 
his glory.' But, I shall not confine my inquiry thereunto ; 
nor doth our Lord Jesus exclude from his desire, that sig^ht 
of his glory which we have by faith in this world ; but prays 
for the perfection of it in heaven. It is therefore the first 
way, that in the first place I shall insist upon, and that for 
the reasons ensuing. 

1. No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight 
hereafter, who doth not in some measure behold it by faith 
here in this world ; grace is a necessary preparation for glory, 
and faith for sight. Where the subject, the soul, is not pre- 
viously seasoned with grace and faith, it is not capable of 
glory, or vision. Nay, persons not disposed hereby unto 
it, cannot desire it, whatever they pretend ; they only de- 
ceive their own souls, in supposing that so they do. Most 
men will say with confidence, living and dying, 'that they 
desire to be with Christ, and to behold his glory ;' but they 
can give no reason, why they should desire any such thing ; 
only they think it somewhat that is better than to be in that 
evil condition which otherwise they must be cast into for 
ever, when they can be here no more. If a man pretend 
himself to be enamoured on, or greatly to desire, what he 
never saw, nor was ever represented unto him, he doth but 
dote on his own imaginations. And the pretended desires 
of many, to behold the glory of Christ in heaven, who have 
no view of it by faith whilst they are here in this world, are 
nothing but self-deceiving imaginations. 

So do the Papists delude themselves. Their carnal af- 
fections are excited by their outward senses, to defight in 
images of Christ, in his sufferings, his resurrection, and 
glory above. Hereon they satisfy themselves, that they 
behold the glory of Christ himself, and that with love and 
great delight. But whereas there is not the least true repre- 
sentation made of the Lord Christ, or his glory, in these 
things, that being confined absolutely unto the gospel alone, 
and this way of attempting it being laid under a severe inter- 
dict, they do but sport themselves with their own deceivings. 

The apostle tells us concerning himself, and other be- 
lievers, when the Lord Christ was present, and conversed 

VOL. XII. 2 B 


with them in the days of his flesh, that they * saw his glory, 
the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace 
and truth ;' John i. 14. And we may inquire, what was this 
glory of Christ, which they so saw, and by what means they 
obtained a prospect of it? For 1. It was not the glory of 
his outward condition, as we behold the glory and grandeur 
of the kings and potentates of the earth ; for he made him- 
self of no reputation, but being in the form of a servant, he 
walked in the condition of a man of low degree. The se- 
cular grandeur of his pretended vicar, makes no representa- 
tion of that glory of his, which his disciples saw. He kept 
no court, nor house of entertainment, nor (though he made 
all things) had of his own where to lay his head. Nor 2. 
Was it with respect to the outward form of the flesh which 
he was made, wherein he took our nature on him, as we see 
the glory of a comely or beautiful person; for he had therein 
neither form nor comeliness, that he should be desired, 
* his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form 
more than the sons of men ;' Isa. lii. 14. liii. 2, 3. All things 
appeared in him as became 'a man of sorrows.' Nor 3. 
Was it absolutely the eternal essential glory of his divine 
nature, that is intended. For this no man can see in this 
world. What we shall attain in a view thereof hereafter, we 
know not. But 4. It was his glory, as he was * full of grace 
and truth.' They saw the glory of his person and his office 
in the administration of grace and truth. And how, or by 
what means, did they see this glory of Christ ? It was by 
faith, and no otherwise. For this privilege was granted 
unto them only who ' received him, and believed on his 
name ;' ver. 12. This was that glory which the Baptist saw, 
when upon his coming unto him he said unto all that were 
present, ' Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the 
sin of the world ;' John i. 29 — 33. 

Wherefore, let no man deceive himself: he that hath no 
sight of the glory of Christ here, shall never have any of it 
hereafter unto his advantage. It is not therefore unto edi- 
fication, to discourse of beholding the glory of Christ in 
heaven by vision, until we go through a trial, whether we 
see any thing of it in this world by faith or no. 

2. The beholding of Christ in glory, is that which in 
itself is too high, illustrious, and marvellous for us in our 


present condition. It hath a splendour and glory too great 
for our present spiritual visive facluty; as the direct, im- 
mediate sight of the sun darkens our sight, and doth not 
relieve or strengthen it at all. Wherefore, we have no way 
to take into our minds any true spiritual apprehensions of 
the nature of immediate vision, or what it is to see the 
glory of Christ in heaven, but by that view which we have 
by faith in this life of the same glory. Whatever otherwise 
falls into our minds, is but conjecture and imagination; such 
as are the contemplations of most about heavenly things. 

I have seen and read somewhat of the writings of learned 
men, concerning the state of future glory ; some of them 
are filled with excellent notions of truth, and elegancy of 
speech, whereby they cannot but much affect the minds of 
them who duly consider what they say. But I know not 
well whence it comes to pass, many complain, that in reading 
of such discourses they are like a man who ' behold his na- 
tural face in a glass, and immediately forgets what manner 
of man he was ;' as one of old complained to the same pur- 
pose upon his perusal of Plato's contemplations about the 
immortality of the soul. The things spoken do not abide 
nor incorporate with our minds. They please and refresh 
for a little while, like a shower of rain in a dry season, that 
soaketh not unto the roots of things ; the power of them 
doth not enter into us. Is it not all from hence, that their 
notions of future things are not educed out of the experi- 
ence which we have of the beginnings of them in this world ; 
without which, they can make no permanent abode in our 
minds, nor continue any influence upon our affections ? Yea, 
the soul is disturbed, not edified, in all contemplations of 
future glory, when things are proposed unto it, whereof in 
this life it hath neither foretaste, sense, experience, nor 
evidence. No man ought to look for any thing in heaven, 
but what one way or other he hath some experience of in 
this life. If men were fully persuaded hereof, they would 
be, it. may be, more in the exercise of faith and love about 
heavenly things, than for the most part they are. At pre- 
sent they know not what they enjoy, and they look for they 
know not what. 

Hence is it, that men utterly strangers unto all experi- 
ence of the beginning of glory in themselves as an effect of 

2 b2 


faith, have filled their divine worship with images, pictures, 
and music, to represent unto themselves somewhat of that 
glory which they fancy to be above. For into that which 
is truly so, they have no prospect, or can have; because 
they have no experience of its power in themselves; nor do 
they taste of its goodness by any of its first-fruits in their 
own minds. Wherefore, by that view alone, and not other- 
wise, which we have of the glory of Christ by faith here in 
this world, we may attain such blessed conceptions of our 
beholding his glory above by immediate vision, as shall 
draw out our hearts unto the admiration of it, and desires 
of its full enjoyment. 

3. Herein then our present edification is principally con- 
cerned. For in this present beholding of the glory of 
Christ, the life and power of faith are most eminently acted. 
And from this exercise of faith, doth love unto Christ prin- 
cipally, if not solely, arise and spring. If therefore we de- 
sire to have faith in its vigour, or love in its power, giving 
rest, complacency, and satisfaction, unto our own souls, we 
are to seek for them in the diligent discharge of this duty ; 
elsewhere they will not be found. Herein would I live ; 
herein would I die ; hereon would I dwell in my thoughts 
and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the 
painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all 
things here below, until they become unto me a dead and 
deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces. 

For these, and the like reasons, I shall first inquire into 
our beholding of the glory of Christ in this vyorld by faith ; 
and therein endeavour to lead the souls of them that be- 
lieve, into the more retired walks of faith, love, and holy 
meditation, * whereby the king is held in his galleries ;' 
Cant. vii. 5. 

But because there is no benefit in, nor advantage by, the 
contemplation of this sacred truth, but what consists in an 
improvement of the practice of the duty declared in it, 
namely, the constant beholding of the glory of Christ by 
faith; I shall, for the promotion of it, premise some few ad- 
vantages which we may have thereby. 

1. We shall hereby be made fit and meet for heaven. 
Every man is not so, who desires it, and hopes for it. For 
some are not only unworthy of it, and excluded from it, by 


reason of sin ; but they are unmeet for it, and incapable of 
any advantage by it. All men indeed think themselves fit 
enough for glory (what should hinder them ?) if they could 
attain* it ; but it is because they know not what it is. Men 
shall not be clothed with glory, as it were, whether they 
will or no. It is to be received in that exercise of the fa- 
culties of their souls which such persons have no ability for. 
Music hath no pleasure in it, unto them that cannot hear ; 
nor the most beautiful colours unto them that cannot see. 
It would be no benefit unto a fish to take him from the bot- 
tom of the ocean, filled with cold and darkness, and to 
place him under the beams of the sun. For he is no way 
meet to receive any refreshment thereby. Heaven itself 
v/ould not be more advantageous unto persons not renewed 
by the Spirit of grace in this life. 

Hence the apostle gives ' thanks unto the Father, who 
hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
saints in light;' Col. i. 12. Indeed, the beginning here, and 
the fulness of glory hereafter, are communicated unto be- 
lievers by an almighty act of the will and grace of God. 
But yet he hath ordained ways and means whereby they 
may be made meet receptive subjects of the glory so to be 
communicated unto them. That this way and means is by 
the beholding of the glory of Christ by faith, shall be fully 
declared in our progress. This therefore should excite us 
unto this duty ; for all our present glory consists in our pre- 
paration for future glory. 

2. No man can by faith take a real view of this glory, 
but virtue will proceed from it in a transforming power, to 
' change him into the same image ;\2 Cor. iii. 18. How this 
is done, and how we become like unto Christ, by beholding 
his glory, shall be fully declared in our progress. 

3. The constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, 
will give rest, satisfaction, and complacency unto the souls 
of them who are exercised therein. Our minds are apt to 
be filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts ; fears, 
cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts, do make va- 
rious impressions on the minds of men, filling them with 
disorder, darkness, and confusion. But where the soul is 
fixed in its thoughts and contemplations on this glorious 
object, it will be brought into, and kept in, a holy, serene, 
spiritual frame. For *to be spiritually minded is life and 


peace. And this it doth, by taking off our hearts, from all 
undue regard unto all things below, in comparison of the 
great worth, beauty, and glory, of what we are conversant 
withal. See Phil. iii. 7 — 11. A defect herein makes many 
of us strangers unto a heavenly life ; and to live beneath 
the spiritual refreshments and satisfactions that the gospel 
doth tender unto us. 

4. The sight of the glory of Christ, is the spring and 
cause of our everlasting blessedness. ' We shall be ever 
with the Lord;' 1 Thess. iv. 17. Or, * be with Christ, which 
is best of all;* Phil. i. 23. For there shall we * behold his 
glory ;* John xvii. 24. and by ' seeing him as he is, we shall 
be made like him ;* 1 John iii. 2. which is our everlasting 

The enjoyment of God by sight, is commonly called, the 
beatifical vision; and it is the sole fountain of all the act- 
ings of our souls in the state of blessedness, which the old 
philosophers knew nothing of; neither do we know dis- 
tinctly what they are, or what is this sight of God. How- 
beit, this we know, that God in his immense essence is in- 
visible unto our corporeal eyes, and will be so to eternity ; 
as also incomprehensible unto our minds. For nothing can 
perfectly comprehend that which is infinite, but what is 
itself infinite. Wherefore, the blessed and blessing sight 
which we shall have of God, will be always ' in the face of 
Jesus Christ.' Therein will that manifestation of the glory 
of God in his infinite perfections, and all their blessed ope- 
rations, so shine into our souls, as shall immediately fill us 
with peace, rest, and glory. 

These things we here admire, but cannot comprehend. 
We know not well what we say, when we speak of them : 
yet is there in true believers a foresight, and foretaste of 
this glorious condition. There enters sometimes, by the 
word and Spirit into their hearts, such a sense of the uncre- 
ated glory of God, shining forth in Christ, as affects and 
satiates their souls with inefi'able joy. Hence ariseth that 

* peace of God, which is above all understanding, keeping 
our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ;' Phil. iv. 7. 

* Christ,' in believers, * the hope of glory,' gives them to taste 
of the first-fruits of it ; yea, sometimes to bathe their souls in 
the fountain of life, and to drink of the rivers of pleasure that 
are at his right hand. Where any are utterly unacquainted 


with these things, they are carnal, yea blind, and see no- 
thing afar off. These enjoyments indeed are rare, and for 
the most part of short continuance. 'Rara hora,brevis mora.* 
But it is from our own sloth and darkness that we do not en- 
joy more visits of this grace ; and that the dawnings of 
glory do not more shine on our souls. Such things as these 
may excite us to diligence in the duty proposed unto us. 

And I shall inquire, 1. What is that glory of Christ, 
which we do, or may behold by faith ? 2. How we do be- 
hold it. 3. Wherein our doing so differs from immediate 
vision in heaven. And in the whole we shall endeavour an 
answer unto the inquiry made unto the spouse, by the 
daughters of Jerusalem. Cant. v. 9. 'What is thy beloved 
more than another beloved, thou fairest among women ? 
What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou 
dost so charge us V 


The glory of the person of Christ, as the only representative of 
God unto the Church. 

The glory of Christ, is the glory of the person of Christ. 
So he calls it ttjv ^o^av rriv l/nriv, John xvii. 24. That glory 
which is mine, which belongeth to me, unto my person. 

The person of Christ may be considered two ways ; 
1. Absolutely in itself. 2. In the susception and discharge 
of his office, with what ensued thereon. His glory on these 
distinct accounts, is distinct and different; but all equally 
his own. How in both respects we may behold it by faith 
is that which we inquire into. 

The first thing wherein we may behold the glory of the 
person of Christ, God and man, which was given him of his 
Father, consists in the representation of the nature of God, 
and of the divine person of the Father, unto the church in 
him ; ' For we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus 
Christ ;' 2 Cor. iv. 6. Otherwise we know it not, we see it 
not, we see nothing of it ; that is, in the way of seeing and 
knowing God, declared in the Scripture, as our duty and 


blessedness. The glory of God comprehends both the holy- 
properties of his nature, and the counsels of his will ; and 
the light of the knowledge of these things, we have 
only in the face or person of Jesus Christ. Whatever ob- 
scure imperfect notions we may have of them other ways, 
we cannot have ^orio-juov rf^c Yvwdfwc tv€ ^o^yiq tov Qbov, 
* the light of the' illuminating, irradiating ' knowledge of the 
glory of God,' which may enlighten our minds, and sanctify 
our hearts, but only Iv TrpocrivTrc^ ' in the face or person of Jesus 
Christ ;' for ' he is the image of God ;' 2 Cor. iv. 4. ' The 
brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of 
his person ;' Heb. i. 2. The * image of the invisible God ;' 
Col. i. 16. 1 do here only mention these things, because 

1 have handled them at large in my discourse of the 
mystery of godliness, or the person of Christ ; whereunto I 
refer the readers for their full declaration and vindication. 
Herein is he glorious, in that he is the great representative 
of the nature of God, and his will unto us, which without 
him would have been eternally hid from us, or been invisible 
unto us ; we should never have seen God at any time, here 
nor hereafter; John i. 18. 

In his divine person absolutely considered, he is the es- 
sential image of God, even the Father. He is in the Fa- 
ther, and the Father in him, in the unity of the same divine 
essence ; John xiv. 10. Now he is with the Father ; John 
i. 1.' In the distinction of his person, so is he his essential 
image; Col. i. 15. Heb. i. 2. In his incarnation he be- 
comes the representative image of God unto the church, 

2 Cor. iv. 6. without whom our understandings can make no 
such approach unto the divine excellencies, but that God 
continues to be unto us, what he is in himself, the ' invisible 
God.' In the face of Jesus Christ, we see his glory. 

This is the original glory of Christ given him by his Fa- 
ther, and which by faith we may behold. He, and he alone, 
declares, represents, and makes known, unto angels and 
men, the essential glory of the invisible God, his attributes, 
and his will, without which, a perpetual comparative dark- 
ness would have been on the whole creation, especially that 
part of it here below. 

This is the foundation of our religion, the rock whereon 
the church is built, the ground of all our hopes of salvation. 


of life and immortality : all is resolved into this ; namely, 
the representation that is made of the nature and will of 
God, in the person and office of Christ. If this fail us, we 
are lost for ever; if this rock stand firm, the church is safe 
here, and shall be triumphant hereafter. 

Herein then is the Lord Christ exceedingly glorious. 
Those who cannot behold this glory of his by faith, namely, 
as he is the great divine ordinance to represent God unto 
us, they know him not. In their worship of him, they 
worship but an image of their own devising. 

Yea, in the ignorance and neglect hereof, consists the 
formal nature of unbelief, even that which is inevitably ruin- 
ous unto the souls of men. He that discerns not the repre- 
sentation of the glory of God in the person of Christ unto 
the souls of men, is an unbeliever. Such was the state of 
the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles of old ; they did not, 
they would not, they could not, behold the glory of God in 
him, nor how he did represent him. That this was both the 
cause, and the formal nature of their unbelief, the apostle 
declares at large, 1 Cor. i. 21 — 25. Not to see the wisdom 
of God, and the power of God, and consequently all the 
other holy properties of his nature in Christ, is to be an un- 

The essence of faith consists in a due ascription of glory 
to God ; Rom. iv. 20. This we cannot attain unto without 
the manifestation of those divine excellencies unto us, 
wherein he is glorious. This is done in Christ alone, so as 
that we may glorify God in a saving and acceptable man- 
ner. He who discerns not the glory of divine wisdom, 
power, goodness, love, and grace, in the person and ofiice 
of Christ, with the way of the salvation of sinners by him, is 
an unbeliever. 

Hence the great design of the devil, in the beginning of 
the preaching of the gospel, was to blind the eyes of men, 
and fill their minds with prejudices, that they might not be- 
hold this glory of his; so the apostle gives an account of 
his success in this design, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. ' If our gospel 
be hid, it is hid unto them that are lost : in whom the God 
of this world hath blinded the minds of them that beheve 
not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is 
the image of God, should shine unto them.* By various 


ways and methods of deceit, to secure the reputation he 
had got, of being ' God of this world/ by pretences and ap- 
pearances of supernatural power and wisdom, he laboured to 
blind the eyes of men with prejudices against that glorious 
light of the gospel, which proposed the Lord Christ as the 
only image of God. This blindness, this darkness is cured 
in them that believe, by the mighty power of God ; for 
' God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, 
hath irradiated our hearts with the knowledge of the glory 
of God in the face of Jesus Christ,' ver. 6. wherein true 
saving faith doth consist. Under this darkness perished the 
unbelieving world of Jews and Gentiles ; and such is the 
present condition of all by whom the divine person of Christ 
is denied ; for no mere creature can ever make a perfect re- 
presentation of God unto us. But we must a little farther 
inquire into this mystery. 

1. Since men fell from God by sin, it is no small part of 
their misery and punishment, that they are covered with 
thick darkness and ignorance of the nature of God. They 
know him not, they have not seen him at any time. Hence 
is that promise to the church in Christ, Isa. Ix. 1,2. ' For 
behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross dark- 
ness the peopl6 : but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his 
glory shall be seen upon thee.' 

The ancient philosophers made great inquiries into, and 
obtained many notions of, the Divine Being, its existence 
and excellencies. And these notions they adorned with 
great elegancy of speech, to allure others unto the ad- 
miration of them. Hereon they boasted themselves to be 
the only wise men in the world ; Rom. i. 22. c^aGKovrtg elvai 
0-0001, ' they boasted that they were the wise:' but we must 
abide in the judgment of the apostle, concerning them in 
their inquiries ; he assures us, that the world in its wisdom, 
that is, these wise men in it by their wisdom knew not God ; 
1 Cor. i. 21. And he calls the authors of their best notions. 
Atheists, or men 'without God in the world ;'Eph.ii. 12. For, 

1. They had no certain guide, rule, nor light, which being- 
attended unto, might lead them infallibly into the knowledge 
of the divine nature : all they had of this kind was their own 
XoyicTfioL their reasonings or imaginations, whereby they 
commenced <jvZmnTCLg tov didvog tovtov ' the great disputers 


of the world ;' but in them they ' waxed vain, and their foolish 
heart was darkened f Rom. i. 21. They did at best but en- 
deavour \pr)Xa(l>av * to feel after God/ as men do in the dark, 
after what they cannot clearly discern ; Acts xvii. 27. Among 
others, Cicero's book, de Natura Deorum, gives us an exact 
account of the intention of the apostle in that expression. 
And it is at this day not want of wit, but hatred of the mys- 
teries of our religion, which makes so many prone to forego 
all supernatural revelation, and to betake themselves unto a 
religion declared, as they suppose, by reason, and the light 
of nature ; like bats and owls, who being not able to bear 
the light of the sun, betake themselves unto the twilight, to 
the dawnings of light and darkness. 

2. Whatever they did attain, as unto rational notions 
about things invisible and incomprehensible, yet could they 
never deliver themselves from such principles and practices 
in idolatry and all manner of flagitious sins, as that they 
could be of any benefit unto them. This is so effectually 
demonstrated by the apostle in the first chapter of the Epis- 
tle to the Romans, as that we need not to insist upon it. 

Men may talk what they please of a light within them, 
or of the power of reason, to conduct them unto that know- 
ledge of God, whereby they may live unto him : but if they 
had nothing else, if they did not boast themselves of that 
light, which hath its foundation and original in divine reve- 
lation alone, they would not excel them, who in the best 
management of their own reasonings, * knew not God/ but 
waxed vain in their imaginations; 

With respect unto this universal darkness, that is, igno- 
rance of God, with horrid confusion accompanying it in the 
minds of men, Christ is called, and is, the ' light of men,' the 
' light of the world/ because in and by him alone this dark- 
ness is dispelled, as he is the Sun of Righteousness.' 

2. This darkness in the minds of men, this ignorance of 
God, his nature, and his will, was the original of all evil 
unto the world, and yet continues so to be. For, 

1. Hereon did Satan erect his kingdom and throne, ob- 
taining in his design until he bare himself as ' the God of 
this world/ and was so esteemed by the most. He exalted 
himself by virtue of this darkness (as he is the 'prince of 
darkness'), into the place and room of God, as the object of 


the religious worship of men. For the things which the 
'Gentiles sacrificed, they sacrificed unto devils, and not to 
God;' 1 Cor. x. 21. Levit. xvii. 7. xxxii. 17. Psal. cviii. 27. 
Gal. iii. 8. This is the territory of Satan; yea, the power 
and sceptre of his kingdom in the minds of the ' children 
of disobedience.' Hereby he maintains his dominion unto 
this day in many and great nations, and with individual 
persons innumerable. 

2. This is the spring of all wickedness and confusion 
among men themselves. Hence arose that flood of abomi- 
nations in the old world, which God took away with a flood 
of desolation : hence were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, 
which he revenged with * fire from heaven.' In brief; all 
the rage, blood, confusion, desolations, cruelties, oppres- 
sions, villanies, which the world hath been, and is filled 
withal, whereby the souls of men have been, and are flooded 
into eternal destruction, have all arisen from this corrupt 
fountain of the ignorance of God. 

3. Of such as those described, we are the posterity and 
offspring. Our forefathers in this nation, were given up 
unto as brutish a service of the devil, as any nation under 
the sun. It is therefore an effect of infinite mercy, that the 
day hath dawned on us, poor Gentiles, and that the ' day- 
spring from on high hath visited us.' See the glory of this 
grace expressed, Eph. iii. 5 — 10. God might have left us 
to perish in the blindness and ignorance of our forefathers ; 
but of his own accord, and by his own powerful grace alone, 
he hath * translated us out of darkness into his marvellous 
light.' But alas! the horrible ingratitude of men, for the 
glorious light of the gospel, and the abuse of it, will issue in 
a sore revenge. 

God was known under the Old Testament, by the reve- 
lation of his word, and the institution of his worship. This 
was the glory and privilege of Israel, as the psalmist de- 
clares, Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. ' He sheweth his word unto 
Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel ; he hath 
not dealt so with any nation.' The church then knew him; 
yet so as that they had an apprehension that he dwelt in 
* thick darkness,' where they could not have any clear 
views of him; Exod.xx. 21. Deut. v. 22. 1 Kings viii. 12. 
2 Chron. vi. 1. And the reason why God so represented him- 


self in darkness unto them, was to instruct them in their 
imperfect state, wherein they could not comprehend that 
glory which should afterward be revealed. For as he is 
now made known in Christ, we see that ' he is light, and in 
him there is no darkness at all.' 

4. Hitherto darkness in general covered the earth, and 
gross darkness the people, as unto the knowledge of God ; 
only there was a twilight in the church. The day did not 
yet dawn, the ' shadows did not flee away,' nor the ' day-star 
shine' in the hearts of men. But when the ' Sun of Ri^h- 
teousness' did arise in his strength and beauty, when the 
Son of God ' appeared in the flesh,' and in the discharge of 
his office; God himself, as unto his being, and manner of 
existence in three distinct persons, with all the glorious 
properties of the divine nature, were illustriously manifested 
unto them that did believe, and the light of the knowledge 
of them dispelled all the shadows that were in the church, 
and shone into the darkness which was in the world, so as 
that none continued ignorant of God, but those who would 
not see. See John i, 5. 14. 17, 18. 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 

Herein is the Lord Christ glorious. And this is that 
which I shall now speak unto ; namely, how we may behold 
the glory of Christ in the representation and revelation that 
is made of God and his glory, in his person and office, unto 
all that do believe. For it is not so much the declaration of 
the nature of the things themselves, wherein the glory of 
Christ doth consist, as our way and duty, in the beholding 
of them, which at present is designed. 

He calls unto us, saying, ' Behold me, look unto me, and 
be saved;' Isa. xlv. 2. What is it that we see in Christ? 
What do we behold in him? He asketh that question con- 
cerning his church, ' What will ye see in the Shulamite V 
Whereto he answers, * As it were the company of two aiTnies •' 
Cant vi. 13. or the two churches of the Old and New Tes- 
tament, in order and beauty. We may inquire. What shall 
we, what do we see in him ? Do we see him as the ' image 
of the invisible God,' representing him, his nature, proper- 
ties, and will unto us? Do we see him as the 'character,' 
the ' express image of the person of the Father,' so that we 
have no need of Philip's request, * Lord, shew us the Father?' 


because having seen him, ' we have seen the Father also ;* 
John xiv. 9. 

This is our first saving view of Christ, the first instance 
of our beholding his glory by faith. So to see him, as to 
see God in him, is to behold his glory ; for herein he is 
eternally glorious. And this is that glory whose view we 
ought to long for, and labour after. And if we see it not, 
we are yet in darkness ; yea, though we say we see, we are 
blind like others. So David longed and prayed for it, when 
yet he could behold it only in types and shadows; Psal. 
Ixiii. 1, 2. * O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee ; 
my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, to see 
thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen them in the sanc- 
tuary.' For there was in the sanctuary an obscure repre- 
sentation of the slorv of God in Christ. How much more 
should we prize that view of it, which we may have with 
open face, though yet ' as in a glass V 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

Moses, when he had seen the works of God, which were 
great and marvellous, yet found not himself satisfied there- 
with ; wherefore after all, he prays that God ' would shew 
him his glory;' Exod. xxxiii. 18. He knew that the ulti- 
mate rest, blessedness, and satisfaction of the soul, is not in 
seeing the works of God, but the glory of God himself. 
Therefore did he desire some immediate dawnings of it upon 
him in this world. ' I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.' 
And if we have right apprehensions of the future state of 
blessedness, we cannot but have the same desire of seeing 
more of his glory in this life. But the question is, how we 
may attain it? If we are left unto ourselves in this inquiry, 
if we have no other way for it, but the immediate fixing of 
our thoughts on the immensity of the divine nature, we must 
come every one to the conclusion that Agur makes on the 
like consideration; 'Surely I am more brutish than any 
man ; and have not the understanding of a man. I neither 
learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Who 
hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath 
gathered the wind in his fist? Who hath bound the waters 
in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the 
earth ? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if 
thou canst tell?' Prov. xxx. 2 — 4. 


It is in Christ alone, that we may have a clear distinct 
view of the glory of God and his excellencies.'" For him, 
and him alone, hath he appointed the representative of 
himself unto us ; and we shall take an account hereof in one 
or two especial instances. 

1. Infinite wisdom is one of the most glorious proper- 
ties of the divine nature : it is that which is directive of all 
the external works of God, wherein the glory of all the other 
excellencies of God is manifested ; wherefore the mani- 
festation of the whole glory of God proceeds originally from 
infinite wisdom. But as Job speaks, * Where shall this 
wisdom be found, and what is the place of understandino-? 
chap, xxviii. 12. * Can we by searching, find out God ? Can 
we find out the Almighty to perfection V chap. xi. 7. As it 
is in itself an essential, eternal property of the divine na- 
ture, we can have no comprehension of it: we can but adore 
it in that infinite distance wherein we stand from God ; but 
in its operations emd effects it may be discerned ; for they 
are designed of God for its manifestation. Among these 
the most excellent is the contrivance of the great work of 
the salvation of the church; so it is celebrated by the apo- 
stle, Eph. iii. 9 — 11. 'To make all men see what is the fel- 
lowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the 
world, hath been in God, who created all things by Jesus 
Christ : to the intent, that now unto the principalities and 
powers in heavenly places might be known by the church, 
the manifold wisdom of God.' 

If we have any interest in God, if we have any hopes of 
blessedness in beholding of his glory unto eternity, we can- 
not but desire a view (such as is attainable) of this infinite 
manifold wisdom of God in this life. But it is in Christ 
alone that we can discern any thing of it ; for him hath the 
Father chosen and sealed to represent it unto us. All the 
treasures of this wisdom are hid, laid up, and laid out in 
him : herein lies the essence and form of faith. Believers 
by it do see the wisdom of God in Christ, in his person and 
office : Christ the wisdom of God. Unbelievers see it not, 
as the apostle argues, 1 Cor. i. 22 — 24. 

In beholding the glory of this infinite wisdom of God in 

Christ, we behold his own glory also ; the glory given him 

9 See John. i. 18. xiv. 7—10. 2 Cor. iv. 6. Col. i. 16. Eph. iii. 4 10. Heb. i. 2. 


of his Father ; for this is his glory, that in and by him, and 
him alone, the wisdom of God is manifested and represented 
unto us. When God appointed him as the great and only 
means of this end, he gave him honour and glory above the 
whole creation ; for it is but little of divine wisdom which 
the works of it declare, in comparison of what is manifested 
in Christ Jesus. We no way deny or extenuate the mani- 
festation that is made of the wisdom of God in the works of 
creation and providence. It is sufficient to detect the folly 
of atheism and idolatry, and was designed of God unto that 
end. But its comparitive insufficiency, with respect unto 
the representation of it in Christ, as unto the ends of 
knowing God aright, and living unto him, the Scripture 
doth abundantly attest. And the abuse of it was catholic, 
as the apostle declares, Rom. i. 20, &c. To see this wis- 
dom clearly, is our wisdom; and a due apprehension of it, 
fills the souls of believers ' with joy unspeakable, and full of 

2. We may also instance in the love of God. The apo- 
stle tells us, that * God is love ;' 1 John iv. 8. Divine love is 
not to be considered only in its effects, but in its nature and 
essence ; and so it is God himself; for ' God is love.' And 
a blessed revelation this is of the divine nature ; it casts out 
envy, hatred, malice, revenge, with all their fruits, in rage, 
fierceness, implacability, persecution, murder, into the ter- 
ritories of Satan. They belong not unto God in his nature 
or actings ; for * God is love.' So the same apostle tells us, 
that he who *slew his brother, was of the wicked one;' 
1 John iii. 12. He was of the devil his father, and his works 
did he do. 

But the inquiry is as before ; how shall we have a view 
of this love, of God as love ? By what way or means shall 
we behold the glory of it ? It is hidden from all living, in 
God himself. The wise philosophers, who discoursed so 
much of the love of God, knew nothing of this, that ' God is 
love.' The most of the natural notions of men about it are 
corrupt, and the best of them weak and imperfect. Gene- 
rally the thoughts of men about it, are, that he is of a fa- 
cile and easy nature, one that they may make bold withal 
in all their occasions, as the psalmist declares, Psal. 1. 21. 
And whereas it must be learned in its effects, operations. 


and divine ways of its manifestation, those who know not 
Christ, know nothing of them ; and many things in provi- 
dence do interpose to hinder our views of this love ; for al- 
though that indeed * God is love/ yet * his wrath is revealed 
from heaven against the ungodliness of men ;' as all things 
at this day are filled with evidences of his anger and dis- 
pleasure : how then shall we know, wherein shall we behold, 
the glory of God in this, that he is love? The apostle de- 
clares it in the next words, ver. 9. 'Herein was manifested 
the love of God towards us, because God sent his only-be- 
gotten Son into the world, that we might live through him/ 
This is the only evidence given us that ' God is love/ Hereby 
alone is the divine nature as such made known unto us j 
namely, in the mission, person, and office of the Son of God ; 
without this all is in darkness as unto the true nature and 
supreme operation of this divine love. 

Herein do we behold the glory of Christ himself, even 
in this life. This glory was given him of the Father ; namely, 
that he now should declare and evidence that * God is love •' 
and he did so, that in all things he might have the pre-emi- 
nence. Herein we may see how excellent, how beautiful, 
how glorious, and desirable he is, seeing in him alone we have 
a due representation of God as he is love, which is the most 
joyful sight of God that any creature can obtain. He who 
beholds not the glory of Christ herein, is utterly ignorant 
of those heavenly mysteries ; he knoweth neither God nor 
Christ ; he hath neither the Father nor the Son. He knows 
not God, because he knows not the holy properties of his 
nature in the principal way designed by infinite wisdom for 
their manifestation ; he knows not Christ, because he sees 
not the glory of God in him. Wherefore, whatever notions 
men may have from the light of nature, or from the works of 
Providence, that there is love in God, however they may 
adorn them in elegant affecting expressions ; yet from them 
no man can know that * God is love.' In the revelation hereof 
Christ hath the pre-eminence ; nor can any man compre- 
hend any thing of it aright but in him. It is that v^^hich the 
whole light of the creation cannot discover ; for it is the 
spring and centre of the mystery of godlines-^. 

These things are of the deep things of God, such as be- 
long unto that wisdom of God in a mystery, which they 
VOL. xii. 2 c 


that are carnal cannot receive, as tlie apostle testifies, 1 Cor, 
ii. 14. But the meanest believer who lives in the exercise 
of faith, may have an understanding of them so far as is 
needful unto his love and obedience. The sum of the whole 
is this ; if you vi^ould behold the glory of Christ, as the 
great means of your sanctitication and consolation, as the 
only preparation for the beholding of his glory in eternal 
blessedness ; consider what of God is made known and re- 
presented unto you in him, wherein God purposed and de- 
signed to glorify himself in him. Now this is all that may 
be known of God in a saving manner; especially his wisdom, 
his love, his goodness, grace, and mercy, whereon the life of 
our souls doth depend ; and the Lord Christ being ap- 
pointed the only way and means hereof, how exceeding glo- 
rious must he be in the eyes of them that do believe ! 

These things being premised, I shall close this first con- 
sideration of that glory of Christ which we behold by faith 
in this world, with some such observations, as may excite 
us unto the practice of this great duty, and improvement of 
this great privilege ; the greatest which on this side heaven 
we can be made partakers of. 

There are some who regard not these things at all, but 
rather despise them. They never entertain any serious 
thoughts of obtaining a view of the glory of God in Christ, 
which is to be unbelievers. They look on him as a teacher 
that came forth from God to reveal his will, and to teach us 
his worship ; and so indeed he was. But this they say was 
the sole use of his person in religion, which is Mahometism. 
The manifestation of all the holy properties of the divine 
nature, with the representation of them unto angels above, 
and the church in this world, as he is the image of the in- 
visible God, in the constitution of his person, and the dis- 
charge of his ofiice, are things they regard not ; yea, they 
despise and scorn what is professed concerning them ; for 
pride and contempt of others were always the safest covert 
of ignorance ; otherwise it would seem strange, that men 
should openly boast of their own blindness. But these con- 
ceptions of men's minds are influenced by that unbelief of 
his divine person, which maketh havoc of Christianity at 
this day in the world. 

I speak of them whose minds are better disposed to- 


wards heavenly things ; and unto them I say, Wherefore do 
you love Jesus Christ? for so you profess to do. Where- 
fore do you trust in him? Wherefore do you honour him? 
Wherefore do you desire to be in heaven with him? Can 
you give a reason of this hope that is in you ? an account 
why you do all or any of these things ? If you cannot, all 
that you pretend towards him, is but fancy and imagina- 
tion ; you fight uncertainly as men beating the air ; or is 
one of your reasons hereof, that in him you do by faith 
behold that glory of God, with the holy properties of his 
nature, and their principal operations, in order unto your 
own salvation and blessedness, which otherwise would have 
been eternally hid from you ? Hereon is he ' precious unto 
them that do believe.' 

Let us therefore, as many as are spiritual, be thus minded. 
Let us make use of this privilege with rejoicing, and be 
found in the discharge of this duty with diligence. For 
thus to behold the glory of Christ, is both our privilege and 
our duty. The duties of the law were a burden and a yoke ; 
but those of the gospel are privileges and advantages. 

It is a promise concerning the days of the New Testa- 
ment, that our * eyes shall see the King in his beauty ;' Isa. 
xxxiii. 17. We shall behold the glory of Christ in its lustre 
and excellency. What is this beauty of the King of saints? 
Is it not, that God is in him, and he is the great represen- 
tative of his glory unto us ? Wherefore, in the contempla- 
tion of this glory consists the principal exercise of faith. 
And who can declare the glory of this privilege, that we 
who are born in darkness, and deserved to be cast out into 
utter darkness, should be ' translated into this marvellous 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ?' 

What are all the stained glories, the fading beauties of 
this world ? Of all that the devil shewed our Saviour from 
the mount? What are they in comparison of one view of 
the glory of God represented in Christ, and of the glory of 
Christ as his great representative ? 

The most pernicious effect of unbelief under the preach- 
ing of the gospel is, that together with an influence of 
power from Satan, * it blinds the eyes of men's minds, that 



they should not see this glory of Christ/ whereon they 
perish eternally ; 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 

But the most of those who at this day are called Chris- 
tians, are strangers unto this duty. Our Lord Jesus Christ 
told the Pharisees, that notwithstanding all their boasting 
of the knowledge of God, they had not ' heard his voice at 
any time, nor seen his shape;' that is, as Moses did. They 
had no real acquaintance with him, they had no spiritual 
view of his glory ; and so it is amongst ourselves. Not- 
withstanding the general profession that is of the knowledge 
of Christ, they are but few who thus behold his glory ; and 
therefore few who are transformed into his image and like- 

Some men speak much of the imitation of Christ, and 
following of his example ; and it were well if we could see 
more of it really in effect. But no man shall ever become 
' like unto him,' by bare imitation of his actions, without 
that view or intuition of his glory, which alone is accom- 
panied with a transforming power to change them into the 
same image. 

The truth is, the best of us all are wofully defective in 
this duty, and many are discouraged from it because a pre- 
tence of it in some hath degenerated into superstition ; but 
we are loath at any time seriously to engage in it, and come 
with an unwilling kind of willingness, unto the exercise of 
our minds in it. 

Thoughts of this glory of Christ are too high for us, or 
too hard for us, such as we cannot long delight in ; we turn 
away from them with a kind of weariness ; yet are they of 
the same nature in general with our beholding of the glory 
of Christ in heaven, wherein there shall be no weariness or 
satiety unto eternity. Is not the cause of it, that we are 
unspiritual or carnal, having our thoughts and affections 
wonted to give entertainment unto other things? For this 
is the principal cause of our unreadiness and incapacity to 
exercise our minds in and about the great mysteries of the 
gospel; 1 Cor. iii. 1 — 3. And it is so with us moreover, 
because we do not stir up ourselves with watchfulness 
and diligence in continual actings of faith on this blessed 
object. This is that which keeps many of us at so low 


an ebb, as unto the powers of a heavenly life, and spiritual 

Did we abound in this duty, in this exercise of faith, 
our life in walking before God would be more sweet and 
pleasant unto us ; our spiritual light and strength would 
have a daily increase ; we should more represent the glory 
of Christ in our ways and walking, than usually we do ; 
and death itself would be most welcome unto us. 

The angels themselves desire to look into the things of 
the glory of Christ ; 1 Pet. i. 10. 12. There is in them 
matter of inquiry and instruction for the most high and 
holy spirits in heaven. The manifold wisdom of God in 
them is made known unto ' principalities and powers in 
heavenly places by the church;' Eph. iii. 10. And shall 
we neglect that which is the object of angelical diligence 
to. inquire into ; especially considering that we are more 
than they concerned in it? 

Is Christ then thus glorious in our eyes ? Do we see 
the Father in him, or by seeing of him? Do we sedulously, 
daily contemplate on the wisdom, love, grace, goodness, 
holiness, and righteousness of God, as revealing and mani- 
festing themselves in him ? Do we sufficiently consider, 
that the immediate vision of this glory in heaven will be 
our everlasting blessedness? Doth the imperfect view which 
we have of it here, increase our desires after the perfect 
sight of it above ? With respect unto these inquiries, I 
shall briefly speak unto sundry sorts of men. 

Some will say they understand not these things, nor any 
concernment of their own in them. If they are true, yet 
are they notions which they may safely be without the 
knowledge of; for so far as they can discern, they have no 
influence on Christian practice, or duties of morality. And 
the preaching of them doth but take oflf the minds of men 
from more necessary duties. But * if the gospel be hid, it 
is hid unto them that perish.' And unto the objection I 

1. Nothing is more fully and clearly revealed in the gos- 
pel, than that unto us Jesus Christ is the * image of the in- 
visible God ;' that he is the character of the person of the 
Father, so as that in seeing him, we see the Father also ; 
that we have the ' light of the knowledge of the glory of God 


in his face* alone, as hath been proved. This is the principal 
fundamental mystery and truth of the gospel ; and which, if 
it be not received, believed, ov^ned, all other truths are use- 
less unto our souls. To refer all the testimonies that are 
given hereunto, to the doctrine which he taught, in contra- 
distinction unto his person as acting in the discharge of his 
office, is antievangelical, antichristian, turning the whole 
gospel into a fable. 

2. It is so, that the light of faith is given unto us princi- 
pally to enable us to behold the glory of God in Christ; 
to contemplate on it, as unto all the ends of its manifesta- 
tion. So is it expressly affirmed, 2 Cor. iv. 6. If we have 
not this light, as it is communicated by the power of God 
unto them that do believe, Eph. i. 17—19. we must be 
strangers unto the whole mystery of the gospel ; 2 Cor. iv. 

3. That in the beholding of the glory of God in Christ, 
we behold his glory also. For herein is he infinitely glo- 
rious above 4he whole creation, in that in and by him alone 
the glory of the invisible God is represented unto us. Here- 
in do our souls live. This is that whereby the image of 
God is renewed in us, and we are made like unto the first- 

4. This is so far from being unnecessary unto Christian 
practice, and the sanctified duties of morality, that he knows 
not Christ, he knows not the gospel, he knows not the faith 
of the Catholic church, who imagines that they can be per- 
formed acceptably without it. Yea, this is the root whence 
all other Christian duties do spring, and whereon they grow, 
whereby they are distinguished from the works of heathens. 
He is no Christian who believes not that faith in the person 
of Christ is the spring of all evangelical obedience ; or who 
knows not that faith respects the revelation of the glory of 
God in him. 

If these things are so, as they are the most important 
truths of the gospel, and whose denial overthrows the foun- 
dation of faith, and is ruinous to Christian religion, certainly 
it is our duty to live in the constant exercise of faith with 
respect unto this glory of Christ. And we have sufficient 
experience of what kind of morality the ignorance of it hath 


Others there are who may be some way strangers, but 
are no way enemies unto this mystery, and to the practical 
exercise of faith therein : unto such I shall tender the ensu- 
ing directions. 

1. Reckon in your minds, that this beholding of the 
glory of Christ by beholding the glory of God, and all his 
holy properties in him, is the greatest privilege whereof in 
this life we can be made partakers. The dawning of heaven 
is in it, and the first-fruits of glory ; for this is life eternal to 
know the Father, and whom he hath sent, Christ Jesus ; John 
xvii. 3. Unless you value it, unless you esteem it as such a 
privilege, you will not enjoy it ; and that which is not valued 
according unto its worth, is despised. It is not enough to 
think it a privilege, an advantage ; but it is to be valued 
above other things according unto its greatness and excel- 
lency. ' Destruction and death say, we have heard the fame 
of it with our ears \ Job xxviii. 22. And if we do no more, 
we shall die strangers unto it ; we are to * cry after this 
knowledge, and lift up our voice for this understanding,' if 
we design to attain it. 

2. As it is a great privilege which requires a due valu- 
ation, so it is a great mystery which requires much spiritual 
wisdom to the right understanding of it, and to direct in its 
practice ; 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5. Flesh and blood will not reveal it 
unto us, but we must be taught of God, to apprehend it ; John 
i. 12, 13. Matt. xvi. 16, 17. Mere unsanctified reason will 
never enable us unto, nor guide us in, the discovery of this 
duty. Men are not so vain as to hope for skill and under- 
standing in the mystery of a secular art or trade, without the 
diligent use of those means whereby it may be attained ; and 
shall we suppose that we may be furnished with spiritual 
skill and wisdom in this sacred mystery, without diligence 
in the use of the means appointed of God for the attaining 
of it? The principal of them is fervent prayer. Pray then 
with Moses, that God would* shew you this his glory;' pray 
with the apostle, that * the eyes of your understanding may 
be enlightened to behold it ;' pray that the * God of our 
Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory, may give unto you 
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of 
him. Fill your minds with spiritual thoughts and contri- 
vances about them. Slothful and lazy souls never obtain 


one view of this glory ; the ' lion in the way' deters them 
from attempting it. Being carnal they abhor all diligence 
in the use of spiritual means, such as prayer and meditation 
on things unto them uneasy, unpleasing, and difficult. Unto 
others the way partakes of the nature of the end ; the means 
of obtaining a view of the glory of Christ are of the same 
kind, of the same pleasantness, with that view itself in their 

3. Learn the use hereof from the actings of contrary vi- 
cious habits. When the minds of men are vehemently fixed 
on the pursuit of their lusts, they will be continually rumi- 
nating on the objects of them, and have a thousand contri- 
vances about them, until their ' eyes become full of an adul- 
teress, and they cannot cease from sinning,' as the apostle 
speaks. The objects of their lusts have framed and raised 
an image of themselves in their minds, and transformed them 
into their own likeness. Is this the way of them who ' go 
down to the chambers of death ?' Do they thus frame their 
souls, and make them meet for destruction, until their words, 
gestures, actions, proclaim the frame of their minds unto 
all that look upon them ? And shall we be slothful and neg- 
ligent in the contemplation of that glory which transforms 
our minds into its own likeness, so as that the eyes of our 
understandings shall be continually filled with it, until we 
sefe him and behold him continually, so as never to cease 
from the holy acts of delight in him, and love unto him ? 

4. Would we then behold the glory of God as he mani- 
festeth it in and by the holy properties of his nature, with 
their blessed operations and effects, without which we have 
nothing of the power of religion in us, whatever we pretend; 
this alone is the way of it. Go to the whole creation and 
all things contained in it ; they can say no more, but * we 
have heard the fame and report of these things,' and what 
we have heard we declare ; but it is but a little portion of 
them that we are acquainted withal. * The heavens' indeed 
' declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his 
Tiandy work. The invisible things of God are understood 
by the things that are made, even his eternal power and 
Godhead.' But comparatively, it is but little that we can 
hence learn of these things, as unto that we may behold of 
them in Christ Jesus. How blind herein was the best philo- 


sopber in comparison of the meanest of the apostles, yea, of 
him who is least in the kingdom of heaven? 

But herein it is required, that we rest not in the notion 
of this truth, and a bare assent unto the doctrine of it. The 
affecting power of it upon our hearts, is that which we should 
aim at. Wherein doth the blessedness of the saints above 
consist ? Is it not herein, that they behold and see the glory 
of God in Christ ? And what is the effect of it upon those 
blessed souls ? Doth it not change them into the same image, 
or make them like unto Christ ? Doth it not fill and satiate 
them with joy, rest, delight, complacency, and ineffable sa- 
tisfaction ? Do we expect, do we desire, tlie same state of 
blessedness? It is our present view of the glory of Christ 
which is our initiation thereinto, if we are exercised in it, 
until we have an experience of its transforming power in our 

These things are, it may be, of little use unto some. 
Such as are babes in spiritual knowledge and understanding, 
either because they are carnal, 1 Cor. iii. 1, 2. or slothful in 
hearing, Heb. v. 12 — 14. are not capable of these divine 
mysteries. And therefore, the apostle did in an especial 
manner declare this wisdom of God in a mystery unto them 
that were perfect ; 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7. that is, who were more 
grown in spiritual knowledge, and had their * senses exer- 
cised to discern good and evil.' It is unto them who are 
exercised in the contemplation of invisible things, who de- 
light to walk in the more retired paths of faith and love, to 
whom they are precious. 

Some few inferences from the whole of what hath been 
declared, shall put a close to this part of our discourse. 

1. The holy properties of the divine nature are not only 
represented unto our faith in Christ, as unto their own es- 
sential glory, but as they are in the exercise of the'ir powers 
for the salvation of the church. In him do we behold the 
wisdom, goodness, love, grace, mercy, and power of God, 
acting themselves in the contrivance, constitution, and effi- 
cacious accomplishment of the great work of our redemption 
and salvation. This gives, as unto us, an unutterable lus- 
tre unto the native amiableness of the divine excellencies. 
The wisdom and love of God are in themselves infinitely glo- 
rious, infinitely amiable ; nothing can be added unto them. 


there can be no increase of their essential glory. Howbeit, 
as they are eternally resident in the divine nature, and ab- 
solutely the same with it, we cannot so comprehend them, 
as to have an endearing satiating view of their glory, but 
as they are exerted in the work of the redemption and sal- 
vation of the church, as they are expressed, communicating 
their blessed effects unto the souls of them that do believe, 
which is done only in Christ ; so the beams of their glory 
shine unto us with unspeakable refreshment and joy ; 2 Cor. 
iv. 6. Hence the apostle, on the consideration of the actings 
of the holy properties of God in this blessed work, falls into 
that contemplation ; 'O the depth of the riches both of the 
wisdom and knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are his 
judgments, and his ways past finding out ! For who hath 
known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsel- 
lor? or who hath first given unto him, and it shall be recom- 
pensed unto him again ? For of him, and through him, and 
to him are all things ; to whom be glory for ever. Amen ;' 
Rom. xi. 33—36. 

2. In and through Christ we do believe in God; 1 Pet. 
i. 24. This is the life of our souls. God himself, in the in- 
finite perfections of his divine nature, is the ultimate object 
of our faith, but he is not here the immediate object of it, 
but the divine way and means of the manifestation of him- 
self and them unto us, are so. Through Christ we believe 
in God. By our belief in him, we come to place our faith 
ultimately in God himself; and this we can no otherwise do, 
but by beholding the glory of God in him, as hath been 

3. This is the only way whereby we may attain the 
saving, sanctifying knowledge of God. Without this, every 
beam of divine light that shines on us, or gleams from with- 
out, (as the light shineth into darkness when the darkness 
comprehendeth it not; John i. 5.) every spark that ariseth 
from the remainders of the light of nature within, do rather 
amaze the minds of men, than lead them into the saving 
knowledge of God. So a glance of light in a dark night, 
giving a transient view of various objects, and passing away, 
doth rather amaze, than direct a traveller, and leave him 
more exposed unto wandering than before. Such were all 
those notions of the Divine Being and his excellencies, which 


those who boasted themselves to be wise among the heathen 
embraced and improved. They did but fluctuate in their 
minds, they did not transform them into the image and like- 
ness of God, as the saving knowledge of him doth ; Col. 
iii. 10. 

So the apostle expresseth this truth; 'Where is the 
wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer of this 
world ? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this 
world ? For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by 
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of 
preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require 
a sign, and the Gentiles seek after wisdom ; but we preach 
Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto 
the Greeks foolishness ; but unto them that are called both 
Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom 
of God;' 1 Cor. i. 20—24. 

After it was evident unto all, that the world, the wise, 
the studious, the contemplative part of it, in the wis- 
dom of God disposing them into that condition, wherein 
they were left unto themselves, in their own wisdom, their 
natural light and reason did not, could not, come to the sav- 
ing knowledge of God, but were puffed up into a contempt 
of the only way of the revelation of himself, as weakness and 
folly ; it pleased God then to manifest all their wisdom to 
be folly ; and to establish the only means of the knowledge 
of himself in Christ Jesus. 


The glory of Christ in the mysterious constitution of his person. 

The second thing wherein we may behold the glory of 
Christ given him of his Father, is in the mysterious consti- 
tution of his person, as he is God and man in one and the 
same person. There are in him, in his one single, individual 
person, two distinct natures; the one eternal, infinite, im- 
mense, almighty, the form and essence of God ; the other 
having a beginning in time, finite, limited, confined unto a 
certain place, which is our nature, which he took on him. 

396 hedttations and discourses 

when he was ' made flesh and dwelt among us.' The decla- 
ration of the nature of this glory, is a part of my discourse 
of the person of Christ, whereunto I refer the reader : my 
present design is of another nature. 

This is that glory whose beams are so illustrious, as that 
the blind world cannot bear the light and beauty of them. 
Multitudes begin openly to deny this incarnation of the Son 
of God, this personal union of God and man in their distinct 
natures. They deny that there is either glory or truth in it ; 
and it will ere long appear, it begins already to evidence it- 
self what greater multitudes there are, who yet do not, who 
yet dare not, openly reject the doctrine of it, who in truth 
believe it not, nor see any glory in it. Howbeit this glory 
is the glory of our religion, the glory of the church, the 
sole rock whereon it is built, the only spring of present 
grace, and future glory. 

This is that glory which the angels themselves desire to 
behold, the mystery whereof they ' bow down to look into ;' 
1 Pet. i. 12. So was their desire represented by the cheru- 
bims in the most holy place of the tabernacle ; for they were 
a shadow of the ministry of angels in the church. The 
ark and the mercy-seat were a type of Christ in the discharge 
of his office ; and these cherubims were made standino* over 
them, as being in heaven above ; but earnestly lookins; down 
upon them in a posture of reverence and adoration. So they 
did of old, and in their present contemplation of it consists 
no small part of their eternal blessedness. 

Hereon depends the ruin of Satan and his kingdom. His 
sin, so far as we can conceive, consisted of two parts : 1. His 
pride against the person of the Son of God, by whom he was 
created. ' For by him were all things created that are' (or 
were when first created) 'in heaven, whether they be thrones, 
or dominions, or principalities, or powers;' Col. i. 16. 
Against him he lifted up himself, which was the beginning 
of his transgression. 2. Envy against mankind made in the 
image of God, of the Son of God the first-born. This com- 
pleted his sin ; nothing was now left whereon to act his 
his pride and malice. Unto his eternal confusion and ruin, 
God in infinite wisdom unites both the natures he had sin- 
ned against, in the one person of the Son, who was the first 
object of his pride and malice. Hereby his destruction is 


attended with everlasting shame in the discovery of his folly, 
wherein he would have contended with infinite wisdom, as 
well as misery, by the powers of the two natures united in 
one person. 

Here lies the foundation of the church. The foundation 
of the whole old creation was laid in an act of absolute so- 
vereign power. Hereby God 'hanged the earth upon no- 
thing.' But the foundation of the church is on this myste- 
rious immoveable rock ; * thou art Christ the Son of the liv- 
ing God ;' on the most intimate conjunction of the two 
natures, the divine and human, in themselves infinitely dis- 
tant in the same person. 

We may name one place wherein it is gloriously repre- 
sented unto us ; Isa. ix. 6. * For unto us a child is born, 
unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be on his 
shoulders ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Coun- 
sellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of 
Peace.' Here must the whole church fall down and worship 
the author of this wonderful contrivance, and captivating 
their understandings unto the obedience of faith, humbly 
adore what they cannot comprehend. 

This was obscurely represented unto the church of old ; 
Exod. iii. 2 — 6. 'And the angel of the Lord appeared unto 
him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush : and he 
looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the 
bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn 
aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God 
called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, 
Moses. And he said. Here am L And he said. Draw not nigh 
hither : put off thy shoes from off thy feet ; for the place 
whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, 
I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham,' &c. 

This fire was a type or declaration of the presence of 
God in the person of the Son. For with respect unto the 
Father he is called an angel, the angel of the covenant ; 
but absolutely in himself, he was Jehovah, the ' God of 
Abraham,' 8cc. And of his presence the fire was a proper 
representation. For in his nature, he is as a * consuming 
fire ;' and his present work was the delivery of the church 
out of a fiery trial. This fire placed itself in a bush, where 


it burned, but the bush was not consumed. And although 
the continuance of the fire in the bush, was but for a short 
season, a present appearance ; yet thence was God said to 
dwell in the bush ; * The good will of him that dwelt in the 
bush;' Deut. xxxiii. 16. And this is so spoken, because 
the being of the fire in the bush for a season, was a type of 
him in whom ' the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily/ and 
that for ever ; Col. ii. 9. Of him who was ' made flesh and 
dwelt among us ;' John i. 14. The eternal fire of the divine 
nature, dwells in the bush of our frail nature, yet is not con- 
sumed thereby. God thus dwells in this bush, with all his 
goodwill towards sinners. 

Moses looked on this sight as a marvellous and wonderous 
thing. And if it were so in the type, what is it in the truth, 
substance, and reality of it? 

^ And by direction given unto him, to ' put off his shoes,' 
we are taught to cast away all fleshly imaginations and car- 
nal affections, that by pure acts of faith, we may behold 
this glory, the glory of the only-begotten of the Father. 

I design not here to insist on the explication, or con- 
firmation of this glorious truth, concerning the constitution 
of the person of Christ, in and by his incarnation. What I 
can comprehend, what 1 do believe concerning it, I have 
fully declared in a large peculiar treatise. Here I take the 
truth itself as known, or as it may be thence learned. My 
present business is only to stir up the minds of believers 
unto a due contemplation of the glory of Christ in the sa- 
cred, mysterious constitution of his person, as God and man 
in one. So much as we abide herein, so much do ' we live 
by the faith of the Son of God ;' and God can by a spirit of 
wisdom and revelation, open the eyes of our understandings, 
that we may behold this glory unto our ineffable consola- 
tion and joy. And unto the diligent discharge of our duty 
herein, I shall offer the ensuing directions. 

1. Let us get it fixed on our souls and in our minds, that 
this glory of Christ in the divine constitution of his per- 
son, is the best, the most noble, useful, beneficial object, 
that we can be conversant about in our thoughts, or cleave 
unto in our affections. 

What are all other things in comparison of the ' know- 
ledge of Christ?' In the judgment of the great apostle, they 


are but ' loss and clung;' Phil. iii. 8—10. So they were to 
him, and if they are not so to us, we are carnal. 

What is the world, and what are the things thereof, which 
most men spend their thoughts about, and fix their affec- 
tions on ? The psalmist gives his judgment about them, in 
comparison of a view of this glory of Christ, Psal. iv. 6. 
* Many say. Who will shew us any good V Who will give and 
help us to attain so much in and of this world, as will give 
rest and satisfaction unto our minds? That is the good in- 
quired after. But, saith he, * Lord, lift up the light of thy 
countenance upon us.' The light of the glory of God in the 
face of Christ Jesus, is that satisfactory good alone, which 
I desire and seek after. 

The Scripture reproacheth the vanity and folly of the 
minds of men, in that * they spend their money for that which 
is not bread, and their labour for that which profiteth not.' 
They engage the vigour of their spirits about perishing 
things, when they have durable substance and riches pro- 
posed unto them. 

How do men for the most part exercise their minds? 
What are they conversant about in their thoughts ? 

Some by them ' make provision for the flesh, to fulfil it 
in the lusts thereof,' as Rom. xiii. 14. They search about 
continually in their thoughts for objects suited unto their 
lusts and carnal affections, coining, framing, and stamping 
of them in their imaginations. They fix their eyes with de- 
light on toads and serpents, with all noisome filthy objects ; 
refusing in the mean time, to behold the beauty and glory 
of the light of the sun. So is it with all that spend their 
thoughts about the objects of their sinful pleasures, refusing 
to look up after one view of this glory of Christ. 

Some keep their thoughts in continual exercise about 
the things of this world, as unto the advantages and emolu- 
ments which they expect from them. Hereby are they 
transformed into the image of the world, becoming earthly, 
carnal, and vain. Is it because there is *no God in Israel 
that these applications are made unto the idol of Ekron ?' 
That there is no glory, no desirableness in Christ for men 
to inquire after, and fix their minds upon ? O the blindness, 
the darkness, the folly of poor sinners ! Whom do they de- 
spise, and for what ? 


Some of more refined parts and notional minds, do arise 
unto a sedulous meditation on the works of creation and 
providence. Hence many excellent discourses on that sub- 
ject adorned with eloquence, are published among us. And 
a work this is worthy of our nature, and suited unto our 
rational capacities ; yea, the first end of our natural endow- 
ment with them. But in all these things there is no glory 
in comparison of what is proposed unto us in the mysterious 
constitution of the person of Christ. The sun hath no 
glory, the moon and stars no beauty, the order and influence 
of the heavenly bodies have no excellency in comparison 
of it. 

This is that which the psalmist designs to declare, Psal. 
viii. * O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all 
the earth ! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the 
moon and the stars which thou hast ordained ; what is man 
that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that thou 
visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the 
angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou 
hast made him to have dominion over the work of thy hands ; 
thou hast put all things under his feet.' 

He is engaged in a contemplation of the glory of God 
in his works ; and he concludes that the fabric of heaven, 
with the moon and stars, the rain (for it was his meditation 
by night, when he beheld them) was exceeding glorious, 
and greatly to be admired. This casts his thoughts on the 
poor, weak, infirm nature of man, which seems as nothing 
in comparison of those glories above : but immediately 
hereon falls into an admiration of the wisdom, goodness, 
and love of God, exalting that nature incomparably above all 
the works of creation in the person of Jesus Christ, as the 
apostle expounds this place, Heb. ii. 5, 6. 

This therefore is the highest, the best, the most useful 
object of our thoughts and affections. He who hath had a 
real view of this glory, though he know himself to be a poor, 
sinful, dying worm of the earth, yet would he not be an 
angel in heaven, if thereby he should lose the sight of it ; 
for this is the centre wherein all the lines of the manifesta- 
tion of the divine glory do meet and rest. 

Look unto the things of this world, wives, children, pos* 


sessions, estates, power, friends, and honour ; how amiable 
are they! How desirable unto the thoughts of the most of 
men ! But he who hath obtained a view of the glory of 
Christ, will in the midst of them all say, * Whom have I in 
heaven but thee ? There is none on earth that I desire be- 
sides thee ;' Psal. Ixxiii. 25. ' For who in the heavens can 
be compared unto the Lord ? Who among the sons of the 
mighty, tian be compared unto the Lord ?' Psal. Ixxxix. 6. 

He himself, out of his infinite love and ineffable conde- 
scension, upon the sight and view of his church, and his 
own graces in her, wherewith she is adorned, doth say, 
* Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou 
hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one 
chain of thy neck ;' Cant. iv. 8. How much more ought a 
believing soul, upon a view of the glory of Christ, in whom 
it pleased the Father, that all fulness should dwell, to say. 
Thou hast ravished my heart, taken it away from me. * O 
thou whom my soul loveth,' one glance of thy glorious 
beauty upon me, hath quite overcome me, hath left no heart 
in me, unto things here below ? If it be not thus with us 
frequently, if we value not this object of our minds and af- 
fections, if we are not diligent in looking up unto him, to 
behold his glory, it is because we are carnal, and not in any 
good measure partakers of the promise, that * our eyes shall 
see the king in his beauty.' 

2. Our second direction unto the same end is, that we 
diligently study the Scripture, and the revelations that are 
made of this glory of Christ therein. To behold it, is not 
a work of fancy or imagination ; it is not conversing with 
an image framed by the art of men without, or that of our 
own fancy within ; but of faith exercised on divine revela- 
tions. This direction he gives us himself, John v. 39. 
' Search the Scriptures, for they are they that testify of me.' 
The way whereby this is done, is fully set before us in the 
example of the holy prophets under the Old Testament, 
1 Pet. i. 11— 13. 

This principle is always to be retained in our minds in 
reading of the Scripture, namely, that the revelation and 
doctrine of the person of Christ and his office, is the foun- 
dation whereon all other instructions of the prophets and 
apostles for the edification of the church are built, and 

VOL. XII. 2d 


whereinto they are resolved, as is declared, Eph. ii. 20 — 22. 
So our Lord Jesus Christ himself at large makes it manifest, 
Luke xxiv. 26, 27. 45, 46. Lay aside the consideration 
hereof, and the Scriptures are no such thing as they pretend 
unto ; namely, a revelation of the glory of God in the sal- 
vation of the church ; nor are those of the Old Testament 
so at this day unto the Jews, vv^ho own not this principle, 
2 Cor. iii. 13 — 16. There are, therefore, such revelations of 
the person and glory of Christ treasured up in the Scrip- 
ture, from the beginning unto the end of it, as may exercise 
the faith and contemplation of believers in this world ; and 
shall never during this life, be fully discovered or under- 
stood ; and in divine meditations of these revelations, doth 
much of the life of faith consist. 

There are three ways whereby the glory of Christ is re- 
presented unto us in the Scripture. First, by direct de- 
scriptions of his glorious person and incarnation. See 
among other places. Gen. iii. 15. Psal. ii. 7 — 9. xlv. 2—6. 
Ixviii. 17, 18. ex. Isa. vi. 1 — 4. ix. 6. Zech. ii. 8. John i. 
1—3. Phil. ii. 6—8. Heb. i. 1—3. ii. 14—16. Rev. i. 17, 18. 
Secondly, By prophecies, promises, and express instructions 
concerning him, all leading unto the contemplation of his 
glory, which are innumerable. Thirdly, By the sacred in- 
stitutions of divine worship under the Old Testament: for 
the end of them all was to represent unto the church the 
glory of Christ in the discharge of his office, as we shall see 

We may take notice of an instance in one kind un- 
der the Old Testament, and of one and another under the 

His personal appearances under the Old Testament car- 
ried in them a demonstration of his glory ; such was that in 
the vision which Isaiah had, ' when he saw his glory, and 
spake of him;' chap. vi. 1, 2. * I saw the Lord sitting upon 
a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 
About it stood the seraphims,' &c. It was a representation 
of the glory of the divine presence of Christ filling his hu- 
man nature, the temple of his body, with a train of all glo- 
rious graces. And if this typical representation of it was so 
glorious, as that the seraphims were not able steadfastly to be- 
hold it, but * covered their faces' upon its appearance, ver. 2. 


how exceeding glorious is it in itself, as it is openly revealed 
in the gospel ! 

Of the same nature are the immediate testimonies given 
unto him from heaven in the New Testament; so the apo- 
stle tells us, ' he received from God the Father, honour and 
glory, when there came such a voice unto him from the ex- 
cellent glory. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased ;' 2 Pet. i. 17. The apostle intends the time 
of his transfiguration in the mount, for so he adds, ver. 
18. ' And this voice which came from heaven we heard, who 
were with him in the holy mount.* Howbeit, at sundry 
other times he had the same testimony, or to the same pur- 
pose, from God, even the Father, in heaven. Herein God 
gave him honour and glory, which all those that believe in 
him should behold and admire ; not only those who heard 
this testimony with their bodily ears, but all unto whom it 
is testified in the Scripture, are obliged to look after, and 
contemplate on the glory of Christ, as thus revealed and pro- 
posed. From the throne of his excellency by audible voices, 
by visible signs, by the opening of the heavens above, by the 
descent of the Holy Spirit upon him, God testified unto him 
as his eternal Son, and gave him therein honour and glory. 
The thoughts of this divine testimony, and the glory of 
Christ therein, hath often filled the hearts of some with joy 
and delight. 

This, therefore, in reading and studying the holy Scrip- 
ture, we ought with all diligence to search and attend unto, 
as did the prophets of old, 1 Pet. xi. 12. if we intend by 
them to be made ' wise unto salvation.' 

We should herein be as the merchant-man that seeks for 
pearls ; he seeks for all sorts of them, but when he hath 
found one of * great price,' he parts with all to make it his 
own; Matt. xiii. 45, 46. The Scripture is the field, the 
place, the mine where we search and dig for pearls ; see Prov. 
ii. 1 — 5. Every sacred truth that is made effectual unto the 
good of our souls, is a pearl whereby we are enriched ; but 
when we meet with, when we fall upon this pearl of price, 
the glory of Christ, this is that which the soul of a believer 
cleaves unto with joy. 

Then do we find food for our souls in the word of truth, 
then do we taste how gracious the Lord is therein, then is 

2 D 2 


the Scripture full of refreshment unto us, as a spring of 
living water, when we are taken into blessed views of the 
glory of Christ therein. And we are in the best frame of 
duty, when the principal motive in our minds to contend 
earnestly for retaining the possession of the Scripture, 
against all that would deprive us of it, or discourage us from 
a daily diligent search into it, is this, that they would take 
from us the only glass wherein we may behold the glory of 
Christ. This is the glory of the Scripture, that it is the 
great, yea, the only outward means of representing unto us 
the glory of Christ ; and he is the sun in the firmament of 
it, which only hath light in itself, and communicates it unto 
all other things besides. 

3. Another direction unto this same end, is, that having 
attained the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ 
from the Scripture, or by the dispensation of the truth in 
the preaching of the gospel, we would esteem it our duty 
frequently to meditate thereon. 

Want hereof is that fundamental mistake, which keeps 
many among us so low in their grace, so regardless of their 
privileo-es. They hear of these things, they assent unto their 
truth, at least they do not gainsay them ; but they never so- 
lemnly meditate upon them. This they esteem a work that 
is above them, or are ignorant totally of it, or esteem them- 
selves not much concerned in it, or dislike it as fanaticism. 
For it is that which no considerations can engage a carnal 
mind to delight in. The mind must be spiritual and holy, 
freed from earthly affections and encumbrances, raised above 
things here below, that can in a due manner meditate on the 
glory of Christ. Therefore are the most strangers unto this 
duty, because they will not be at the trouble and charge of 
that mortification of earthly affections, that extirpation of 
sensual inclinations, that retirement from the occasions of 
life, which are required thereunto. See the Treatise of Spi- 
ritual-mindedness . 

It is to be feared that there are some who profess religion 
with an appearance of strictness, who never separate them- 
selves from all other occasions to meditate on Christ and 
his glory. And yet with a strange inconsistency of appre- 
hensions, they will profess that they desire nothing more, 
than to behold his glory in heaven for ever. But it is evj- 


dent even in the light of reason, that these things are irre- 
concilable. It is impossible that he who never meditates 
with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who 
labours not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the 
Scripture, should ever have any real gracious desire to be- 
hold it in heaven. They may love and desire the fruition of 
their own imaginations ; they cannot do so of the glory of 
Christ, whereof they are ignorant, and wherewith they are 
unacquainted. It is, therefore, to be lamented, that men can 
find time for, and have inclinations to think and meditate on 
other things, it may be earthly and vain ; but have neither 
heart, nor inclination, nor leisure to meditate on this glorious 
object. What is the faith and love which such men profess? 
How will they find themselves deceived in the issue! 

4. Let your occasional thoughts of Christ be many, 
and multiplied every day. He is not far from us ; we may 
make a speedy address unto him at any time. So the apostle 
informs us, Rom. x. 6 — 8. ' Say not in thine heart. Who shall 
ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above)? 
or, Who shall descend into the deep (that is, to bring up 
Christ again from the dead)? For the word is nigh thee, even 
in thy mouth and in thy heart.' The things that Christ did, 
were done at a distance from us, and they are long since 
past. But saith the apostle, * the word' of the gospel where- 
in these things are revealed, and whereby an application is 
made of them unto our souls, * is nigh unto us, even in our 
hearts ;' that is, if we are true believers, and have mixed the 
word with faith ; and so it exhibiteth Christ and all the be- 
nefits of his mediation unto us. If, therefore, this word is in 
our hearts, Christ is nigh unto us. If we turn at any time 
into ourselves to converse with the word that abideth in us, 
there we shall find him ready to receive us into communion 
with himself; that is, in the light of the knowledge of Christ 
which we have by the word, we may have sudden, occasional 
thoughts of him continually ; and where our minds and af- 
fections are so filled with other things, that we are not ready 
for converse with him who is thus nigh unto us by the word, 
we are spiritually indisposed. 

So to manifest how nigh he is unto us, it is said chat ' he 
stands at the door and knocks ;' Rev. iii. 20. in the con- 
tinual tender that he makes of himself and his grace unto 


our souls. For he is always accompanied with the glorious 
train of his graces, and if they are not received, he himself 
is not so. It is to no purpose to boast of Christ, if we have 
not an evidence of his graces in our hearts and lives. But 
unto whom he is the hope of future glory, unto them he is 
the life of present grace. 

Sometimes it may be, that he is withdrawn from us, so 
as that we cannot hear his voice, nor behold his countenance, 
nor obtain any sense of his love, though we seek him with 
diligence. In this state, all our thoughts and meditations 
concerning him will be barren and fruitless, bringing in no 
spiritual refreshment into our souls. And if we learn to be 
content with such lifeless, inaffecting thoughts of him, as 
bring in no experience of his love, nor give us a real view of 
the glory of his person, we shall wither away as unto all the 
power of religion. 

What is our duty in this case, is so fully expressed by 
the spouse in the Canticles, as represents it plainly unto 
the minds of believers, who have any experience of these 
things; chap. iii. 1 — 5. * By night, on my bed, I sought 
him whom my soul loveth : I sought him, but I found 
him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in 
the streets, and in the broad ways, I will seek him whom 
my &oul loveth : I sought him, but I found him not. The 
watchmen that go about the city found me, to whom I said. 
Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little I 
passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth : I 
held him, and would not let him go.' The like account she 
gives of herself, and of her behaviour on the like occasion, 
chap. V. 2 — 8. 

This is the substance of what by this example we are 
instructed unto. The Lord Christ is pleased sometimes to 
withdraw himself from the spiritual experience of belie vers; 
as unto any refreshing sense of his love, or the fresh com- 
munications of consolitory graces. Those who never had 
experience of any such thing, who never had any refreshing 
communion with him, cannot be sensible of his absence ; 
they never were so of his presence. But those whom he 
liath visited, to whom he hath given of his loves, with whom 
he hath made his abode, whom he hath refreshed, relieved, 
and comforted, in whom he hatii lived in the power of Jiis 


grace, they know what it is to be forsaken by him, though 
but for a moment. And their trouble is increased, when 
they seek him with diligence in the wonted ways of obtain- 
ing his presence, and cannot find him. Our duty in this 
case, is, to persevere in our inquiries after him in prayer, 
meditation, mourning, reading and hearing of the word, in 
all ordinances of divine worship, private and public, in dili- 
gent obedience, until we find him, or he return unto us, as 
in former days. 

It were well if all churches and professors now would 
manifest the same diligence herein, as did the church of old 
in this example. Many of them, if they are not hardened 
by the deceitfulness of sin, cannot but be sensible that the 
Lord Christ is variously withdrawn from them, if ever they 
had experience of the power of his presence. Yet are the 
generality of them far from the frame of heart here de- 
scribed in the spouse ; for they are slothful, careless, negli- 
gent, and stir not up themselves to inquire after him, or his 
return unto their souls. So was it with Laodicea of old, so 
was it with Sardis, and so it is to be feared, that it is with 
many at present. But to return. 

Generally, Christ is nigh unto believers, and of a ready 
access ; and the principal actings of the life of faith, con- 
sist in the frequency of our thoughts concerning him ; for 
hereby Christ liveth in us, as he is said to do, Gal. ii. 20. 
This we cannot do, unless we have frequent thoughts of 
him, and converse with him. It is often said among men, 
that one lives in another f this cannot be but where the af- 
fections of one are so engaged unto another, that night and 
day he thinks of him, and is thereby, as it were, present with 
him. So ought it to be between Christ and believers. He 
dwells in them by faith; but the actings of this life in them 
(as wherever life is, it will be in act and exercise) are pro- 
portionable unto their thoughts of him, and delight in him. 

If, therefore, we would behold the glory of Christ, the 
present direction is, that on all occasions, and frequently 
when there are no occasions for it by the performance of 
other duties, we would abound in thoughts of him and his 
glory. I intend not at present fixed and stated meditations, 
which were spoken unto befor-e ; but sucli thoughts as are 
more transient, according as our opportunities are. And a 


great rebuke it ought to be unto us, when Christ hath at 
any time in a day, been long out of our minds. The spouse 
affirms, that * ere she was aware, her soul made her as the 
chariots of Amminadab ;' Cant. vi. 12. It so fell out, that 
when she had no thoughts, no design, or purpose for attend- 
ance on communion with Christ, that she was surprised 
into a readiness and willingness unto it. So it will be with 
them that love him in sincerity. Their own souls, without 
previous designs or outward occasions, will frequently en- 
o-age them in holy thoughts of him, which is the most emi- 
nent character of a truly spiritual Christian. 

4. The next direction is, that all our thoughts concerning 
Christ and his glory, should be accompanied with admira- 
tion, adoration, and thanksgiving. For this is such an ob- 
ject of our thoughts and affections, as in this life we can 
never fully comprehend ; an ocean whose depths we cannot 
look into. If we are spiritually renewed, all the faculties 
of our souls are enabled by grace to exert their respective 
powers towards this glorious object. This must be done in 
various duties, by the exercise of various graces, as they 
are to be acted by the distinct powers of the faculties of 
our minds. This is that which is intended, where we are 
commanded * to love the Lord with all our souls, with all 
our minds, with all our strength.' All the distinct powers 
of our souls, are to be acted by distinct graces and duties, 
in cleaving unto God by love. In heaven, when we are 
come to our centre, that state of rest and blessedness which 
our nature is ultimately capable of, nothing but one infinite 
invariable object of our minds and affections received by 
vision, can render that state uninterrupted and unchangea- 
ble. But whilst we are here, we know or see but in part, 
and we must also act our faith and love, on part of that 
glory, which is not at once entirely proposed unto us, and 
which as yet we cannot comprehend. Wherefore, we must 
act various graces in great variety about it; some at one 
time, some at another, according unto the powers of all our 
renewed faculties. Of this sort, are those mentioned of 
adoration, admiration, and thanksgiving ; which are those 
acts of our minds wherein all others do issue, when the ob- 
ject is incomprehensible. For unto them we are enabkd 
by grace. 


One end of his illustrious coming unto the judgment of 
the last day, is, that he may be ' admired in all them that be- 
lieve ;' 2 Thess. i. 11. Even believers themselves shall be 
filled with an overwhelming admiration upon his glorious 
appearance. Or if the meaning be, not that he shall be 
admired by them, but admired in them, because of the mighty 
works of his grace and power in their redemption, sanctifi- 
cation, resurrection, and glory, it is to the same purpose, he 
* comes to be admired.' And according to the prospect 
which we have of that glory, ought our admiration to be. 

And this admiration will issue in adoration and thanks- 
giving; whereof we have an eminent instance and example in 
the whole church of the redeemed. Rev. v. 9 — 14. ' They 
sang a new song, saying. Worthy art thou to receive the 
book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, 
and hast bought us unto God by thy blood, out of every 
tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us 
kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign upon the 
earth. And I saw and heard the voice of many angels round 
about the throne, and of the living creatures, and of the el- 
ders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten 
thousand, and thousands of thousands ; saying with a loud 
voice. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, 
and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and 
glory, and blessing. And every creature that is in heaven, 
and in the earth, and under the earth, and that are in the 
sea, and all things in them, heard I saying. Blessing, and 
honour, and power, and glory, be unto him that sits on the 
throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' 

The design of this discourse is no more, but that when 
by faith we have attained a view of the glory of Christ, in 
our contemplations on his person, we should not pass it over 
as a notion of truth which we assent unto, namely, that he 
is thus glorious in himself; but endeavour to affect our 
hearts with it, as that wherein our own principal interest 
doth lie ; wherein it will be effectual unto the transforma- 
tion of our souls into his image. 

But some, it may be, will say, at least I fear some may 
truly say, that these things do not belong unto them, they 
do not find that ever they had any .benefit by them; they 
hope to be saved as well as others by the mediation of 


Christ ; but as unto this beholding of his glory by constant 
meditation and actings of faith therein, they know nothing 
of it, nor are concerned in it. The doctrine which they are 
taught out of the Scripture concerning the person of Christ, 
they give their assent unto ; but his glory they hope they 
shall see in another world, here they never yet inquired 
after it. 

So it will be. It is well if these things be not only neg- 
lected, because the minds of men are carnal, and cannot dis- 
cern spiritual things ; but also despised, because they have 
an enmity unto them. It is not for all to walk in these re- 
tired paths. Not for them who are negligent and slothful, 
whose minds are earthly and carnal. Nor can they herein 
sit at the feet of Christ with Mary, when she chose the bet- 
ter part, who, like Martha, are cumbered about many things 
here in this world. Those whose principal design is to add 
unto their present enjoyments (in the midst of the prosecu- 
tion whereof, they are commonly taken from them, so as that 
their thoughts do perish, because not accomplished), will 
never understand these things. Much less will they do so, 
whose work it is to make provision for the flesh to fulfil it 
in the lusts thereof. 

They must make it their design to be heavenly-minded, 
who will find a relish in these things. Those who are 
strangers unto holy meditation in general, will be strangers 
unto this mystery in a peculiar manner. 

Some men can think of the world, of their relations, and 
the manifold occasions of life ; but as unto the things that 
are above and within the veil, they are not concerned in 

With some it is otherwise. They profess their desire to 
behold the glory of Christ by faith ; but they find it, as 
they complain, too high and diflScult for them. They are at 
a loss in their minds, and even overwhelmed, when they 
begin to view his glory. They are like the disciples, who 
saw him in his transfiguration ; they were filled with amaze- 
ment, and knew not what to say, or said they knew not 
what. And I do acknowledge, that the weakness of our 
minds in the comprehension of this eternal glory of Christ, 
and their instability in meditations thereon, whence we can- 
not steadfastly look on it, or behold it, gives us an afilicting. 


abasing consideration of our present state and condition. 
And I shall say no more unto this case but this alone : when 
faith can no longer hold open the eyes of our understand- 
ings unto the beholding the sun of righteousness shining in 
his beauty, nor exercise orderly thoughts about this incom- 
prehensible object, it will betake itself unto that holy admi- 
ration which we have spoken unto ; and therein it will put 
itself forth in pure acts of love and complacency. 


The glorif of Christ in his susception of the office of a medintor. First in 

his condescension. 

The things whereof we have thus far discoursed, relating 
immediately unto the person of Christ in itself, may seem 
to have somewhat of difficulty in them, unto such whose 
minds are not duly exercised in the contemplation of heavenly 
things. Unto others they are evident in their own experience, 
and instructive unto them that are willing to learn. That 
which remains will be yet more plain unto the understand- 
ing and capacity of the meanest believer. And this is the 
glory of Christ in his office of mediator, and the discharge 

In our beholding of the glory of Christ herein, doth 
the exercise of faith in this life principally consist; so the 
apostle declares it, Phil, iii, 8 — 12. * Yea, doubtless and I 
count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord. — To know him, and the power of his 
resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be 
made conformable unto his death.' This, therefore, we must 
treat of somewhat more at large. 

* There is one God,' saith the apostle, 'and one mediator 
between God and man, the man Christ Jesus ;' 1 Tim. ii. 5. 
In that great difference between God and man occasioned 
by our sin and apostacy from him, which of itself could issue 
in nothing but the utter ruin of the whole race of mankind, 
there was none in heaven or earth in their original nature 


and operations, who was meet or able to make up a righ- 
teous peace between them. Yet must this be done by a 
mediator, or cease for ever. 

This mediator could not be God himself absolutely con- 
sidered ; * for a mediator is not of one, but God is one ;' 
Gal. iii. 20. Whatever God might do herein in a way of 
sovereign grace, yet he could not do it in the way of media- 
tion, which yet was necessary unto his own glory, as we 
have at large discoursed elsewhere. 

And as for creatures, there was none in heaven or earth 
that was meet to undertake this office. * For if one man sin 
against another, the judge shall judge herein ; but if a man 
sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him?' 1 Sam. 
ii. 25. * There is not any daysman betwixt us to lay his 
hand upon us both ;' Job ix. 33. 

In this state of things the Lord Christ, as the Son of God, 
said, ' Lo, I come to do thy will, O God ; sacrifice and burnt- 
offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared 
me; and lo, I come to do thy will ;' Heb. x. 5 — 9. By the 
assumption of our nature into union with himself, in his own 
divine person he became every way meet for the discharge 
of this office, and undertakes it accordingly. 

That which we inquire after at present, is, the glory of 
Christ herein, and how we may behold that glory. And 
there are three things wherein we may take a prospect of it. 

1. In his susception of this office. 

2. In his discharge of it. 

3. In the event and consequence thereof, or what ensued 

In the susception of this office we may behold the glory 
of Christ, 1. In his condescension. 2. In his love. 

1 . We may behold this glory in his infinite condescen- 
sion to take this office on him, and our nature to be his own 
unto that end. It did not befall him by lot or chance ; it 
was not imposed on him against his will ; it belonged not 
unto him by any necessity of nature or condition, he stood 
not in need of it ; it was no addition unto him ; but of his 
own mind and accord he graciously condescended unto the 
susception and discharge of it. 

So the apostle expresseth it, Phil. ii. 5 — 8. ' Let this 
mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in 


the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God ; but made himself of no reputation, and took on him- 
self the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of 
men ; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled him- 
self, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the 

It was the mind that was in Jesus Christ, which is pro- 
posed unto our consideration and imitation. What he was 
inclined and disposed unto from himself and his own mind 
alone. And that in general which is ascribed unto him is 
iKivwcrig, exinanition or self-emptying ; he emptied himself. 
This the ancient church called his avjKaTaf^amg, as we do 
his condescension, an act of which kind in God is called the 
' humbling of himself;' Psal. cxiii. 6. 

Wherefore, the susception of our nature for the discharge 
of the office of mediation therein, was an infinite condescen- 
sion in the Son of God, wherein he is exceedingly glorious 
in the eyes of believers. 

And 1 shall do these three things : 1. Shew in general 
the greatness of his condescension. 2. Declare the especial 
nature of it. And, 3. Take what view we are able of the 
glory of Christ therein. 

1. Such is the transcendent excellency of the divine na- 
ture, that it is said of God, that * he dwelleth on high, and 
humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven 
and in the earth ;' Psal. cxiii. 5, 6. He condescends from 
the prerogative of his excellency to behold, to look upon, to 
take notice of, the most glorious things in heaven above, and 
the greatest things in the earth below. All his respect unto 
the creatures, the most glorious of them, is an act of infinite 
condescension. And it is so on two accounts. 

1. Because of the infinite distance that is between his 
essence, nature, or being, and that of the creatures. Hence 
* all nations before him, are as the drop of a bucket, and are 
counted as the small dust of the balance ; yea, that they are 
as nothing, that they are accounted unto him less than no- 
thing and vanity.' All being is essentially in him, and in 
comparison thereunto, all other things are as nothing. And 
there are no measures, there is no proportion between infi- 
nite being and nothing ; nothing that should induce a regard 
from the one unto the other. Wherefore the infinite, essen- 


tiai greatness of the nature of God, with his infinite distance 
from the nature of all creatures thereby, causeth all his deal- 
ings with them to be in the way of condescension or hum- 
bling himself. So it is expressed, Isa. Ivii. 15. ' Thus saith 
the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, I dwell in 
the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite 
and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to 
revive the heart of the contrite ones.' He is so the high and 
lofty one, and so inhabiteth eternity, or existeth in his own 
eternal being, that it is an act of mere grace in him, to take 
notice of things below \ and therefore, he doth it in an es- 
pecial manner of those whom the world doth most despise. 

2. It ariseth from his infinite self-sufficiency unto all the 
acts and ends of his own eternal blessedness. What we have 
a regard unto, what we respect and desire, it is that it may add 
unto our satisfaction. So it is, so it must be, with every crea- 
ture ; no creature is self-sufficient unto its own blessedness. 
The human nature of Christ himself in heaven is not so ; it 
lives in God, and God in it, in a full dependance on God, 
and in receiving blessed and glorious communications from 
him. No rational creature, angel or man, can do, think, 
act any thing, but it is all to add to their perfection and sa- 
tisfaction, they are not self-sufficient. God alone wants no- 
thing, stands in need of nothing, nothing can be added unto 
him, seeing he * giveth unto all life, and breath, and all 
things ;' Acts xvii. 25. The whole creation in all its excel- 
lency cannot contribute one mite unto the satisfaction or 
blessedness of God. He hath it all in infinite perfection 
from himself and in his own nature ; our goodness extends 
not unto him; * A man cannot profit God, as he may profit 
his neighbour. If thou sinnest, what dost thou against him? 
and if thy transgressions are multiplied, what dost thou unto 
him V (God loseth nothing of his own self-sufficiency and 
blessedness therein, by all this) * and if thou be righteous, 
what givest thou unto him, or what receiveth he at thy hand?' 
Job XXXV. 6 — 8. And from hence also it follows that all 
God's concernment in the creation, is by an act of conde- 

How glorious, then, is the condescension of the Son of 
God in his susception of the office of mediation I For if 
such be the perfection of the divine nature, and its dis- 


tance so absolutely infinite from the whole creation, and 
if such be his self-sufficiency unto his own eternal blessed- 
ness, as that nothing can be taken from him, nothing added 
unto him, so that every regard in him unto any of the crea- 
tures, is an act of self-humiliation and condescension from 
the prerogative of his being and state ; what heart can con- 
ceive, what tongue can express the glory of that condescen- 
sion in the Son of God, whereby he took our nature upon 
him, took it to be his own, in order unto a discharge of the 
office of mediation on our behalf? 

But that we may the better behold the glory of Christ 
herein, we may briefly consider the especial nature of this 
condescension, and wherein it doth consist. 

But whereas not only the denial, but misapprehensions 
hereof, have pestered the church of God in all ages, we must 
in the first place reject them, and then declare the truth. 

1. This condescension of the Son of God did not con- 
sist in a laying aside or parting with, or separation from, the 
divine nature, so as that he should cease to be God, by 
being man. The foundation of it lay in this, that * he was 
in the form of God, and counted it not robbery to be equal 
with God ;' Phil. ii. 6. That is, being really and essentially 
God in his divine nature, he professed himself therein to be 
equal with God or the person of the Father. He was in the 
form of God, that is, he was God, participant of the divine 
nature, for God hath no form but that of his essence and 
being ; and hence he was equal with God, in authority, dig- 
nity, and power. Because he was in the form of God, he 
must be equal with God ; for there is order in the divine 
persons, but no inequality in the divine Being. So tJie Jews 
understood him, that when he said, * God was his Father, he 
made himself equal with God.' For in his so saying, he as- 
cribed unto himself equal power with the Father, as unto all 
divine operations ; ' My father,' saith he, * worketh hitherto, 
and I work ;' John v. 17, 18. And they by whom his divine 
nature is denied, do cast this condescension of Christ quite 
out of our religion, as that which hath no reality or substance 
in it. But we shall speak of them afterward. 

Being in this state, it is said that he ' took on him the 
form of a servant, and was found in fashion as a man ;' ver. 7. 
This is his condescension. It is not said, that he ceased to 


be in the form of God ; but continuing so to be, he ' took on 
him the form of a servant' in our nature : he became what he 
was not, but he ceased not to be what he was. So he testi- 
fieth of himself, John iii. 13. * No man hath ascended up 
into heaven, but he that came down from heaven, the Son of 
man which is in heaven.' Although he was then on earth as 
the Son of man, yet he ceased not to be God thereby ; in 
his divine nature he was then also in heaven. 

He who is God, can no more be not God, than he who is 
not God can be God ; and our difference with the Socinians 
herein is, we believe that Christ being God, was made man 
for our sakes ; they say, that being only a man, he was made 
a God for his own sake. 

This, then, is the foundation of the glory of Christ in this 
condescension, the life and soul of all heavenly truth and 
mysteries; namely, that the Son of God becoming in time 
to be what he was not, the Son of man, ceased not thereby 
to be what he was, even the eternal Son of God. Where- 

2. Much less did this condescension consist in the con- 
version of the divine nature into the human, which was the 
imagination of some of the Arians of old ; and we have yet 
(to my own knowledge) some that follow them in the same 
dotage. They say that the * Word which was in the begin- 
ning/ by which all things were made, being in itself an effect 
of the divine will and power, was in the fulness of time turned 
into flesh ; that is, the substance of it was so, as the water 
in the miracle wrought by our Saviour, was turned into wine ; 
for by an act of the divine power of Christ it ceased to be 
water substantially, and was wine only ; not water mixed 
with wine. So these men suppose a substantial change of 
the one nature into the other, of the divine nature into the 
human ; like what the Papists imagine in their transubstan- 
tiation. So they say God was made man, his essence being 
turned into that of a man. 

But this no way belongs unto the condescension of 
Christ. We may call it Ichabod, it hath no glory in it. It 
destroys both his natures, and leaves him a person in whom 
we are not concerned. For according unto this imagination, 
that divine nature wherein he was in the form of God, did in 
its own fprm cease to be, yea, was utterly destroyed, as 


being substantially changed into the nature of man ; as the 
water did cease to be, when it was turned into wine ; and 
that human nature which was made thereof, hath no alliance 
or kindred unto us, or our nature, seeing it was not * made 
of a woman,' but of the substance of the Word. 

3. There was not in this condescension, the least change 
or alteration in the divine nature. Eutiches and those that 
followed him of old, conceived that the two natures of Christ, 
the divine and human, were mixed and compounded as it 
were into one. And this could not be without an alteration 
in the divine nature, for it would be made to be essentially 
what it was not 5 for one nature hath but one and the same 

But, as we said before, although the Lord Christ himself 
in his person was made to be what he was not before, in that 
our nature hereby was made to be his, yet his divine nature 
was not so. There is in it neither * variableness nor shadow 
of turning.' It abode the same in him in all its essential pro- 
perties, actings, and blessedness, as it was from eternity. It 
neither did, acted, nor suffered any thing, but what is proper 
unto the Divine Being. The Lord Christ did and suffered 
many things in life and death, in his own person, by his 
human person, wherein the divine neither did, nor suffered 
any thing at all ; although in the doing of them, his person 
be denominated from that nature; so ' God purchased his 
church with his own blood ;' Acts xx. 28. 

4. It may then be said. What did the Lord Christ in this 
condescension with respect unto his divine nature? The 
apostle tells us, that he ' humbled himself, and made him- 
self of no reputation;' Phil. ii. 7, 8. He veiled the glory of 
his divine nature in ours, and what he did therein, so as that 
there was no outward appearance or manifestation of it. 
The world hereon was so far from looking on him as the 
true God, that it believed him not to be a good man. Hence 
they could never bear the least intimation of his divine na- 
ture, supposing themselves secured from any such thing, 
because they looked on him with their eyes to be a man, as 
he was indeed, no less truly and really than any one of them- 
selves. Wherefore, on that testimony given of himself, 
' Before Abraham was, 1 am,' which asserts a pre-existence 
from eternity in another nature than what they saw, they 

VOL. XII. 2 E 


were filled with rage, and ' took up stones to cast at him ;' 
John viii. 58. And they give a reason of their madness, 
John X. 33. namely, that ' he, being a man, should make 
himself to be God.' This was such a thing, they thought, 
as could never enter into the heart of a wise and sober man; 
namely, that being so, owning himself to be such, he should 
yet say of himself, that he was God. This is that which no 
reason can comprehend, which nothing in nature can parallel 
or illustrate, that one and the same person should be both 
God and man. And this is the principal plea of the Soci- 
nians at this day, who through the Mahometans succeed 
unto the Jews in an opposition unto the divine nature of 

But all this difficulty is solved by the glory of Christ in 
this condescension; for although in himself, or his own di- 
vine person, he was * over all God blessed for ever ;' yet he 
humbled himself for the salvation of the church unto the 
eternal glory of God, to take our nature upon him, and to be 
made man : and those who cannot see a divine glory in his 
so doing, do neither know him, nor love him, nor believe in 
him, nor do any way belong unto him. 

So is it with the men of these abominations. Because 
they cannot behold the glory hereof, they deny the founda- 
tion of our religion, namely, the divine person of Christ. 
Seeing he would be made man, he shall be esteemed by 
them no more than a man. So do they reject that glory of 
God, his infinite wisdom, goodness, and grace, wherein he is 
more concerned than in the whole creation. And they dig 
up the root of all evangelical truths, which are nothing but 
branches from it. 

It is true and must be confessed, that herein it is that 
our Lord Jesus Christ is ' a stumbling-stone, and a rock of 
oflPence' unto the world. If we should confess him only as 
a prophet, a man sent by God, there would not be much 
contest about him, nor opposition unto him. The Maho- 
metans do all acknowledge it, and the Jews would not long- 
deny it; for their hatred against him was, and is, solely be- 
cause he professed himself to be God, and as such was be- 
lieved on in the world. And at this day partly through the 
insinuation of the Socinians, and partly from the efficacy of 
th^ir own blindness and unbelief, multitudes are willing to 


grant him to be a prophet sent of God, who do not, who will 
not, who cannot, believe the mystery of this condescension 
in the susception of our nature, nor see the glory of it. But 
take this away, and all our religion is taken away with it. 
Farewell Christianity as unto the mystery, the glory, the 
truth, the efficacy of it ; let a refined heathenism be esta- 
blished in its room. But this is the rock on which the church 
is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. 

4. This condescension of Christ was not by a phan- 
tasm or an appearance only. One of the first heresies 
that pestered the church immediately after the days of 
the apostles, was this, that all that was done or suffered 
by Christ as a man, were not the acts, doings, or sufferings 
of one that was truly and really a man, but an outward re- 
presentation of things, like the appearance of angels in the 
shape of men, eating and drinking under the Old Testament; 
and suitably hereunto some in our days have spoken; name- 
ly, that there was only an appearance of Christ in the man 
Jesus at Jerusalem, in whom he suffered no more than in 
other believers. But the ancient Christians told those men 
the truth ; namely, that * as they had feigned unto themselves 
an imaginary Christ, so they should have an imaginary sal- 
vation only.' 

But the true nature of this divine condescension doth 
consist in these three things : 

1. That the eternal person of the Son of God, or the di- 
vine nature in the person of the Son, did b}'' an ineffable act 
of his divine power and love, assume our nature into an in- 
dividual subsistence in or with himself; that is, to be his 
own, even as the divine nature is his. This is the infallible 
foundation of faith even to them who can comprehend very 
little of these divine mysteries. They can, and do believe, 
that the Son of God did take our nature to be his own ; so 
as that whatever was done therein, was done by him, as it is 
with every other man. Every man hath human nature ap- 
propriated unto himself by an individual subsistence; where- 
by he becomes to be that man which he is, and not another; 
or that nature which is common unto all, becomes in him to 
be peculiarly his own, as if there were none partaker of it 
but himself. Adam in his first creation, when all human 
nature was in him alone, was no more that individual man 

2 K 2 


which he was, than every man is now the man that he is, by 
his individual subsistence. So the Lord Christ taking that 
nature which is common unto all, into a peculiar subsistence 
in his own person, it becometh his, and he the man Christ 
Jesus. This was the mind that was in him. 

2. By reason of this assumption of our nature, with his 
doing and suffering therein, whereby he was found in fashion 
as a man, the glory of his divine person was veiled, and he 
made himself of no reputation. This also belongs unto his 
condescension, as the first general effect and fruit of it. But 
we have spoken of it before. 

3. It is also to be observed, that in the assumption of our 
nature to be his own, he did not change it into a thing divine 
and spiritual ; but preserved it entire in all its essential pro- 
perties and actings. Hence it really did and suffered, was 
tried, tempted, and forsaken as the same nature in any other 
man might do and be. That nature, as it was peculiarly his, 
and therefore he, or his person therein, was exposed unto all 
the temporary evils which the same nature is subject unto 
in any other person. 

This is a short general view of this incomprehensible 
condescension of the Son of God, as it is described by the 
apostle, Phil. ii. 5 — 8. And this is that wherein in an es- 
pecial manner we are to behold the glory of Christ by faith 
whilst we are in this world. 

But had we the tongue of men and angels, we were not 
able in any j list measure to express the glory of this conde- 
scension. For it is the most ineffable effect of the divine 
wisdom of the Father, and of the love of the Son, the highest 
evidence of the care of God towards mankind. What can be 
equal unto it ? What can be like it ? It is the glory of Chris- 
tian religion, and the animating soul of all evangelical truth. 
This carrieth the mystery of the wisdom of God, above the 
reason or understanding of men and angels, to be the object 
of faith and admiration only. A mystery it is that becomes 
the greatness of God with his infinite distance from the 
whole creation; which renders it unbecoming him that all 
his ways and works should be comprehensible by any of his 
creatures ; Job xi. 4, 5. 9. Rom. xi. 34 — 36. 

He who was eternally in the form of God, that is, was 
essentially so, God by nature, equally participant of the 


same divine nature with God the Father ; * God over all blessed 
for ever ;' who humbleth himself to behold the things that 
are in heaven and earth ; he takes on him the nature of man, 
takes it to be his own ; whereby he was no less truly a man 
in time, than he was truly God from eternity. And to in- 
crease the wonder of this mystery, because it was necessary 
unto the end he designed, he so humbled himself in this 
assumption of our nature, as to make himself of no reputa- 
tion in this world ; yea, unto that degree, that he said of 
himself, that he was a worm and no man, in comparison of 
them who were of any esteem. 

We speak of these things in a poor, low, broken manner ; 
we teach them as they are revealed in the Scripture ; we 
labour by faith to adhere unto them as revealed ; but when 
we come into a steady, direct view and consideration of the 
thing itself, our minds fail, our hearts tremble, and we can 
find no rest, but in a holy admiration of what we cannot 
comprehend. Here we are at a loss, and know that we shall 
be so whilst we are in this world : but all the ineffable fruits 
and benefits of this truth are communicated unto them that 
do believe. 

It is with reference hereunto, that that great promise 
concerning him is given unto the church, Isa. viii- 14. * He 
shall be for a sanctuary ;' (namely, unto all that believe, as 
it is expounded, 1 Pet. ii. 8.) * but for a stone of stumbling, 
and a rock of offence, even to them that stumble at the word, 
being disobedient, vvhereunto also they were appointed.' 

He is herein a sanctuary, an assured refuge unto all that 
betake themselves unto him. What is it that any man in 
distr.ess, who flies thereunto, may look for in a sanctuary ? A 
supply of all his wants, a deliverance from all his fears, a 
defence against all his dangers, is proposed unto him therein. 
Such is the Lord Christ herein unto sin-distressed souls ; he 
is a refuge unto us in all spiritual distresses and disconso- 
lations, Heb. vi. 18. See the exposition of the place. Are 
we, or any of us, burdened with a sense of sin ? Are we per- 
plexed with temptations? Are we bowed down under the 
oppression of any spiritual adversary ? Do we on any of 
these accounts ' walk in darkness and have no light V One 
view of the glory of Christ herein is able to support us and 
relieve us. 


Unto whom, we betake ourselves for relief in any case, 
we have regard to nothing but their will and their power. If 
they have both, we are sure of relief. And what shall we 
fear in the will of Christ as unto this end ? What will he not 
do for us ? He v/ho thus emptied and humbled himself, who 
so infinitely condescended from the prerogative of his glory 
in his being and self-sufficiency, in the susception of our 
nature for the discharge of the office of a mediator on our 
behalf; will he not relieve us in all our distresses ? Will he 
not do all for us we stand in need of, that we may be eter- 
nally saved? Will he not be a sanctuary unto us? 

Nor have we hereon any ground to fear his power ; for 
by this infinite condescension to be a suffering man, he lost 
nothing of his power as God omnipotent ; nothing of his 
infinite wisdom or glorious grace. He could still do, all 
that he could do as God from eternity. If there be any 
thing therefore in a coalescency of infinite power, with infi- 
nite condescension, to constitute a sanctuary for distressed 
sinners, it is all in Christ Jesus. And if we see him not 
glorious herein, it is because there is no light of faith in us. 
This then is the rest wherewith we may cause the weary 
to rest, and this is the refreshment. Herein is he ' a hiding- 
place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers 
of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock 
in a weary land.' Hereon he says, ' I have satiated the weary 
soul, and have refreshed every sorrowful soul.' Under this 
consideration it is, that in all evangelical promises and invi- 
tations for coming to him, he is proposed unto distressed 
sinners, as their only sanctuary. 

Herein is he * a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence 
unto the unbelieving and disobedient, who stumble at the 
word.' They cannot, they will not, see the glory of this con- 
descension ; they neither desire nor labour so to do ; yea, 
they hate it and despise it. Christ in it is 'a stone of stum- 
bling, and a rock of offence' unto them. Wherefore they 
choose rather utterly to deny his divine person, than allow 
that he did thus abase himself for our sakes. Rather than 
they will own this glory, they will allow him no glory. A 
man they say he was, and no more, and this was his glory. 
This is that principle of darkness and unbelief, which works 
effectually at this day in the minds of many. They think 


it an absurd thing, as the Jews did of old, that he being a 
man, should be God also ; or, on the other hand, that the Son 
of God should thus condescend to take our nature on him. 
This they can see no glory in, no relief, no refuge, no re- 
freshment unto their souls in any of their distresses : there- 
fore do they deny his divine person. Here faith triumphs 
against them ; it finds that to be a glorious sanctuary, which 
they cannot at all discern. 

But it is not so much the declaration or vindication of 
this glory of Christ which I am at present engaged in, as an 
exhortation unto the practical contemplation of it in a way 
of believing. And I know that among many this is too 
much neglected ; yea, of all the evils which I have seen in 
the days of my pilgrimage now drawing to their close, there 
is none so grievous as the public contempt of the principal 
mysteries of the gospel among them that are called Chris- 
tians. Religion in the profession of some men is withered 
in its vital principles, weakened in its nerves and sinews, 
but thought to be put off with outward gaiety and bravery. 
^ But my exhortation is unto diligence in the contempla- 
tion of this glory of Christ, and the exercise of our thoughts 
about it. Unless we are diligent herein, it is impossible we 
should be steady in the principal acts of faith, or ready unto 
the principal duties of obedience. The principal act of faith 
respects the divine person of Christ, as all Christians must 
acknowledge. This we can never secure (as hath been de- 
clared) if we see not his glory in this condescension : and 
whoever reduceth his notions unto experience, will find that 
herein .his faith stands or falls. And the principal duty of 
our obedience is self-denial, with readiness for the cross. 
Hereunto the consideration of this condescension of Christ 
is the principal evangelical motive, and that whereinto our 
obedience in it is to be resolved, as the apostle declares, 
Phil. ii. 5 — 7. And no man doth deny himself in a due 
manner, who doth it not on the consideration of the self- 
denial of the Son of God. But a prevalent motive this is 
thereunto. For what are the things wherein we are to deny 
ourselves, or forego what we pretend to have a right unto ? 
It is in our goods, our liberties, our relations, our lives. 
And what are they, any, or all of them, in themselves, or 
unto us, considering our condition, and the end for which 


we were made? Perishing things, which, whether we will or 
no, within a few days death will give us an everlasting sepa- 
ration from. Things mider the power of a fever or an 
asthma, &c. as unto our interest in them. But how incom- 
parable with respect hereunto is that condescension of Christ, 
whereof we have given an account? If therefore we find 
an unwillingness in us, a tergiversation in our minds about 
these things when called unto them in a way of duty, one 
view by faith of the glory of Christ in this condescension, 
and what he parted from therein, when he *made himself of 
no reputation,' will be an effectual cure of that sinful dis- 

Herein then, I say, we may by faith behold the glory of 
Christ, as we shall do it by sight hereafter. If we see no 
glory in it, if we discern not that which is matter of eternal 
admiration, we walk in darkness. It is the most ineffable 
effect of divine wisdom and grace. Where are our hearts 
and minds, if we can see no glory in it? I know in the con- 
templation of it, it will quickly overwhelm our reason, and 
bring our understanding into a loss : but unto this loss do 
I desire to be brought every day ; for when faith can no 
more act itself in comprehension, when it finds the object it 
is fixed on, too great and glorious to be brought into our 
minds and capacities, it will issue (as we said before) in holy 
admiration, humble adoration, and joyful thanksgiving. In 
and by its actings in them, doth it fill the soul with 'joy un- 
speakable and full of glory.' 


The glory of Christ in his love. 

In the susception and discharge of the mediatory office by 
the Son of God, the Scripture doth most eminently repre- 
sent his love, as the sole impelling and leading cause thereof. 
Gal. ii. 20. 1 John iii. 16. Rev. i. 5. 

Herein is he glorious, in away and manner incomprehen- 
sible ; for in the glory of divine love, the chief brightness of 
glory doth consist. There is nothing of dread or terror ac- 


compaiiying it, nothing but what is amiable and infinitely 
refreshing. Now that we may take a view of the glory of 
Christ herein by faith, the nature of it must be inquired 

1. The eternal disposing cause of the whole work wherein 
the Lord Christ was engaged by the susception of this office, 
for the redemption and salvation of the church, is the love 
of the Father. Hereunto it is constantly ascribed in the 
Scripture. And this love of the Father acted itself in his 
eternal decrees, * before the foundation of the world,' Eph. i. 4. 
and afterward in the sending of his Son to render it effectual ; 
John iii. 16. Originally, it is his eternal election of a portion 
of mankind to be brought unto the enjoyment of himself, 
through the mystery of the blood of Christ, and the sancti- 
fication of the Spirit; 2 Thess. ii. 13. 16. Eph. i. 4 — 9. 
1 Pet. i. 2. 

This eternal act of the will of God the Father, doth not 
contain in it an actual approbation of, and complacency in, 
the state and condition of those that are elected ; but only 
designeth that for them on the account whereof they shall 
be accepted and approved. And it is called his love on 
sundry accounts. 

1. Because it is an act suited unto that glorious excel- 
lency of his nature, wherein he is love ; for ' God is love ;' 
1 John iv. 8, 9. And the first egress of the divine proper- 
ties must therefore be in an act of communicative love. 
And whereas this election being an eternal act of the will 
of God, can have no moving cause but what is in himself; 
if we could look into all the treasures of the divine excel- 
lencies, we should find none whereunto it could be so pro- 
perly ascribed, as unto love. Wherefore, 

2. It is styled love, because it was free and undeserved, 
as unto any thing on our part. For whatever good is done 
unto any altogether undeserved, if it be with a design of 
their profit and advantage, it is an act of love, and can have 
no other cause. So is it with us in respect of eternal elec- 
tion. There was nothing in us, nothing foreseen, as that 
which from ourselves would be in us, that should any way 
move the will of God untO this election: for whatever is 
good in the best of men is an effect of it ; Eph. i. 4. Whereas 


therefore it tends unto our eternal good, the spring of it 
must be love. And, 

3. The fruits or effects of it are inconceivable acts of 
love. It is by multiplied acts of love, that it is made ef- 
fectual ; John iii. 16. Jer. xxxi. 5. Eph. i. 3 — 6. 1 John iv. 
8, 9. 16. 

This is the eternal spring which is derived unto the 
church, through the mediation of Christ. Wherefore, that 
which put all the design of this eternal love of the Father 
into execution, and wrought out the accomplishment of it, 
was the love of the Son, which we inquire after ; and light 
may be given unto it in the ensuing observations. 

1. The whole number or society of the elect, were crea- 
tures made in the image of God, and thereby in a state of 
love with him. All that they were, had, or hoped for, were 
effects of divine goodness and love. And the life of their 
souls was love unto God. And a blessed state it was, pre- 
paratory for the eternal life of love in heaven. 

2. From this state they fell by sin, into a state of en- 
mity v;ith God ; which is comprehensive of all miseries, tem- 
poral and eternal. 

3. Notwithstanding this woful catastrophe of our first 
state, yet our nature on many accounts was recoverable unto 
the enjoyment of God, as I have at large elsewhere declared. 

4. In this condition, the first act of love in Christ to- 
wards us, was in pity and compassion. A creature made in 
the image of God, and fallen into misery, yet ctipable of re- 
covery, is the proper object of divine compassion. That 
which is so celebrated in the Scripture, as the bowels, the 
pity, the compassion of God, is the acting of divine love to- 
wards us, on the consideration of our distress and misery. 
But all compassion ceaseth towards them whose condition is 
irrecoverable. Wherefore, the Lord Christ pitied not the 
angels that fell, because their nature was not to be relieved. 
Of this compassion in Christ, see Heb. ii. 14 — 16. Isa. 
Ixiii. 9. 

5. As then we lay under the eye of Christ in our misery, 
we were the objects of his pity and compassion; but as he 
looketh on us as recoverable out of that state, his love work- 
eth in and by delight. It was an inconceivable delight 


unto him to take a prospect of the deliverance of mankind 
unto the glory of God, which is also an act of love. See this 
divinely expressed, Prov. viii. 30, 31. as that place hath 
been elsewhere explained. 

6. If it be inquired, whence this compassion and delight 
in him should arise, what should be the cause of them ; that 
he who was eternally blessed in his own self-sufficiency 
should so deeply concern himself in our lost forlorn condi- 
tion ? I say it did so, merely from the infinite love and good- 
ness of his own nature, without the least procuring induce- 
ment from us, or any thing in us ; 1 Pet. iii. 16. 

7. In this his readiness, willingness, and delight, spring- 
ing from love and compassion, the counsel of God concern- 
ing the way of our recovery, is as it were proposed unto 
him. Now this was a way of great difficulties and per- 
plexities unto himself; that is, unto his person as it was to 
be constituted. Unto the divine nature nothing is grievous, 
nothing is difficult; but he was to have another nature, 
wherein he was to undergo the difficulties of this way and 
work. It was required of him, that he should pity us until 
he had none left to pity himself when he stood in need of 
it ; that he should pursue his delight to save us, until his 
own soul was heavy and sorrowful unto death ; that he 
should relieve us in our sufferings, by suffering the same 
thino^s that we should have done. But he was not in the 
least hereby deterred from undertaking this work of love 
and mercy for us : yea his love rose on this proposal, like 
the waters of a mighty stream against opposition. For 
hereon he says, * Lo, I come to do thy will, O God ;' it is my 
delight to do it ; Heb. x. 5 — 7. Isa. 1. 4 — 7. 

8. Being thus inclined, disposed, and ready in the eter- 
nal love of his divine person, to undertake the office of me- 
diation, and the work of our redemption, a body was pre- 
pared for him. In this body, or human nature made his 
own, he was to make this love effectual in all its inclinations 
and actings. It was provided for him unto this end, and 
filled with all grace in a way unmeasurable, especially 
with fervent love unto mankind. And hereby it became a 
meet instrument to actuate his eternal love in all the fruits 
of it. 

9. It is hence evident, that this glorious love of Christ 


doth not consist alone in the eternal actings of his divine 
person, or the divine nature in his person. Such indeed is 
the love of the Father, namely, his eternal purpose for the 
communication of pjrace and glory, with his acquiescency 
therein ; but there is more in the love of Christ. For when 
he exercised this love, he was man also, and not God only. 
And in none of those eternal acts of love could the human 
nature of Christ have any interest or concern ; yet is the 
love of the man Christ Jesus, celebrated in the Scripture. 

10. Wherefore this love of Christ which we inquire after, 
is the love of his person ; that is, which he in his own per- 
son acts in and by his distinct natures according unto their 
distinct essensial properties. And the acts of love in these 
distinct natures, are infinitely distinct and different ; yet are 
they all acts of one and the same person. So then, whether 
that act of love in Christ which we would at any time con- 
sider, be an eternal act of the divine nature in the person of 
the Son of God ; or whether it be an act of the human per- 
formed in time by the gracious faculties and powers of that 
nature, it is still the love of one and the selfsame person, 
Christ Jesus. 

It was an act of inexpressible love in him that he as- 
sumed our nature; Heb. ii. 14. 17. But it was an act in 
and of his divine nature only ; for it was antecedent unto 
the existence of his human nature, which could not there- 
fore concur therein. His laying down his life for us, was 
an act of inconceivable love, 1 John viii. 6. Yet was it only 
an act of the human nature wherein he offered himself and 
died. But both the one and the other were acts of his di- 
vine person ; whence it is said that God laid down his life 
for us, and purchased the church with his own blood. 

This is that love of Christ wherein he is glorious, and 
wherein we are by faith to behold his glory. A great part 
of the blessedness of the saints in heaven, and their triumph 
therein, consists in their beholding of this glory of Christ, 
in their thankful contemplation of the fruits of it. See Rev. 
V. 9, 10, &c. 

The illustrious brightness wherewith this glory shines in 
heaven, the all-satisfying sweetness which the view of it 
gives unto the souls of the saints there possessed of glory, 
are not by us conceivable, nor to be expressed. Here this 


love passeth knowledoe, there we shall comprehend the di- 
mensions of" it. Yet even here, if we are not slothful and 
carnal, we may have a refreshing prospect of it ; and where 
comprehension fails, let admiration take place. 

My present business is to exhort others unto the con- 
templation of it, though it be but a little, a very little, a 
small portion of it, that I can conceive ; and less than that 
very little, that I can express. Yet may it be my duty to 
excite not only myself, but others also, unto due inquiries 
after it ; unto which end I offer the things ensuing. 

1. Labour that your minds may continually be fitted and 
preparedfor such heavenly contemplations. If they are carnal 
and sensual, or filled with earthly things, a due sense of this 
love of Christ and its glory, will not abide in them. Virtue 
and vice in their highest degrees are not more diametrically 
opposite and inconsistent in the same mind, than are an 
habitual course of sensual worldly thoughts, and a due con- 
templation of the glory of the love of Christ ; yea, an ear- 
nestness of spirit, pregnant with a multitude of thoughts 
about the lawful occasions of life, is obstructive of all due 
communion with the Lord Jesus Christ herein. 

Few there are whose minds are prepared in a due man- 
ner for this duty. The actions and communications of the 
most, evidence what is the inward frame of their souls. They 
rove up and down in their thoughts, which are continually 
led by their affections into the corners of the earth. It is in 
vain to call such persons unto contemplations of the glory 
of Christ in his love. A holy composure of mind by virtue 
of spiritual principles, an inclination to seek after refresh- 
ment in heavenly things, and to bathe the soul in the foun- 
tain of them, with constant apprehensions of the excellency 
of this divine glory, are required hereunto. 

2. Be not satisfied with general notions concerning the 
love of Christ, which represent no glory unto the mind, 
wherewith many deceive themselves. All who believe his 
divine person, profess a valuation of his love, and think 
them not Christians who are otherwise minded ; but they 
have only general notions, and not any distinct conceptions 
of it, and really know not what it is. To deliver us from 
this snare, peculiar meditations on its principal concerns 
are required of us. As, 


1. Whose love it is; namely, of the divine person of 
the Son of God. He is expressly called God, with respect 
unto the exercise of this love, that we may always consider 
whose it is, 1 John iii. 16. * Hereby we perceive the love of 
God, because he laid down his life for us.' 

2. By what ways and means this wonderful love of the 
Son of God doth act itself; namely, in the divine nature, 
by eternal acts of wisdom, goodness, and grace proper there- 
unto ; and in the human, by temporary acts of pity or com- 
passion, with all the fruits of them in doing and suffering 
for us. See Eph. iii. 19. Heb. ii. 14, 15. Rev. i. 5. 

S. What is the freedom of it as unto any defect on our 
part ; 1 John iv. 10. It w^as hatred, not love, that we in our- 
selves deserved, which is a consideration suited to fill the 
soul with self-abasement, the best of frames in the contem- 
plation of the glory of Christ. 

4. What is the efficacy of it in its fruits and effects, with 
sundry other considerations of the like nature. By a dis- 
tinct prospect and admiration of these things, the soul may 
walk in this paradise of God, and gather here and there a 
heavenly flower, conveying unto it a sweet savour of this 
love of Christ. See Cant. xi. 2 — 4. 

Moreover, be not contented to have right notions of the 
love of Christ in your minds, unless you can attain a gra- 
cious taste of it in your hearts ; no more than you would be 
to see a feast or banquet richly prepared and partake of 
nothing of it unto your refreshment. It is of that nature 
that we may have a spiritual sensation of it in our minds, 
whence it is compared by the spouse to apples and flagons 
of wine. We may taste that the Lord is gracious. And if 
we find not a relish of it in our hearts, we shall not long 
retain the notion of it in our minds. Christ is the meat, 
the bread, the food of our souls. Nothing is in him of a 
higher spiritual nourishment than his love, which we should 
always desire. 

In this love is he glorious ; for it is such as no creatures, 
angels, or men could have the least conceptions of, before 
its manifestation by its effects : and after its manifestation, 
it is in this world absolutely incomprehensible. 



The glory of Christ in the discharge of his mediatory office. 

As the Lord Christ was glorious in the susceptiou of his 
office, so was he also in its discharge. An unseen glory 
accompanied him in all that he did, in all that he suffered. 
Unseen it was unto the eyes of the world, but not in his 
who alone can judge of it. Had men seen it, they would not 
have crucified the Lord of glory. Yet to some of them it 
was made manifest. Hence they testified that in the dis- 
charge of his office, they * beheld his glory, the glory as of 
the only-begotten of the Father ;' John i. 14. And that 
when others could see neither ' form nor comeliness in him 
that he should be desired ;' Psal. liii. 2. And so it is at this 
day. I shall only make some few observations ; first, on 
what he did in a way of obedience, and then on what he suf- 
fered in the discharge of his office so undertaken by him. 
1. What he did, what obedience he yielded unto the law 
of God, in the discharge of his office (with respect where- 
unto he said, ' Lo, I come to do thy will, O God ; yea, thy 
law is in my heart'), it was all on his own free choice or elec- 
tion, and was resolved thereinto alone. It is our duty to 
endeavour after freedom, willingness, and cheerfulness in all 
our obedience. Obedience hath its formal nature from our 
wills. So much as there is of our wills, in what we do to- 
wards God, so much there is of obedience, and no more. 
Howbeit we are antecedently unto all acts of our own wills, 
obliged unto all that is called obedience. From the very 
constitution of our natures, we are necessarily subject unto 
the law of God. All that is left unto us, is a voluntary 
compliance with unavoidable commands ; with him it was 
not so. An act of his own will and choice preceded all 
obligation as unto obedience. He obeyed because he 
would, before because he ought. He said, 'Lo I come to 
do thy will, O God,' before he was obliged to do that will. 
By his own choice, and that in an act of infinite condescen- 
sion and love, as we have shewed, he was ' made of a woman,' 
and thereby 'made under the law.' In his divine person he 


was Lord of the law, above it, no more obnoxious unto its 
commands, than its curse. Neither was he afterward in 
himself on his own account unobnoxious unto its curse, 
merely because he was innocent, but also because he was 
every way above the law itself, and all its force. 

This was the original glory of his obedience. This wis- 
dom, the grace, the love, the condescension that was in this 
choice, animated every act, every duty of his obedience 
rendering it amiable in the sight of God, and useful unto 
us. So when he went unto John to be baptized, he who 
knew he had no need of it on his own account, would have 
declined the duty of administering that ordinance unto him; 
but he replied, * Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh 
us to fulfil all righteousness;* Matt. iii. 15. This I have 
undertaken willingly of my own accord, without any need of 
it for myself, and therefore will discharge it. For him who 
was Lord of all universally, thus to submit himself to uni- 
versal obedience, carrieth along with it an evidence of glo- 
rious grace. 

2. This obedience as unto the use and end of it, was not 
for himself, but Tor us. We were obliged unto it and could 
not perform it ; he was not obliged unto it any otherwise but 
by a free act of his own will, and did perform it. God gave 
him this honour, that he should obey for the whole church, 
that by ' his obedience we should be made righteous ;' Rom. 
V. 19. Herein I say did God give him honour and glory, 
that his obedience should stand in the stead of the perfect 
obedience of the church as unto justification. 

3. His obedience being absolutely universal, and abso- 
lutely perfect, was the great representative of the holiness 
of God in the law. It was represented glorious when the 
ten words were written by the finger of God in tables of 
stone ; it appears yet more eminently in the spiritual tran- 
scription of it in the hearts of believers : but absolutely and 
perfectly it is exemplified only in the holiness and obedience 
of Christ, which answered it unto the utmost. And this is 
no small part of his glory in obedience that the holiness of 
God in the law was therein, and therein alone in that one in- 
stance, as unto human nature, fully represented. 

4. He wrought out this obedience against all difficulties 
and oppositions. For although he was absolutely free from 



that disorder which in us hath invaded oiir whole natures, 
which internally renders all obedience difficult unto us, and 
"perfect obedience impossible ; yet as unto opposition from 
without in temptations, sufferings, reproaches, contradic- 
tions, he met with more than we all. Hence is that glorious 
word, ' Although he were a son, yet he learned obedience 
by the things which he suffered;' Heb. v. 8. See our expo- 
sition of that place. But, 

5. The glory of this obedience ariseth principally from 
the consideration of the person, who thus yielded it unto 
God. This was no other but the Son of God made man ; 
God and man in one person. He who was in heaven, above 
all. Lord of all, at the same time lived in the world in a con- 
dition of no reputation, and a course of the strictest obe- 
dience unto the whole law of God. He unto whom prayer 
was made, prayed himself night and day. He whom all the 
angels of heaven and all creatures worshipped, was con- 
tinually conversant in all the duties of the worship of God. 
He who was over the house, diligently observed the meanest 
office of the house. He that made all men, in whose hand 
they are all as clay in the hand of the potter, observed 
amongst them the strictest rules of justice in giving unto 
every one his due, and of charity, in giving good things 
that were not so due. This is that which renders the obe- 
dience of Christ in the discharge of his office, both myste- 
rious and glorious. 

2. Again, the glory of Christ is proposed unto us in what 
he suffered in the discharge of the office which he had un- 
dertaken. There belonged indeed unto his office, victory, 
success, and triumph with great glory, Isa. Ixiii. 1 — 5. but 
there were sufferings also required of him antecedently there- 
unto. * Ought not Christ to suffer and to enter into his 

But such were these sufferings of Christ, as that in our 
thoughts about them, our minds quickly recoil in a sense 
of their insufiiciency to conceive aright of them. Never any 
one launched into this ocean with his meditations, but he 
quickly found himself unable to fathom the depths of it ; 
nor shall I here undertake an inquiry into them. I shall 
only point at this spring of glory, and leave it under a veil. 

We might here look on him as under the weight of the 

VOL. XII. 2 F 


wrath of God, and the curse of the law ; taking on himself, 
and on his whole soul, the utmost of evil that God had ever 
threatened to sin or sinners ; we might look on him in his 
agony and bloody sweat, in his strong cries and supplica- 
tions, when he was sorrow^ful unto the death, and began to 
be amazed, in apprehensions of the things that were coming 
on him ; of that dreadful trial which he was entering into ; we 
might look upon him, conflicting with all the powers of dark- 
ness, the rage and madness of men, suffering in his soul, his 
body, his name, his reputation, his goods, his life; some of 
these sufferings being immediate from God above, others 
from devils and wicked men, acting according to the de- 
terminate counsel of God : we might look on him praying, 
weeping, crying out, bleeding, dying, in all things making 
his soul an offering for sin; so was he ' taken from prison, 
and judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for 
he was cut off from the land of the living : for the trans- 
gression' (saith God) ' of my people was he smitten ;' Isa. liii. 
8. But these things I shall not insist on in particular, but 
leave them under such a veil as may give us a prospect into 
them, so far as to fill our souls with holy admiration. 

Lord ! What is man that thou art thus mindful of him, 
and the son of man that thou visitest him? Who hath 
known thy mind, or who hath been thy counsellor? O the 
depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of 
God ! how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways 
past finding out! What shall we say unto these things ? that 
God spared not his only Son, but gave him up unto death, 
and all the evils included therein, for such poor, lost sinners 
as we were ; that for our sakes the eternal Son of God 
should submit himself unto all the evils that our natures 
are obnoxious unto, and that our sins had deserved, that we 
might be delivered ! 

How glorious is the Lord Christ on this account in the 
eyes of believers ! When Adam had sinned, and thereby 
eternally, according unto the sanction of the law, ruined 
himself and all his posterity, he stood ashamed, afraid, 
trembling, as one ready to perish for ever under the dis- 
pleasure of God. Death was that which he had deserved, 
and immediate death was that which he looked for. In this 
state the Lord Christ in the promise comes unto him, and 


says. Poor creature ! How woful is thy condition ! How 
deformed is thy appearance ! What is become of the beauty, 
of the glory of that image of God wherein thou wast created? 
How hast thou taken on thee the monstrous shape and image 
of Satan ! and yet thy present misery, thy entrance into dust 
and darkness, is no way to be compared with what is to en- 
sue. Eternal distress lies at the door. But yet look up 
once more, and behold me, that thou mayest have some 
glimpse of what is in the designs of infinite wisdom, love, 
and grace. Come forth from thy vain shelter, thy hiding- 
place. I will put myself into thy condition. I will undergo 
and bear that burden of guilt and punishment, which would 
sink thee eternally into the bottom of hell. I will pay that 
which I never took ; and be made temporally a curse for 
thee, that thou mayest attain unto eternal ble^edness. To 
the same purpose he speaks unto convinced sinners in the 
invitation he gives them to come unto him. 

Thus is the Lord Christ set forth in the gospel, * evi- 
dently crucified before our eyes;' Gal. iii. L namely, in the 
representation that is made of his glory, in the sufferings 
he underwent for the discharge of the office he had under- 
taken. Let us then behold him as poor, despised, perse- 
cuted, reproached, reviled, hanged on a tree ; in all labour- 
ing under a sense of the wrath of God due unto our sins. 
Unto this end are they recorded in the gospel, read, preach- 
ed, and represented unto us. But what can we see herein ? 
what glory is in these things ? Are not these the thino-s 
which all the world of Jews and Gentiles stumbled and took 
offence at? Those wherein he was appointed to be a stone 
of stumbling, and a rock of offence ? Was it not esteemed 
a foolish thing to look for help and deliverance by the mise- 
ries of another? To look for life by his death? The apo- 
stle declares at large that such it was esteemed, 1 Cor. i. So 
was it in the wisdom of the world. But even on the account 
of these things is he honourable, glorious, and precious in 
the sight of them that do believe ; 1 Pet. ii. 6, 7. For even 
herein he was the ' wisdom of God and the power of God ;' 
1 Cor. i. 24. And the apostle declares at large the grounds 
and reasons of the different thoughts and apprehensions of 
men concerning the cross and sufferings of Christ, 2 Cor. 
iv. 3—6. 

2 F 2 



The glory of Christ in his exaltation, after the accomplishment of the ivork 
of mediation in this world. 

We may in tlie next place behold the glory of Christ with 
respect unto his office in the actings of God towards him, 
which ensued on his discharge of it in this world, in his 
own exaltation. 

These are the two heads, whereunto all the prophecies 
and predictions concerning Jesus Christ under the Old Tes- 
tament are referred, namely, his sufferings, and the glory 
that ensued thereon; 1 Pet. i. 11. 'All the prophets testified 
beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that 
should follow.' So wdien he himself opened the Scriptures 
unto his disciples, he gave them this as the sum of the doc- 
trine contained in them ; ' Ought not Christ to have suf- 
fered these things, and to enter into his glory?' Luke xxiv. 
26. The same is frequently expressed elsewhere ; Rom. 
xiv. 9. Phil. ii. 5-8. 

So much as we know of Christ, his sufferings, and his 
glory ; so much do we understand of the Scripture, and no 

These are the two heads of the mediation of Christ and 
his kingdom; and this is their order which they communi- 
cate unto the church ; first sufferings, and then glory. ' If 
we suffer, we shall also reign with him ;' 2 Tim. ii. 12. 
They do but deceive themselves who design any other me- 
thod of these things. Some would reign here in this world ; 
and we may say with the apostle, * would you did reign, that 
we might reign with you.' But the members of the mysti- 
cal body must be conformed unto the head. In him, suf- 
ferings went before glory ; and so they must in them. The 
order in the kingdom of Satan and the world, is contrary 
hereunto. First the good things of this life, and then eter- 
nal misery, is the method of that kingdom ; Luke xvi. 25. 

These are the two springs of the salvation of the church ; 
the two anointed ones, that stand before the Lord of the 
whole earth ; from which all the golden oil, whereby the 


church is dedicated unto God and sanctified, doth flow. 
This glory of Christ in his exaltation which followed on 
his sufferings, is that which we now inquire into. And we 
shall state our apprehensions of it in the ensuing observa- 

1. This is peculiarly that glory which the Lord Christ 
prays that his disciples may be where he is, to behold it. 
It is not solely so, as it is considered absolutely ; but it is 
that, wherein all the other parts of his glory are made ma- 
nifest. It is the evidence, the pledge, the means of the ma- 
nifestation of them all. As unto all the instances of his 
glory before insisted on, there was a veil drawn over them 
whilst he was in this world. Hence the most saw nothino- 
of it, and the best saw it but obscurely. But in this glory 
that veil is taken off, whereby the whole glory of his person 
in itself, and in the work of mediation is most illustriously 
manifested. When we shall immediately behold this glory, 
we shall see him as he is. This is that glory whereof the 
Father made grant unto him before the foundation of the 
world, and wherewith he was actually invested upon his 

2. By this glory of Christ, I do not understand the es- 
sential glory of his divine nature ; or his being absolutely 
in his own person * over all, God blessed for ever;' but the 
manifestation of this glory in particular, after it had been 
veiled in this world under the * form of a servant," belongs 
hereunto. The divine glory of Christ in his person be- 
longs not unto his exaltation ; but the manifestation of it 
doth so. It was not given him by free donation ; but the 
declaration of it unto the church of angels and men after 
his humiliation was so. He left it not whilst he was in this 
world; but the direct evidence and declaration of it he laid 
aside, until he was ' declared to be the Son of God with 
power,' by the resurrection from the dead. 

When the sun is under a total eclipse, he loseth nothing 
of his native beauty, light, and glory. He is still the same 
that he was from the beginning ; a ' great light to rule the 
day.' To us he appears as a dark, useless meteor ; but 
when he comes by his course to free himself from the lunar 
interposition unto his proper aspect towards us, he mani- 
fests again his native light and glory. So was it with the 


divine nature of Christ, as we have before declared. He 
veiled the glory of it by the interposition of the flesh, or 
the assumption of our nature to be his own, with this addi- 
tion, that therein he took on him the ' form of a servant,' 
of a person of mean and low degree. But this temporary 
eclipse being past and over, it now shines forth in its infi- 
nite lustre and beauty, which belongs unto the present ex- 
altation of his person. And when those wlio beheld him 
here as a poor, sorrowful, persecuted man, dying on the 
cross, came to see him in all the infinite uncreated glories 
of the divine nature, manifesting themselves in his person, 
it could not but fill their souls with transcendent joy and 
admiration. And this is one reason of his prayer for them 
whilst he was on the earth, that they might be where he is 
to behold his glory. For he knew what ineffable satisfac- 
tion it would be unto them for evermore. 

3. I do not understand absolutely the glorification of 
the human nature of Christ ; that very soul and body 
wherein he lived and died, suffered and rose again, though 
that also be included herein. This also were a subject meet 
for our contemplation, especially as it is the exemplar of 
that glory which he will bring all those unto, who believe in 
him. But because at present we look somewhat farther, I 
shall observe only one or two things concerning it. 

1. That very nature itself which he took on him in this 
world, is exalted into glory. Some, under a pretence of 
great subtilty and accuracy, do deny that he hath either 
flesh or blood in heaven ; that is, as to the substance of 
them: however, you may suppose that they are changed, 
purified, glorified. The great foundation of the church, and 
all gospel faith is, that he was made flesh, that he did par- 
take of flesh and blood, even as did the children. That he 
hath forsaken that flesh and blood which he was made in 
the womb of the blessed Virgin ; wherein he lived and died, 
which he offered unto God in sacrifice, and wherein he rose 
from the dead, is a Socinian fiction. What is the true na- 
ture of the glorification of the humanity of Christ, neither 
those who thus surmise, nor we can perfectly comprehend. 
It doth not yet appear what we ourselves shall be, much 
less is it evident unto us what he is, whom we shall be like. 
But that he is still in the same human nature, wherein he 


was on the earth, that he hath the same rational soul and 
the same body, is a fundamental article of the Christian 

2. This nature of the man Christ Jesus, is filled with all 
the divine graces and perfections whereof a limited, created 
nature is capable. It is not deified, it is not made a God ; 
it doth not in heaven coalesce into one nature with the 
divine by a composition of them ; it hath not any essential 
property of the Deity communicated unto it, so as subjec- 
tively to reside in it ; it is not made omniscient, omnipre- 
sent, omnipotent; but it is exalted in a fulness of all divine 
perfection ineffably above the glory of angels and men. It 
is incomprehensibly nearer God than they all ; hath com- 
munications from God, in glorious light, love, and power, 
ineffably above them all. But it is still a creature. 

For the substance of this glory of the human nature of 
Christ, believers shall be made partakers of it ; for when we 
see him as he is, we shall be like him : but as unto the de- 
grees and measures of it, his glory is above all that we can 
be made partakers of. * There is one glory of the sun, an- 
other of the moon and stars ; and one star differeth from an- 
other in glory,' as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. xv. 45. And if 
there be a difference in glory among the stars themselves as 
to some degrees of the same glory ; how much more is there 
between the glory of the sun and that of any star whatever ? 
Such is the difference that is, and will be unto eternity, be- 
tween the human nature of Christ, and what glorified be- 
lievers do attain unto. But yet this is not that properly 
wherein the glory of Christ in his exaltation, after his humi- 
liation and death, doth consist. The things that belong 
unto it may be reduced unto the ensuing heads. 

1. It consisteth in the exaltation of the human nature, as 
subsisting in the divine person above the whole creation of 
God in power, dignity, authority, and rule, with all things 
that the wisdom of God hath appointed to render the glory 
of it illustrious. I have so largely insisted on the explica- 
tion and confirmation of this part of the present glorj'- of 
Christy in the exposition of Heb. i. 2, 3. that I have nothing 
more to add thereunto. 

2. It doth so in the evidence given of the infinite love of 
God the Father unto him, and his delight in him, with the 


eternal approbation of his discharge of the office committed 
unto him. Hence he is said * to sit at the rio;ht hand of God,' 
or at ' the right hand of the ma.jesty on high.' That the glory 
and dignity of Christ in his exaltation is singular, the highest 
that can be given to a creature incomprehensible ; that he 
is with respect unto the discharge of his office, under the 
eternal approbation of God ; that, as so gloriously exalted, 
he is proclaimed unto the whole creation, are all contained 
in this expression. 

3. Hereunto is added the full manifestation of his own 
divine wisdom, love, and grace, in the work of mediation 
and redemption of the church. This glory is absolutely sin- 
gular and peculiar unto him. Neither angels or men have 
the least interest in it. Here we see it darkly as in a glass : 
above, it shines forth in its brightness to the eternal joy of 
them who behold him. 

This is that glory which our Lord Jesus Christ in an es- 
pecial manner prayed that his disciples miglit behold. This 
is that whereof we ought to endeavour a prospect by faith. 
By faith, I say, and not by imagination. Vain and foolish 
men having general notions of this glory of Christ, knowing 
nothing of the real nature of it, have endeavoured to repre- 
sent it in pictures and images with all that lustre and beauty 
which the art of painting, with the ornaments of gold and 
jewels, can give unto them. This is that representation of 
the present glory of Christ, which being made and proposed 
unto the imagination and carnal affections of superstitious 
persons, carrieth such a shew of devotion and veneration in 
the Papal church. But they err, not knowing the Scripture, 
nor the eternal glory of the Son of God. 

This is the sole foundation of all our meditations herein. 
The glory that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the real actual 
possession of in heaven, can be no otherwise seen or appre- 
hended in this world, but in the light of faith, fixing itself 
on divine revelation. To behold this glory of Christ is not 
an act of fancy or imagination. It doth not consist in fram- 
ing unto ourselves the shape of a glorious person in heaven. 
But the steady exercise of faith on the revelation and de- 
scription made of this glory of Christ in the Scripture, is 
the ground, rule, and measure, of all divine meditations 


Hereon our duty it is, to call ourselves to an account, as 
unto our endeavour after a gracious view of this glory of 
Christ. When did v^^e steadfastly behold it? When had we 
such a view of it as wherein our souls have been satisfied 
and refreshed ? It is declared and represented unto us as 
one of the chief props of our faith, as a help of our joy, as 
an object of our hope, as a ground of our consolation, as 
our greatest encouragement unto obedience and suffering. 
Are our minds every day conversant with thoughts hereof? 
Or do we think ourselves not much concerned herein ? Do 
we look upon it, as that which is without us and above us, 
as that which we shall have time enough to consider when 
we come to heaven ? So is it with many. They care neither 
where Christ is, nor what he is, so that one way or other 
they may be saved by him. They hope, as they pretend, 
that they shall see him and his glory in heaven, and that 
they suppose to be time enough ; but in vain do they pre- 
tend a desire thereof; in vain are their expectations of any 
such thing. They who endeavour not to behold the glory 
of Christ in this world, as hath been often said, shall never 
behold him in glory hereafter unto their satisfaction ; nor do 
they desire so to do, only they suppose it a part of that relief 
which they would have when they are gone out of this 
world. For what should beget such a desire in them? No- 
thing can do it, but some view of it here by faith, which 
they despise, or totally neglect. Every pretence of a desire 
of heaven, and of the presence of Christ therein, that doth 
not arisefrom, that is not resolved into, that prospect which 
we have of the glory of Christ in this world by faith, is mere 
fancy and imagination. 

Our constant exercise in meditation on this glory of 
Christ will fill us with joy on his account, which is an effec- 
tual motive unto the duty itself. We are for the most part 
selfish, and look no farther than our own concernments. So 
we may be pardoned and saved by him, we care not much how 
it is with himself, but only presume it is well enough. We 
find not any concernment of our own therein. But this 
frame is directly opposite unto the genius of divine faith 
and love. For their principal actings consist in preferrinf>- 
Christ above ourselves ; and our concerns in him, above all 
our own. Let this then stir us up unto the contemplation 


of this glory. Who is it that is thus exalted over all ? Who 
is thus encompassed with glory, majesty, and power? Who 
is it that sits down at the right hand of the majesty on high, 
all his enemies being made his footstool ? Is it not he, who 
in this world was poor, despised, persecuted, and slain, all 
for our sakes? Is it not the same Jesus who loved us, and 
gave himself for us, and washed us in his own blood ? So 
the apostle told the Jews, that the same ' Jesus whom they 
slew and hanged on a tree, God had exalted with his right 
hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto 
Israel, and the forgiveness of sins ;' Acts v. 30, 31. If we 
have any valuation of his love, if we have any concernment 
in what he hath done and suffered for the church, we cannot 
but rejoice in his present state and glory. 

Let the world rage whilst it pleaseth ; let it set itself 
with all its power and craft against every thing of Christ 
that is in it, which, whatever is by some otherwise pre- 
tended, proceeds from a hatred unto his person ; let men 
make themselves drunk with the blood of his saints, we have 
this to oppose unto all their attempts, unto our supportment, 
namely, what he says of himself; ' Fear not; I am the first 
and the last : he thatliveth and was dead ; and, behold, I am 
alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and death ;' 
Rev. i. 17, 18. 

Blessed Jesus ! We can add nothing to thee, nothing to 
thy glory ; but it is a joy of heart unto us that thou art 
what thou art; that thou art so gloriously exalted at the 
right hand of God ; and do long more fully and clearly to 
behold that ;glory according to thy prayer and promise. 


Representations of ike glorij of Christ under the Old Testament. 

It is said of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ' beginning at Moses 
and all the prophets, he declared unto his disciples in all the 
Scripture the things concerning himself;' Luke xxiv. 27. It 
is therefore manifest that Moses and the prophets, and all 


the Scriptures, do give testimony unto him, and his glory. 
This is the line of life and light, which runs through the 
whole Old Testament; without the conduct whereof we 
can understand nothing aright therein : and the neglect 
hereof, is that which makes many as blind in reading the 
books of it, as are the Jews, the veil being upon their minds. 
It is faith alone, discovering the glory of Christ, that can 
remove that veil of darkness which covers the minds of men 
in reading the Old Testament, as the apostle declares, 2 Cor. 
iii. 14 — 16. I shall therefore consider briefly some of those 
ways and means whereby the glory of Christ was represented 
unto believers under the Old Testament. 

1. It was so in the institution of the beautiful worship 
of the law, with all the means of it. Herein have they the 
advantage above all the splendid ceremonies that men can 
invent, in the outward worship of God ; they were designed 
and framed in divine wisdom to represent the glory of Christ 
in his person and his office. This nothing of human inven- 
tion can do, or once pretend unto. Men cannot create mys- 
teries, nor can give unto any thing natural in itself, a mys- 
tical sio-nification. But so it was in the old divine institu- 
tions. What were the tabernacle and temple ? What was 
the holy place with the utensils of it ? What was the oracle, 
the ark, the cherubims, the mercy-seat placed therein? 
What was the high-priest in all his vestments and adminis- 
trations ? What were the sacrifices, and annual sprinkling 
of blood in the most holy place? What was the most whole 
system of their religious worship ? Were they any thing but 
representations of Christ in the glory of his person and his 
office ? They were a shadow, and the body represented by 
that shadow, was Christ. If any would see how the Lord 
Christ w^as in particular foresignified and represented in 
them, he may peruse our exposition on the ninth chapter of 
the Epistle unto the Hebrews, where it is handled so at large, 
as that I shall not here again insist upon it. The sum is, 
' Moses was faithful in all the house of God, for a testimony 
of those things which were to be spoken afterward ;' Heb. 
iii. 5. All that Moses did in the erection of the tabernacle, 
and the institution of all its services, was but to give an an- 
tecedent testimony by way of representation, unto the things 
of Christ that were afterward to be revealed. And that 


also was the substance of the ministry of the prophets ; 
1 Pet. i. 11, 12. The dark apprehensions of the glory of 
Christ, which by these means they obtained, were the life of 
the church of old. 

2. It was represented in the mystical account which is 
given us of his communion with his church in love and 
grace. As this is intimated in many places of Scripture, 
so there is one entire book designed unto its declaration. 
This is the divine Song of Solomon, who was a type of Christ, 
and a penman of the Holy Ghost therein. A gracious re- 
cord it is of the divine communications of Christ in love 
and grace unto his church, with their returns of love unto 
him, and delight in him. And then may a man judge him- 
self to have somewhat profited in the experience of the mys- 
tery of a blessed intercourse and communion with Christ, 
when the expressions of them in that holy dialogue, do give 
light and life unto his mind, and efficaciously communicate 
unto him an experience of their power. But because these 
things are little understood by many, the book itself is much 
neglected if not despised. Yea, to such impudence have some 
arrived, in foaming out their own shame, as that they have 
ridiculed the expressions of it; but we are foretold of such 
mockers in the last days, that should walk after their own 
ungodly lusts ; they are not of our present consideration. 

The former instance of the representations of the glory 
of Christ in their institutions of outward worship, with this 
record of the inward communion, they had with Christ in 
grace, faith, and love, gives us the substance of that view 
which they had of his glory. What holy strains of delight 
and admiration, what raptures of joy, what solemn and di- 
vine complacency, what ardency of affection, and diligence 
in attendance unto the means of enjoying communion with 
him, this discovery of the glory of Christ wrought in the 
souls of them that did believe, is emphatically expressed in 
that discourse. A few days, a few hours spent in the frame 
characterized in it, is a blessedness excelling all the trea- 
sures of the earth ; and if we, whose revelations of the same 
glory do far exceed theirs, should be found to come short of 
them in ardency of affection unto Christ, and continual 
holy admiration of his excellencies, we shall one day be 
judged unworthy to have received them. 


3. It was so represented and made known under the Old 
Testament in his personal appearances on various occasions 
unto several eminent persons, leaders of the church in their 
generations. This he did as a * prseludium' to his incarnation. 
He was as yet God only ; but appeared in the assumed shape 
of a man, to signify what he would be. He did not create a 
human nature, and unite it unto himself for such a season ; 
only by his divine power he acted the shape of a man com- 
posed of what etherial substance he pleased, immediately 
to be dissolved. So he appeared to Abraham, to Jacob, to 
Moses, to Joshua, and others, as I have at large elsewhere 
proved and confirmed. And hereon also, because he was 
the divine person who dwelt in, and dwelt with the church, 
under the Old Testament from first to last, in so doing he 
constantly assumes unto himself human aftections, to inti- 
mate that a season would come when he would immediately 
act in that nature. And, indeed, after the fall there is no- 
thing spoken of God in the Old Testament, nothing of his 
institutions, nothing of the way and manner of dealing with 
the church, but what hath respect unto the future incarna- 
tion of Christ. And it had been absurd to bring in God 
under perpetual anthropopathfes, as grieving, repenting, 
being angry, well pleased, and the like, were it not but that 
the divine person intended, was to take on him the nature 
wherein such affections do dwell. 

4. It was represented in prophetical visions. So the 
apostle affirms that the vision which Isaiah had of him, was 
when he saw his glory; John xii. 41. And it was a blessed 
representation thereof. For his divine person being exalted 
on a throne of glory, * his train filled the temple.' The whole 
train of his glorious grace filled the temple of his body. 
This is the true tabernacle which God pitched, and not 
man. The temple which was destroyed, and which he raised 
again in three days, wherein dwelt the fulness of the God- 
head ; Col. i. 9. This glory was now presented unto the view 
of Isaiah, chap. vi. 1 — 3. which filled him with dread and 
astonishment. But from thence he was relieved, by an act 
of the ministry of that glorious one, taking away his ini- 
quity by a coal from the altar, which typified the purifying 
efficacy of his sacrifice. This was food for the souls of be- 
lievers : in these and on the like occasions, did the whole 


church lift up their voice in that holy cry, ' Make haste our 
beloved, and be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart, on the 
mountain of spices.' 

Of the same nature was his glorious appearance on mount 
Sinai at the giving of the law, Exod. xix. For the descrip- 
tion thereof by the psalmist, Psal. l^^viii. 17, 18. is applied 
by the apostle unto the ascension of Christ after his resur- 
rection ; Eph. iv. 8 — 11. Only as it was then full of out- 
ward terror, because of the giving of the fiery law, it was 
referred unto by the psalmist, as full of mercy, with respect 
unto his accomplishment of the same law. His giving of it 
was as death unto them concerned, because of its holiness, 
and the severity of the curse wherewith it was attended ; 
his fulfilling of it was life, by the pardon and righteousness 
which issued from thence. 

5. The doctrine of his incarnation, whereby he became 
the subject of all that glory which we inquire after, was 
revealed, although not so clearly as by the gospel, after the 
actual accomplishment of the thing itself. In how many 
places this is done in the Old Testament, I have elsewhere 
declared ; at least I have explained and vindicated many of 
them (for no man can presume to know them all), Vindic. 
Evangel. One instance, therefore, shall here suffice ; and this 
is that of the same prophet Isaiah, chap. ix. 6, 7. * Unto us 
a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government 
shall be upon his shoulder : and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting 
Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his govern- 
ment and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of 
David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and establish it 
with judgment and justice from henceforth and for ever. The 
zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.' This one testi- 
mony is sufficient to confound allJews, Socinians, and other 
enemies of the glory of Christ. I do acknowledge, that 
notwithstanding this declaration of the glory of Christ in 
his future incarnation and rule, there remained much dark- 
ness in the minds of them unto whom it was then made. For 
although they might and did acquiesce in the truth of the 
revelation, yet they could frame to themselves no notions of 
the way or manner of its accomplishment. But now, when 
every word of it is explained, declared, and its mystical 


sense visibly laid open unto us in the gospel, and by the ac- 
complishment exactly answering every expression in it, it is 
judicial blindness not to receive it. Nothing but the satani- 
cal pride of the hearts of men, which will admit of no effects 
of infinite wisdom, but what they suppose they can compre- 
hend, can shut their eyes against the light of this truth. 

6. Promises, prophecies, predictions, concerning his per- 
son, his coming, his office, his kingdom, and his glory in 
them all, with the wisdom, grace, and love of God to the 
church in him, are the line of life, as was said, which runs 
through all the writings of the Old Testament, and takes up 
a great portion of them. Those were the things which he ex- 
pounded unto his disciples out of Moses and all the pro- 
phets. Concerning these things he appealed to the Scrip- 
tures against all his adversaries ; ' Search the Scriptures, 
for they are they that testify of me.' And if we find them 
not, if we discern them not therein, it is because a veil of 
blindness is over our minds. Nor can we read, study, or 
meditate on the writings of the Old Testament unto any ad- 
vantage, unless we design to find out and behold the glory 
of Christ declared and represented in them. For want hereof 
they are a sealed book to many unto this day. 

7. It is usual in the Old Testament to set out the glory 
of Christ under metaphorical expressions ; yea, it aboundeth 
therein. For such allusions are exceedingly suited to let in 
a sense into our minds of those things which we cannot dis- 
tinctly comprehend. And there is an infinite condescension 
of divine wisdom in their way of instruction, representing 
unto us the power of things spiritual, in what we naturally 
discern. Instances of this kind in calling the Lord Christ 
by the names of those creatures, which unto our senses re- 
represent that excellency which is spiritually in him, are 
innumerable. So he is called the rose, for the sweet savour 
of his love, grace, and obedience ; the lily, for his gracious 
beauty and amiableness; the pearl of price, for his worth, 
for to them that believe he is precious ; the vine, for his 
fruitfulness; the lion, for his power; the lamb, for his meek- 
ness and fitness for sacrifice; with other things of the like 
kind almost innumerable. 

These things have I mentioned, not with any design to 
search into the depth of this treasury of those divine truths 


concerning the glory of Christ; but only to give a little light 
unto the words of the evangelist, that he ' opened unto his 
disciples out of Moses and all the prophets the things which 
concerned himself;' and to stir up our own souls unto a con- 
templation of them as contained therein. 


The glory of Christ in his intimate conjunction with the church. 

What concerns the glory of Christ in the mission of the 
Holy Ghost unto the church, with all the divine truths that 
are branched from it, I have at large declared in my discourse 
concerning the whole dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Here 
therefore it must have no place amongst those many other 
things which offer themselves unto our contemplation, as 
part of this glory, or intimately belonging thereunto. I 
shall insist briefly on three only, which cannot be reduced 
directly unto the former heads. 

And the first of these is. That intimate conjunction that 
is between Christ and the church; whence it is just and 
equal in the sight of God, according unto the rules of his 
eternal righteousness, that what he did and suffered in the 
discharge of his office, should be esteemed, reckoned, and 
imputed unto us, as unto all the fruits and benefits of it, as 
if we had done and suffered the same things ourselves. For 
this conjunction of his with us, was an act of his own mind 
and will, wherein he is ineffably glorious. 

The enemies of the glory of Christ and of his cross, do 
take this for granted, that there ought to be such a con- 
junction between the guilty person and him that suffers for 
him, as that in him the guilty person may be said in some 
sense to undergo the punishment himself. But then they 
affirm, on the other hand, that there was no such conjunction 
between Christ and sinners ; none at all ; but that he was a 
man, as they were men ; and otherwise, that he was at the 
greatest distance from them all, as it is possible for one man 
to be from another; Socin. de Servat. lib. iii. cap. 3. The 
falseness of this latter assertion, and the gross ignorance of 


the Scripture, under a pretence of subtilty in them that 
make it, will evidently appear in our ensuing discourse. 

The apostle tells us, 1 Pet. ii. 24. that in * his own self 
he bare our sins in his own body on the tree ;' and chap, 
iii. 18. that 'he suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that 
he might bring us unto God.' But this seems somewhat 
strange unto reason. Where is the justice, where is the equity, 
that the just should suffer for the unjust? Where is divine 
righteousness herein? For it was an act of God, ' the Lord 
hath laid on him the iniquities of us all ;* Isa. liii. 6. The 
equity hereof, with the grounds of it, must be here a little 
inquired into. 

First of all, it is certain, that all the elect, the whole 
church of God, fell in Adam, under the curse due to the 
transgression of the law. It is so also, that in this curse, 
death both temporal and eternal was contained. This curse 
none could undergo and be saved. Nor was it consistent 
with the righteousness, or holiness, or truth of God, that 
sin should go unpunished. Wherefore there was a neces- 
sity, upon a supposition of God's decree to save his church, 
of a translation of punishment ; namely, from them who had 
deserved it, and could not bear it, unto one who had not 
deserved it, but could bear it. 

A supposition of this translation of punishment by di- 
vine dispensation, is the foundation of Christian religion, 
yea, of all supernatural revelation contained in the Scrip- 
ture. This was first intimated in the first promise ; and 
afterward explained and confirmed in all the institutions of 
the Old Testament. For although in the sacrifices of the 
law, there was a revival of the greatest and most fundamen- 
tal principle of the law of nature, namely, that God is to be 
worshipped with our best ; yet the principal end and use of 
them, was to represent this translation of punishment from 
the offender unto another, who was to be a sacrifice in his 

The reasons of the equity hereof, and the unspeakable 
glory of Christ herein, is what we now inquire into. And I 
shall reduce what ought to be spoken hereunto, to the en- 
suing heads. 

1. It is not contrary unto the nature of divine justice; 

VOL. XII. 2 G 


it doth not interfere with the principles of nalural light in 
man, that in sundry cases some persons should suffer pu- 
nishment for the sins and offences of others. 

I shall at present give this assertion no other confirma- 
tion, but only that God hath often done so, who will, who 
can do no iniquity. 

So he affirms that he will do, Exod. xx. 5. ' Visiting 
the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and 
fourth generation.' It is no exception of weight, that they 
also are sinners, continuing in their father's sins ; for the 
worst of sinners must not be dealt unjustly withal : but they 
must be so if they are punished for their father's sins, and 
it be absolutely unlawful that any one should be punished 
for the sin of another. 

So the church affirms ; * Our fathers have sinned, and 
are not; and we have borne their iniquities;' Lam. v. 11. 
And so it was ; for in the Babylonish captivity God pu- 
nished the sins of their forefathers, especially those com- 
mitted in the days of Manasses ; 2 Kings xxiii. 26, 27. 
As afterward in the final destruction of that church and 
nation, God punished in them the guilt of all bloody perse- 
cutions from the beginning of the world ; Luke xi. 50, 51. 

So Canaan was cursed for the sin of his father; Gen. 
ix. 25. Saul's seven sons were put to death for their father's 
bloody cruelty; 2 Sam. xxi. 8. 14. For the sin of David, 
seventy thousand of the people were destroyed by an angel, 
concerning whom he said, ' It is I that have sinned and 
done evil, these sheep what have they done?' 2 Sam. xxiv. 
15. 17. See also 1 Kings xxi. 29. So was it with all the 
children or infants that perished in the flood, or in the con- 
flagration of Sodom and Gomorrah. And other instances 
of the like nature may be assigned. 

It is therefore evident, that there is no inconsistency with 
the nature of divine justice, nor the rules of reason