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Full text of "A body of divinity: wherein the doctrines of the Christian religion are explained and defended, being the substance of several lectures on the Assembly's larger catechism"



No. Casc,^___ 
No. >S^M/",_2ecti®n 

No. Book, j^ 


■iH-tlrJ iL i i ii rm i j i I . mj ^ . e » l _ i 

The John M. Krebs Donation. 



f^^ c..^^' ^ 



BODY OF divinity: 



















Quest. XIV, XV. Of the work of Creation. 

CREATION, th€ word explained Page 5 

It was not from eternity 7 

This proved from the invention of things 13 

By the power and for the glory of God i4f 

Performed in six days 16 

Each day^s rvork 19 

Of instantaneous production 1 7 

The condition and season of the year in jvhich things were 

created 24* 

Antiquity of nations vainly boasted of 10 

Quest. XVI. Of Angels. 

Of their existence 26 

Nature and properties 2a 

Work and employment 30 

Worship, Harmony therein, but no Hierarchy 31 

How they impart their Ideas to one another 33 

Quest. XVII. Of the creation of Man. 

Man was created male and female 34 

Excellency of his make 40 

Origin of the soul, in a note 41 

OfGod^s image in man 44 

No men before Adam 37 

Quest. XVIII. Of Providence. 

Providence governs all creatures 4,7 

And all their actions ibid 

His concern for rnan 51 

How conversant about evil actions 52 
Sin over-ruled for God^s glory, and his peopled- good 52 

Other things over -ruled by providence 59 


Objections against providence answered 60 

Unequal distributions of providence vindicated 61 

Quest. XIX. Of God's providence towards the angels. 

How it zvas conversant about the fall of apostate angels 63 

These fell all at once 64 

Some angels confirmed in holiness and happiness' 66 

Ministry of angels 68 

Quest. XX. Of God's providence towards man in 

Of Paradise 70 
Man^s secular employment and food therein 72 
His dominion over the creatures 74 
His spiritual conceriis were under the direction of provi- 
dence 75 
Sabbath instituted and the coveJiant established ^6 
Representation^ in a note 77 
Difference between a lazu and a covenant 78 
Adam xvas under a covenant 82 
Objections answered 83 
Conditions of that covenant 84 
Tree of life a seal of it 86 
Of the tree of knowledge 90 

Quest. XXI. Of the fall of man. 

Our first parents xvere endued with freedom of will 93 

Were left thereunto 94 

How they were tempted 96 

Satan^s subtzlty in the temptation 99 

Eve represented by Adam^ in a note 103 

Aggravations of their sin 105 

Its immediate consequences 104 

Quest. XXII. All mankind fell in Adam. 

Adam a federal head 109 

All fell in him^ except Christ 112 

His sin imputed to his posterity 113 

Penal evils which followed 111 

Appointment of his head^'hip vindicated 114 . 

Quest. XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI. Of Sin. 

Original sin 1 1 g 

Actual transgressions proceed from it 120 

Conveyed by natural generation 1.32 


Original righteousness lost 121 

Man^s nature inclined to sin 123 

Propensity to sin not put into our nature by God 124 

Not harmless even in childhood 125 

Origin of moral evil 127 

The notion of two first causes exploded ibid 

Pre-existence of souls a mere fancy 126 

Corruption of nature not by the souPs traductioJi 128 
Not from imitation ibid 
Necessarily ensues on the privation of original righteous- 
ness 131 

Quest. XXVII. Of man's misery by the Fall. 

Various opinions about the salvation of infants 138 

Punishment of original sin increased by actual 141 

Sinners liable to God^s wrath and curse 143 

Staves to Satan 144 

Sin exists in the intentions, in a note 145 

Quest. XXVIII, XXIX. Of the punishment of sm 
in both worlds. 

Of judicial blindness of mind 146 

Hardness of heart 149 

Sins that lead to it 150 

Difference between the hardness found in believers and 

judicial 1 52 

Of strong delusions 147 

A reprobate sense 152 

Vile affections 153 

Horror of conscience. When judicial 154 

Punishment of sin in outward things \55 

In the tvorld to come 158 

This xvill be perpetual, in a note 159, 160 

Quest. XXX. Of man's Recovery. 

God^s love the only moving cause of it 162 

Covenant of grace. Its various periods 166 

Opposed to that ofinnocency 165 

Quest. XXXI. The covenant of grace made with 
Christ, and, in him, with the elect. 

Covenant, scriptural sense of the xuord 168 

Between the Father and Son, explained 1 71 

And proved i'^^ 


Of redt'inptiGU diat'inguished by some from the covena»it of 

grace 1 78 

God'^s covenant differs from human 170 

Hoxv he covenants rv'ith man 181 

Hoxv man covenants xvith him 183 

Quest. XXXII. Of the grace manifested in the se- 
cond covenant. 

Conditions of a covenant^ how understood 190 

Faith is a dutij^ in a note \ 193 

Meritorious performed by Christ 195 

Conditional promises uncertain 191 

Interest in Christy what meant by it 189 
Grace glorified^ in ordaining^ promising^ and working faith 197 

Other graces promised and connected with salvation 195 

Quest. XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV. Of the various 
dispensations of the covenant of grace. 

Christ revealed of old by promises and prophecies 199 

Ceremonial law typified Christ and the gospel 201 

Types, Cautions about them 203 

Rules how to judge of thein 205 

Nozv the Jews knew their meaning 207 

Cocceius's sentiments about the bondage and darkness of that 

dispensation 208 

Gospel-dispensation^ when it began 212 

How it excels the Legal 213 

Quest. XXXVI, XXXVII. Of the Mediator of the 
covenant of Grace. 

Saints and angels no Mediators 218 

Christ the only Mediator 21 T 

Two distinct ?2atures in Christy but not tiuo Persons 222 

His human nature was united to his Person 220 

It shall coniimie so for ever 234 

How formed like ours. How no^ 227 

It -was formed of the Virgin 229 

His body ivas truly human 224 

His soul distinct from his deity 226 

He was expected by the Jev/s 231 

Born in the fulntss of timr 033 

Wh.at meant therchj -23.1 


Quest. XXXVIII, XXXIX, XL. Of the necessity of 
the Mediator's having two natures. 

IVhy he should be God 235 

Why man 238 

Why both God and 7nan 242 

Quest. XLI, XLII. Of the Mediator's name and 

Why he was called Jesus 244 

Why he tuas called Christ 245 

His offices distinguished^ but not divided 252 

He was set apart and authorized to execute them 248 

He xvas jitly qiialijied for them 249 

Quest. XLIII. Of Christ's prophetical office. 

He reveals the xvill of God 253 

He xvas qualified for it 254 

He does it in various ages 257 

To whom and hoxu he does it 255 

Quest. XLIV. Of Christ's priestly office. 

Priesthood of Christ and Aaron compared 280 

Typifed by Melchisedek 264 

Various opinions xvho Melchisedek xuas 265 

Proved that he was Christ (quaere tamen) 267 

Objections answered 270 

Satisfaction demanded for sin^ of xvhat value and kind 275 

Of Christ was necessary 273 

His active obedience a part of it 283 

Least degree of his sufferings not sufficient for it 281 

No redemption xvithout price 286 

Death of Christ a ransom 290 

Confirmation of his doctrine riot its principal end 293 

Christ died in our stead 290 

Objections answered ibid 

Modern opinions on the atonement^ in a note, 276 to 280, aiid 

292 to 297. 

He offered himself 

by the Spirit 297 

without spot to God 297 
Not for all men 301 & 276 

but for his sheep and friends 316 

and for his church 318- 


Dr. Magee's Discourses^ in a note .298 — 317 

This evidenced 

by his love to it 318 

his propriety in it 322 

and saving- it ibid 

Objections answered 319 

Christ purchased grace and glonj 328 
Universal redemption^ 

its consequences 326 

Arguments for it considered 327 

Texts urged for it explained 343 

How the word AU, o'c. is to be explained 341 

Special Redemption,, 

consistent xvith the covenajit of grace 529 

and zvith preaching the gospel 331 

It advances grace 7nore than general does 337 

It leads not to despair 331 

Whether it be contrary to scripture 338 

Christ intercedes not for all , 324 

Divine expostulations explained 333 

How all should repent and believe^ though Christ died not 

for all 335 

Sacrifice of Christ sujficient for ally in a note 349 

Quest. XLV. Of Christ's Kingly office. 

As respecting his subjects 

What they were^ before subdued 353 

How brought into subjection 354 

How their subjection expressed at first S57 

Their behaviour and conficts ' 358 

How Christ deals with them 361 

As respecting his enemies 362 

He governed the church before and since his incarnation 364 

This ojfice executed by him in glory 365 

Of the Millennium. 

Various oHnions about it 366 

Some have gross ld.t2is of it 370 

What shall precede or attend it 368 

Gospel shall then be more spread Z7o 

How this doctrine to be treated 367 

In what respects it is to be allowed 368 

Some prophecies of the call of the Jews not yet fulfilled 376 

^Vhy Christ shall not reign visibly in his human nature 379 

Temple-service not to be revived 381 

Gospel'Ordi?iances shall be continued 382 


First resurrection ; how understood by some. 38^^ 

Its literal sense debated 384 

General conjlagration 387 

Nexv heaveJis and new earth 38.8 

Resurrection of the church sometimes taken mysticalhj 389 

1000 years how understood by some 391 

These not yet begun ibid 

Mediatorial kingdom of Christ eternal 392 

1 Cor. XV. ver. 24, 35, 28. explained 393 

Quest. XL VI; XL VII, XLVIIL Of Christ's Humi- 

This shewn in his birth and infancy 398 

In his parentage ' 399 

In the place of his birth and abode 400 

In the sinless infirmities of his life 422 

In his being made under the law 401 

In his being exposed to iiidignities 402 

Temptations endured by him 404 

General remarks on them 406 

The time and place thereof 405 

His first temptation 41 D 

His second temptation 412 

Its matter explained 416 

His third temptation 41^ 

What to be observed therein 419 

Temptations were mental^ in a note 420 

Quest. XLIX, L. Of Christ's humiliation before and 
after his death. 

Christ betrayed by Judas 424 

Torsaken by his disciples 425 

Denied by Peter 426 

Scorned by the world ibid 

Reviled by many 428 

Inferences ibid 

Prosecuted by the Jews 429 

Condemned by Pilate ibid 

Tormented by his persecutors 431 

Bore the wrath of God ibid 

Death of the cross cruel and painful 433 

Shameful^ servile^ and cursed 434 

Christ buried with respect by his friends 437 

Was under the power of death till the third day 438 

. Of his descent into hell 440 


How the Papists understand it 441 

1 Pet. iii. 18. explained^ in a note 442 

Quest. LI^LII. Of Christ's Resurrection and ExaU 

Resurrection of Christ proved 444 

By credible -witnesses 448 

They were tnen of integrity - 449 

By the conduct of his enemies 450 

By miracles 451 

Properties of his risen body 452 

Christ raised the third day 453 

Reasons of it , 454 

Was not three whole days and nights hi the grave 455 

Socinians' account of Chrisfs resurrection 457 

Christ"* s orun and his peoples'* concern in his resurrection 458 

Que St. LIII, LIV. Of Christ's Ascension. 

It was real and visible 464 

Its necessity and design 468 

Its distance from the time of his resurrectio7i 461 

How this interval was employed 463" 

Matter of his conversation with his disciplesh 464 

Remarks on what preceded it 460 

He ascended from mount Olivet 467 

Chrises sitti?ig at the right hand of God 47i 

Quest. LV. Of Christ's Intercession* 

Necessity of it 473 

His fitness for it 474 

Manner of it 477 

How it differs from our pr dyers 476 

What procured by it 479 

Hoxv to be improved ibid 

Quest. LVI. Of Christ's coming to judge the world. 

The tiiue of his appearance 481 

The glory that shall attend it 482 

Quest. LVir, LVIII, LIX. Of the benefits of re- 
demption, and the application thereof. 

Benefits procured by Christ 486 

These applied by the Holy Ghost 487 

'To all for w^iom they were purchased (vide 349) 488 


^UEST. LX. Of the disadvantages of those who never 
hear the gospel. 

State of the Heathen considered 491 

No salvation without the gospel — tamen quaere 492 

Nor without faith in Christ — tamen qu«re ibid 

Deists ; falseness of their hope set forth 49^ 

False grounds of hope in others 496 

Salvation in none but Christ 498 

This proved 499 

Objections answered 502 

Christ the Saviour only of his Body the church 508 

Qdest. LXI, LXII, LXIII, LXIV. Of the Church, 
visible and invisible. 

Church, the word how iised^ (515 in a note) 510 

Places of worship so termed 511 

Their first erection Sl2 

Its distinction into visible and invisible 516 

Invisible church described 519 

This farther explained and defended 520 

Visible church described 521 

In xvhat respects it is one 522 

In what respects it is not one ibid 

Its concern for the children of its members 526 

Jewish churchy its establishment ibid 

Its government 527 

'How they promoted religion in their synagogues 529 

Their Proseuchse, or places appointed for prayer 530 

A particidar gospel-church described 536 

Its matter 539 

Its form or bond of union 540 

Its subjection to Christ to be professed 542 

How this to be made visible 545 

Its power of admission 541 

The reformed churches differ about this ibid 

Terms of communion fxed by Christ ibid 

Tts power of exclusion 344* 

Causes of exclusion 545 

The way of proceeding therein 547 

IVith xvhat temper this should be done 549 

What meant by being delivered to Satan 550 

and for xvhat end 551 

The frst preaching and success of the gospel 532 

Conduct of the Apostles in plantintr gospel-churche-x 5?i4 



Church-communion proved 

from the law of nature 538 

from scripture ibid 

Governvient of churches by their offcers 552 

jiiro^lcxcifETriTKOTroc, djuMvot, in a note, 7bzd 

The office of a Pastor y Bishops or Elder 555 

Bishops and Elders the same 556 

yero7?i's account of the increase of the power of Bishops^ m 

a note 555 

Pastors chosen by the church 561 

^uporovidt in a note 563 

/low to be set apart ibid 

Hozv their office to be discharged 565 

Whether a Teacher he a distinct officer 566 

Synods^ the abuse and advantage of them 566 

Parishes^ why churches were so called by ancient writers 567 

The office of a Deacon 570 

Officers of the church, in a note S7i 

Privileges of the visible church 572 

It is U7ider Christ^s special care 574: 

Wherein this consists 575 

It is under Christ"* s special government 576 

In what respects 577 

It enjoys communion of saints ibid 

It has the ordinary means of grace 578 







Quest. XIV. Hoxv doth God execute his decrees ? 

Answ. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and 
providence, according to his infallible fore-knowledge, and 
the free and immutable counsel of his own will. 

Quest. XV. What is ^e work of creation P 

Answ* The work of creation is that, wherein God did, in the 
beginning, by the word of his power, make, of nothing, the 
world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space 
of six days, and all very good. 

HAVING considered God's eternal purpose, as respecting 
whatever shall come to pass, which is generally called an 
internal, or immanent act of the divine will, we are now to 
consider those works which are produced by him, in pursuance 
thereof. It is inconsistent with the idea of an infinitely perfect 
Being, to suppose, that any of his decrees shall not take effect^ 
Hath he spoken^ and shall he not make it good? Num. xxiii. 19. 
His counsel shall standi and he will do all his pleasure, Isa. xlvi. 
10. This is a necessary consequence, from the immutability of 
his will, as well as from the end which he has designed to at- 
tain, to wit, the advancement of his own glory ; and therefore, 
if he should not execute his decrees, he would lose that reve- 
nue of glory, which he designed to bring to himself thereby, 
which it cannot be supposed that he %vould do ; and according- 
ly we are to consider his power as exerted, in order to the ac- 
complishment of his purpose. This is said to have been done 
either in the first production of all things, which is called. The 
7vork of creation^ or in his upholding and governing all things. 
Vol. 11. B 


which is his promdcnce ; both which are to be particularly con- 
sidered. And, 

I. We are to speak concerning the work of creation, and so 
to enquire what we are to understand by creation^ and to con* 
sider it as a work peculiar to God. 

II. That this work was not performed from eternity, but in 
the beginning of time. 

III. How he is said to create all things by the word of his 

IV. The end for which he made them, namel)-, for himself, 
or for his own glory. 

V. The time in which he made them. And, 

VI. The quality or condition thereof, as all things are said 
to have been made very good. 

I. As to the meaning of the word creation ; it is the applica-r 
tion thereof to the things made, or some circumstances attend- 
ing this action, that determine the sense of it. The Hebrew 
and Greek words *, by which it is expressed, are sometimes 
used to signify the natural production of things : Thus it is said, 
in Psal. cii. 1 8. The people that shall he created^ speaking of the 
generation to come, shall praise the Lord ; and elsewhere, in 
Ezek. xxi. 30. says God, I xv'ill judge thee in the place -where 
thou xvast created^ that is, where thou wast born, in the land of 
thy nativity. And sometimes it is applied to signify the dis- 
pensations of providence, which, though they are the wonder- 
ful effects of divine power, yet are taken in a sense different 
from the first production of all things : thus it is said, in Isa. 
xlv. 7.. J form the lights and create darkness ; which metaphori- 
cal expressions are explained in the following words, I make 
peace^ and create ev'iL 

And, on the other hand, sometimes God's creating is express- 
ed by his making all things ; which word, in its common accep- 
tation, is taken for the natural production of things ; though, in 
this instance, it is used for the production of things which are 
supematjaral ; thus it is said, in John i. 3. All things were made 
by him; and elsewhere, in PsaL xxxiii. 6. By the -word of the 
Lord -were the heavens rnade^ and all by the host of them by the 
breath of his mouth. Therefore it is by the application of these 
words, to the things produced, that we are more especially to 
judge of the sense of them. Accordingly, when God is said to 
create, or make the heavens and earth, or to bring things into 
being, which before did not exist, this is the most proper sense 
of the word creation ; and in this sense we. take it, in the head 
wc are entering upon. It is the production of all things out of 
nothing, by his almighty word ; and this is generally called im- 

* K*^^, TW^ Kli^uv, TToiiiv, yivi^ct.r 


mediate creation, which was the first display of divine powers 
a work with which time began ; so we are to understand those 
words, In the beginning' God created the heaven and the earthy 
Gen. i. 1. that is, that first matter out of which all things were 
formed, which has been neither increased nor diminished ever 
since, nor can be, whatever alterations there may be made in 
things, without supposing an act of the divine will to annihilate 
any part thereof, which we have no ground to do. 

Again, it is sometimes taken for God's bringing things into 
that form, in which they are, which is generally called a medi- 
ate creation, as in the account we have of it in the first chap- 
ter of Genesis ; in which God is said, out of that matter which 
he created at first, to create the heavens, the earth, the sea, and 
all living creatures that move therein, after their respective 
kinds, which no fmite wisdom, or power, could have done. The 
work was supernatural, and so differs from tlie natural produc- 
tion of things by creatures, inasmuch as they can produce no° 
thing, but out of other things, that have in themselves a tenden- 
cy, according to the fixed laws of nature, to be made, that which 
is designed to be produced out of them ; as when a plant, or a 
tree, is produced out of a seed, or when the form, or shape of 
things is altered by the skill of men, where there is a tendency 
in the things themselves, in a natural way, to answer the end de- 
signed by them that made them, in which respect they are 
said to make, but not create those things ; so that creation is a 
work peculiar to God, from which all creatures are excluded. 
Accordingly, it is a glory which God often appropriates to him- 
self in scripture : thus he is called, by way of eminence, The 
Creator of the ends of the earthy Isa. xl. 28. and he speaks, con- 
ceniing himself, with an unparalleled magnificence of expres- 
sion, I have made the earthy and created man upon it ; /, even mij 
hands^ have stretched out the heavens^ and all their host have I 
commanded^ Isa. xlv. 12. and he is said to have done this, ex- 
clusively of all others : thus he says, / am the Lord^ that maketk 
all things^ that stretcheth forth the heavens alone^ that spreadeth 
abroad the earth by myself Isa. xliv. 24. And, indeed, it can- 
not be otherwise, since it is a work of infinite power, and there- 
fore too great for any finite being, who can act no otherwise, 
but in proportion to the circumscribed limits of its own powers 
and being, at best, but a natural agent, it cannot produce any 
thing supernatural. From whence it may be inferred, that np 
creature was an instrument made use of, by God, in the pro» 
duction of all things ; or that infinite power could not be exert- 
ed by a finite medium : but this has been already considered, 
under a foregoing,answer. 

II. We are now to consider that this work of creation was 
not performed from eternity, but in the beginning of time. This 


^•^e assert against some of the heathen philosophers, who have, 
in their writings, defended the eternity of the world *, being 
induced hereunto by those low conceptions, which they had of 
the power of God, as supposing, that because all creatures, or 
natural agents,- must have some materials to work upon, so that 
as this proposition is true, with respect to them, that nothing 
can be made out of nothing, they conclude, that it is also ap° 
plicable to God* And this absurd opinion has been imbibed 
by some, who have pretended to the Christian name ; it was 
maintained by Hermogenes, about the middle of the second 
century, and, with a great deal of spirit and argument, opposed 
by Tertullian ; and, among other things, that father observes, 
that philosophy, in some respects, had paved the way to here- 
sy f ; and probably the apostle Paul was apprehensive that it 
would do so ; or that they, who were bred up in the schools of 
the philosophers, would, as it is plain they often did, adapt their 
notions in divinity, to those which they had before learned there- 
in, of which this is a flagrant instance ; and therefore he says, 
Beware^ lest any man spoil you through philosophy^ and vain 
deceit^ after the tradition of men., after the rudiments of the 
ivorld^ and not after Christ., Col. ii. 8. and thty, who have de- 
fended this notion, have been divided in their sentiments about 
it. Some suppose, in general, that matter was eternal, but not 
brought into that form, in which it now is, till God, by his al- 
mighty power, produced that change in it, and so altered the form 
of things. Others suppose, that the world was in a form, not 
much unlike to what it now is, from eternity, and that there 
were eternal successive ages, and generations of men, and a con- 
stant alteration of things. Some parts of the world, at one 
time, destroyed by deluges, or fire, or earthquakes, and other 
parts at another time ; and so there was a kind of succession of 
generation and corruption; former worlds lost and buried in 
ruins, and all the monuments of their antiquity perished with 
them, and new ones arising in their stead. This they assert, 
as a blind to their ungrounded opinion, and as an answer to that 
reasonable demand Avhich might be made ; If the world was 
eternal, how comes it to pass that we know nothing of what was 
done in it, in those ages, which went before that which we reckon 
the first beginning of time ? 

As for the school-men, though they have not any of them 
given directly into this notion, which is so notoriously contrary 

* Ofthi9 opinion luas .Aristotle, and his follo-ivers ; though he ncknovtledffes, that it 
tons contrarif to tlie senti?nents of all the philosophers that ivere before him, Vid.Arist. 
dc Calo, Lib. I. cap. 2. ivho, speaking concerning the creation of the ivorld, says^ 
-yv/ofxtvov fxw nv UTTu-vrti tnui <pA(riv. 

■(■ TerluU. adv. Hermog. cap. 8. Ilcercticornm Patriarchs Philosophi ; -which was 
30 memorable a passage, that it ^uas quoted, upon the oame occasion, by Jerom, a?:d 
others of the fatfiers. 


to scripture, yet some of them have very much confounded and 
puzzled the minds of men with their metaphysical subtihies 
about this matter ; as some of them have pretended to maintain, 
that, though God did not actually create any thing before that 
beginning of time, which is mentioned in scripture, yet he 
might, had he pleased, have produced things from eternity *, 
because he had, from eternity, infinite power, and a sovereign 
will ; therefore this power might have been deduced into act, 
and so there might have been an eternal production of things ; 
for to suppose, that infinite power cannot exert itself, is con- 
trary to the idea of its being infinite. And to suppose that God 
was infinitely good, from eternity, implies, that he might have 
communicated being to creatures from eternity, in which his 
goodness would have exerted itself. And they farther argue, 
that it is certain, that God might have created the world sooner 
than he did ; so that, instead of its having continued in being, 
that number of years, which it has done, it might have existed 
any other unlimited number of years ; or since, by an act of his 
will, it has existed so many thousand years, as it appears to have 
done, from scripture, it might, had he pleased, have existed any- 
other number of years, though we suppose it never so large, 
and consequently that it might have existed from eternity. But 
what is this, but to darken truth, by words without knowledge ? 
or to measure the perfections of God, by the line or standard 
of finite things ? it is to conceive of the eternity of God, as 
though it were successive. Therefore, though we do not deny 
but that God could have created the world any number of years 
that a finite mind can describe, sooner than he did ; yet this 
.would not be to create it from eternity, since that exceeds all 
bounds. We do not deny but that the divine power might have 
been deduced into an act, or created the world before he did ; 
yet to say that he could create it from eternity, is contrary to 
the nature of things ; for it is to suppose, that an infinite dura- 
tion might be communicated to a finite being, or that God might 
make a creature equal, in duration, with himself; which, as it 
contains the greatest absurdity, so the impossibility of the thing 
does not, in the least, argue any defect of power in him. 

From whence v/e may infer, the vanity, and bold presump- 
tion, of measuring the power of God by the line of the crea- 
ture ; and the great advantage which we receive from divine 
revelation, which sets this matter in a clear light, by which it 
appears, that nothing existed before time but God ; this is agree- 
able to the highest reason, and the divine perfections. To sup- 
pose, that a creature existed from eternity, implies a contra* 
diction ; for to be a creature, is to be produced by the power 
of a creator, who is God, and this is inconsistent with its ex- 

* This -was maintaitied by .^gicinas, Dttrandtis, Cajctan^ and cthtrf / thoiirh at- 
posed % JJ'je^^r Ma^nv,:;^ J^^^a'^enfK'"?^ C^c^ 


isting from eternity ; for that is to suppose that it had a being 
before it was brought into being. 

Moreover, since to exist from eternity, is to have an infinite, 
or unlimited duration, it will follow from thenee, that if the first 
matter, out of which all things were formed, was infinite in its 
duration, it must have all other perfections ; particularly, it 
must be self-existent, and have in it nothing that is finite, for 
infinite and finite perfections are inconsistent with each other ; 
and, if so, then it must not consist of any parts, or be devisible, 
as all material things are : besides, if the world was eternal, it 
could not be measured by successive duration, inasmuch as 
there is no term, or point, from whence this succession may be 
computed, for that is inconsistent with eternity ; and if its du- 
ration was once unmeasured, or not computed by succession, 
how came it afterwards to be successive, as the duration of all 
material beings is ? 

Again, to suppose matter to be co-eternal with God, is to 
suppose it to be equal with him, for whatever has one divine 
perfection, must have all ; so that this is contrary to those na- 
tural ideas, which we have of the divine perfections, and con- 
tains such absurdities, as have not the least colour of reason to 
support them. 

But it more evidently appears, from scripture, that the v/orld 
was made in the beginning of time, and therefore did not exist 
from eternity; since therein we read, that i?i the beginning God 
created the heaven and the earthy Gen. i. 1. and elsewhere, Thou^ 
Lordyin the beginnings hast laid the foundation of the earthy and 
the heavens are the works of thine hands^ Heb, i. 10. Now since 
we are not to confound time and eternity together, or to say, 
that that which was created in the beginning, was without be- 
ginning, that is, from eternity, it is evident that no creature 
was eternal. 

Thus having considered the impossibility of the existence of 
finite things, from eternity, we may here take occasion to vindi- 
cate the account we have in scripture, concerning the world's hav- 
ing been created between five and six thousand years since, from 
the objections of those who suppose, that the antiquity thereof 
exceeds the scripture-account by many ages. Those that fol- 
low the LXX translation of the Old Testament, in their chro- 
nological account of time, suppose the world to be between 
fourteen and fifteen hundred years older than we have ground 
to conclude it is, according to the account we have thereof in 
the Hebrew text. This we cannot but think to be a mistake, 
and has led many of the fathers into the same error ^^ who, 

* Thus .9vgnstin, apeaking concernmg the years from the time of the creation t» 
his time, reckons thtm to be not full, that is, almost six thousand years ; -u'liereas in 
reality, it ivas but about four tho2isandfour hzmdred, herein bcins^ imposed on b^ thi}; 
translation. Vid. Aug. de Civ. Dei. Lib. XII Cap. 10. 


fhrough their unacqualntedness with the Hebrew language, ex- 
cepting Jerom and Origen, hardly used any but this trans- 
lation *, 

But this we shall pass over, and proceed to consider the ac- 
count that some give of the autiquity of the world, which is a 
great deal remote, from what we have in scripture, though this 
is principally to be found in the writings of those who were al- 
together unacquainted with it. Thus the Egyptians, according 
to the report of some ancient historians, pretended, that they had 
chronicles of the reigns of their kings for many thousand years 
longer than we have ground to conclude the world has stood f. 
And the Chaldeans exceed them in theaccounts they give of some 
things contained in their history ; and the Chinese pretend to 
exceed them by many thousand years, but these accounts are 
fabulous and ungrounded ^ {a). And inasmuch as they are confu- 
ted, and exposed by many of the heathen themselves, as ridicu- 
lous and absurd boasts, rather than authentic accoiuits, no one 

* Every one, that observes the Ixx. translation in their chronological account of 
the lives of the patriarchs, from Adam to Abraham, in Gen. chap. v. compared vitk 
chap. ici. -will find, that there are so many years added therein to the accovnt of the 
lives of several there mentioned, as -will make the sum total, from the creaiir;n of the 
•world to t/ie call of Abraham, to be betiveen fourteen and fifteen hundred years more 
than the account -which ive have thereof in the Hebrew text ,- ivldch I rather choose to 
call a mistake, in that translation, than to attempt to defend it ; though some, toho 
have paid too great a deference to it, have thought that the Hebreio text ivas cor- 
rupted, after ozir Saviour's time, by the Je~^os by leaving out those years tvhich the Ixx. 
have added, designing hereby to make the world heUer^e that the J^Iessiuh tvas not 
to come so soon as fie did, by fourteen orffteen hundred years ; and that therefore the 
Hebrew text, in those places, is to be collected by that version ; -which I cannot but 
conclude to be a very injurious insinuation, as -well as not supported by any argument 
that has the least probability in it. 

, -j- Vid. Pomp, Mel. Lib. I. Cap. 9. -who speaks of the annals of the kings of Egypt, 
as containing above thirteen thousa7id years ; and others extend the antiquity of that 
nation many thousand years more. Vid. Diod. Sicul. Biblioth. Lib. I. 

i Vid. Cicero de Divinat. Lib. I. ivho condemns the Egyptians and Babylonians^ 
as foolish, vain, yea impudent, in their accounts relating to this matter, -when they 
speak, as some of them do, of things done four hundred and seventy thousand years 
before; upon which occasion, Lactantius, in Lib. 7. § 14. de Vita beala, passes this 
just ceiisure upon them. Quia se posse argui non putabant, liberum sibi credide- 
I'unt esse mentiri; and Macrob. in somn. Scip, cap. 11. supposes that they did not 
measure their years as -we do, by the annual revolution of the sun, but by the mooii; 
and so a year, according to them, ivas no more than a month, -which he supposes Vir- 
gil -was apprised of , -when he calls the common solar year, An7ius Jilagnus, as compa* 
red -with those short ones that ivere measured by the moiithly revolution of the moon : 
but this will not bring the Egyptiaiis and Chaldean accounts to a just number of years, 
but some of them would, notwithstandiiig, exceed the time that the world has stood. 
As for the Chinese, they have no authentic histories that give any account of this 
iiiatter ; but all depends upon uncertain tradition, transmitted to them by those who 
are their leaders in religious matters, and reported by travellers who have received 
these accounts from them, -which, therefore, are far from deservuig any credit in the 

faj The reader will be highly gratified by a treatise of Dr. Hugh Williamson 

91% cliriate, wherein he examines this subject. 


who has the least degree of modesty, can oppose them to the ac- 
count we have, in scripture, of the time that the world has conti- 
nued, which is no more than between five or six thousand years. 

And that the world cannot be of greater antiquity than this 
may be proved, from the account which we have of the first 
original of nations, and the inventors of things in scripture, and 
other writings. It is not reasonable to suppose, that men lived 
in the world many thousand years, without the knowledge of 
those things, that were necessary for the improvement of their 
minds, and others ^at were conducive to the good of human 
society, as well as subservient to the conveniencies of life ; but 
this they must have done, who are supposed to have lived be- 
fore these things were known in the world. 

As to what concerns the original of nations, which spread 
themselves over the earth after the universal deluge, we have 
an account of it i^ Gen. x, and, in particular, of the first rise 
of the Assyrian monarchy, which was erected by Nimrod, who 
IS supposed to be the same that other writers call Belus. This 
monarchy was continued, either under the name of the Assy™ 
rian, or Babylonian, till Cyrus's time, and no writers pretend 
that there was any before it : and, according to the scripture 
account hereof, it v/as erected above seventeen hundred years 
after the creation of the world ; whereas, if the world had been 
50 old, as some pretend it is, or had exceeded the scripture ac- 
count of the age and duration thereof, we should certainly 
have had some relation of the civil affairs of kingdoms and na- 
tions, in those foregoing ages, to be depended on, but of this, 
history is altogether silent ; for we suppose the account that 
the Egyptians give of their Dynasties, and the reigns of their 
gods and kings, in those foregoing ages, are, as was before ob- 
served, ungrounded and fabulous. 

As to what respects the inventors of things, which are ne- 
cessary in human life, we have some hints of this in scripture. 
As we have an account in scripture. Gen. iv. 20 — 22. of the 
first that made any considerable improvement in the art of hus- 
bandry, and in the management of cattle, and of the first i;2- 
sfriictor of every artificer in brass and iro?i, by which means 
those tools were framed, which are necessary for the making 
those things that are useful in life; and also of the first inven- 
tor of music, who is called, The father of all such as handle the 
harp and organ^ which was in that space of time, which inter- 
vened iK'tween the creation and the deluge ; and, after this we 
read of the first plantation of vineyards, and the farther improve- 
ment thereof by making wine, by Noah, Gen. ix. 20, 21. which 
the world seems to have known nothing of before. And it is 
inore than probable, that the art of navigation was not known, 
till Noah, by divine direction, framed the ark, which gave the 


first hint to this useful invention ; and this art was not, for ma- 
ny ages, so much improved, as it is in our day. The mariner's 
needle, and the variation of the compass, or the method of sail- 
ing by observation of the heavenly bodies, seem to have been 
altogether unknov/n by those mariners, in whose ship the apos- 
tle Paul sailed,' Acts xxvii. for want of which, they exposed 
themselves to suffer shipwreck, hoping, thereby, to save their 

And. as to what concerns those inventions, that are necessa- 
ry for the improvement of knowledge ; it does not appear that 
writing was known till Moses' time ; and, after this, the use 
of letters was brought into Greece by Cadmus. And there- 
fore it is no wonder, when historians give some dark hints of 
things done before this, being unacquainted with scripture-his- 
tory, that they are at a loss, and pretend not to give an account 
of things done before the deluge *. Shall we suppose, that there 
were so many ages, as some pretend in which men lived, and 
yet no account given of things done therein, transmitted to pos- 
terity, by those who assert it ? Therefore there can be no 
ground to conclude, that the world has stood longer than the 
scripture account thereof f. We pass by the invention of the 
art of printing, which has nqjt been known in the world above 
three hundred years ; and tSie many improvements that have 
been made in philosophy, mathematicks, medicine, anatomy, 
chymistry, and mcchanicks, in the last age ; and can we sup- 
pose that there are so many thousand ages passed without any 
of these improvements ? And to this we may add the origin 

* The commo7i distribution of time ^ into that ivMch is aJ'uhov, before the food, and 
fjivQuov, after it, till they computed by the Olympiads; and afterwards that -which 
they calltsopiKiv the only account to be depended upon, makes this matter farther evi- 

f See this argument farther improved, by those roho have insisted on the first in" 
ventors of things ; as Polydor. Virgil, de Rerum inventoribus ; and Plin. Secund. 
Hist. Mundi. Lib. VII. cap. 56.— 60. and Clem. Alex. Strom. Lib. L Lucretius^ 
though an assertor of the eternity of matter and motion, from his master Epicurus^ 
yet proves, that the world, as to its present form, had a beginnings and what he says 
is so :nuch to our present argument, thai J cannot but mention it. Vid. Li^cret de 
Rer. Nat. Lib. V. 

Pr<^era si nulla fuit geiiitalis origo 

Terrarum lif Cceli, semperq ; ceterna fuere ; 

Cur supra bellum Thebanum, & funera TrojXy 

JVon alias alii quoque res cecinere Poetae ? 

Quo tot facta virum toties cecidere ? neqtce usquam 

^^ternis famx monimentiti insita forent ? 

Veriim, ut opinor, habet novitatem Summa, receyisq ; . 

JVatura est Mundi, neque pridem exordia ceplt. 

Quare etiam quxdani nunc artes expoliuntn ■ 

JVtinc etiam augescunt ; nunc addita mwig:-'; sunt, 

Jlfulta : modo organici melicos peperere sunores. 

Denique JVatura hxc rerum, ratioque rete-^ta est 


Vol. 11. c 

.(4 J hi: work of c&lation. 

of idolatry, in them who worshipped men, whom they calied 
gods, namely, such as had been useful while they lived among 
those that worshipped the m, or had been of great note, or pow- 
er, in the world, or who were the first inventors of things : 
this being known, and the time in which they lived, mentioned, 
by some writers among the heathen, which is much later than 
the first age of the world, is a farther evidence of this truth, 
that it has not stood so many years as some pretend. 

If it be objected, that there has been a kind of circulation, or 
revolution of things with respect to men's knowing, and after- 
wards losing and then regaining the knowledge of some of 
those arts, which we suppose to have been first discovered in 
in later ages, so that they might have been known in the world 
many ages before ; 

This is to assert, without pretending to give any proof there- 
of ; and nothing can be inferred from a mere possibility of 
things, which no one, who has the least degTee af judgment, 
will ever acquiesce in -, especially the memory of some things 
could never have been universally erased out of the minds of 
men, by any devastations that might be supposed to have been 
made in the world. Therefore, to conclude this argument, no- 
thing can be reasonably objected against the account we have 
in scripture, of the creation of the world at first, and of its hav- 
ing continued that number of years, and no longer, which we 
believe it to have done, from those sacred writings, which con- 
tain the only authentic records thereof, and have sufficient au- 
thority to put to silence all those fabulous conjectures, or vain 
and groundless boasts, that pretend to contradict it. 

III. God is said to have created all things by the word of 
his power ; thus the Psalmist says, By the word of the Lord 
zvere the heavens made ; and all the host of them by the breath 
cf his 7noiith, Psal. xxxiii. 6. Some, indeed, understand this, 
and several other scriptures, in which God is said to create all 
things by his word, as implying, that God the Father made all 
things by the Son, his personal Word : but, though this be a 
great truth, and it be expressly said. All things were made by 
him^ John i. 3. as has been considered under a foregoing an- 
swer *, whereby the divinity of Christ was proved ; yet here 
we speak of creation, as an effect of that power, which is a per- 
fection of the divine nature. And whereas it is called the word 
of his power, it signifies, that God produced all things by an 
act of his power and sovereign will ; so that how difficult soever 
the work was in itself, as infinitely superior to finite power, yet 
it argues, that it was performed by God without any manner 
of difficulty, and therefore it was as easy to him as a thought, 
or an act of willing is to any creature ; accordinglv it is said. 
* ^se Vol. L.Pfrjes 220, 221 


He fypake and it xvas done ; he commanded^ and it stood fusty 
Psal. xxxiii. 9. As nothing could resist his will, or hinder his 
purpose from taking- eff:ict, so all things were equally possible to 
him. In this respect, creation differs from the natural produc- 
tion of things, which, though they be the effects of power, yet 
nothing is produced by a powerful word, or, as it were, com^ 
manded into being, but that v/hich is the effect of almighty 
power, as the creation of all things is said to be. 

IV. The end for which God made all things, was his own 
glory ; or, as it is said, He made all things for himself Prov* 
xvi. 4. that is, that he might demonstrate his eternal power 
and Godhead, and all those divine perfections, which shine 
forth in this illustrious work, and so might receive a revenue 
of glory, as the result thereof. Not that he was under any na- 
tural necessity to do this, or would have been less happy and 
glorious in himself, than he v/as from all eternity, if he had not 
given being to any thing. We are far from supposing, that 
there is any addition made hereby to his essential glory ; this 
appears from the independence of his divine perfections : As 
they are not derived from the creature, so they cannot receive 
any additional improvement from him, no more than the lustre 
of the sun is increased by its being beheld by our eyes ; nor 
does it sustain any real diminution thereof, when its brightness 
is obscured by the interposure of any thing that hides it from 
us. God did not make the world that his power or wisdom 
might be improved hereby ; but that he might be admired and 
adored, ^or that his relative glory might be advanced by us, 
which would be the highest advantage to us. This was the 
great end for which he made all things ; and it is very agree- 
able to the scope and design of scripture in general, which puts 
us upon giving him the glory due to his name, as being indu- 
ced hereunto by all thq displays thereof in his works. 

Therefore it is a very unbecoming way of speaking, and 
tends very much to detract from the divine perfections, to say 
as a judicious writer * represents some objecting, '- As though 
" God were not so selfish, and desirous of glory, as to make 
" the world, and all creatures therein, only for his own honour 
" and to be praised by men.*' And another writer f speaks his 
own sense of this matter, in words no less shocking. He says, 
indeed, " That God cannot really suffer any diminution of his 
*' own by our dislike, or is advanced in honour by our appro- 
*' bation of his dispensations ;" which, as it respects his essen- 
tial glory, is an undoubted truth j but yet he speaks, in other 
respects, of the glory of God, by which, it is plain, he means 
that which is generally called his relative, or manifestative glo 

O J ^ ■ -7 — 

See Ray's TViodom of God i7i the Creation^ pa(j-c 18? 
W'7«7% on EkQtmu pa^re 92, 93. 


ry, in a verj^ unbecoming manner, when he says ; " That God, 
'' being infinitely perfect, must be infinitely happy within him- 
** self, and 30 can design no self-end without hiniself ,* there- 
*' fore what other end can he be supposed to aim at in these 
'* things, but our good ? It is therefore a vain imagination, that 
'^^ the great design of any of God's actions, his glorious works 
*' and dispensations, should be thus to be admired, or applaud- 
'•' ed, by his worthless creatures, that he may gain esteem, or 
^' a good word, from such vile creatures as we are. We take 
'' too much upon us, if we imagine that the all-wise God can 
*' be concerned, whether such blind creatures, as we are, ap- 
'* prove or disapprove of his proceedings ; and we think too. 
^* meanly of, and detract from his great Majesty, if we con- 
*' ceive he can be delighted with our applause, or aim at re- 
** putation from us in his glorious design, that therefore such 
" as we should think well of him, or have due apprehensions 
*' of those attributes, by the acknowledgment of which we are 
"" said to glorify him." This is, at once, to divest him of all 
that glory, which he designed from his works ; but far be it 
from us to approve of any such modes of speaking. Therefore 
we must conclude, that though God did not make any thing- 
tvith a design to render himself more glorious than he was, 
from all eternity, yet it was, that his creatures should behold 
and improve the displays of his divine perfections, and so ren- 
der himself the object of desire and delight, that religious wor- 
ship might be excited hereby, and that we might ascribe to him 
the glory that is due to his name. 

We might also observe, that God created all things by his 
•power, that he might take occasion to set forth the glory of all 
his other perfections, in his works of providence and grace, and 
particularly in the work of our redemption, all which suppose 
the creature brought into being; and so his first work made 
xvay for all others, which are, or shall be performed by him in 
/.ime, or throughout the ages of eternity. 

V. We are now to consider the space of time, in which God 
i:reated all things, namely, in six days. This could not have 
been determined by the light of nature, and therefore must be 
concluded to be a doctrine of pure revelation ; as also the ac- 
count we have, in Gen, i. of the order in which things were 
brought to perfection, or the work of each day. Here we can- 
not but take notice of the opinion of some, who suppose, that 
the world was created in an instant, as thinking, that this is 
more agreeable to the idea of creation, and more plainly distin- 
guishes it from the natural production of things, which are 
brought to perfection by degrees, and not in a moment, as they 
suppose this work was. This opinion has been advanced by 
Jiome ^.^ient writers 3 and whereas it seems dir^tly to cpn- 


tradict that account which is given thereof by Moses, they sup- 
pose that the distribution of the work of creation, into that of 
six days, is only designed to lead us into the knowledge of the 
distinct parts thereof, whereby they may be better conceived 
of, as though they had been made in such an order, one after 
another; but this is to make the scripture speak what men 
please to have it, without any regard had to the genuine sense 
and import of the words thereof. Had it only been asserted, 
that the first matter, out of which all things were formed, had 
been created in an instant; that is not only agreeable to the 
v/ork of creation, but to the literal sense of the text ; for it is 
said to be created in the beginnings that is, in the first point of 
time ; or if it had only been said, that God could have brought 
all things to perfection in an instant, we would not have de- 
nied it ; but to assert that he did so, we cannot but think an 
ill-grounded sense of a plain part of scripture. That which in- 
duces them to give into this opinion is, because they think that 
this redounds to the glory of God, and seems most agreeable 
to a supernatural production of things, and to those expres- 
sions, by which the work of creation is represented ; as in the 
scripture before-mentioned in which it is said, God spake^ and 
it xvas done ; that which was produced by a word's speaking, is 
performed in an instant. And they suppose, that this is agree- 
able to the account which we have of that chiuige which shall 
pass on the bodies of those who shall be found alive at the last 
day, that it shall be in a vioment^ in the tzvinkling of an eye^ 
1 Cor. XV. 52. and to some other miracles and supernatural 
productions, which have been instantaneous. But all this is not 
sufficient to support an opinion, which cannot be defended any 
otherwise, than by supposing that the express words of scrip- 
ture must be understood in an allegorical sense. 

There is therefore another account given of this matter, by 
some divines, of very considerable v/orth and judgment,*' 
which, as they apprehend, contains a concession of as much 
as need be demanded in favour of the instantaneous production 
of things, as most agreeable to the idea of creation, and yet 
does not militate against the sense of the account given there- 
of, in Gen. i. and that is, that the distinct parts of the creation 
were each of them produced in a moment. As for instance, in 
the work of the first day, there was the first matter of all things 
produced in one moment; and, after that, in the same day, 
light was produced, in another moment, agreeable to those 
words. Let there be lights and there xvas light ; and, in another 
moment, there was a division of the light from the darkness, 
and so the work of the first day was finished. And, in the 
ether days, where the works were various, there were distinct 
♦ ^er Tv.ttqU Efenct. Tom. I. .Loc. 5. Qiieet. 5, 


acts of the divine will, or words of command given concerning 
their production, which immediately ensued hereupon , and 
there was, in several instances, an interval between the produc- 
tion of one thing and another, which belonged to the same day's 
work ; particularly, in the sixth day, there was first a word of 
command given, by which beasts and creeping things were 
formed, and then another word given forth, by which man was 
created, when, indeed, there was an approbation of the former 
part of this day's work, in ver, 26. God says, That it was goody 
before the general approbation, expressed in ver. 31. in the end 
of the day, was given, when God saw every thing that he had 
made, and behold it was very good. 

There is nothing, in this opinion, (the main reason and foun« 
dation whereof has been before observed) that can be much 
disliked, neither is it very material whether it be defended or 
opposed ; and therefore, I think, they speak with the greatest 
prudence, as w^ell as temper who reckon this among the num- 
ber of those questions, which are generally called problematical, 
that is, such as may be either affirmed or denied, without any 
great danger of departing from the faith ;* and, indeed, I can- 
not see that the reasons assigned, which induce persons to ad= 
here to either side of the question, with so much warmth, as 
to be impatient of contradiction, are sufficiently conclusive. 

The main objection brought against their opinion, who plead 
for an instantaneous production of things in each day, is, that 
for God to bring the work of each day to perfection in a mo- 
ment, and, after that, not to begin the work of the next day, 
till the respective day began, infers God's resting each day from 
his work ; whereas, he is not said to rest till the whole creation 
was brought to perfection. But I cannot see this to be a just 
consequence, or sufficient to overthrow this opinion ; since 
God's resting from his work, when the whole was finished, 
principally intends his not producing any new species of crea- 
tures, and not barely his ceasing to produce what he had made ; 
for such a rest as this might as well be applied to his finishing 
the work of each day, though he took up the whole space of a 
day therein, as if he had finished it in a moment. 

And, on the other hand, when it is objected against the com- 
mon opinion relating to God's bringing the work of each day 
to perfection by degrees, so as to take up the space of a day in 
doing it, that it is not agreeable to the idea of creation. This 
is no just way of reasoning, nor sufficient to overthrow it ; 
since we generally conclude, that God's upholding providence, 
which some call, as it v/ere, a continued creation, is no less an 
instiince of divine and supernatural power, than his producing 
them at first: but this is not performed in an instant; ncverr 
'* V'ul Wit3ii in Svmbol Exercii. 8. ^ 65. 


theless, it is said to be done, as the apostle speaks, in H*^b. i, 
3. By the xvord of his power. Besides, there are some parts of 
the creation, which, from the nature of the thing, could hai diy 
be produced in an instant, particularly those v/orks which '-v ere 
performed by motion, which cannot be instantaneous ; as die 
dividing the light from the darkness, the gathering the waters 
together into one place, so that the dry land should appear; 
and if this took up more than a moment, why may it not be 
supposed to take up the space of a day? So that, upon the 
whole, we may conclude, that though it is certain that spirits, 
such as angels, or the souls of our hrst parents, could not be 
otherwise created, than in an instant, inasmuch as they are im- 
material, and so do not consist of parts successively formed ; 
yet none ought to determine, with too great peremptoriness, 
that other works, performed in the six days, must each of them 
be performed in an instant, or else the work could not proper- 
ly be called a creation ; and therefore the commonly received 
opinion seems as probable as any other, that has hitherto been 
advanced, as it is equally, if not more agreeable, to the express 
words of scripture. 

Here we shall give a brief account of the work of the six 
days, as it is contained in the first chapter of Genesis ; in the 
first day, the first matter out of which all things were produced, 
was created cut of nothing, which is described as being without 
form^ that is, not in that form which God designed to bring it 
into ; whereas, in other respects, matter cannot be without all 
manner of form, or those dimensions that are essential to it, 
and, as it was created without form, so without motion ; so 
that as God is the Creator of all things, he is the first mover. 
Nevertheless, I am far from thinking, that all God did, in the 
creation of things, was by putting every thing in motion, and 
that this brought all the parts of the creation into their respec- 
tive form. As an artificer may be said to frame a machine, 
which, by its motion, will produce other things, which he de- 
signed to make by the help thereof, without giving himself any 
farther trouble ; so they suppose, that, by those laws of motion, 
which God impressed upon matter at first, one part of the 
creation brought another into the various forms, which they 
attained afterwards.* And the first thing that was produced, 
which was a farther part of the six days work, was light ; con- 
cerning this, many have advanced their own ill-grounded con- 

* This is the main thing that is advanced by Des Cartes, in his philosophy, ivhich 
formerly obtained more in the -world than it does at present ,- though there are several 

divijies in the .Netherlands, ivhn still adhere to, and defend that hypothesis. This -was 

thought a suffici€7it expedient to fence against the absurdities of Epicunts, a?id his- 
follo-wers, ivho suppose that things attairied their respective forms by the fortuitous 

concoxirse of atoms ; nevertheless, it is derogatory to the Creator's f^lon'^ina^vmrh ns 

•f sets, aside his imvxediate efficiency in the production fjfthvr-': 


jectures. There are some writers, among the Papists, who have 
supposed that it was a quality, without a subject,* which is 
an obscure and indefensible way of speaking. Others have 
thought, that hereby we are to understand the angels ; but this 
is to strain the sense of words too far, by having recourse to ii 
metaphor, which is inconsistent with what immediately follows, 
that God divided the light from the darkness. But it seems 
most probable that nothing else is intended hereby, but those 
lucid bodies, which, on the fourth day, were collected into the 
sun and fixed stars. 

To this let me add, that it is more than probable that God, 
on the first day, created the highest heaven, which is some- 
times called his throne, together with the angels, the glorious 
inhabitants thereof. It is true, Moses, in his history of the 
creation, is silent as to this matter, unless it may be inferred 
from those words. In the beginriing God created the heaven and 
the earth ; though, as has been before observed, something else 
seems principally to be intended thereby : nevertheless, we have 
sufficient ground to conclude, that they were created in the be- 
ginning of time, and consequently in the first day, from what 
is said elsewhere, that xvhen God laid the foundations of the 
earthy the morning stars sang together^ and all the sons of God 
shouted for joy ^ Job xxxviii. 4, 7. where the angels are repre- 
sented as celebrating and adoring those divine perfections^ 
which were glorified in the beginning of the work of creation; 
therefore they were, at that time, brought into being. 

On the second day, God divided that part of the world, which 
is above, from that which is below, by an extended space, which 
is styled the firmament^ and otherwise called heaven, though 
distinguished from the highest heaven, or the heaven of hea- 
vens ; and it is farther observed, that hereby the waters thai; 
are above, are separated from those which are below, that is, 
the clouds from the sea, and other waters, that are in the bowels 
of the earth. 

As for that conjecture of some, taken from hence, and es- 
pecially from what the Psalmist says, Praise hhn ye waters 
that are above the heavens^ Psal. cxlviii. 4. that there is a vast 
collection of super-celestial waters, which have no communi- 
cation with those that are contained in the clouds ; this seems 
to be an ungrounded opinion, not well agreeing with those 
principles of natural philosophy, which are received in this 
present age ; though maintained by some of the ancient fathers^ 
as principally founded on the sense in which they understand 
this text; neither do they give a tolerable account of the de- 

* This absurd opinic/n the Papists are very fond of, inar;)mi(^i as ii sfrres tlei-^ 
purpose in dffendiTt^ the doctrine ofTrans^uistavfiafiof'- 


sign of providence in collecting and fixing them there % There- 
fore nothing seems to be intended, in that text, but the waters 
that are contained in the clouds as it is said, He bmdeth up the 
waters in his thick clouds^ Job xxvi. 8. and, indeed, the He° 
brew words seem not to be justly translated! ; for they ought 
to be rendered, Te zvaters that are from above in the firmament^ 
not above the heavens, but the earth, or a considerable distance 
from it, in the firmament, as the clouds are. 

On the third day, the sea and rivers were divided from the 
earth, and the dry land appeared, and the earth brought forth 
herbs, grass, trees, and plants, with which it is so richly stored, 
which in a natural way, it has produced ever since. 

On the fourth day, the sun, moon and stars were made, to 
enlighten, and, by their influence, as it were, to enliven the 
world, and so render it a beautiful place, which would otherwise 
have been a dismal and uncomfortable dungeon ; and that here- 
by the four seasons of the year might be continued in their re- 
spective courses, and their due measures set to them : thus it is 
said, these heavenly bodies were appointed for si^ns^ and for 
seasons^ and for days., and for years^ Gen. i. 14. 

This has occasioned some Xh enquire, whether any counte- 
nance is hereby given to judicial astrology, or whether the hea- 
venly bodies have any influence on the conduct of human life, 
which some ancient and modern writers have defended, not 
without advancing many absurdities, derogatory to the glory of 
providence, as well as contrary to the nature of second causes, 
and their respective eff*ects ; and, when the moral actions of in- 
telligent creatures are said to be pointed at, or directed by the 
stars, this is contrary to the laws of human nature, or the na- 
ture of man, as a free agent ; therefore, whatever be the sense 
of these words of scripture, it is certain, they give no counte- 
nance to this presumptuous and ungrounded practice. But this 
we shall take occasion to oppose, under a following answer^ 

* Ambrose, in his Hexameron, Lib. II. cap. 3. as tvell as Basilf and others, sup- 
pose, that the use thereof is to qualify the extraordinary heat of the sun, and other ce=. 
lestial bodies, to prevent tJieir burning the frame oj nature, and especially their de- 
stroying this loiver -world ,- and others think, that they are reserved in store, to an" 
swer some particular ends of providence, tvhen God, at any time, designs to destrov 
the -world by a deluge ; and conseqiiently they conchule, that it -was by a supply of 
■water from thence, that tfiere luas a sxcfficient quantity poured doiun, ivheyi the -world 
-was drowned, in the universal debige : but, though a late ingeidous -writer, [ Vid. 
£urnet. Tellur, Theor. Lib. I. cap. "2.] supposes, that the clouds coidd afford but a 
small part of that water, -which -toas sufficient to ansiver that end, which he supposes 
to be eight times as much as the sea contains ; yet he does not think Jit to fetch a sup" 
ply tJiereuf from the super-celestial stores, noi only as supposing the opinion to be ill- 
grounded, but by being at a loss to deiermine how these waters should be disposed of 
again, which could not be accounted for any other way, but by annihilation, since they 
CGtddfiot be exhaled by the sun, or contained in the clouds, by r-eaion of the i-^ 4iitaii,t 
situation, as being far above them. 

Vol. IL D 


when we consider judicial astrology, as forbidden In the first 
commandment *. Therefore, all that we shall add, at present, 
is, that when the heavenly bodies are said to be appointed /or 
times and seasons^ &c. nothing is intended thereby, but that they 
distinguish the times and seasons of the year ; or, it may bc^ 
in a natural way, have some present and immediate influence on 
the bodies of men, and some other creatures below them. 

There is also another question, which generally occurs when 
persons treat of this subject, namely, whether there are not dis- 
tinct worlds of men, or other creatures, who inhabit some of 
those celestial bodies, which, by late observations, are supposed 
to be fitted to receive them. This has been maintained by Kep- 
lar, bishop Wilkins, and other ingenious writers; and that which 
has principally led them to assert it, is, because some of them 
are, as is almost universally allowed, not only bigger than this 
earth, but they seem to consist of matter, not much unlike to 
it, and therefore are no less fit to entertain distinct worlds o£ 
intelligent creatures. And they farther add, in defence of this 
argument, that it cannot reasonably be supposed that there should 
be such a vast collection of matter, created with no other de- 
sign, but to add to the small degree of light, which the planets, 
the moon excepted, afford to this lower world. As for any other 
advantage that they are of to it, any farther than as they are ob- 
jects, to set forth the wisdom and power of God, thi;> cannot be 
determined by us ; therefore they conclude, that they were form- 
ed for the end above mentioned. And some carry their conjee* 
tures beyond this, and suppose, that as every one of the fixed 
stars are bodies, which shine as the sun does, with their own un- 
borrowed light, and are vastly larger, that therefore there is 
some other use designed thereby, besides that which this world 
receives from them, namely, to give light to some worlds of 
creatures, that are altogether unknown to us. According to 
this supposition, there are not only more worlds than ours, but 
multitudes of them, in proportion to the number of the stars, 
v/hich are inhabited either by men, or some other species of 
intelligent creatures, which tends exceedingly, in their opinion, 
to advance the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the great Crea* 

The only thing that I shall say, concerning this modern hy- 
pothesis, is, that as, on the one hand, the common method of 
opposition to it, is not, in ajl respects, sufficient to overthrow 
the argument in general, especially when men pretend not to 
determine what kinds of intelligent creatures inhabit these 
worlds, and when they are not too preremptory in their asser- 
tions about this matter ; so, on the other hand, when tliis argu- 
ment h defended with that warmth, as though it were a neces» 

* &ee Qiccst, CV. 


•'3ary find important article of faith, and some not only assert the 
possibility, or, at least, the probability of the truth thereof, but 
speak with as much assurance of it, as though it were founded 
on scripture ; and when they conclude that they are inhabited 
by men, and pretend to describe, not only the form of some of 
these worlds, but give such an account of the inhabitants there- 
of, as though they had learned it from one who came down 
from thence * ; in this respect, they expose the argument, which 
they pretend to defend, to contempt, and render it justly ex- 
ceptionable. But, if men do not exceed those due bounds of 
modesty, Avhich should always attend such disquisitions, and 
distinguish things that are only probable, from those that are 
demonstratively certain, and reckon this no other than an inge- 
nious speculation, which may be affirmed, or denied, in com- 
mon with some other astronomical, or philosophical problems, 
without considering it, as affecting any article of natural or re- 
vealed religion, I would not oppose the argument in general, 
how much soever I would do the particular explication there-, 
of, as above mentioned : but, when this is brought in, as a mat- 
ter of debate, in the theologick schools, and disputed with as 
much warmth, as though it were next to an heresy to deny it, 
I cannot but express as much dislike thereof, as any have done, 
who give into the commonly received opinion relating to thi!> 

On the fifth day, another sort of creatures, endowed with 
sense, as well as life and motion, were produced, partly out of 
the waters, and partly out of the earth, that was mixed with 
them, namely, the fish that were designed to live in the waters, 
and the winged fowl, which were to fly above them f. 
• On the sixth day, all sorts of beasts, and creeping things, 
with which the earth is plentifully furnished, were produced 
out of it. And whereas there are two words used to set forth 
the different species of living creatures, as contra-distinguished 
from creeping things, namely, the cattle and the beasts of the 
earth, it is generally supposed to imply the different sorts of 
beasts, such as are tame or wild, though wild beasts were not, 
at first, so injurious to mankind as now they are. 

In the latter part of the day, when this lower world was 

* Thus the learned Witsius^ in Smybol. Eiverciiat. 8. § 78. expose? this notion, bi; 
referring to a particular relation given, by one, of mountains, vallies, seas, ivoods^ 
and vast tracts of land, ivhich are contained in the vwo7i, and a describing the men 
that inhabit it, and the cities that are built by tJiem, and other things relating herenn- 
io, which cannot be recko7ied, in the opinion of sober men, any other thanfabtdous and 
romantic . 

■j" This, supposing thefoivl to be produced out of the -jjater-, mixed ivith earth, re-^ 
candles the seeming contradiction that there is bet7ueen Gen. i. 20. and chap. ii. 19» 
in the former of -which it is said, thefoTvl ivsre created out of the T/ater, and in th^ 
kittsr, out of the e^h. 



brought to perfection, and furnished with every thing necessa- 
ry for his entertainment, man, for whose sake it was made, was 
created out of the dust of the ground ; which will be more par- 
ticularly considered in a following answer *% 

God having thus produced all things in this order and me- 
thod, as we have an account thereof in scripture, he fixed, or 
established the course or laws of nature, whereby the various 
species of living creatures might be propagated, throughout all 
succeeding ages, without the interposure of his supernatural 
power, in a continued creation of them ; and, after this, he rest- 
ed from his work, when he had brought all things to perfection. 

Thus having considered the creation, as a work of sjx days, 
it may farther be enquired, whether it can be determined, with 
any degree of probability, in what time, or season | of the year 
all things were created. Some are of opinion, that it was in the 
spring, because, at that time, the face of the earth is renewed 
every year, and all things begin to grow and flourish \, And 
some of the fathers have assigned this, as a reason of it ; be- 
cause the Son of God, the second Adam, suffered, and rose 
from the dead, whereby the world was, as it were, renewed, at 
the same time of the year. But this argument is of no weight* 

Therefore the most probable opinion is, that the world was 
created at that season of the year, which generally brings all 
things to perfection ; when the fruits of the earth are fully ripe, 
and the harvest ready to be gathered in, which is about autumn, 
the earth being then stored with plenty of all things, for the sup- 
port of man and beast. It is not, indeed, very material, wheth= 
er this can be determined or no, nevertheless this seems the 
more probable opinion, inasmuch as the beginning of the civil 
year was fixed at that time. Accordingly, the feast of ingather- 
ing, which was at this season of the year, is said, in Exod. xxiii. 
16. to be in the Imd of the year ; therefore, as one year ended, 
the other began, at this time, and so continued, till, by a special 
providence, the beginning of the year was altered, in commemo- 
ration of Israel's deliverance out of Egypt. And, from that 
time, there was a known distinction among the Jev/s, betv/een 
iheir beginning of the civil and the ecclesiastical year ; the for- 
2ner of which v/as the same as it had been from the beginning 
of the world, and answers to our month September ; from 
whence it is more than probable, that the world was created at 
that season of the year. We now proceed, 

VI. To consider, the quality, or condition, in which God 

« See Q:ce8f. XVII. 

\ When loe speak of the season of the year, tue have a partkular respect to that 
part of the carth,in which man at first resided; being sensible that the seasons of the 
jjfitir vary, according to tlie different situation of the earth. 

^ y-gr illnd erat, Ver magnns agebat 

Qrt'iSj^IIi^bernisjIiarccbantJiatibusEuri, Virg-. Georg-. 2. 


created all things, which were, at first, pronounced by him vet-y 
£'Ood, Gtn, i, 31. It is certain, nothing imperfect can come out 
of the hand of God, and the goodness of things is their perfec- 
tion. Every thing that was made, was made exactly agreeable 
to the idea, or platform thereof, that was laid in the divine 
mind. All things were good, that is perfect, in their kind, and 
therefore, there was not the least blemish in the work. Every 
thing was beatiful, as it was the effect of infinite wisdom, as 
well as almighty power. Whatever blemishes there are now 
in the creation, which are the consequence of the curse that sin 
has brought upon it, these were not in it at first, for that would 
have been a reflection on the author of it. 

And there is another thing, in which the goodness of those 
things did consist, namely, as they were adapted to shew forth 
the glory of God in an objective way, whereby intdlligent crea- 
tures might, as in a glass, behold the infinite perfections of the 
divine nature, which shine forth therein. 

If any enquire, whether God could have made things more 
perfect than he did ? it might easily be replied to this, that he 
never acted to the utmost of his power, the perfections of crea- 
tures were limited by his will ; nevertheless, if any persons pre- 
tend to find any flaw, or defect of wisdom in the creation of all 
things, this is no other than a proud and ignorant cavil, which 
men, through the corruption of their nature, are disposed to 
make against the great Creator of all things, who regard not 
the subserviency of things to answer the most valuable ends, 
and advance his glory, who, in wisdom has made them all* 

In this respect, the inferior parts of the creation were good ; 
but, if we consider the intelligent part thereof, angels and men, 
tliey were good, in a higher sense. As there was no moral 
blemish in the creation, nor propensity, or inclination to sin, 
so these were endowed with such a kind of goodness, whereby 
they were fitted to glorify God, in a way agreeable to their su- 
perior natures, and behold and improve those displays of the 
divine perfections, which were visible in all his other works ; 
which leads us farther to consider what is said concerning them^ 
as the most excellent part of the creation. 

Quest. XVI. How did God create angels f 

Answ. God created all the angels, spirits, immortal, holy, ex 
celling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his com- 
mandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change. 

THERE are two species of intelligent creatures, to wit, an- 
gels and men. The former of these are more excellent ; 
and we are in this answer, led to speak concerning their nature, 


and the glorious works which they are engaged in : But let it 
be premised, that this is a doctrine that we could have known 
little or nothing of, by the light of nature. We might, indeed, 
from thence, have learned, that God has created some spiritual 
s-ubstances, such as the souls of men ; and we might argue, from 
his power, that he could create other spirits, of different natures 
and powers, and that some of them might be without bodies, 
as the angels are ; yet we could not have certainly determined 
that there is such a distinct order of creatures, without divine 
revelation, since they do not appear to, or visibly converse with 
us ; and whatever impressions may, at any time, be made on 
our spirits, by good or bad angels, in a way of suggestion, yet 
this could not have been so evidently distinguished from the 
working of our own fancy or imagination, were we not assisted 
in our conceptions about this matter, by what we find in scrip- 
ture, relating thereunto. Accordingly, it is from thence that 
the doctrine, which we are entering upon, is principally to be 
derived ; and we shall consider it, as the subject-matter of thi& 
answer, in seven heads. 

I. There is something supposed, namely, that there are such 
creatures as angels. This appears, from the account we have 
of them in the beginning of the creation of all things. The 
morning' stars sang together^ and all the sons of God shouted for 
joy^ Job xxxviii. 7. which can be no other than a metaphorical 
description of them. They are called the monmig stars, as they 
exceed other creatures, as much in glory, as the stars do the 
lower parts of the creation. It would be a very absurd method 
of expounding scripture to take this in a literal sense, not only 
because the stars in the firmament do not appear to have been 
then created, but principally because these ^re represented, as 
engaged in a work peculiar to intelligent creatures ; and they 
are called, the sons of God, as they were produced by him, and 
created in his image; whereas men, who are sometimes so 
called, were not created. They are elsewhere called spirits, 
Psal. civ. 4. to distinguish them from material beings ; and a 
Jiame of fire, to denote their agility and fervency, in executing 
the divine commands. It is plain, the Psalmist hereby intends 
the angels ; and therefore the words are not to be translated, as 
some do, xvho maketh the winds his angels, and the flame of fire 
his ininisters, as denoting his making use of those creatures 
who act without design to fulfil his pleasure ; because the apos- 
tle, to the Hebrews, chap. i. 7. expressly applies it to them, 
and renders the text in the same sense as it is in our transla- 
tion. They are elsewhere styled. Thrones, dominions, princi* 
polities, and poxvers, Coloss. i. 16. to denote their being advan- 
ced to the highest dignity, and employed in the most honour- 
able services. 4»4 ^^^ i^ ^s not pven that the apostle h^ro 


speaks of, is evident, because he distinguishes the intelligent 
parts of the creation into visible and invisible ; the visible he 
speaks of in the following words, ver. 18. in which Christ is 
said to be the Head of the bodij^ the church i therefore here he 
speaks of invisible creatures advanced to these honours, and 
consequently he means hereby the angels. 

Moreover it appears, that there are holy angels, because there 
are fallen angels, who are called in scripture, devils ; this is so 
evident, that it needs no proof; the many sins committed by 
their instigation, and the distress and misery which mankind is 
subject to, by their means, gives occasion to their being called. 
The rulers of the darkness of this world^ Eph. vi. 12. And, 
because of their malicious opposition to the interest of Christ 
therein, spiritual xuickedriess in high places. Now it appears, 
from the apostle Jude's account of them, that they once wer6 
holy ; and they could not be otherwise, because they are crea- 
tures, and nothing impure can proceed out t)f the hand of God, 
and, while they were holy, they had their residence in heaven : 
This they lost, and are said 720/ to have kept their first estate^ 
but left their ozvn habitatioTi^ being thrust out of it, as a punish- 
ment due to their rebellion, and to be reserved in everlasting- 
chains^ under darkness^ unto the judgment of the great day^ 
Jude, ver. 6. Now it is plain, from scripture, that it is only a 
part of the angels that left their first estate ; the rest are called 
holy angels^ and their number is very great. Thus they are 
.described, as an innumerable company^ Heb. xii. 22. This is 
necessaiy to be observed against the ancient, or modern Sad- 
ducees, who deny that there are either angels, or spirits, 
whether good or bad. 

• II. We farther observe, that the angels are described, as to 
their nature, as incorporeal, and therefore called spirits. It is 
but a little, indeed, that we can know concerning the nature of 
spirits, in this present state ; and the first ideas that we have 
concerning them, are taken from the nature of our souls, as, in 
some respects, agreeing with that of angels. Acqordingly, be- 
ing spirits, they have a power of thinking, understanding, will- 
ing,- chusing, or refusing, and are the subjects of moral govern- 
ment, being under a law, and capable of moral good or evil, 
happiness or misery. 

Moreover, they have a power of moving, influencing, or act- 
ing upon material beings, even as the soul moves and influen- 
ces the body, to which it is united. This we understand con- 
cerning the nature and power of angels, as spirits, by compa- 
ring them with the nature of the soul ; though there is this dif- 
ference between them, that the souls of men are made to be 
united to bodies, and to act by and upon them, whereas angels 
atre designed to exist and act without bodies; nevertheless, by 


the works, which are often, in scripture ascribed to them, ii 
appears that they have a power to act upon material beings. 
As for the conjecture of some of the fathers,* that these spi- 
rits are united to some bodies, though more fine and subtil than 
our's are, and accordingly invisible to us, we cannot but think 
it a groundless conceit; and therefore to assert it, is only to 
pretend to be wise above what is written, and to give too great 
a loose to our own fancies, without any solid argument. 

III. It follows, from their being spirits, and incorporeal, that 
they are immortal, or incorruptible, since nothing is subject to 
death, or dissolution, but what is compounded of parts ; for 
death is a dissolution of the composition of those parts, that 
were before united together ; but this is proper to bodies. A 
spirit, indeed, might be annihilated; for the same power that 
brought it out of nothing, can reduce it again to nothing. But, 
since God has determined that they shall exist for ever, we 
must conclude that they are immortal, not only from the con- 
stitution of their nature, but by the will of God. 

IV. Besides the excellency of their nature, as spirits, they 
have other super-added endowments ; of which, th7'ee are men- 
tioned in this answer. 

1. They were all created holy; and, indeed, it could not be 
otherwise, since nothing impure could come out of the hands 
of a God of infinite purity. Creatures make themselves sin- 
ners, they were not made so by him ; for, if they were, how 
could he abhor sin, and punish it, as contrary to his holiness ; 
nor could he have approved of all his works, as very good^ when 
he had finished them, as he did. Gen. i. 31. if he had created 
any of the angels in a state of enmity, opposition to, or rebel- 
lion against him. 

2. They excel in knowledge, or in wisdom, which is the 
greatest beauty or advancement of knowledge. Accordingly^ 
the highest instance of wisdom in men, is compared to the wis- 
dom of an angel. Thus the woman of Tekoa, when extolling 
David's wisdom, though with an hyperbolical strain of com- 
pliment, compares it to that of an angel of God^ 2 Sam. xiv. 20, 
which proves that it was a generally received opinion, that an- 
gels exceeded other creatures in wisdom, 

3. They are said to be mighty in power: thus the Psalmist 
speaks of them, as excelling in strength^ Psal. ciii. 20. and the 
apostle Paul, when speaking of Christ's being revealed from 
heaven, in his second coming, says, that it shall be with his- 
7nighty angels^ 2 Thess. i. 7". And, since power is to be judg- 
ed of by its effects, the great things, which tliey are sometimes 
represented, as having done in fulfilling their ministry, in de- 

* Vi'd. Jugmtin. ik Civ. Dti, Lib. XF. cap. 23. Ten^ull. de Idololatria^ 3 rJ^^-' 


fence of the church, or in overthrowing its enemies, is a cer- 
tain evidence of the greatness of their power* Thus w-^ read 
of the whole Assyrian host, consistnig of an hundred and four- 
score and Jive thousand men^ being destroyed in one night ; not 
by the united poWer of an host of angeis, but by one of theme 
The angel of the Lord did it; but this will more evidently ap- 
pear, wheuf) under a following head, we speak of the ministry 
of angels. 

V. These natural, or super-added endowments, how great 
soever they are, comparatively widi those of other creatures, 
are subject to certain limitations : their perfections are derived, 
and therefore are finite. It is true, they are holy, or without any 
sinfid impurity ; yet even their holiness falls infinitely short of 
God's, and therefore it is said concerning him, Thou only art 
holy^ Rev. xv. 4. and elsewhere. Job xv. 15. speaking concern- 
ing the angels, who are, by a metonymy^ called the heavens, it 
is said, they are not dean in his sight, that is, their holiness, 
though it be perfect in its kind, is but finite, and therefore in- 
finitely below his, who is infinitely hoi)'. 

Moreover, though they are said, as has been before observed, 
to excel in knowledge, we must, notwithstanding, conclude, that 
they do not know all things ; and therefore their wisdom, when 
compared with God's, deserves no better a character than that 
of folly, Job iv. 18. His afig-els he charged -with folly. There 
are many things, which they are expressly said not to know, 
or to have but an imperfect knowledge of, or to receive the 
ideas they have of them by degrees : thus they know not the 
time of Chrisfs second coming, Matt. xxiv. 36. and they are 
represented as enquiring into the great mystery of man's re- 
demption, or as desiring to look into it, 1 Pet. i. 12. 

And to this let me add, that they do not know the hearts of 
men, at least not in such a way as God is said to search the 
heart, for that is represented as a branch of the divine glory, 
Jer. xvii. 10. 2 Chron. vi. 30. And, besides this, it may be 
farther observed, that they do not know future contingencies^ 
unless it be by such a kind of knowledge, as amounts to little 
more than conjecture ; or, if they attain to a more certain know- 
ledge thereof, it is by divine revelation. For God appropriates 
this to himself, a glory, from which all creatures are excluded ; 
therefore he says, Shew the things that are to come, that is, fu- 
ture contingencies, that we may know that ye are gods, Isa. xH. 
23. which implies, that this is more than what can be said of 
any finite mind, even that of an angel. 

As to the way of their knowing things, it is generally sup- 
posed, by divines, that they know them not in a way of intui- 
tion, as God does, who is said to know all things in himself, 
by. an underived knowledge ; but whatever thev know, is either 

Vol. IL ' -E 


communicated to them, by immediate divine revelation, or the 
is attained in a discursive way, as inferring one thing from 
another ; in which respect, the knowledge of the best of crea- 
tures appears to be but finite, and infinitely below that which 
is divine. 

Agani, though they are said to be mighty in power, yet it is 
with this limitation, that they are not omnipotent. There are 
some things, which are the effects of divine power, that angels 
are excluded from, as being too great for them ; accordingly 
they w • -v: not employed in creating any part of the world, nor 
do thy uphold it; for as it is a glory peculiar to God, to be 
the Ci\:ator of the ends of the earthy so he, exclusively of all 
others, is said to uphold all things by the word of his power. 

And to this we may add, that we have no ground to con- 
clude, that they are employed in the hand of providence, to 
maintain that constant and regular motion, chat there is in the 
celestial bodies, as some of the ancient philosophers * have 
seemed to assert ; for this is the immediate work of God, with- 
out the agency of aity creature subservient thereunto. 

Again, to this let me add, that how great soever their power 
is, they cannot change the heart of man, take away the heart 
of stone, and give a heart of flesh ; or implant that principle 
of spiritual life and grace in the souls of men, whereby they 
are said to be 7nade partakers of a divine nature^ or created in 
Christ Jesus unio good zvorks ; for that is ascribed to the ex- 
ceeding greatness of the divine power, and it is a peculiar glory 
belonging to the Holy Spirit, whereby believers are said to be 
born from above ; this therefore is too great for the power of 
angeh to effect. 

VI. We have an account of the work or employment of an- 
gels ; it is said, they execute the commands of God, and piaise 
his name. The former of these will be more particularly con» 
sidered, under a following answer,f when we are led to speak 
of their being employed by God, at his pleasure, in the ad- 
ministration of his pov/er, mercy and justice ; and therefore 
we shall now consider them as engaged in the noble and de« 
lightful work of praise ; they praise his name. For this end 
thcv were created ; and, being perfectly holy and happy, they 
are fitted for, and in the highest degree, devoted to this ser- 
vice. This work was begun by them as soon as ever they had 
a being : they sang together^ and celebrated his praise in the 
beginning of the creation, Job xxxviii. 7. * 

* This was the opinion of Jlristotky though he does not call them angels, but iiu 
telUgent Beings, for ang-el is a character belonging to them, derived only from scrips 
ture ; -"either do -we find that this work is assigned fo them, as a part of their mini C'- 
try therein. 

t See Qtccit. XIX. 


And when the Redeemer first- came into this lov/er world, 
and thereby a work, more glorious than that of creation, was 
begun by him, they celebrated his birth with a triumphant 
song ; as it is said, that with the angel that brought the tidings 
thereof to the shepherds, there was a midt'ttiide of the heavenly 
host praising God^ and saying-^ Glory to God in the highest ; on 
earth peace ; good will towards men^ Luke ii. 14. Whether all 
the hosts of heaven were present at that solemnity, we know 
not ; but there is sufficient ground to conclude, from the har- 
mony^ that there is in the work and worship of the heavenly in- 
habitants, that they all celebrated his incarnation with their 
praises ,* and this was a part of that worship, which, upon this 
great occasion, they gave, by a divine warrant, to him, who 
was then brought into this lower world, Heb. i. 6. 

Moreover, they praise God for particular mercies vouchsafed 
to the church, and for the success of the gospel in the conver- 
sion of sinners thereby ; on which occasion, they express their 
joy as our Saviour observes, though it be but one sinner that 
repenteth^ Luke xv. 7, 10. And, 

Lastly^ They are represented, as joining in worship with the 
saints in heaven ,• for which reason the apostle, speaking con- 
cerning the communion that there is between the upper and the 
lower world, as well as the union between the saints departed, 
and the angels, in this work of praise, says, T'e are come unto 
the innumerable company of angels^ to the general assembly and 
church of the first-born^ which are xvritten in heaven., and to 
the spirits of just men made perfect^ Heb. xii. 22, 23. and they 
are also represented as joining with all others, which are before 
the throne., the number of whom is ten thousand times ten thou- 
'sand^ and thousands of thousands^ sayi?ig^ with a loud voiccy 
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain., to receive power., andriches^ 
and wisdom., and strength., and honour., and glory., and blessings 
Rev. V. 11, 12. 

This is a branch of that social worship, which they are en- 
gaged in; and since we cannot suppose that it is performed 
without harmony, otherwise it wants a very considerable cir- 
• cumstance, necessary to render it beautiful, and becommg a 
state of perfection, we must conclude, that there is the greatest 
order among these heavenly ministers ; but whether they are 
to be considered, as having a government, or hierarchy, among 
themselves, so that one is superior in office and dignity to 
others ; or whether they have a kind of dominion over one 
another; or whether some are made partakers of privileges, 
that others are deprived of; this we pretend not to determine, 
since scripture is silent as to this matter. And what some have 
laid down, as though it were deduced from it, is altogether 
inconclusive ; and therefore they, who express themselves so 
peremptorily on this subject, as though they had received it by 


divine inspiration, or were told it by some, who have been con- 
versant among them in heaven, must be reckoned among thenx 
Avhom the apostle speaks oi', who intrude into those things xvhich 
they have not seen^ vainly puft up by their Jieshly mind^ Colos. 
ii. 18. 

The Papists are very fond of this notion, as being agreeable 
to that unscriptural hierarchy, which they establish in the church 
here on ear:;h, which they pretend to be, in some respects, found- 
ed upon it, instead of better arguments to support it *. All 
the countenance which they pretend to be given to it, in scrip- 
ture, is taken from the various characters, by which they are 
described, as cherubim,, seraphim,, thrones,, dominions,, princi- 
palities,, powers,, angels,, arch-angels,, all which expressions they 
suppose to signify various ranks and orders among thtm ; and 
when they speak of three classes, or degrees of dignity, and of- 
fice, under which they are distributed, and that some of those 
characters are reduced to one, and others to another of them, 
this is notiiuig else but to impose their own chimerical fancies, 
as matters of faith ; and when they speak of some of them, as 
being of a superior order, and admitted to greater honours than 
the rest, whom they compare to ministers of state, who always 
attend the throne of princes, or stand in their presence; and 
others that are employed in particular services for the good of 
the church, and are conversant in this lower world : This is a 
distinction which the scripture says nothing of ; for they ail be- 
hold the face of God in heaven, and are in his immediate pre- 
sence ; and they are all likewise called ministering spirits,, sent 
forth to minister to them which shall be the heirs of salvation. 

The great oracle which they have recourse to, where the 
scripture is silent, is a spurious writing, that goes under the 
name of Dionysius, the Areopagite, concerning the celestial 
hierarchy f ; which contains not only many things fabulous, but 
unworthy of him, who was converted at Athens by the apostle 

* It is stremioufly maintained by Baroiiius, BeUai^miney and many other -luriters ; 
as also by many of the schoolmen^ as Jhirandiis, Tho. Aquinas, and others. 

j- This book is sufficiently proved to he spurious, and not to have been kmoivn in the 
four or five first ag-es of the church, as not being- mentio7ieii by Jerom, Gennadius, 
and others, who make mention of the -xwiters of thar bivn and fa mer ages, and pas^ 
their censures on them, as genuine or spurious. And, from others of the Fathers, who 
lived in those centuries, it plainly appears, that the doctrines malntainedin this booh^ 
concerning the celestial hierarchy, luere not then knotvn by the church. It is also 
proved to be spurious, because the author thereof makes mention of holy places, S7ich 
as temples, altars, &c- for diviue loorship, and catechumens, and the like, and 7na?ry 
other things, unknoivn to the church till the fourth century ; and he uses the word 
Hypostases to signify the divine Persons, tvhich was not used till the?}. He also speaks 
efthe institution •[ monks, and various sorts of(he))i, which were not known till long- 
bfter the apostolic age ; yea., he quotes a passage out of Clemens Alexandrinus, who 
lived in the third century. These, and many other argumenis, to the same purpose^ 
are maintained, not only by Protestants, but some impartial Popish writers, which 
zujiciently prove it spurious. See DalUus De Scrip. Dionys. Areop. iuid. Du Pin^s 
Bslerif of ecdesiastkal -ivritcrs. CV/zr. 1. /*</je 32— 24- 


Paulas ministry. Acts xvii. 34. as well as disagreeable to the 
sentiments of the church in the age in which he lived ; there- 
fore, passing by this vain and trifling conjecture, all that we can 
assert, concerning this matter, is, that there is a beautiful order 
among the angels, though not of this kind ,* and this appears 
very much in that social worship, which is performed by them- 

And this leads us to enquire how they communicate their 
ideas to each other, though destitute of organs of speech, like 
those that men have. That they do, some way or other, im- 
part their minds to one another, is sufficiently evident, other- 
wise we cannot see how they could join together, or agree in 
that worship, which is performed by them, and those united 
hallelujahs, with which they praise God, and so answer the end 
of their creation. That they converse together is evident, since 
they are represented as doing so, in several places of scripture : 
thus the prophet speaks of the angel that ta/ked with him ; he 
xvcnt forth^ and another angel went out to meet him^ Zeclv ii. 
3. and elsewhere it is said, concerning them, that one cried to 
another, Holy^ holij^ holij^ is the Lord of hosts ; the whole earth 
is fidl of his glorify Isa. vi. 3. and the apostle John speaks of 
aji angel ascending from the east^ who cried with a loud voice 
to four other angels^ Rev. vii. 2, 3. who were performing a part 
of their ministry here on earth, and giving them a chai'ge re- 
lating thereto ; and elsewhere he again represents one angel as 
speaking to another, and crying with a loud voice^ &c. chap, 
xix. 17. In some of these instances, if the voices uttered by 
them were real, this may be accounted for, by supposing that 
they assumed bodies for the same purpose, and so communi- 
cated their minds to each other, in a way not much unlike to 
what is done by man. But this is not their ordinary way of con- 
versing with each other : notwithstanding, we may, from hence^ 
infer, and from many other scriptures, that m.ight be brought to 
the same purpose, that there is some way or other by which 
they communicate their thoughts to one another. How this in 
done, is hard to determine ; whether it be barely by an act of 
willing, that others should know what they desire to impart to 
them or by what other methods it is performed ; it is the safest 
way for us, and it v/ould be no disparagement were we the 
wisest men on earth to acknov/ledge our ignorance of it, rather 
than to attempt to determine a thing so much out of our reach, 
in this imperfect state, in v/hich we know so little of the nature 
or properties of spirits, especially those that are without bodies. 
It is therefore sufficient for us to conclude, that they converse 
together, when joined in social worship ; but how they do this, 
is altogether unknown to us. 

VII. Notwithstanding all the advantages which the angels 
had from those natural endoy/iiaents, with which they were crea- 


ted, yet it is farther observed, that they were subject to change. 
Absolute and independent immutability is an attribute peculiar 
to God ; so that whatever immutability creatures have, it is by 
his will and power. Someof the angels, who were created holy, 
were not only subject to chctnge, but they kept not their first es- 
tate^ Jiide, ver. 6. and, from being the sons of God, became 
enemies and rebels ; which is an evident proof of the natural 
mutability of creatures, if not confirmed in a natural state of 
holiness and happiness ; and we have ground to conclude, from 
hence, that the rest might have fallen, as well as they, had they 
not been favoured with the grace of confirmation, which ren- 
dered their state of blessedness unchangeable. But this will be 
farther considered, under a following answer ^. 

Quest. XVII. How did God create man? 

Answ. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, 
male and female, formed the body of the man of the dust of 
the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man ; endued 
them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls, made them 
after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holi- 
ness, having the law of God written in their hearts, and pow- 
er to fulfil it, with dominion over the creatures, vet subject 
to fall. 

IN this answer it is observed, 
I. That man was created after all other creatures. There 
was a sort of climax^ or gradation in the work of creation ; and 
that the wisdom and power of God might be more admired 
herein, he proceeded from things that were less to those that 
were more perfect. Man, who is the most excellent creature 
in this lower world, was framed the last, inasmuch as God de- 
signed hereby not only to give a specimen of his power, wis- 
dom, and goodness, but that the glory of those perfections, which 
shine forth in all his other works, might be adored and mag- 
nified by him, as a creature fitted for that purpose. And his 
being created after all other things, is not only an instance of 
the bounty and goodness of God, in that the world, which was 
designed to be the ])lace of his abode, should be stored with all 
those provisions that "were necessary for his entertainment and 
delight ; but that he might hereby be induced to give him the 
glory tliat was due to his name, and all other creatures, that 
were formed before him, might be objects leading him to it. 

II. As to what concerns the diflference of sex, it is farther 
observed, that man was made male and female. Adam was 

* See -Quest. XIX. 

•rilE CREATION Or MAN. 35 

hrst formed, concerning whom we read, which is an humbling 
consideration, that his body -was formed of the dust of the ground^ 
from whence he tool^ his name. This God puts him in mind of, 
after his fall, when he says, Dust thou art^ Gen. iii. 19* And 
the best of men have sometimes expressed the low thoughts 
they have of themselves, by acknowledging this as the first ori- 
ginal of the human nature. Thus Abraham, when standing in 
th : presc nee ol" God, says, / have taken upon me to speak unto 
tht; Lordy which am but dust and ashes, Gen. xviii. 27. And 
this character is considered, as univtrsally belonging to man- 
kind, when it is said. Then shall the dust return to the earthy as 
it wasy Kccles. xii. 7. 

As iPor the woman, it is said, she was formed of the rib of 
the man. The reason of her formation is particularly assigned. 
It is not good that the man should he alone, I will make hi?n an 
help-meet for him. Gen. iii. 18. There was a garden planted 
for his delight, and the beasts of the earth brought, and given 
to him, as his property ; and his sovereignty over them was ex- 
pressed by his g-ving names to every living creature : But these 
were not fitted to be his companions, though designed for his 
use. He was, notwithstanding, alone ; therefore God, design- 
ing him a greater degree of happiness, formed one that might 
be a partner with him, in all the enjoyments of this life, that 
hereby he might experience the blessings of a social life ; and 
that, according to the laws of nature, by this means the world 
might be inhabited, and its Creator glorified," by a numerous 
seed, that should descend from him. 

From Adam's being first formed, the apostle infers his pre- 
eminence of sex, 1 Tim. ii. 11 — 13. compared with 1 Cor. xi. 
8^ 9. though not of nature ; the woman being, in that respect, 
designed to be a sharer with him in his present condition, and 
future expectation. From her being formed of a rib, or, as 
some understand it, out of the side of man, some curious, oi* 
over-nice observations have been made, which it is needless to 
mention. The account, which the scripture gives of it, is, that 
her being part of himself, argued the nearness of relation, and 
unalienable affection, which ought to be between man and wife, 
as Adam observed. This is now bene of my bones, and flesh of 
my flesh. Gen. ii. 23, 24. and our Saviour, as referring to the 
same things says, jpo?* this cause shall a man leave father and 
mother, and cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one fleshy 
Matth. xix. 5. 

III. The next thing that may be observed, is, that these were 
the first parents of all mankind ; for the apostle expressly calls 
Adam the first man, 1 Cor. xv. 45. And this is very agreeable 
to the account which Moses gives of his creation, on the sixth 
day,^ from the beginning gf tim?. This is a truth so generally 


received, that it seems almost needless to insist any farther on 
the proof thereof. The very heathen, that knew not who the 
first man was, nor where, or when, he was created, did, notwith- 
standing, allow, in general, that there v'as one, from whom all 
descended ; therefore, when the apostle Paul argued v/ith them, 
that God had made of one blood all nations of men^for to druellon 
all the face of the earthy Acts xvii. 26. none of th. m pretended 
to denv it. And, none who Own the divine authority of scrip- 
ture, ever questioned the account which Moses gives hereof, 
till a bold writer, about the middle of the last century, published 
a book, in which he advanced a new and fabulous notion ; that 
there was a world of men who lived before Adam was created *, 
and that these were all heathen ; and that Moses speaks of their 
creation, as what was many ages before Adam, in Gen. i. and 
of Adam's in chap. ii. whom he supposes to have been created 
in some part of the world, which was then uninhabited, where 
he was designed to live, and to be the father of the church, 
which was to descend from him ; and, being so far remote from 
the rest of mankind^ he knew not that there was any other m.en 
besides himself, till his family increased, and some of them 
apostatized from the faith ; and, in particular, Cain, and his 
descendents xvent out from the presence of the Lord^ and dwelt 
among them. And whereas Adam is called, by the apostle 
Paul, the first man^ he supposes that he is styled so only as con- 
tra-distinguished from Christ, who is called the second man^ de- 
signing thereby to compare the person, whom he supposes to 
have been the head of the Jewish church, with him who is the 
head of the Christian church. And he insists largely on, and 
perverts that scripture, in Rom. v. 13. where it is said, U7itil 
ike law^ sin was in the world; as though the sense of it were, 
that there was a sinful generation of men in the world, before 
God erected his church, and gave la%vs to it, when he created 
Adam, as the head and father thereof; whereas the apostle 
there speaks of sin's prevailing in the world before the law was 
given by Moses ; and as for the historical account of the crea- 
tion of man in scripture, it is plain that Moses speaks of the 
creation of man in general, male and female, Gen. i. 27. and, 
In chap. ii. gives a particular account of the same thing, and 
j:peaks of the manner of the formation of Adam and Eve. Be- 
sides, when God had created Adam, it is expressly said, in Gen. 

* This book, which is called, Systema Theologiciim, in which this matter is pre- 
tended to he defended, -was pvhlished by one Peireri^is, about the middle of the laai 
century ,- and, being xvritten in Latin, 7vas read by a great many of the lear?iedtuorld^ 
./l7id, inasmuch as the sense of many scriptures is strained by him to defend it, and 
licreby contempt nuus cast upon scripture in general, and occasion give?! to many,ivho 
tire so disposed, to reproach and bnrlesgue it ; therefore some have thoiight it tusrth 
their 7vhile to take notice of, and confute this nexv doctrine ; after which, the author 
thereof, either being convinced of his error thereby, as some suppose, or being afraid 
I'-it hr shordd svjp'r persecution for it, recanted his opinion, and turtied Papist. 


ii, 5. that there was not a 7nan to till the ground^ therefore there 
was no other man living, whicli is directly contrary to this chi- 
merical opinion. And, if there had been a v/orld of men be= 
fore Adam, what occasion was there for him to be created out 
of the dust of the ground t He might have been the father of 
the church, and yet descended from one that was then in beings 
in a natural way ; or, if God designed that he should live at a 
distance from the rest of the world, he might have called him 
from the place of his abode, as he afterwards did Abrahanij 
without exerting power in creating him ; and he might have 
ordered him to have taken a wife out of the world, without 
creating a woman for that purpose. 

It would be too great a digression, nor would it answer any 
valuable end, for me to take notice of every particular argu- 
ment brought in defence of this notion : but though the book 
we speak of, be not much known in the world, yet the notion 
is defended and propagated by many Atheists and Deists, who 
design hereby to bring the scripture-history and religion in 
general into contempt; therefore I am obliged, in opposition 
to them, to answer an objection or two. - 

Object. 1. If Adam was the first man, and his employment 
was tilling the ground, where had he those instruments of 
husbandry, that were necessary, in order thereto, and othex 
things, to subserve the various occasions of life? 

Answ, This may easily be answered, by supposing that he 
had a sufficiency of wisdom to find out every thing that was 
needful for his use and service, whatever improvement might 
be made in manual arts, by future ageS ; but this objection^ 
though mentioned amongst the rest, is not much insisted on. 

Object, 2. There is another objection, which some think a 
little more plausible, taken from what is contained in Gen. ivv 
where we read of Cain's killing his brother Abel, which was a 
little before the hundred and thirtieth year of the world, as ap- 
pears, by comparing chap. v. 3. with chap, iv, 25. in which it 
is said, Adam lived an himdred and thirty years^ and be^at 
Seth; upon which occasion, his wife acknowledges it as a 
mercy, that God had appointed her another seed^ instead of Abel ^ 
-whom Cain slezv. Now, if we observe the consequence of this 
murder; how Cain, as it is said, in chap. iv. 16. went out from 
the presence of the Lord^ and dxvelt in the land of Nod ; and, 
m ver. 1 7. that he built a city^ and called the name of it after 
the name of his son^ Enoch ; from v/hence they infer, that, in a 
little above a?i hundred and thirty years after the world was 
created, there were several colonies settled in places remote 
from the land of Eden, where Adam, and his posterity, dwelt; 
and the inhabitants of those countries were of a diifei'ent r^U- 

Vql. II. F 


gion from him, otherwise Cain's living among them would not 
be styled, his going out from the presence of the Lord, And it 
is not said, that Cain peopled that land, but he went there, 
that is, dwelt, amongst the inhabitants thereof; and it must be 
by their assistance that he built this city, inasmuch as it is 
probable that the art of building, at this time, was hardly 
known by our first parents, and their descendants ; but they 
lived, separate from the world, in tents, and worshipped God 
in that way, which they received by divine revelation, being 
but few in number, while other parts of the world might be as 
much peopled as they are, at this day. 

Ajisw* But to this it may be answered that as this chimeri- 
cal opinion sets aside; or perverts the scripture-account of 
things, so the absurdity of it may be easily manifested. And, 

1. If they suppose that the number of Adam's posterity 
were small, and inconsiderable, when Cain slew his brother, 
and built the city before-mentioned, this will appear to be an 
ungrounded conjecture, if the blessing, which God conferred 
on man in his first creation, of increasing^ multiplijing^ and 
replenishing the earthy Gen. i. 28. took place, as it doubtless 
did, and that in an uncommon degree, the necessity of things 
requiring it; therefore it is not absurd to suppose, that, at 
least, as many children were generally born at a birth, and in 
as early an age of the mother's life, as have been, or are, in 
any uncommon instances in latter ages. It is ako very proba- |\. 
ble, that the time of child-bearing continued many years Ion- ^ 
ger than it now doth, in proportion to the number of years, in 
which the life of man "exceeded the present standard thereof; 
and if the age of man v;as extended to eight or nine hundred 
years, we may conclude that there were but few that died young, 

if these things be taken for granted, which seem not, in the 
least, improbable, any one, who is curious in his enquiries 
about this matter, and desires to know what a number of peo- 
ple might be born in one hundred and thirty years ^ will find it 
will be so great, that they might spread themselves through 
many countries, far distant frojn the place where Adam dwelt ; 
and therefore there is no need to suppose, that those, with 
whom Cain dwelt in tiie land of Ncd^ vrere persons that lived 
before Adam was created. But, that this may more abund- 
antly appear, let it be farther considered, 

2. That though we read of Cain's going out from the pre^ 
sence of the Lord^ and his dwelling in the land of Nod, and 
building a city, immediately after the account of Abel's death, 
and therefore it is taken for granted, that this was done soon 
after, that is, about the hundred and thirtieth ijear of the 
world ; yet there is no account that this was done immediate- 
ly, or sojnc few years after, in scripture, which contains the 


history of the life of Cain, in a few verses, without any chro* 
nological account of the time, v/hen these things were said to 
be done by him, and therefore it seems probable, that this 
was done some hundreds of years after Cain slew Abel ; so 
that we need not enquire what a number of persons might be 
in the world in 07ie hundred and thirty years^ but in seven or 
eight hundred years, and then t)ie v/orld might be almost as 
full of people, as it is now at present, and then the greatest 
part of the world might be also degenerate, and strangers to 
the true religion ,: so that (}ain might easily be said to go out 
of the presence of the Lord, and choose to live with those that 
were apostates from him, and served other gods ; therefore no 
advantage is gained against the scripture-history by those, who 
in contempt of it, defend this ill-grounded opinion. 

Thus we have considered m.an, as created male and fe« 
male, and our first parents, as the common stock, or root, from 
whence all descended ; we shall now take a view of the con- 
stitution, or frame of the hunpian nature, and consider, 

IV. The two constituent parts of man, namely, the soul and 
body. With respect to the former of these, he is, as it were 
allied to angels, or, to use the scripture-expression, made a lit- 
tle lower than them, Psal. viii. 5. As to the other, which is 
his inferior part, to wit, the body, he is of the earthy earthy^ 
and set upon a level ",vith the lower parts of the creation. And 
here we shall, 

1. Consider the body of man, inasmuch as it was first form- 
ed before the soul; and according to the course and laws o£ 
nature, it is Srst fashioned in the womb, and then the soul is 
united to it, when it is organized, and fitted for its reception : 
There are many things very wonderful in the structure of hu"* 
man bodies, which might well give occasion to the inspired 
writer to say, / am fearfully and -wonderfully made, Psal. 
cxxxix. 14. This is a subject that would afford us much mat- 
ter to enlarge on, arid from thence, to take occasion to admire 
the wisdom and goodness of God in this part of his work. 

Many things might be observed from the shape, and erect 
posture thereof, and the several conveniences that arise from 
thence, and how we are hereby instructed that we were not 
born to look downwards to the earth, but up to heaven, from 
whence our chief happiness is derived. We might here con« 
sider the various parts of the body, whereof none are superflu- 
ous or redundant, and their convenient situation for their res- 
pective uses; the harmony and contexture thereof, and the 
subserviency of one part to another ; and particularly, how it 
is so ordered by the wisdom of the Creator, that those parts^ 
which are most necessary for the preservation of life, which, if 
hivrt, would occasion immediate death, are placed most in- 


Ward, that they might be sufficiently defended from all external 
injuries that might befal them; and also the disposition of 
those parts, that are the organs of sense, and their contexture, 
whereby they are fitted to exert themselves, in such a way, as 
15 most proper to answer the ends thereof. We might also 
(jonsider the temperature of the body, whereby its health and 
vigour is maintained; and that vast variety that there is in the 
countenances, and voices of men, in which there is hardly an 
exact similitude in any two persons in the world ; and the wise 
end designed by God herein, for the advantage of mankind in 
general ; these things might have been particularly insisted on, 
and have afforded many useful observations ; but to enlarge on 
this head, as it deserves, would be to divert too much from 
om' present design ; and it will be very difficult for any one to 
treat on this subject with more advantage than it has been 
done by several learned and judicious writers, being set in a 
much clearer light than it has been in former ages, hy those 
improvements, which have been lately made in anatomy; and 
it is insisted on so particularly, and with such demonstrative 
evidence, by them, that I shall rather choose to refer the rea- 
der to those writings, in which it is contained, than insist on 
it *. 

All that I shall farther observe is, that there is something 
wonderful in that natural heat that is continued in the bodies of 
men, for so many years together, and in the motion of the 
heart, the circulation of the blood and juices, the continual 
supply of animal spirits, and their subserviency to muscular 
motion : these things, and many other of the like nature, are 
all wonderful in the bodies of men. 

If it be objected, that there are other creatures, who, in some 
respects, excel men, as to what concern their bodies, and the 
powers thereof; as the vulture, and many other creatures, iri 
quickness of sight and hearing; the dog in the sense of smell- 
ing, and many others excel them in strength and swiftness ; 
and some inanimate creatures, as the sun, and other heavenly 
bodies, in beauty. 

To this it may be answered : That the bodies of men must 
be allowed to have a superior excellency, if considered as uni- 
ted to their souls, and rendered more capable of glorifying 
God, and enjoying that happiness, which no creatures, below 
them, are capable of. It is true, man is not endowed with 
such quickness of sense, strength of body, and swiftness of 
motion, as many other creatures are ; some of which endow- 
ments tend to the preservation of their own lives : others are 
conducive to the advantage of man, who has every thing, in 

* Sec Hay's ivlschm of Gid, in the r:»rk of cTfatioTiy ParJ. II. cmid DerhanCa 
Physico. Thcolo^f, B»ok V. 


the frame of his nature, necessary to his happiness, agreeable 
to his present station of life, for his glorifying God, and an- 
swering higher ends than other creatures were made for; so 
that if we judge of the excellencies of the human nature, we 
must conceive of man, more especially as to that more noble 
part of which he consists. Accordingly, 

2. We shall consider him as having («) a rational and im- 
mortal soul, which not only gives a relative excellency to the 
body, to which it is united, and, by its union therewith, pre- 
serves it from corruption, but uses the various organs thereof, 
to put forth actions, which are under the conduct of reason ; 
and that which renders it still more excellent, is, that it is ca- 
pable of being conversant about objects abstracted from mat- 
ter, and of knowing and enjoying God. And whatsoever ob- 
structions it may meet with from the temperament of the body, 
to which it is united, or what uneasiness soever it may be ex- 
posed to from its sympathy therewith ; yet none of those things, 
which tend to destroy the body, or separate it from the soul, 
can aifect the soul so far, as to take away its power of acting, 
but when separate from it, it remains immortal, and is capa- 
ble of farther improvements, and a greater degree of happi- 

We might here proceed to prove the immortality of the soul; 
but that we shall have occasion more particularly to do, under 
a following answer *j when we consider the souls of believers, 

* Sge Quest. Ixxxvi. 

(«) The Origin of the soul, at what time it enters into the body, whether it 
h&,im?nedictelt/ created at its entrance into the body, or comes out of a-pre-ex- 
istent state, are things that cannot be known from any fitness or reasonableness 
founded in the nature of thing-s ; and yet it is as necessary to believe this is done 
according to certain reasons of wisdom and goodness, as to believe there is a 
God. i 

Now, who can say that it is the same thing, whether human souls are created 
iinmediutelii for human bodies, or whether they come into them out of some pre- 
existent c-tate? For aught we know, one of these ways may be exceeding Jit and 
•arise, and the other as entirely unjust and unreasonable ; and yet, when Reason 
examines either of these ways, it finds itself equally perplexed with difficulties, 
and knows not which to chuse : but if souls be immaterial [as all philosophy now 
proves] it must be one of them. 

And perhaps, the reason why God has revealed so little of these matters m 
holy Scripture itself, is, because any more particular revelation of them, would 
but have perplexed us with greater difficulties, as not having capacities or ideas 
to cotnprehend such things. For, as all our natural knowledge is confined to 
ideas borrowed from experience, and the use of our senses about human things; 
as Revelation can only teach us things that have some likeness to what we al- 
ready know; as our notions of equity and justice are very limited, and confined, 
to certain actions between man and "man; so, if God had revealed to us more 
particularly, the origiii of our souls, and the reason of their state in human bo- 
dies, we might perhaps have been exposed to greater difficulties by such know- 
kdge, and been less able to vindicate ike jus^ce and goodness of G^d, than wa 
xvt by ttur present ig-norance, ' hu>l4n hsasok- 


as made perfect in holiness, and thereby fitted for, and after- 
wards received into heaven, having escaped the grave, (in 
which the body is to be detained until the resurrection) which 
is the consequence of its immortality. And therefore we pro- 

V. To consider another excellency of the human nature, as 
man was made after the image of God. To be made a little 
lower than the angels, as he is represented by the Psalmist, in 
Psal. viii. 5. is a ver}^ great honour conferred on him : But 
what can be said greater of him, than that he was made after 
the image of God I However, though this be a scripture-ex- 
pression, denoting the highest excellency and privilege, yet it 
is to be explained consistently with that infinite distance that 
there is between God and the creature. This glorious char- 
acter, put upon him does not argue him to partake of any di- 
vine perfection ; nor is it inconsistent with the nothingness of 
the best of finite beings, when compared with God ; for what- 
ever likeness there is in man to him, there is, at the same time, 
an infinite dissimilitude, or disproportion, as was before ob- 
served, when we considered the difference between those di- 
vine attributes, which are called incommunicable, from others, 
which some call communicable. 

If it be enquired, wherein the image of God in man con- 
sists f It would be preposterous and absurd, to the last de- 
gree, to suppose that this has any respect to the lineaments of 
the body ; for there is a direct opposition rather than simili- 
tude, between the spirituality of the divine nature, and the 
bodies of men. And, indeed, it would have been needless to 
have mentioned this, had not some given occasion for it, by 
perverting the sense of those scriptures, in which God is re- 
presented, in a metaphorical way, in condescension to our 
common mode of speaking, as though he had a body, or bodi» 
ly parts ; from whence they have inferred, that he assumed » 
body, at first, as a model, according to which he would frame 
that of man ; which is not only absurd, but blasphemous, and 
carries it own confutation in it. 

There are others, who suppose that man was made after the 
image of Christ's human nature, which, though it doth not al- 
together contain so vile a suggestion as the former, yet it is 
groundless and absurd, inasmuch as Christ was made after the 
likeness of man, as to what concerns his human nature, Phil* 
ii. T> and man, in that respect, was not made after his image- 

And to this let me add, that when the scripture spenks of 
man, as made after the image of God, it plainly gives us 
ground to distinguish between it and that glory which is pecu- 
liar to Christ, who is said not only to be made after his image, 
but to be the image of the invisible God^ Col. i. 15. and the ex^ 


press image of his person^ Heb. i. 3. and therefore that there is, 
in this respect, such a similitude between the Father and Son, 
as cannot, in any sense be appHed to the Hkeness, which is 
said to be between God and the creature. 

Moreover, when we speak of man, as made after the image 
of God, as consisting in some finite perfections communicated 
to him, we must carefully fence against the least supposition, 
as though man were made partaker of any of the divine per- 
fections. It is true, the apostle speaks concerning believers, 
as being made partakers of the divine nature^ 2 Pet. i. 4; for 
the miderstanding of which we must take heed, that we do 
not pervert the mind of the Holy Ghost herein ,* for nothing 
is intended by this expression, in which the image of God is 
set forth, but a sanctified nature, or, as I would rather choose 
to render it, a divine nature, derived from, and, in some re- 
spects, conformed to him but yet infinitely below him. 

This image of God in man, in this answer, is said to con- 
sist particularly in three things. 

1. In knowledge. This is what we generally call the natu- 
ral imager of God in man, which he is endowed with, as an in- 
telligent creature ; not that the degree of knowledge, which 
the best of men are capable of, contains in it any thing proper- 
ly divine as to its formal nature ; for there is a greater dispro- 
portion between the infinite knowledge of the divine mind, and 
that of a finite creature, than there is between the ocean and a 
drop of water : But it signifies, that as God has a comprehen- 
sive knowledge of all things, man has the knowledge of some 
things, agreeable to his finite capacity, communicated to him ; 
and thus we are to understand the apostle's words, when he 
speaks of man's being renexved in knowledge, after the image of 
him that created hiin. Col. iii. 10. 

2 It consists in righteousness and holiness. This some call 
the moral image of God in man ; or, especially if we consider 
it as restored in sanctification, it may more properly be called 
his supernatural image, and it consists in the rectitude of the 
human nature, as opposed to that sinful deformity and blemish, 
which renders fallen man unlike to him. Therefore we must 
consider him, at first, as made upright, Eccles. vii. 29. so that 
there was not the least tincture, or taint of sin, in his nature, 
or any disposition, or inclination to it ; but all the powers and 
faculties of the soul were disposed to answer the ends of its 
creation, and thereby to glorify God. 

And to this some add, that the image of God, in man, con- 
sisted in blessedness ; so that as God is infinitely blessed in the 
enjoyment of his own perfections, man was, in his way and 
measui-e, blessed, in possessing and enjoving those perfections, 
which he received from God. But, though this be true, yet I 


^yould rather choose to keep close to the scripture mode of 
speakmg, which represents the image of God in man, as con- 
sisting in righteousness and true holiness^ Eph. iv. 24. 

Man, being thus made after the image of God, is farther said 
in this answer, to have the law of God written in his heart, 
and, power to fulfil it. Herein God first made, and then dealt 
with him as a reasonable creature, the subject of moral govern- 
ment ,* and, that this law might be perfectly understood, it was 
written on his heart, that hereby he might have a natural know- 
ledge of the rule of his obedience, and might, with as little dif- 
ficulty, be apprised of his duty to God, as he was of any thing 
that he knew, as an intelligent creature. 

And inasmuch as he was indispensably obliged to yield obe- 
dience to this law, and the consequence of violating it would 
be his ruin, God, as a just and gracious Sovereign, gave him 
ability to fulfil it ; so that he might not, without his own fault, 
by a necessity of nature, rebel against him, and so plunge him- 
self into inevitable misery. 

3. It is farther observed, that the image of God, in man, con- 
sisted in man's dominion over the creatures. This is express- 
ly revealed in scripture, when God says. Let us make man hi 
our irnag-e^ after our likeness^ and let them have dominion over 
thejjsh of the sea., and over the fo^ of the air y and over the cat- 
tle ^ and over all the earthy and over every creeping thing that 
creepeth upon the earth., Gen. i. 26. and the Psalmist describes 
this dominion in other words, though not much differing, as to 
tlie general import thereof, when he says. Thou madest him to 
have dominion over the zuorks of thy hands ; thou hast put all 
things under his feet : All sheep and oxen ; yea^ and the beasts 
of the field., the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea., andrvhat- 
soever passeth through the paths of the seaSy Psal. viii. 6 — 8» 
This dominion consisted in the right which he had to use and 
dispose of the inferior creatures, for his comfort and delight, 
and to serve him, in all things necessary, for the glorifying his 
Creator, though he had no right, nor inclination, in his state 
of integrity, to abuse them, as fallen man docs, in various in- 

VI. The last thing observed in this answer, is that notwith- 
standing the advantageous circumstances, in which man was 
created, yet he was subject to fall ; by which we are not to un- 
derstand that he was forced or compelled to iall, through any 
necessity of nature ; for that would have been inconsistent 
with the liberty of his will to what was good, or that rectitude 
of nature, whereby he was not only fitted to perform perfect 
obedience, but to avoid every thing that has a tendency to ren- 
der him guilty before God, and thereby to ruin him. 

As for the devil, he had no power to force the will ; nox 


could he lay any snare to entangle and destroy man, but what 
he had wisdom enough, had he improved his faculties as he 
ought, to have avoided : But, notwithstanding all this, it is evi- 
dent that he was subject to fall, for that appears by the event ; 
so that, though he had no disposition to sin in his nature, for 
God could not create a person in such a state, since that would 
render him the author of sin, yet he did not determine to pre- 
vent it ,* though this, as will be hereafter considered, was a pri- 
vilege which man would have attained to, according to thf^ 
tenor of the covenant he was under, had he performed the con- 
#litions thereof, and so would have been confirmed in holiness 
and happiness ,* but this, ii is certain, he was not at first, be- 
cause he fell : But of this, more under a following ansv\^er. 

Quest. XVIII. What are God's works of Providence? 

Answ. God's works of Providence are his most holy, wise, 
and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures; or- 
dering them, and all their actions, to his own glory. 

IN speaking to this answer, we must consider what we are to 
understand by providence in general. It supposes a crea- 
ture brought into being; and consists in God's doing every 
thing that is necessary for the continuance thereof, and in his 
ordering and over-ruling second causes, to produce their re- 
spective effects, under the direction of his infinite wisdom, and 
the influence of his almighty power. It is owing to this that 
all things do not sink into nothing, or that every thing has 
what it wants to render it fit to answer the end designed in the 
creation thereof. Pursuant to this general description of pro- 
vidence, it may be considered as consisting of two branches, 
namely, God's upholding, or preserving, all creatures; and 
enabling them to act by his divine concourse or influence : and 
his governing or ordering them, and all their actions, for his 
own glory. 

I. That God upholds all things. This he is expressly said 
to do, hy the ivord of his powcr^ Heb. i. 3. and it may be 
farther evinced, if we consider that God alone is independ- 
ent, and self-sufficient, therefore the idea of a crqature im-^ 
plies in it dependence; that which depended on God for 
its being, must depend on him for the continuance there- 
of. If any creature, in this lower world^ could preserve 
itself, then surely this might be said of man, the most 
excellent part thereof ; But it is certain, that man cannot pre- 
serve himself; for if he could, he would not be subject to those 
*lecays of nature, or those daily infirmities, which all are liable 

Vol. IL G 


imto ; and he v/ould, doubtless preserve himself from dying, 
for that is agreeable to the dictates of nature, which would, 
were it possible for him to do it, prevent itself from being dis" 
solved. And if man could preserve himself in being, he might, 
and doubtless, would, by his own skill, maintain himself in a 
prosperous condition in this world, and always lead a happy 
life, since this is what nature cannot but desire : But, inasmuch 
as ail are liable to the afflictions and miseries of this present 
state, it plainly argues that they are unavoidable, and conse- 
quently that there is a providence that maintains men, and all 
other creatures, in that state in which they are. 

In considering the upholding providence of God, we must 
observe, that it is either immediate, or mediate. The former 
of these consists in his exerting that power, by which we live^ 
move, and act, which is sometimes called the divine manuten- 
ency; and this cannot be exerted by a finite medium, an)^ more 
than that power that brought all things into being. 

But besides this, God is said, according to the fixed ln^vs of 
siature, to preserve his creatures by the instrumentality of 
second causes. Thus life is maintained by the air in which 
"we breathe, and the food, by which we are nourished ; and 
every thing that tends to our comfort in life, is communicated 
to us by second causes, under the influence and direction of 
providence, to which it is as much to be ascribed, as though it 
w^ere brought about vrithout means : thus Jacob considers God, 
as giving him bread to eat, and rabneiit to put on. Gen. xxviii. 
20. whatever diligence or industry was used by him to attain 
them ; and God is elsewhere said to g'roe food to all Jiesh ; 
Psal. cxxxvi. 25. and, concerning brute creatures, it is said, 
These xvait all upon thee, that thou may est give them their meat 
indue season; that thou g west them, they gather ; thou qpenest 
thy hand, they are filled xv'ith good, Psal. civ. 27, 28. 

II. God governs all things by his providence, so that nothing 
happens by chance to him. This appears from those admira- 
ble displays of wisdom, which come under our daily observa- 
tion, in the government of the world. Many things are or- 
dered to subserve such ends, as are attained by them without 
their own knowledge; as the sun and other heavenly bodies 
which are a common blessing to this lower world ; so the 
rain, the air, vapours, minerals, beasts, vegetables, and all 
other creatures, below men, answer their respective ends, with- 
out their ov/n design, and not by the will or management of 
any intelligent creature therefore; it must be by the direction 
of providence. 

That there is a providence, that governs the world, is so ob- 
\ious a truth, that it has been denied by none, but the most 
stupid part of mankind, who "Nvholiy abandoned themselves to 
sensuality and libertinism, and hardly owned that there is 2^ 


God, or such things as moral good or evil ; and these scarce 
deserve the name of men.* All others, I say, have owned a 
providence, as what is the necessary consequence of the belief 
of a God, and therefore it is a doctrine founded in the very na- 
ture of man ; so that the heathen who have had no other light 
than that aifords, have expressed their belief of it, and have 
compared the divine Being to a pilot, who sits at the helm and 
steers the ship; or to one that guides the chariot where he 
pleases ; or to a general, that marshals and gives directions to 
the soldiers under his command : or to a king, that sits on the 
throne, and gives laws to all his subjects. Accordingly, the 
apostle Paul, when arguing with the Athenians, from princi- 
ples which they maintained, takes it for granted, as what would 
not be contested by them, that there was a providence, when 
he says, In hi?n roe live, and inove, and have our being, Acts 
xvii. 28. And, indeed, this truth appears to have been univer- 
sally believed, in the world, by men of all religions, whether 
true, or false. As it is the foundation of all true worship ,* so, 
that worship, which was performed by the heathen as derived 
partly from the light of nature, and partly from tradition ; and 
those prayers, that were directed to God, and altars erected 
for his service, all argue their belief, not only of God, but of a 
providence ; so that this doctrine is agreeable to the light of 
nature, as well as plainly evinced from scripture. 

III. The providence of God extends itself to all the actions 
of creatures. That this may appear, let it be considered ; that 
there are innumerable effects produced by, what we call, second 
causes ; this is allowed by all. Moreover, every second cause 
implies, that there is a first cause, that guides and directs it. 
Now no creature is the first cause of a.ny action, for that is pe- 

* It toas denied, indeed, by tJie Epiciivecms, rvho -vere detested by the better sort 
ofheatheny and reckoned the JAbertines oftite respective ages, in ivhich they lived: 
and, though they may occasionally speak oj a God, yet tvere deemed no better than 
Atheists. Diogenes Laertlus [Vid. in Vit. Epicurj, Lib. A".] in the clooe of the life 
of Epicuriis, gives a brief account of his sentitnents about religion, idiich he lays 
down in several short .dphorisms; thefrst of ivhich begins ivitli'this memorable pas- 
'^age, To fxoHJApicv kch afSapjov kt$ olvto cs-p'j.yfxctlct i^u UTt a.K?.oe ^api^u, Quod beatum 
& immoi-Uile est neque ipsum negotia hubet, neque tdii pra;bcl ; which expression 
some of the wiser heathen have taken just offence at. Jin d accordingly Cice^'o, [Vid. 
ejusd. Lib. L De Nut. Deor.] referring to this passage, says, that whatever venera- 
Han Epictinis pretended to have for the gods, yet he was no better than an Atheist, 
mid brought a god into his philosophy, that he might not fall tinder the displeasure 
of the seriate at Athens: thus he says, Novi ego Epicureos omnia Sigliia veneran- 
tes; quanqiiam video nonnallis viclcn Epicurum, ne in offensionem Atheniensium 
caderet, verbis i-ellquisse Deos, resustulisse : And Lactantius observes the same 
thing concerning him, and describes him as a deceiver and a hypocrite, HIc voro gi 
aliud sensit, & aliud locutus est ; quid aliud appellundus est, qnam deceptor, 
bilingliis, mains, & propterea stultus ? Vid. Lactant. de Ira Dei, Cap. 4, And as 
for the Poets, it was 07ily the most vain among theyn, who gave covntenance to iin- 
morality, and endeavoured to debauch the age in which they lived, that gav • out tf^s 
nation / a7id, in our age, this seems to be one oJ the first principles of Deism. 


culiar to God, therefore all creatures act under his influence, 
that is, by his providence. If it is in God, not only that we 
live, but move, and act, then there is no motion, or action m 
the world, whether in things with, or without life, but is under 
the influence oi providence. Therefore we shall proceed to 
consider the providence of God, as conversant about all things, 
the least as well as the greatest, and about things that are agree- 
able, or contrary to the laws of nature, and particularly how it 
is conversant about the actions of intelligent creatures, such as 
angels and men. 

1 . The greatest things are not above, nor the least and most 
inconsiderable below the care and influence of providence, and 
consequently it must extend itself to all things. The most ex- 
cellent of finite beings are but creatures, and therefore they 
are dependent upon God, as much as the least : thus it is said, 
Jle doth according' to his xvill^ in the army of heaven^ as well as 
among the inhabitants of the earthy Dan. iv. 35. Sometimes we 
read of the providence of God, as conversant about the most 
glorious parts of the frame of nature : it is by his influence that 
the sun appears to perform its regular motions ; he hath fixed 
it in the heavens, as in a tabernacle appointed for it. And those 
creatures that are most formidable to men, as the leviathan, 
which is represented as the fiercest of all creatures, who abide 
in the sea, and the lion of all the beasts of the forest; these 
are described as subject to his providence, and receiving their 
provisions from it, Job xli. Psal. civ. 21. and the inconsider- 
able sparrow doth not fall to the ground without it. Matt. x. 
29, 30. and the very hairs of our head are all numbered; which 
is a proverbial expression, to denote the particular concern of 
providence, as conversant about the most minute actions of life. 

2. The providence of God is conversant about those things 
which come to pass, either agreeably, or contrary, to the fixed 
lav/s of nature, the whole frame whereof is held together by 
him : the successive returns of seed-time and harvest^ swnmer 
and xuinter^ day and nighty are all ordered by him, Gen. viii. 
22. the elements and meteors are subject to his appointment ; 
.Fire and haily snow and vapour^ and stormy xvind^ f^lfi^ ^^^ 
ivord^ Psal. cxlviii. 8. He looketh to the ends of the earthy and 
y.eeth under the whole heaven^ to make the weight for the xvinds^ 
and he weigheth the zvaters by measure; rvhen he made a de- 
cree for the rain, a7id a zvay for the lightning of the thunder. 
Job xxviii. 24- — 26. 

And as for effects, that are above, or contrary to the course 
of nature, these are subject to, and ordered by, his providence. 
It was contrary to the course of nature for the ravens, which 
ure birds of prey, to bring provisions to mankind, yet these 
v/ere ordered to bring a supply of food to the prophet Elijah, 


1 Kings xvii. 4. And the lions, who knew no difference be- 
tween Daniel and his persecutors, and were naturally inclined 
<b devour one, as well as the other, were obliged to make a 
distinction between them, and not to hurt the one, but imme- 
diately to devour the other, Dan. vi. 22, 24. And a whale 
^ras provided, by providence, to receive and bring the prophet 
Jonah to land, when cast into the sea, chap. i. 17. So the fire 
had no power over Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, when 
thrown into it, but immediately consumed those who were or- 
dered to cast them in, Dan. iii. 22, 27. 

3. We shall consider providence, as conversant about intel- 
ligent creatures, and more particularly man, the most excellent 
creature in this lower world. He is, as it were, the peculiar 
care, and darling of providence ; as it has rendered him capa- 
ble of enjoying the blessings of both worlds, fitted him to glo- 
rify God actively, as well as objectively, and governs him in a 
way suited to his nature, and as one who is designed for greater 
things, than other creatures below him are capable of. Here 
we shall consider the providence of God, as ordering the state 
and' condition of men in this world, and then speak more par- 
ticularly of it, as conversant about the moral actions of men, 
considered as good or bad. 

First J To consider the providence of God, as it respects the 
state and condition of man in tnis life ; and, in particular, what 
respects not only his natural, but religious interests. 

(1.) There is a peculiar care of providence extended towards 
lis, in our birth and infancy. The Psalmist acknowledges this, 
when he says, Thou art he that took ?ne out of the xvomb ; thou 
didst make me hope ivhen I was upon my mother^ s breasts ; I 
rbas cast upon thee frojn the xvomb ; thou art my God from mtf 
mother'' s belly ^ Psal. xxii. 9, 10. Providence has provided the 
breast, and the most proper food contained therein, for thr- 
nourishment of the infant, at its first coming into the woild ; 
and it has put those tender bov/els into the parents, to whose 
immediate care they are 'committed, that, without any argu- 
ments, or persuasive motives thereunto, besides what nature 
suggests, they cannot, unless divested of ail humanity, and be- 
coming worse than brutes, neglect and expose it to harm. Thus 
the prophet says. Can a xvoman forget her sucking- child^ that 
she should not have compassion on the son of her xvomb P Isa« 
xlix. 'i5. Therefore, be the parents never so poor, there is 
something in nature that inclines them rather to suffer them- 
selves, than that the helpless infant should be exposed to suf- 
fer through their neglect ; which is a peculiar instance of the 
care of providence. To this we may add, the time, and place 
in which we were bom, or live ; the circumstances of our pa- 
rents, as to what concerns the world, especially if they are such 


who are religious themselves, and earnestly desire that their 
children may become so, and endeavour to promote their spi- 
ritual, as well as their temporal v/elfare. These are all instajT- 
ces of the care of providence. 

(2.) We shall now consider the concern of providence for 
man in his childhood, and advancing years. This discovers it- 
self in furnishing us with natural capacities to receive instruc- 
tion, which are daily improved, as we grow in years ; and, 
though every one has not an equal degree of parts, fitting him 
for some station in life, that others are qualified for, yet most 
are endowed with that degree thereof, as may fit them for the 
station of life, in which they are placed, so that they may glo- 
rify God soaiie way or other, in their generation. 

(3.) We shall consider the care of providence, respecting 
vajrious other ages and conditions of life. It is this that fixes 
the bounds of our habitation, determines and over-rules the ad- 
-^-antages or disadvantages of conversation ; the secular callings^ 
or employments, which we are engaged in, together with the 
issue and success thereof. Again, health and sickness, riches 
and poverty, the favour or frowns of men ; the term of dife, 
whether long or short, all these are under the direction of pro- 
vidence : One dieth in his full strength^ being wholly at ease and 
quiet. His breasts are full of milk ^ and his bones are moistened 
ivith 77iarrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul^ 
and never eateth xuith pleasure^ Job xxi. 23 — 25. Likewise, as 
to what respects the injurious treatment we meet with from 
men ; providence is so far concerned about it, as that it some- 
times permits it for the trial of our graces ; and at other times 
averts the evil designed against us, by softening their tempers, 
allaying their resentxiients ; as in the instance of what respected 
Laban^s and Esau's behaviour towards Jacob ; or else finds 
some w^ay to deliver us from the evil intended against us. 

(4.) We shall now consider the providence of God, as re- 
specting, more especially, the spiritual concerns of his people. 
There are some kind foot-steps the^eof, that have a more im- 
mediate subserviency to their conversion ; particularly, their 
being placed under the means of grace, either bringing the gos- 
pel to them, or ordering their abode v/here it is preached, and 
that in such a way, as is most adapted to awaken, instruct, con- 
vert, or reprove, as means conducive to that great end. More- 
over, it is very remarkable in casting our lot, where we may 
contract friendship and intimacy with those, whose conversa- 
tion and example may be made of use to us, for our conviction, 
imitation, and conversion. 

And to this let me add, that sometimes there is a peculiar 
hand of providence, in sending afflictions, which are sanctified, 
and I'cndered means of grace, and have a tendency to awaken 


men out of their carnal security. This is one way whereby God 
speaks to man, to vjithdraw him from his purpose^ and hide 
pride from hi?7i^ Job xxxiii. 14, 17, 19. Sometimes God makes 
his exemplary judgments, that are abroad in the world, effec- 
tual to warn others to flee from the wrath to come. And as for 
the preaching of the gospel, there is a peculiar hand of provi- 
dence, sometimes in giving a suitable word, in which case God 
often over-rules the thoughts and studies of his ministers ; so 
that they are, as it were, directed without their own fore- 
thought relating to this event, to insist on such a subject, that 
God designs to make instrumental for the conversion of souls. 
This he sets home on the consciences of men, keeps it fixed on 
the imagination of the thoughts of their hearts, and enables 
them to improve it to his glory in the conduct of their lives. 

Secondly^ We shall proceed .to consider the providence of 
God, as conversant about the actions of men. If other crea- 
tures are dependent on him, in acting, as well as existing, then 
certainly man must not be exempted from this dependence. 
There are several scriptures which speak of intelligent crea- 
tures, as under the influence of providence. Thus it is said, 
The king'^s heart is in the hand of the Lord ; as the rivers of 
Tfvater^ he turneth it zvhithersoever he will^ Prov. xxi. 1. and 
elsev>^here the prophet says, Lord^ I know that the xvay of 
man is not in himsef; it is not in man that tvalketh to direct 
his steps^ Jer. x. 23. that is, he cannot manage himself in the 
conduct of life, either as an intelligent creature, or as a believer, 
without supposing the natural or spiritual influence of divine 

Now these actions are considered as moral, and so agreea- 
bl'e or contrary to the divine lav/, in v/hich different respects 
they are, either good or bad. 

(1.) We shall consider the providence of God, as conver- 
sant about the good actions of men ; and it is so, not only by 
upholding the powers and faculties of the soul, in acting, or in 
giving a law, which is the rule thereof; nor is it only conver- 
sant about them, in an objective way, or by moral suasion, as 
affording rational arguments or inducements thereunto, but as 
implanting and exciting that principle, by which v/e act ; espe- 
cially, as it respects the work of grace in the souls of men, 
which is what we call the gracious dispensation of providence, 
exercised towards men, not barely as intelligent creatures, but 
as believers. But this we shall not insist on at present, because 
we shall be led to speak to it under some following ansvv-ers, 
which more particularly set forth the grace of God as displayed 
in the gospel. We are now to consider the actions of men in 
a more general view ; which, when we style them good, it is 
Qnly as containing in them a less dep:rce of conformity to the 


divine law : but refer the consideration of the goodness of ac- 
tions, as under the influence of special grace, to its proper place* 
All that we shall observe at present is, that every thing that is 
good, in the actions of intelligent creatures, is under the direc-^ 
tion and influence of providence. This does not carry the least 
appearance of a reflection on the divine perfections, while we 
suppose God to be the Governor of intelligent creatures, acting 
as such ; and therefore, I presume, it will not be much con- 
tested, by any who allow a providence in general. But, 

(2.) We shall proceed to consider the providence of God, a^ 
conversant about evil actions. This is a subject which contains 
in it a very great difliculty ; for we must use the utmost cau- 
tion, lest we advance any thing that may argue him to be the 
author of sin ; and yet we are not to suppose that the provi- 
dence of God is to be wholly cjxcluded from those actions that 
are sinful ; for there is certainly some meaning in such scrip- 
tures as these, when God says, concerning Pharaoh, I will har- 
den his hearty Exod. iv. 21. and, Sihon king of Heshbon wouUl 
not let us pass by him ; for the Lord thy God hardened his 
hearty and made his heart obstinate^ that he might deliver him 
into thy hand^ Deut. ii. 30. and elsewhere it is said, concern- 
ing Shimei, The Lord said unto him curse David^ 2 Sam. xvi. 
10. and, concerning Joseph's brethren, who sold him into 
Egypt, it is said, It zvas ?wt you that sent me hither.^ but Gody 
Gen. xlv. 8. and concerning the false prophets that deceived 
Abab, it is said, The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth 
of all these thy prophets^ 1 Kings xxii. 22. These, and such-like 
scriptures, are not to be expunged out of the Bible, but ex- 
plained in a v/ay consistent with the divine perfections ; and 
nothing can be inferred from them, if this be not, that the pro- 
vidence of God is some w^y conversant about those actions 
that are sinful ; but yet it is not in such a way, as either ar- 
gues him to be the author or approver of sin. {ci) Accordingly I 
would choose to express myself, concerning this matter, to this 
effect : That the providence of God is conversant about those 
actions, to which sin is annexed, rather than that it is conver- 
sant about sin itself, or the obliquity, or sinfulness thereof. 
Now, that we may understand this matter, we must distinguish 
between what is natural, and what is sinful in an action ; the 
f(jrmer is from God ; the latter, from ourselves. This is often 
illustrated by such similitudes as these. The motion of a bowl 
is from the hand that throws it ; but the irregularity of the mo- 
tion is from the bias that turns it aside. So the motion of a 
liorse is excited by the whip, or spur of the rider ; but if it goes 
lame, tlie defect, or halting that it has in its motion, proceeds 
from an inward indisposition in the horse, and not from the 
ride?'. Others illustrate it by a similitude, taken from the sun'a 

(a) Yj^e aotc. Vol I. p. 5Z2, in note. 


cimwing forth vapours from the earth, by that heat, which haji 
a tendency to exhale them ; but the stench that attends what is 
exhaled from a dunghill, is not from the sun, but from the na- 
ture of the subject from, whence it is drawn forth. So the pro- 
vidence of God enables sinners to act in a natural way ; but 
the sinfulness, irregularity, or moral defects, that attend those 
actions, is from the corruption of our own nature : or, to speak 
more plainly, the man that blasphemes, could not think, or ut- 
ter his blasphemy, without the concurrence of the common 
providence of God, which enables him to think or speak. These 
are natural actions ; but that the thoughts, or tongue, should 
be set against God, or goodness, that is from the depi^avity of 
our nature. 

Again, to kill, or take away the life of a man, is, in some 
respects, a natural action, as it cannot be done without thought, 
€r strength to execute what we design. These are the gifts of 
providence, and, in this respect God concurs to the action. 
Thus Joab could not have killed Abner, or Amasa, if he had 
not had a natural power to use the instrument, with which he 
did it. This was from God ; but the malice, that prompted 
him to abuse these gifts of providence, and his hypocritical 
subtilty, and that dissimulation, or disguise of friendship, which 
gave him an opportunity to execute his bloody design, was 
from the wickedness of his own heart. 

Thus having considered, that the providence of God may be 
conversant about that which is natural in a sinful action, with- 
out reflecting dishonour on him, as the author of sin ; we shall 
now proceed to consider, in what manner it is conversant about 
such actions, by which we may better understand the sense of 
those scriptures, which were but now referred to; and, I hope, 
nothing therein will be accounted derogatory to the divine glo- 
ry, when vve observe, 

1. That the providence of God may be conversant, in an 
objective way, about those actions to which sin is annexed, 
withoiit his being the author, or approver of it. Sin would not 
be committed, in many instances, if there were not some ob- 
jects presented, which give occasion thereunto. The object that 
presents itself may be from God, vrhen the sin, which is occa^ 
sioned thereby, is from the corruption of our nature. Thus 
Joseph's brethren would not have thought of killing, or selling 
him into Egypt, at least, when they did, if he had not obeyed 
his father's command, ii: going to deliver his message, and see 
how it fared with them. Providence ordered his going to en-^ 
quire of their welfare, and hereby the object was presented to 
them, which their ow^n corrupt nature inclined them to abuse } 
30 that, as soon as they saw him, they entered into a conspiracy 
against him. In the former of these respects^ in v/hicU the pro-i 

Vol, II, li 


vidence of God was thus objectively conversant about this ac- 
tion, God is said to have sent Joseph into Egypt ; though every 
circumstance, that was vile and sinful therein, was from them- 

Again, in the instance before mentioned, of Shimei's cursing 
David ; Providence was conversant about this action, so far, as 
it ordered that David should come by at that time when Shimei 
was there, otherwise he would not have cursed him ; and when 
it is said, in the scripture but now mentioned. The Lord said 
unto Shimei^ Curse David ; the meaning is this; the Lord hath 
brought me into so low a condition, that the vilest persons, 
tvho, before this time, were afraid to open their mouths against 
me, now take occasion to give vent to their malicious re- 
proaches, as Shimei did ; the providence of God was conver- 
sant about this action, in an objective way. Now, what it is 
so conversant about, that, according to the scripture-mode of 
jgpeaking, God is said to do ; as when the man-slayer killed 
one, through inadvertency, who was presented as an object to 
him, God is said hereby to deliver him into his hand^ Exod. 
xxi. 13. yet in all sinful actions, God's presenting the object, 
does not render him the author of that sin, which is to be as- 
cribed to the corruption of nature, that took occasion to exert 
itself by the sight of it. This will farther appear, if we consider, 

(1.) That such an object might have been presented, and the 
sinful action not have ensued hereupon : thus the tved^e of 
gold^ and the Babylonish garment^ were no temptation to other 
Israelites, who saw them among the spoils of Jericho^ as well 
as Achan, though they were so to him, through the covetous- 
ness of his own temper, and the corruption of his nature, that 
discovered itself, and internally moved him to this sinful action. 

(2.) Such objects are not presented by providence, as de- 
signing hereby to ensnare, or draw persons to sin, though God 
Icnows that they will take occasion to sin thereby ; but there 
are other ends of their being presented, which may be illustrated 
by a particular instance. God knows, that if the gospel be 
preached, $ome will take occasion to reproach it : He orders, 
notwithstanding, that it shall be preached ; not that men might 
take occasion to do this, but that those, whom he has ordained 
to eternal life might be converted by it. So our Saviour ap- 
peared publickly at the feast of the passover, though he knew 
that the Jews would put him to death ; the end of his going to 
Jerusalem was not that he might draw forth their corruption, 
but that he might finish the work, which he came into the world 
about : He was at that time engaged in his Father's work, but 
thev performed that which they were prompted to do, by satan 
and their own wicked hearts. 

2, Whe» the providtnce ©f God is said to be conversant 


about sin, it is in suffering or permitting it, not in suggesting, 
or tempting to it ; for no one ought to say, as the apostle Jaaies 
expresses it, IFhen he is tempted^ that he is tempted of God; for 
God canfiot tempt any man; but, when he is tempted, he is 
drawn away by his own lust^ and enticed^ chap. i. 13, 14. But, 
so far as the providence of God denies restraining grace, from 
whence corrupt nature takes occasion to break forth, it is con- 
versant about sin occasionally, not effectually; as when the 
banks, or flood-gates, that keep the waters within their due 
bounds, are broken down, by the owner thereof, who does not 
think fit to repair them, the waters will, according to the course 
of nature, overflow the country ; or if the hedge, or inclosure, 
that secures the standing corn, be taken away, the beasts, by a 
propensity of nature, will tread it down, and devour it ; so if 
that which would have a tendency to restrain, or prevent sin, 
be taken away, it will be committed ; and the providence of 
God may do this, either in a way of sovereignty, or as a punish- 
ment for former sins committed, without being charged as the 
author of sin. It is not the same, in this case, as when men do 
not prevent sin in others, when it is in their power to do it, 
since they are under an obligation hereunto : But God is under 
no obligation to extend this privilege unto sinful men ; and 
sometimes he suffers that wrath, which he will not restrain, to 
break forth as having a design, some way or other, to giorify 
himself thereby ; as the Psahnist says. Surely.^ the wrath of man 
shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath thou shalt restrain^ 
Psal. Ixxvi. 10. 

3. The providence of God may be said to be concerned about 
sin, in over-ruling it for his own glory, and his people's good : 
•In the former instances, it discovers itself, before the sin waa 
committed ,* but, in this, it is consequent thereunto. This is a 
wonderful instance of his wisdom, in that, since the sinner ob- 
stinately resolves to rebel against him, this shall not tend Xo 
lessen, but to illustrate some of his perfections : Thus he over- 
ruled the wicked action of Joseph's brethren, in their selling 
him into Egypt, to preserve their lives, in the time of famine; 
accordingly he says, God has sent me before you to preserve life^ 
Gen. xlv. 5. And the vilest action that ever was committed in 
the world, namely, the crucifying the Lord of glory, was over- 
ruled, for the saving his people from their sins ; and sometimes 
we read of God's punishing the obstinacy and rebellion of men, 
by giving courage and success to their enemies against them : 
Thus Nebuchadnezzar's success in arms against the Jews, was 
ordered by the providence of God, to punish their idolatry -, 
first, by carrying the greatest part of them captive, and then, 
when pursuing those who contrary to God's order, fled into 
Egypt, by destroying or carrying them captive likewise ; and. 


in doing this, he is called God^s servant^ Jer. xliii. 10. not as 
though he had any religious regard to the honour and com- 
mand of God herein ; but his design was only to enlarge his 
dominions, by depriving others of their natural rights ; yet God 
over-ruled this, for the setting forth the glory of his vindictive 
justice, against a sinful people. And Cyrus, on the other hand, 
was raised up to be Israel's deliverer from captivity. His suc- 
cess in war, which God designed should be subservient there- 
unto, is styled, His girding him^ Isa. xlv. 1, 5. and God pro- 
mises, that he would loose the loins of kings ^ to open before hiyn 
the two leaved gates : And all this was done with a design that 
he should give liberty to his people ; though C}'Tus had no more 
religion, nor real regard to the interest of God in the world, 
than other kings, who design little else but the satisfying their 
own ambition ; for it is expressly said. Thou hast not known 
me* God did not approve of that corruption, which might give 
the first occasion to the war, or that injustice that might appear 
in it : but, notwithstanding, he over-ruled it, to answer the ends 
of his own glory. 

In considering the over-ruling providence of God, in order 
to the bringing about the ends designed, let it be farther ob- 
served ; that there are some things which seem to have a more 
direct tendency thereunto, agreeably to the nature of those se- 
cond causes, which he makes use of, whereby he gives us oc- 
casion to expect the event that will ensue : and, on the other 
hgind, he sometimes brings about some great and valuable ends 
by those means, which at first view, have no apparent tenden- 
cy thereunto ; but they are over-ruled without, or contrary to 
the design of second causes, wherein the admirable wisdom of 
providence discovers itself. Thus those things, which, in all 
appearance, seem to threaten our ruin, are ordered to subserve 
our future happiness, though, at present, altogether unexpected. 
"When there was such a dark gloom cast on the world, by the 
fi'fst entrance of sin into it, who would have thought that this 
should be over-ruled by providence, to give occasion to the 
display of those divine perfections, which are glorified in the 
work of our redemption I I do not, mdeed, like the expression 
of an ancient writer, who calls it, Happy sin ! that gave occa- 
sion to man's salvation ; but I would rather say, How admira- 
ble was the providence of God, v/hich over-ruled the vilest 
action to answer so great an end, and brought so much good 
out of that, which, in itself, was so great an evil ! 

We might here give some particular instances of the dispen- 
sations of providence, by which God brings good out of evil, 
in considering those lengths which he hath suffered some men 
to run in sin, whom he designed, notwithstanding, effectually 
to call and save ; of which the aiiotjtle Paul was a very remark- 


able instance, who considers this as an expedient, whereby God 
designed to skexv forth all long-suffering as a pattern to them^ 
that should hereafter believe on Christ to life eternal; and that 
men might take encouragement, from hence, to conclude, that 
Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners^ 1 Tim. 
i. 15, 16. And the injurious treatment which God's people 
have met with from their enemies, has sometimes been over- 
ruled for their good. Thus Ishmael's mocking-^ or, as the apos- 
tle calls it, persecuting Isaac ; and, as is more than probable, 
not only reproaching him, but the religion which he professed, 
was over-ruled, by providence, for Isaac's good, when Ishmael 
was separated from him, which set him out of danger of being 
led aside by his bad example, as well as delivered him from 
that uneasiness, which his opposition to him would have occa- 
sioned : and it was most agreeable to his future circumstances, 
whom God designed not only to be the heir of the family, but 
the propagator of religion in it. 

Again, Pharaoh's cruelty, and the methods used to prevent 
the increasing of the children of Israel in Egypt, was over- 
ruled by the providence of God, so that they seemed, after this, 
to be the more immediate care thereof; and it is more parti- 
cularly remarked in scripture, as an instance of the kind hand 
of providence towards them, that the more the Egyptians of- 
ficted theiiiy the more theij midtiplied^ and grexv^ Exod. i. 12. 

Again, the inhuman and barbarous cruelty of Simeon and 
Levi, in slaying the Shechemites, Gen. xxxiv. 25. brought on 
them a curse ; and accordingly their father pronounced it, and 
tells them, that God zvould divide them in facob, and scatter 
them in Israel, Gen. xlix. 7. which, in particular, had its ac- 
complishment in Levi's having no distinct inheritance, except 
those cities that were appointed to them, out of every tribe ; 
but this dividing and scattering them throughout the whole 
country, was over-ruled by the providence of God, for the good 
of his people in general ; so that this tribe, which God had or- 
dained, to teach Jacob his judgments^ and Israel his law, Deut. 
xxxiii. 10. might, through the nearness of their habitation, be 
conveniently situated among them to answer that end. 

We might farther observe, that Saul's unreasonable jealousy 
and fury, with which he persecuted David, was over-ruled, by 
providence, for his good; as, in his exile, he had a greater de- 
gree of communion with God, than at other times, and, as is 
more than probable, was inspired to pen the greater number of 
liis Psalms, and was, as it were, trained up for the crown in 
this school of affliction, and so, more fitted to govern Israel, 
when God designed to put it on his head. 

To this let me add one instance more, and that is, God's 
suffering the persecuting rage of the Jews to vent itself against 


the apostles, when the gospel was first preached by them, which 
was over-ruled by providence for their scattering, and this for 
the farther spread thereof, wherever they came ; and the apos- 
tle Paul observes, that his bvnds in Christ were Jiot onhj mani^ 
fest in all the palace ; and in all other places^ but they were 
made conducive to th^ furtherance of the gospel^ Phil. i. 12, 13. 
And as for that contention that was between him and Barna- 
bas, at another time, in which each of them shewed that they 
were but men, subject to like passions and infirmities with 
others, this seems to have been occasioned by a small and in- 
considerable circumstance, yet it rose to such a height, that 
they departed one from the other ^ Acts xv. 36 — 4-0. Each 
seemed to be over-much tenacious of his own humour; but 
providence suffered the corruption of these excellent men to 
discover itself, and their separation to ensue, that by this means, 
their ministry might be rendered more extensive, and double 
service be done to the interest of Christ in different parts of 
the world. 

We might descend to instances of later date, and consider 
how God suffered the church of Rome to arrive to the greatest 
pitch of ignorance, superstition, and idolatry ; and wholly to 
forsake the faith of the gospel, so as to establish the doctrine 
of merit, and human satisfactions ; and its leaders to be so pro- 
fanely absurd, as to expose pardons and induigencies to public 
sale ; this, providence was over-ruled, for the bringing about 
the glorious Reformation in Germany. And if it be added, 
that pride, lust, and covetousness, paved the way for it here 
in England; this is no blemish to the Reformation, as the Pa- 
pists pretend, but a display of the over-ruling providence of 
God, that brought it about by this means. 

I might enlarge on this subject, in considering the provi- 
dence of God as bringing about wonderful and unexpected 
changes in the civil affairs of kingdoms and nations, remarka- 
bly bringing down some who made the greatest figure in the 
world, and putting a glory on others raised up out of their 
ruins ; and how all political affairs have been rendered subser- 
vient to answer the ends of the divine glory, with respect to 
the church in the world, and the deliverances which God has 
wrought in various ages for it, when it was, in all appearance, 
upon the brink of ruin, of which we have not only many in- 
stances in scripture, but almost every age of the world has 
given us undeniable proofs of this matter. We might also con- 
sider the methods which God has often taken in bringing about 
his people's deliverance, when, to the eye of reason, it seemed 
almost impossible, and that, either by dispiriting their enemies, 
or removing them out of the way, as the Psalmist expresses 
himself, The stout-hearted are spoiled; they have slept their 


sleep.^ and none of the men of anight have found their hands^ 
Psal. Ixxvi. 5. or else by finding them some other work to do 
for their own safety and defence. Thus when Saul was pursu- 
ing David, in the wilderness of Maon, and had compassed him, 
and his men round about to take them, there came a messen- 
ger to him, saying. Haste thee and corne^for the Philisthies have 
invaded the land^ 1 Sam. xxiii. 26, 27. And sometimes he sof- 
tens their spirits, by a secret and immediate touch of providence 
working a change in their natural temper and disposition. Thus 
he provided for Jacob's escape from that death that was de- 
signed by his brother Esau. And if God intends that they 
shall fail by the hand of their persecutors, he gives them cou- 
rage and resolution, together with the exercise of all those gra- 
ces, which are necessary to support them under, and carry them 
through the difficulties that they are to undergo. But these 
things are so largely insisted on, by those who have written pro- 
fessedly on the doctrine of providence,* that more need not 
be added on this subject. I shall therefore only consider an 
objection, or two, that is generally brought against it, by those 
v/ho pretend to acknowlege that there is a God, but deny his 

Object, 1. It is objected against the concern of the providence 
of God, with respect to the smallest things in this world, that 
they are unworthy of his notice, below his care, and therefore 
not the objects thereof. 

Answ» If it was not unbecoming his power, to bring the 
smallest things into being, or to preserve them from sinking 
into nothing, then they cannot be excluded from being the ob- 
jects of his providence. If we consider the whole frame of na- 
ture ; it cannot be denied, but that some things have a tendency 
to answer the general design of providence, in a more evident 
degree than others, and there are many things, the use whereof 
cannot be particularly assigned by us, otherwise than as they 
contain a small part of the frame of nature. But to say, that 
any part thereof is altogether useless, or excluded from being 
the object of providence, is a reflection on God, as the God of 
nature. And therefore we must conclude, that all things are 
some way or other, subject to his providence ; and that this is 
so far from being a dishonour to him, that it redounds to his 

Object. 2. It is farther objected, by those who are disposed 
to cavil at, and find fault with the divine dispensations ; that 
they are not just and equal, because we oftentimes see the 
righteous afflicted, and the wicked prosper in the world ; which 
is to reproach, if not wholly to deny the doctrine of providence. 
This is not only done by wicked men, but believers themselves 
* See CharuQck, Flavell. Dr. CoUinq-ei on Frovidenct. 


have sometimes been under a temptation, through the preva- 
iency of corrupt nature, to bring their objections against the 
equity of providence. Thus the Psalmist says ; But as for me^ 
my feet xuere almost gone ; my steps had well Jiigh slipt. For I 
was envious at the foolish^ when I sazv the prosperity of the 
wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their 
strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; nei- 
ther are they plagued like other 7nen, Psal. xxiii. 2 — 5. These 
are the ungodly^ who prosper in the world ; they increase in 
riches: But as for himself, he says. Verily^ I have cleansed my 
heart in vain^ and washed my hands in innocency ; for all the 
day long have I been plagued and chastened every mornings 
ver. 12 — 14. and the prophet Jeremiah, when pleading with 
God concerning his judgments, though he owns, in general, 
that he was righteous, yet says he, Wherefore doth the zvay of 
the wicked prosper P Wherefore are all they happij that deal 
very treacherously ? 1 hou hast planted them^ yea^ they have 
taken root; they groxv^ y^^-, they bring forth fruit ; thou art 
near in their mouthy and far from their reins^ Jer. xii. 1, 2. 
He could hardly reconcile the general idea which he had of 
God's justice, with the seeming inequality of the dispensations 
of his providence ; so the prophet Habakkuk, though he owns 
that God was of purer eyes than to behold evil^ and that he can- 
not look upon iniquity^ yet he seems to complain in the follow- 
ing words. Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treach- 
erously^ and holdest thy tongue^ when the zvicked devoureth the 
man that is more righteous than he? Hab. i. 13. And Job 
seems to speak very unbecomingly, when he says. Is it good 
inito thee that thou shojddest oppress ? that thou shouldest des- 
pise the work of thine hands f and shine upon the counsel of the 
wicked ? Job. x. 3. So that, as the wicked boldly deny a pro- 
vidence, or, at least, reproach it ; others, of a far better charac- 
ter, have, through the prevalency of their unbelief, seemed to 
detract from the glory thereof. 

Answ. To this it may be replied, in general, in the apostle's 
w^ords. Nay but^ O man^ who art thou^ that repliest against God^ 
Rom. ix. 20. Is there no deference to be paid to his sovereign- 
ty, who has a right to do what he will with his own ? Is his jus-^ 
tice to be impeaclicd, and tryed at our bar? Or his wisdom, to 
be measured by our short-sighted discerning of things, who can-» 
not see the end from the beginning of his dispensations ? It is 
true, good men have been sometimes tempted to question the 
equity of the distributions of providence, as in the instances but 
now mentioned ; unless we suppose, that the prophets Habak • 
kuk, Jeremiah, and Job, rather speak the sense of the world, 
than their own sentiments of things, and desire that God woul4 
clear up some dark providences, that wigked mtn might not^ 


bring their objections against them ; but it may be doubted, 
whether this be the sense of those scriptures or no. And as for 
the Psahnist, in the other scripture, it is plain, that he express- 
es the weakness of his own faith, which was sometimes almost 
overset ; but, at other times, God condescends to resolve his 
doubts, and bring him into a better frame, as appears by some 
following verses. But, that we may give a more particular re- 
ply to this objection, let it be considered, 

1. That the unequal distribution of things is so far from be- 
ing a disparagement to any government, that it eminently sets 
forth the beauty, wisdom, and excellency thereof, and is, in 
some respects necessary. As it is not fit that every subject 
should be advanced to the same honour, or that the favour of k 
prince should be dispensed alike to all ; so it sets forth the beau- 
ty of providence, as God is the Governor of the world, that 
some should more eminently appear to be the objects of his fa- 
vour than others. 

2. The wicked, whose condition is supposed, by those who 
bring this objection, to be more happy than that of the righte- 
ous, will not appear, if things were duly weighed, to be so hap- 
py, as they are pretended to be, if we consider the evils that 
they are exposed to at present, some of which are the imme« 
diate result and consequence of sin, whereby they are, as it 
were, tortured and distracted with contrary lusts and passions, 
which militate against the dictates of human nature, and ren- 
der the pleasures of sin less desirable in themselves : But, when 
we consider those tormenting reflections, which they sometimes 
have, after the commission thereof, these are altogether incon- 
sistent with peace or happiness, much more if we consider the 
end thereof, as it leads to everlasting destruction : thus it is said, 
£ven in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that 
mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled xvitk 
his oxvn ways^ Prov. xiv. 13, 14. Therefore, the good man 
would not change conditions with him, how destitute soever 
he may be of those riches, honours, or sensual pleasures, which 
the other reckons his portion ; A little that a righteous man hathy 
is better than the riches of many wicked^ Psal. xxxvii. 26. 

3. As for the good man, who is supposed to be in an afliict^ 
ed«condition in this life, we are not, from thence, to conclude 
him, in all respects, unhappy, for we are to judge of his state 
by the end thereof. He that looks upon Lazarus, as full of 
sores, and destitute of many of the conveniences of life, may- 
reckon him unhappy at present, when compared with the con- 
dition of the rich man, who is represented in the parable, as 
•clothed xvith purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every 
day: but it we consider hin, when leaving the world, as car" 
Tied by angels^ intQ Abnihain^s bosom-, and the ot,her plunged 

Vol. IL I 


into an abyss of misery ; no one will see reason to charge the 
providence of God with any neglect of him, or conclude him to 
be really miserable, because of his condition in this present life- 
Moreover, if we consider the righteous in his most disadvan- 
tageous circumstances, as to what respects his outward condi- 
tion ; we must, notwithstanding, regard him, as an object of di- 
vine love, and made partaker of those graces, and inward com- 
forts, which are more than a balance for all his outward trou- 
bles ; and therefore we may say of him, as the apostle does of 
himself, though he be unknown^ that is obscure, and, as it were, 
disowned by the world, yet he is well known^ that is, approved 
and beloved of God; does he live an afflicted and dijing life ? 
yet he has a better life^ that is maintained by him : Is he chast' 
ened? yet he is not killed : Is he sorrowful? yet he always re- 
joiceth : Is he poor ? yet he maketh many rich / has he nothings 
as to outward things f yet he possesseth all things^ as he is an 
heir of eternal life, 2 Cor. vi. 9, 10. 

Quest. XIX. What is God^s providence towards the angels P 

Answ. God, by his providence, permitted some of the angels^ 
wilfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation, 
limiting and ordering that, and all their sins to his own glo- 
ry, and established the rest in holiness and happiness ; em- 
ploying them all at his pleasure, in the administration of his 
power, mercy, and justice. 

IT was observed, in a foregoing answer, that God created all 
the angels holy ; but, in this, some of them are described as 
fallen, while the rest retained their first integrity. And the 
providence of God is considered, as conversant about this mat- 
ter, in different respects. Accordingly it is said, 

I. That God, by his providence, permitted some of the an- 
gels to fall. This appears, by the event, because there are some 
\vicked and impure spirits, sunk down into the depths of mise- 
ry, from that state in which they were created, as the conse- 
quence of their rebellion against God. 

And inasmuch as it is observed, that it was only a part of 
the angels that fell, we may infer from thence ; that the disjien- 
sation of providence, towards the angels, was different from 
that which mankind was subject to, when first created, in that 
one of them was not constituted the head and representative of 
the rest, in whom they were all to stand or fall ; but the hap- 
piness or misery of every one of them was to be the result of 
ins own personal conduct. As their persisting in obedience to 
God was necessary to their establishment in holiness and hap- 
piaessj 50 the least instance of rebellion against him^ would 


bring inevitable ruin, upon them. Now that which is observed 
concerning a part of them, is, that they fell into sin and ckm* 
nation : thus the apostle says, in 2 Pet. ii. 4. God spared not the 
angels that sinned^ but cast them down to hell. 

Their sin, or fall, was wilful ; they commenced an open war 
against their Creator. Herein that enmity to God, and good- 
ness, took its first rise, which has, ever since, been expressed 
by them, in various instances. Their sin appears to have been 
wilful, inasmuch as it was committed against the greatest de*^ 
gree of light, for all the angels are described as excelling ifi 
knowledge ; and that subtility, which is knowledge abused, and 
depraved with sin, that discovers itself in the fallen angels, 
argues, that their knowledge, before they fell, was very great, 
and therefore their rebellion was aggravated in proportion there- 

Moreover, they sinned without a tempter, especially those 
who first took up arms against God. Whether others, by their 
instigation, might not be induced to sin, we know not ^ : But 
this is certain, that this rebellion was begun without a tempter ; 
for there were no fallen creatures to present a temptation, nor 
any corruption in their natures that internally drew them aside 
from God ; and therefore their sin might well be styled wilfuL 

And it may be observed, that the consequence hereof was 
their irrecoverable ruin. This respects the event of their fall ; 
or that God designed, for ever, to^leave them in that sinful and 
miserable state into which they herfcby brought themselves. He 
might, indeed, have recovered them, as well as sinful man, had 
he pleased ; but he has provided no mediator, no surety, to give 
satisfaction for them. The blessed Jesus is expressly said, not 
to have taken their nature upon hhn^ thereby to signify that 
their condition was irretrievable, and their misery to be eternaL 

Now it is farther observed, that the providence of God was 
conversant about their sin and fall, in tb*..' same sense in which 
as it has been before observed, it is conversant about sin in ge- 
neral ; which is consistent with his holiness, as well as other per- 
fections, namely, in permitting^ limiting^ and ordering it, and 
all their other sins, to his own glory. 

1. He permitted it. To permit, is not to prevent a sin ; and 
to say that God did not prevent their fall, is to assert a truth 
%vhich none ever denied, or thought necessary to be proved. 

2. It is farther observed, that the providence of God sets 
bounds and limits to their sin ,* as it does to the waves of the 
sea, when he says. Hitherto shall ye go^ and no farther. How 
destructive to mankind would the malice of fallen angels be, 

* Some think, that those expressions, -wMch -wejindin scripture, that speak of the 
devil, and his angtls, and the priiice of devils, iniport as much,- bat this ive pretend 
nsi to determite. . 


were it not restrained ? What would not Satan attempt against 
us, had he an unlimited power ? We have a remarkable instance 
of this in the case of Job. Satan first accused him as a time- 
serving hypocrite ; a mercenary professor, one that did wot fear 
God for nought^ in chap. i. 9. and how desirous was he that 
providence would give him up to his will, and take away the 
hedge of its safe protection ? But God would not do this ; ne- 
vertheless, so far as Satan was suffered, he poured in a conflu- 
ence of evils upon him, but could proceed no farther. First, he 
was suffered to plunder him of his substance, and take away 
his children, by a violent death ; but was so restrained, that, 
vpon himself he was not to put forth his hand^ in ver. 12. Af- 
terwards, he was permitted to touch his person ; and then we 
read of his smiting him with sore hoUs^from the sole of his foot 
unto his crozvn^ in chap. ii. 7* But yet he was not suffered to 
take away his life. And, after this the deviFs malice still grow- 
ing stronger against him, he endeavours to weaken his faith, to 
drive him into despair, and to rob him of that inward peace, 
which might have given some allay to his other troubles ; but 
yet Jie is not suffered to destroy his graces, or hurry him into 
a total apostacy from God. What would not fallen angels at- 
tempt against mankind, were not their sin limited by the provi- 
dence of Gojl ! 

3. God's providence ordered, or over-ruled, the fall of angels, 
and all other sins consequent hereupon, to his own glory. Their 
power, indeed, is great, though limited, as appears by the in- 
numerable instances of those who have been not only tempted, 
but overthrown,- and ruined by them. It may truly be said of 
them, that they have cast dozvn maiiij tuoimded; yea many strong 
??ien have been slain by them. Nevertheless, God over-rules this 
for his own glory ; for from hence he takes occasion to try his 
people's graces, to give them an humbling sense of the corrup- 
tion of their nature, '::a{\ of their inability, to stand in the hour 
of temptation, without his immediate assistance, and puts them 
upon imploring help from him, with great importunity ; as the 
apostle Paul did, 2 Cor. xii. 7— — -9. when the messenger of 
Satan xvas suffered to buffet him^ and God took occasion, at the 
same time, to display that grace^ zvhich xvns suffcient for him^ 
and that strength^ that was made perfect in weakness^ and, in 
the end, to bruise Satan under his feet, and to make him more 
than a conqueror over him. 

Having thus considered, some of the angels, as sinning and 
fallir^g, it might farther be enquired ; whether these all fell 
at once ? And here I cannot but lake notice of a very absurd, 
and groundless conjecture of some of the fathers, and others, 
who of late, have been too much inclined to give into it, name- 
3y, that though some of them sinned from the beginning, and 

god's providence to angels. 65 

these were the occasion of the shi of our first parents, as all al- 
low ; yet, after this, others, who were appointed to minister to 
men, were uni"aithiul in the discharge of their office, and be- 
came partners with them in sin ; accordingly they understand 
that scripture, in which it is said, The sons ofGodsaxv the daugh- 
ters of men^ that they were fair ; and they took them ivives of 
all zvhich they chose^ Gen. vi. 2. as though it were meant of an- 
gels ;^ whereas nothing is intended thereby but some of the 
posterity of Seth, who were, before this, professors of the true 

There are, indeed, some, of late, who have given into this 
notion, and strain the sense of that text, in Jude, ver. 6, 7. iu 
which it is said, that the angels^ zvhich kept not their first estate^ 
&c. eve?i aa Sodom and Gomorrah^ giving themselves over to for' 
nicitio7i^ are set forth^ for an example^ suffering the vengeance 
of eternal f re ; the meaning of which they suppose to be this ; 
that, even as the Sodomites were guilty of fornication, and 
were destroyed, by fire from heaven, for it, so some of the 
angels were sent down to hell for the same sin : But it is plain 
the apostle does not here compare the angels and the Sodomites 
together, as guilty of the same kind of sin, but as both are con- 
demned to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, and are set forth 
as warnings to presumptuous sinners. Therefore nothing more 
need be added under this head ; it is enough to say, that this 
opinion is contrary to the spirituality of the nature of angels ; 
though there are some ancient writers, who, to give countenance 

* This 7Das the opinion of most of the fathers, in the three frsf centuries of the 
church, namely, Justin JYTartyr, Origeti, TertvUian, Clemens, Mexandrimis, Lac- 
tantiics, Irenceus, Cyprian, and others. Some of them appeared to have taken the 
hint thereof from some JMH. of the LXX translation, ivhich rendered the -words i7i 
Gen. vi. 2. instead of the sons of God, the angels saw the daughters of men, 6?r, 
This translation being lisedby them, instead of the Hehre-iv text, ivkich they did not 
toell understand ; though others took ii from a spurious and fabulous luriting, lohick 
they had in their hands, called Enoch, or, the prophecy of Enoch, or rather. Liber, 
TTifx iypnycpm, de Egregoris, a barbarous Greek luord, used to signify angels, anil 
taken from the character given them of xvatchers, in t)aniel. Of this book, we have 
some fragments now remaining, in -which there is such a ndictdous and fabidous ac- 
count of this matter, as very much, herein exceeds the apocryphal history of Tobit. 
It gives an account of a conspiracy among the angels, relating to this matter ; the 
manner of their enteHng into it, their luones, the year of the ivorld, and place in ivhich 
this vdckedness luas cormnitted^ and other things, that are unworthy of a grave his.- 
iorian ; and, the reckoning it among those writings, that are supposed to have a di- 
•vine sanction, is little other than profaneness a?id blasphemy. Some of the fathers, 
ivho refer to this book, pretend it to be no other than apocryphal, and, had they cotm- 
ted it otherwise, all woidd have reckoned it a burlesqiie upon scripture ; therefore 
Origen, who, on other occasio?is, seems to pay too great a deference to it, when Celsus 
takes notice of it, as contaiidng a banter on the Christian religion, he is, on that oc- 
casion, obliged to reply to him, that book was not iii great reputation in the churchy 
Vid. Orig. contra Celsum, Lib. V. And Jerom reckons it among the apocryphal 
toriti?igs, Yid. Hieronym. in Catal. Script. Eccles. cap. 4. And Augustin calls it 
not only apocryphal, but, as it deserves, fabulous. Vid. eiusd. de Civ. Dei- Lib. XY, 


thereunto, have supposed that the angelic spirits were either 
united to some bodies, or that they assumed them for this 
purpose ; but this is equally absurd, and without any coun- 
tenance from scripture. Thus concerning the providence of 
God, as exercised towards the angels that fell. We proceed, 

II. To consider providence, as conversant about the rest of 
the angels, who retained their integrity. Concerning these it is 

1. That God established them in holiness and happiness. These 
two privileges are always connected together. It is not said, 
that they were brought into such a state, or, like man, recovered 
out of a fallen state, for they are considered, as sinless, or holy 
angels ; nor is it supposed their holiness was increased, since 
that would be inconsistent with its having been perfect before : 
That privilege therefore, which providence conferred on them, 
was the confirming, or establishing them in that state, in which 
they were created ; which bears some resemblance to that priv- 
ilege, which man would have enjoyed, had he retained his in- 
tegrity, as he would not only have continued to be holy and 
happy, so long as he remained innocent; but he would have 
been so confirmed in it, that his fall would have been prevented : 
But of this, more in its proper place. The angels, I say, had 
something like this, which we call the grace of confirmation. 

Some have enquired whether this was the result of their yield- 
ing perfect obedience for a time, while remaining in a state of 
probation, pursuant to some covenant, not much unlike that 
which God made with innocent man ; and whether this priv- 
ilege was the consequence of their fulfilling the condition thereof. 
But this is to enter too far into things out of our reach ; nor is 
it much for our edification to determine it, though some have 
asserted, without proving it, while others have supposed them 
to have been confirmed, when first created, and that herein there 
was an instance of discriminating grace among the angels ; so 
that they, who fell, were left to the mutability of their wills, 
whereas they, who stood, had, at the same time, the grace of 

I might here have been more particular, in considering what 
this privilege imports, and how it renders the fall of those who 
are confirmed impossible, and therefore it is a very considerable 
addition to their happiness : But since we shall have occasion 
to speak of the grace of confirmation, which man was given to 
expect in the first covenant under a following answer, and the 
privileges that would have attended it, had he stood, we shall 
add no more on that subject in this place ; but proceed to prove, 
that the angels are established and confirmed in holiness and 

This may, in some measure, be argued, from their being 


called elect angels^ 1. Tim. v. 21. If election^ when applied to 
men, imports the purpose of God, to confer everlasting blessed- 
ness on those who are the objects thereof, and so not only im- 
plies that they shall be saved, but that their salvation shall be 
eternal ; why may it not, when applied to angels, infer the eter- 
nity of their holiness and happiness, and consequently their be- 
ing established therein ? 

Again, this may be also argued, from their coming with Christ, 
when he shall appear to judge the world ; and the joining the 
saints and angels together in one assembly in heaven : there- 
fore, if the happiness of the one be eternal, that of the other 
must be so likewise. It is also said, expressly of the angels, 
that they always behold the face of God, And, when we read 
of the destruction of the church's enemies, the angels are re- 
presented as observers of God's righteous judgments ; and then 
it is added, that the punishment inflicted on those, who shall 
dri7i^ of the wine of the zvrath of God^ shall be eternal, and this 
eternal punishment will be in the presence of the holy angels^ 
Rev. xiv. 10, 11. If therefore the duration of the holiness and 
happiness of the angels, be equal to that of the misery of God's 
implacable enemies, as both are said to be eternal, this evidently 
proves that the angels are established in holiness and happiness. 

2. It is farther observed, that God employs all the angels^ 
at his pleasure, in the administration of his power, mercy, and 
justice. This leads us to speak concerning the ministry of an- 
gels, which is either extraordinary, or ordinary. Most of the 
instances which we have thereof, especially in the Old Testa- 
ment, were performed in an extraordinary manner, and some- 
times attended with their appearance in a human form, assu- 
med for that purpose : This may be briefly considered ; ?>.nd 
then we shall enquire, whether, though their ministry be not 
visible, or attended with those circumstances, as it formerly was, 
there are not some other instances, in which the providence 
of God now employs them for the good of his church. As to 
the former of these, we read that God has sometimes sent them 
to supply his servants with necessary food, when destitute there- 
of, and there was no ordinary way for their procuring it : Thus 
an angel brought a cake^ and a cruse of water ^ to Elijah, when 
he vas on his journey to Horeb, the mount of God^ 1. Kings 
xix, 5- — 8. And when Abraham's servant was travelling to Me- 
sopotarnia, to bring a wife from thence for Isaac, Abraham tells 
him, that God would send his angel before him^ Gen. xxi. 7= 
and so make his journey prosperous. 

Again, the angels have sometimes been sent to defend God's 
people, and to assure them of safety, when exposed to danger : 
Thus, when Jacob was returning from Laban to his own coun- 
try, and was apprehensive of the danger that he v/as exposed 


to, from the resentment of his brother Esau, it is said, that the 
angels of God met him ; and^ when he saw the?n, he said, This 
is God^s host, Gen. xxxii. 1, 2. And when the prophet Elijah 
was encompassed about by the Syrian army, sent on purpose 
to take him, he was defended by an host of angels appearing un- 
der the emblem of horses and chariots ofjire round about him, 
2 Kings vi. 15 — 17. Others, when persecuted, and, as it were, 
delivered over to death, have been preserved, by the ministry 
of angels, as Daniel was, v/hen cast into the lion's den, Dan. 
vi. 22. Others have been released from their chains, and the 
prison doors opened by them ; as Peter, and the rest of the apos- 
tles were. Acts xii. 17. compared with chap. v. 19. 

Again, sometimes they have been employed to deliver mes- 
sages, and give the prophets an extraordinary intimation of fu- 
ture events ,* as the angel Gabriel did to Daniel, Dan. viii. 16. 
And an angel was sent to Zacharias, to foretel the birth of his 
son, John the Baptist, Luke i. 13. 

Moreover, the angels of God have sometimes been employ- 
ed to give a check to his enemies, when they have attempted 
any thing against his church : Thus the angel met Balaam in 
the way, when he was riding to seek inchantments against Is- 
rael, his way h^m^ perverse before God, Numb. xxii. 32. And 
another angel was sent, as a minister of God's justice, in bring- 
ing the pestilence on Israel, for David's numbering the people, 
who appeared with his hand stretched out upon Jerusalem to 
destroy it, 2 Sam. xxiv. 16. and afterwards withdrew his hand, 
when God told him. It is enough, and that it repented him of 
the evil. And to this we may add, that the angels shall be em* 
ployed, at last, in gathering together the elect, from the four 
winds, that they may appear before Christ's tribunal. These, 
and many other instances to the like purpose, are mentioned, 
in scripture, to set forth the extraordinary ministry of angels. 

There are also other instances, in which, though miracles are 
ceased, the angels are employed to perform some works in the 
hand of providence for God's people : Thus there are some pro- 
mises, which seem to be applied to the church in all ages, of 
blessings, which should be conferred by their ministry; as when 
it is said. He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee 
in all thy ways ; they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thotc 
dash thy foot against a stone, Psal. xci. 11, 12. which scrip- 
ture, though it may have a particular reference to their ministry 
to our Saviour, yet it seems to be applicable also to his people ; 
and that promise. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about 
them that fear him, and deliver eth them, Psal. xxxiv. 7. is ap- 
plicable to them in all ages, as well as that in which it is said, 
concerning the ministry of angels to infants, that in heaven their 
angels do alivays hchgM the face of my Father } ivhkh i^ in heaven^ 
Matt, xviii, 10, 


Moreover, the ministry of angels to dying saints, who are^ 
according to what our Saviour says in the parable, carried^ by 
them, into Abrahani's bosom^ Luke xvi. 22. is universally true 
of all saints. And it is expressly said, with a peculiar applica- 
tion to the gospel-dispensation, that the angels are all ininistring' 
spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of sal- 
vation^ Heb. i. 14. so that though their ministry, as to many 
circumstances thereof, differ from what it was of old, there be- 
ing nothing miraculous now attending it, as formerly there was 5 
yet it remains an undoubted truth, that they are, aiid have been, 
in ail ages, made use of, by t\\< providence of God, iri the ad- 
ministration of his power, mtrcy, and justice. 

I shall conclude this head with a few cautions relating to this 
matter, as this doctrine is not to be laid down without certain, 
restrictions, or limitations ; therefore, 

1. We must take heed, notwithstanding what has been said 
concerning the ministry of angels, that we don't take occasion 
hereby to set aside the immediatt. influence, or cjncern of the 
providence of God, for his church ; for whatever may be as- 
cribed to angels, as second causes, our principal regard must 
be to him, whose ministers they are ; neither are we to entertain 
the least thought, as though God had committed the govern- 
ment of the world, or the church, to them; which the apostle 
expressly denies, when he says, Unto the angels hath he not 
put in suhjectioJi the xyorld to come^ Heb. ii. 5. therefore, 

2. The praise and glory of all their ministry is not to be as- 
<:ribed to them, but to him, who makes use of them ; nor are 
we to pretend, at all times, to determine, that this or that par- 
ticular dispensation of providence is by the immediate hand of 
God, and another by the ministry of angels ; since it is enough 
for us to say, that, though God does not need their assistance, 
yet he sometimes sets forth the sovereignty of his providence^ 
and evinces his right to employ all his creatures at his pleasure, 
as well as gives an additional instance of his care oV his 
churches, by employing them in extraordinaiy servic-s for 
their good ; though we cannot, at all times, distinguish between 
what is done by the immediate hand of God, and other thinga 
performed by their ministry. 

3. Whatever we assert, concerning the ministry of angels^ 
we must take heed that we do not regard them as objects of 
divine worship, or exercise that dependence on, or give that' 
glory to them, which is due to God alone. Nor are v/e to sup- 
pose, that God employs them in those works that are the ef« 
fects of his supernatural or almight^ >ower, in which he deale 
with the hearts of his people, in a way more immediately con^ 
ducive to their conversion and salvation^ 

to god's providence to man in innocency. 

Quest, XX. What was the providence of God toward man in 
the estate wherein he was created? 

Answ. The providence of God toward man, in the estate 
wherein he was created, was, the placing him in paradise, 
appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the 
fruit of the earth, putting the creatures under his dominion^ 
and ordaining marriage for his help, affording him commu- 
nion with himself, instituting the Sabbath, entering into a 
covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, per- 
fect, and perpetual obedience ; of which, the tree of life was 
a pledge ; and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil, upon the pain of death, 

IN this answer, we have an account of the providence of 
God, as respecting the outward^ and the spiritual^ con 
cerns of man. 

I. As to what respects his outward estate, we have an ac- 

1. Of God's fixing the place of his abode, which was to be 
in paradise, a very large and most delightful garden, of God's 
own planting, an epitome of all the beauties of nature, which, 
as it were, presented to his view the whole world in miniature ; 
so that herein he might, without travelling many miles, behold 
the most beautiful land-skip which the world afforded, and par- 
take of all the fruits, with which it was stored. The v/holc 
world, indeed, was given him for a possession ; but this was, 
as it were, a store-house of its choicest fruits, and the peculiar 
seat of his resiaence. 

We find the word paradise used, in scripture, sometimes to 
signify a delightful garden, and sometimes it is taken, in a 
metaphorical sense, to signify heave?i, Luke xxiii. 43. 2 Con 
xii. 4. Rev, ii. 7. by which application thereof, we may con- 
dude, that this earthly paradise, in which man was placed, was 
.a kind of type of the heavenly blessedness, which, had he re- 
tained his integrity, he would have been possessed of, and 
which they, who are saved by Christ, shall be brought to. 

Here we may take notice of the conjectures of some ancient 
and modern writers concerning it, more especially as to what 
respects that part of the world wherein it was situate; and 
whether it is now in being, or to be found in any part of it, at 
this day. Many have given great scope to their conception 
about the situation of paradise, and some conjectures are so ab 
surd, that they hardly deserve to be mentioned. As, 

(1.) Some have thought that it was situate in some place, 
superior to, and remote from this globe of the earthy in which 
we li\'e ; but they have not the least shadow of reason for this 
supposition, and nothing can be more contrary to the account 
ive have thereof in scriptures 


(2.) Others fancy, that there was really no such place, but 
chat the whole account we have thereof, in Gen. ii. is allegori- 
cal ; thus Origen, Philo, and some modern writers : but no one 
can justly suppose this, who duly weighs the historical account 
we have of it, in scripture, with that sobriety and impartiality 
that he ought ; for, according to this method of reasoning, we 
may turn any thing into an allegory, and so never come to any 
determinate sense of scripture, but what the wild fancies of men 

(3.) Others have supposed, that the whole world was one 
gi'eat garden, or paradise, and that when man was placed there- 
in, it was so described, to signify the beauties of nature, before 
they were lost, by the curse consequent on sin : But this cannot 
be true, because God first made man, and then planted this gar- 
den^ and afterwards /?w? hijii into it ; Gen. ii. 8^ and after the fall, 
he drove him out ofit^ chap, iii.24. But,passingby these ground- 
less conjectures, something may be determined, with more cer- 
tainty, concerning the situation thereof, and more agreeable to 
scripture ; therefore, 

(4.) It was situate in Mesopotamia, near Babylon, to the 
north-east end of the land of Canaan. This appears, 

Ist^ From the country adjacent to it, which is called Eden, 
out of which the river that watered it is said to proceed, chap, 
ii. 10. This country was afterwards known by the same name, 
and is elsewhere reckoned among those that the king of Assy- 
ria had conquered, Isa. xxxvii. 12. 

2dlijy Two of the rivers, that proceeded from Eden, which 
watered paradise, were well known in after-ages, viz* Hidde- 
kM, or Tigris, and Euphrates, especially the latter, of which 
we often read in scripture ; and it is certain they were in Me- 
sopotamia; therefore the garden of Eden was there. And, as it 
was the finest plantation in the world, this was one of the most 
pleasant climates therein, not situate too far northward, so as 
to be frozen up in winter ; nor too near the equator south-ward, 
so as to be scorched with excessive heat in summer; this was 
the place of man's residence at first, fa J 

But if any are so curious in their enquiries, as to desire to 
know the particular spot of ground in which it was ; that is not 
to be determined. For though the place where paradise was, 
must still be in being, as much as any other part of the world ; 
yet there are no remains of it, that can give any satisfaction to 
the curiosity of men, with relation thereunto ; for it is certain, 
that it was soon destroyed as a garden, partly by the flaming 
sword, or stream of fire, which was designed to guard the way 
of the tree of life, that man might no more come to it ; and 

fa J Vide Dr, Weils' Siicred Geography, and the excunivns annexed to it. 


thereby to signify, that it ceased to be an ordinance, for his faith 
concerning the way in which eternal hfe was to be obtained. 
And it is more than probable, that this stream of fire, which is 
called a flaming sword, destroyed, or burnt up, this garden ; and, 
besides this, the curse of God, by which the earth brought forth 
briars and thorns, affected this, as well as other parts of the 
world ; so that, by reason thereof, and for want of culture, it 
soon lost its beauty, and so could not well be distinguished from 
the barren wilderness. And to this let me add, that since the 
flood, the face of the earth is so altered, that it is a vain thing 
for travellers to search for any traces thereof, or to pretend to 
determine, within a few miles, the place where it was. 

Having consider^id the place of man's abode, to wit, para° 
dise, we have, 

2. An account of his secular employment therein. He was 
appointed to dress, or manure it ; from whence we may take 
occasion to observe, that a secular employment is not inconsis- 
tent with perfect holmess, or a person's enjoying communion 
with God, and that blessedness which arises from it ; but, on 
the other hand, it may be reckoned an advantage, inasmuch as 
it is a preservative against idleness, and those temptations that 
oftentimes attend it. Notwithstanding, though man was employ- 
ed in this work, it was performed without that labour, fatigue, 
and uneasiness, which now attends it, or those disappointments, 
and perplexities, which men are now exposed to, whose secular 
callings are a relief against poverty, and a necessary means for 
their comfortable subsistence in the world, which had not man 
fell, would not have been attended with those inconveniences 
that now they are, as the consequence of that curse, which siu 
brought with it ; as it is said, l7i the sweat of thy face shalt thou 
eat breads Gen, iii. 19. 

3. We have a farther account of the provision that provi- 
dence made for man's subsistence ; the great variety of fruits, 
'which the earth produced, were given him for food, the tree of 
knowledge of good and evil only excepted. From whence we 
may observe, the difference between the condition of man in pa- 
radise, and that of the saints in heaven, in which the bodies of 
men shall be supported, without food, when changed and adapted 
to such a way of living, as is inconsistent with this present state ; 
v/hich seems to be the meaning of that expression of the apos- 
tle. Meats for the belly ^ and the belly for meats ; but God shall 
destroy both it and them ^ 1 Cor. vi. 13. 

Here we may take occasion to enquire, whether the fruits of 
the earth were the only food which man lived on, not only be- 
fore the fall, but in several following ages ? or, whether flesh 
was eaten before the flood? It seems most agreeable to the 
dif t-^tes of nature, to suppose, that he would never have found 

out such an expedient, as killing the beasts, and eating their 
flesh to subsist him, had he not received an express direction to 
do it from God, which rendered it a duty. And we have a par- 
ticular intimation of" this grant given to Noah, after the deluge, 
when God says. Every moving thing that liveth^ namely, every 
clean beast, shall be meat for you^ Gen. ix. 3. from whence some 
conclude, that there was no flesh eaten before this ; and that the 
distinction, which we read of, concerning clean and unclean 
beasts, which Noah brought with him into the ark, respected 
either such as were fit or unfit for sacrifice ; or the clean beasts 
were such as God afterwads designed for food ; and therefore 
there is a kind of prolepsis in their being called clean at that 

The principal reason that induces some to suppose this, is, 
because we read, in the scripture but now mentioned, that when 
God directed Noah, and his posterity, to eat flesh, and consi- 
dered this as a peculiar gift of providence, he said, Even as the 
green herb have I given you all things ; that is, as when I cre- 
ated man at first, I gave him every herb hearing seed^ which is 
upon the face of all the earthy and every trce^ in the -which is 
the fruit of a tree yielding seed^ that it should be to him for 
meat ; but now have I given you all things^ Gen. i. 29. that is, 
have made a considerable addition to your food by giving you 
a liberty to feed on flesh ; where the manner of expression seems 
to intimate, that, in this respect, man's food differed from what 
it was before. This conjecture, for that is the most that I can 
call it, seems, to me, to have equal, if not greater, probability 
in it, than the contrary, which is the commonly received opi- 
nion relating hereunto ; and, if it be true, then we may observe, 
\i we compare the food, by which man subsisted, with the length 
of his life, in the first ages of the world, that the most simple 
diet is the most wholesome ', when men become slaves to their 
appetites, and pamper themselves with variety of meats, they 
do, as it were, dig their own graves, and render their lives shor- 
ter, than they would be, according to the common course of 

If it be objected to this, that man's not feeding on flesh, was 
such a diminution of his happiness, that it seems inconsistent 
with a state of innocency. To this it may be answered, that for 
man to feed on what the earth produced, was no mortification 
or unhappiness, to him ; especially if it were, by a peculiar 
blessing of providence, adapted to, as well as designed for his 
nourishment, as being his only food ; in which ease none of 
those consequences would ensue, which would now attend a 
person's being wholly confined thereto. If this way of livih^ 
was so far from destroying, or weakening the constitution of 
men, that it tended,' by the peculiar blessing of God, not only 


to nourish, but to maintain health, and was medicinal, as well 
as nourishing, and so conducive to long life ; and if the fruits 
of the earth, before that alteration, which they might probably 
sustain by the deluge, or, at least, before the curse of God was 
brought upon the earth by man's sin, differed vastly from what 
they now are, both as to the pleasantness of their taste, and 
their virtue to nourish ; if these things are supposed, it cannot 
be reckoned any degree of unhappiness, though man, at this 
time, might have no other food, but what the earth produced : 
But this I reckon among the number of those probable conjec- 
tures, concerning which it is not very material to determine, 
whether they are true or false. 

4. God gave man dominion over all creatures in this world, 
or, as it is expressed, he put them under his feet^ Psal. viii. 6. 
which not only argues a superiority of nature, but a propriety 
in, and liberty to use them, to the glory of God, and his own 
advantage. No creature was in itself a snare to him, or a ne- 
cessary occasion of sin ; for as the creature at first, to use the 
Apostles phrase, was not liable to the bondage of corruption^ so 
it was not subject to vanity^ Rom. viii. 20, 21. by an inclination 
that he had in his nature to abuse it. And as for those creatures 
which are now formidable to man, as the lion, the tyger, &c. 
these, as it is more than probable, had not that fierceness in their 
nature, before the fall of man, and the curse consequent there- 
upon, so that our first parents could make as much use of them, 
and had them as much under their command, as we have the 
tamest creatures. And it is not improbable, that they did not 
prey upon, and devour one another, as nov/ they do, since pro- 
vidence provided the produce of the earth ybr their food^ Gen. 
i. 30. and therefore, by a natural instinct, they sought it only 
from thence ; so that the beasts devouring one another, as well 
as their being injurious to man, is a standing mark of the curse 
of God, which was consequent on sin. 

We read of a time in which the church is given to expect, 
that the wolf and the lamb shall feed together ^ and the lion shall 
eat straiv like the btdlock^ and dust shall be the serpent's meat ; 
they shall not hurt^ nor destroy^ in all God^s holy inountain^ Isa. 
Ixv. 25. which, if it shall be literally accomplished, is an inti- 
mation that it was so at first, as it contains a prediction of the 
restoring of this part of nature, in some respects, to its first es- 
tate. But, supposing it only to be a metaphorical description of 
the church's happy state in future ages ; the prophet's using this 
metaphor, argues the possibility of the thing's being literally 
true, and that it is a consequence of man's fallen state that it is 
not so now, therefore it is probable, that it was otherwise at first. 
Such conjectures as these may be excuse^? if we dont pretend 

god's providence to man in INNOCENeY. 7S 

them to be articles of faith, nor think it worth our while to con- 
tend with those who deny them, 

5. It is farther observed, that God ordained marriage for 
man's help, and that not only in what concerns the conveniences 
of this life, but as a means to promote his spiritual welfare, as 
such a nearness of relation lays the strongest obligations to it ; 
and also that the world might be increased, without any sinful 
expedient conducive thereunto ; and herein there was a stand- 
ing precedent to be observed by mankind, in all succeeding ages, 
that hereby the unlawfulness of polygamy, and other violations 
of the seventh commandment, might evidently appear *. 

II. We proceed to consider the providence of God, as con- 
versant about man's spiritual concerns, and that in three res- 
pects, namely, in granting him communion with himself, in in- 
stituting the Sabbath, and entering into a covenant of life with 

1. Man, in the estate in which he was created, was favoured 
with communion with God; This supposes a state of friend- 
ship, and is opposed to estrangement, separation, or alienatior. 
froqi him ; and, as the result hereof, 

(1.) God was pleased to manifest his glory to him, and that 
not only in an objective way, or barely by giving him a con- 
viction, that he is a God of infinite perfection, which a person 
may have, who is destitute of communion with him : but he dis- 
played his perfections in such a manner to him, so as to let him. 
see his interest therein, and that, as long as he retained his in 
tegrity, they were engaged to make him happy, 

(2.) This communion was attended with access to God, 
%vithout fear, and a great delight in his presence ; for man, be- 
ing without guilt, was not afraid to draw nigh to God ; and, be- 
ing without spot, as made after his image, he had no shame, or 
confusion of face, when standing before him, as a holy, sin-ha- 
ing God. 

(3.) It consisted in his being made partaker of those divine 
influences, whereby he was excited to put forth acts of holy 
obedience to, and love and delight in him, which were a spring 
and fountain of spiritual joy. 

Nevertheless, though this communion was perfect in its kind, 
as agreeable to the state in which he was at first, yet it was not 
so perfect, as to degree, as it would have been, had he continu- 
ed in his integrity, till he was possessed of those blessings, which 
would have been the consequence thereof; for then the soul 
would have been more enlarged, and made receptive of greater 
degrees of communion, which he would have enjoyed in hea- 
ven. He was, indeed, at first, in a holy and happy state, yet he 

* See Quest, cxxxis. 

76 god's providence to man in innocenct, 

was not in heaven, and, though he enjoyed God, it was in or- 
dinances, and not in an immediate way, and accordingly it was 
necessary for him constantly to address himself to him, for the 
maintenance of that spiritual life, which he had received, to- 
gether with his being ; and this was not inconsistent with a state 
of innocency, any more than the maintenance of our natural 
lives, by the use of proper food, is inconsistent with health, or 
argues an infirm, or sickly constitution, or any need of medi- 
cine to recover it ; yet our lives would be more confirmed, and^ 
if we may so express it, less precarious, if God had ordained 
that they should have been supported without these means. 

This may serve to illustrate the difference that there is be- 
tween the happiness that the saints enjoy, in God's immediate 
presence in heaven, and that which is expected, as the result of 
our daily access to him, in ordinances, wherein we hope for 
some farther degree of communion with him ; the former of 
these man would have attended to, had he stood ; the latter con- 
tained in it, that state in which he was in innocency : but inaf>- 
much as there can be no communion with God, but what has 
a proportionable degree of delight and pleasure attending it ; 
this our first parents may be said to have experienced, which 
contributed to the happiness of that state in which they werCj 
though this joy was not so complete, as that is which they are 
possessed of, who have not only an assurance of the impossibili- 
ty of losing that communion, which they have with God at pre- 
sent, but are arrived to a state of perfect blessedness. 

2. God sanctified and instituted the Sabbath for man's more 
Immediate access to him, and, that he might express his gra- 
titude for the blessings he was made partaker of, and might 
have a recess from that secular employment, which, as was be- 
fore observed, he was engaged in. This was therefore a great 
privilege ; and, indeed, the Sabbath was a pledge, or shadow, 
of an everlasting Sabbath, which he would have enjoyed in. 
heaven, had he not forfeited, and lost it, by his fall. But we 
shall have occasion to speak more particularly to this head un- 
der the fourth commandment;* and therefore all that we shall 
add, at present, is, that the Sabbath was instituted as a day of 
rest for man, even while he remained in a state of innocency. 
This appears from its being blessed and sanctified, upon the 
occasion of God's resting from his work of creation ; therefore 
it was, at that time, set apart to be observed by him. 

Object. 1. It is objected, that it might then be sanctified with 
this view, that man should observe it after his fall, or, in parti- 
cular, at that time when the observation of it was enjoined. 

Answ, To this it may be replied, that there never was any 
ordinance instituted, but what was designed to bp observed by 


man, immediately after the institution thereof. Now the sane- 
tiUcation of the Sabbath imports as much as its institution, or 
setting apart for a holy use ; therefore we cannot but suppose, 
that God designed that it should be observed by man in inno- 

Object. 2. It is farther objected, that it is inconsistent with 
the happy state, in wiiich man was created, for God to appoint 
a day of rest for him, to be then observed ; for rest supposes 
labour, and therefore is more agreeable to that state into which 
he brought himself by sin, when, by the sweat of his brow, he 
was to eit bread. 

Ansxv, Though it is true, man, in innocency, was not expo- 
Bed to that uneasiness and fatigue that attended his employment 
after his fail, neither was the work he was engaged in a burthen 
to him, so as that he needed a day of rest to give him ease, in 
that respect ; yet a cessation from a secular employment, atten- 
ded with a more immediate access to God in his holy institu- 
tions, wherein he might hope for a greater degree of commu- 
nion w^ith him, w^as not inconsistent with that degree of holi- 
ness and happiness, in which he was created, which, as was 
before observed, was short of the heavenly blessedness ; so that, 
though heaven is a state, in which the saints enjoy an ever- 
lasting Sabbath, it does not follow that man, how liappy soever 
he was in paradise, was so far favoured therein, as that a day 
of rest was inconsistent with that state. 

3. We shall proceed to enquire how the providence of Ciod 
had a more immediate reference to the spiritual or eternal hap- 
piness of man, in that he entered into a covenant of life with 
him, under which head we are to consider the personal con- 
cerns of our first parents therein, {a) 
■"»"' ... _ 

(a) If there had been a period in which there was absolutely no existences 
th^^re would never have been any thing. Either man, or his Creator, or one more 
remote, has been from eternity, unless we admit the contradiction of an eternal 
succession. But because to create implies power and wisdom, which we have 
"not the least reason to imagine any creature can possess, either man, and the 
wo 'id he possesses, have always been, or their maker. The history of man, the 
structure of languages, the face of the ground, &c. shew that man and his habi- 
tation have not been from eternity ; therefore God is eternal. As all excellency 
is in himselfj or derived from hnn, his happiness depends only on himself; and 
tJie worlds he has made, are so far pleasing as they exhibit himself to himself. 
He could have made his intelligent creatures all confirmed in holiness, but he 
chose to confer liberty, which was a blessing till abused. He knew all the con- 
sequences, and that these would exercise his mercy and justice. Partial evil he 
determined should produce universal good, and that no evil should take place, 
but that which should eventually praise him. 

The first intelligent creatures were purely spiritual, and each stood or fell for 
himself, tie united in man the spiritual and corporeal natures ; he formed his 
soul innocent and holy, and made ample provision for the comfort of his body ; 
and as it would have been inconvenient to have brought all of the hunian family, 
which were to be in every generation, upon the earth at qne time, j»d stiU m6re 

Vol. II. ' L 


(1.) The dispensation they were under was that of a cove- 
nant. This is allowed by most, who acknowledge the imputa- 
tion of Adam's sin, and the universal corruption of nature, as 
consequent thereupon. And some call it,, a covenant of inno- 
eency^ inasmuch as it was made with man while he was in a 
state of innocency ; others caii it, a covenant ofxvorks^ because 
perfect obedience was enjoined, as the condition of it, and ^f 
it is opposed to the covenant of grace, as there v/as n /provi- 
sion made therein for any display of grace, a^^ tiu^rc it* in that 
covenant which we are now under ; L at, 'n this answer, it is 
called the covenant of life^ as having respect to the blessings 
promised therein. 

it may seem indifferent to some, whether it ought to be term- 
ed a covenant, or a law of innocency ; and, indeed, we would 
not contend about the use of a word, if many did not design^ 
by what they say, concerning its being a law, and not properly 
a covenant, to prepare the way for the denial of the imputation 
of Adam's sin j or did not, at the same time, consider him as 
no other than the natural head of his posterity, which, if it 
were to be allowed, would effectually overthrow the doctrine 
of original sin, as contained in some following answers. There- 
fore we mu5t endeavour to prove that man was not barely un- 
der a law, but a covenant of works ; and, that we may proceed 
with more clearness.^ we shall premise some things, in general, 
concerning the difference between a law and a covenant. 

so, that, every one standing- or fulling- for liimseif, the earth should be the com- 
mon habitation of beings perfectly holy, happy, and immortal, and also of cursed 
perishing beings, he constituted the £i-st man a representative of his race. " Let 
us make inan/* the race in oae. To be fruitful, mult.ply, fill, and subdue the 
earth, were directed to the race. " In the day thou eatest thereof, thou sKalt 
die." Tie did die spirituuily, he lost his innocence, became the subject of guilt, 
shame, and tear ; and all his posterity inherit the fallen nature. Being already 
curse 5. when afterwards arraigp,cd and sentenced, it was only necessary to curse 
his er.j )';ments in this world. His posterity were included, for they are subjec. 
fed to tile same afflictions and death. If they had not been included in the sen* 
tence "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," as they were a part of 
his dust, not dying, it would not have been accomplished. That he represented 
the race appears also from this, that the command was given to him before his 
wife was formed,,, and also bec:iuse it does not appear that her eyes were opened 
to see her guilt, and miserable condition until he had eaten of the fruit ; then 
«* the eyes of them both were opened." 

The remedy was provided before the creation, and nothing can be shown to- 
prove that it is not conjplete in every instance when there is not actual guilt. 
That the woman was to have a seed the first parent heard announced in the sen- 
tence against the tempter, whilst standing in suspense momently in expectation 
of that death which had been threatened. If the plural had been used, this could, 
have been no intimation of the seed Christ. Why was the word tvoman used, 
which excludes the man^ and not the term man, which would have embraced 
both, unless the Son of the vii'gin was intended ? It is all one great whole, per- 
fectly seen only to God himself " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God ; how unseai'diable are his judgments, and his ways past 
finding cut," 


A law is the revealed will of a sovereign, in which a debt of 
-obedience is demanded, and a punishment threatened, in pro- 
portion to the nature of the offence, in case of disobedience^ 
And here we must consider, that as a subject is bound to obey 
a law ; so he cannot justly be deprived of that whttch he has 
a natural right lo, but in case of disobedience ; therefore obe- 
dience to a law gives him a right to impunity, but nothing more 
than this ; whereas a covenant gives a person a right, upon his 
fuiiiriing the conditions thereof, to all those privileges, which 
are stipuiaced, or promised therein. This may be illustrated, 
by considering it as applied to human forms of government, in 
which it is supposed that every subject is possessed of some 
things, which he has a natural or political right to, which he 
cannot justly be deprived of, unless he forfeit them by violating 
the law, which, as a subject, he was obliged to obey; there- 
fore, though his obedience give him a right to impunity, or to 
the undiscurtied possession of his life and estate, yet this does 
not entitle him to any privilege, which he had no natural right 
to. A king is not obliged to advance a subject to great honours, 
because he has not forfeited his life and estate by rebellion : but 
in case he had promised him, as an act of favour, that he would 
confer such honours upon him, upon condition of his yielding 
obedience in some particular instances, then he would have a 
right to them., not as yielding obedience to a law, but as ful- 
iilling the conditions of a covenant. 

This may be farther illustrated, by considering the case of 
Mephibosheth. He had a natural and legal right to his life 
and estate, which descended to him from his father Jonathan, 
because he behaved himself peaceably, and had not rebelled 
against David ,* but this did not entitle him to those special fa- 
vours which David conferred upon him, such as eating- bread 
fit his table continually ^ 2 Sam. ix, 13, for those were the re- 
&ult of a covenant between David and Jonathan ; in which Da- 
vid promised, that he would shew kindness to hh house after 
him. Now, to apply this to our present case, if we consider 
our first parents only as under a law, their perfect obedience to 
it, it is true, would have given them a right to impunity, since 
punishment supposes a crime ; therefore God could not, con- 
sistently with his perfections, have punished them, had they 
not rebelled against him. I do not say, that God could not, in 
consistency with his perfections, hav^e taken away the blessings 
that he conferred upon them, as creatures, in a way of sove- 
reignty, but this he could not do as a judge j so that man would 
have been entirely exempted from punishment, as long as he 
had stood. But this would not, in the least, have entitled him 
to any superadded happiness, unless there had been a promise 
made, which gave him ground to expect it, in case he yielded 

8© god's providence to man in innocency. 

obedience ; and if there were, then that dispensation, which be- 
fore contained the form of a law, having this circumstance ad- 
ded to it, would afterwards contain the form of a covenant, and 
so give him a right to that super-added happiness promised 
therein, according to the tenor of that covenant. Therefore, if 
we can prove (which we shall endeavour to do, before we dis- 
miss this subject) not only that man was obliged to yield per- 
fect obedience, as being under a law ; but that he was given to 
expect a super-added happiness, consisting either in the grace 
of confirmation in his present state, or in the heavenly blessed- 
ness ; then it will follow, that he v/ould have had a right to it, 
in case of yielding that obedience, according to the tenor of this 
dispensation, as containing in it the nature of a covenant. 

Thiy I apprehend to be the just difference between a law and 
a covenant, as applicable to this present argument, and conse- 
quently must conclude, that the dispensation man was unaer, 
concained both the ideas of a law and a covenant : his relation 
to God, as a creature, obliged him to yield perfect obedience 
to the divine v/ill, as containing the form of a law ; and this 
perfect obedience, had it been performed, would have given 
him a right to the heavenly blessedness, by virtue of thai pro- 
mise, which God was pleased to give to man in this dispensa- 
tion, as it contained in it the nature of a covenant. And this 
will farther appear, when we consider, 

(2.) The blessing promised in this covenant, namely, life. 
This, in scripture, is used sometimes to signify temporal, and, 
at other times, spiritual and eternal blessings : we have both 
these senses joined together in the apostle's words, where we 
read of the iffe that now is, ami that which is to come, 1 Tim. 
iv. 8. Moreover, sometimes life and blessing, or blessedness, 
are put together, and opposed to death, as containing in it all 
the ingredients of evil, Deut. xxx. 19. in which scripture, when 
Moses exhorts them to choose life, he doth not barely intend 
a natural life, or outward blessings, for these there is no one but 
chooses, whereas many are hardly persuaded to make choice 
of spiritual life. 

In this head we are upon, we consider life, as including in 
it, both spiritual and eternal blessedness j so it is to be under- 
stood, when our Saviour says, Strait is the gate, and narrow 
is the way^ which ieadeth xtntG life ; Matt. vii. 14. and else- 
where, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, chap. 
xix. 17. We must therefore conclude, that Adam having such 
a promise as this made to him, upon condition of perfect obe- 
dience, he was given to expect some privileges, which he was 
not then possessed of, v/hich included in them the enjoyment 
of the heavenly blessedness; therefore this dispensation, that 
he was under, may well be called a covenant of life. 

god's providence to man in INNOCENCY. 81 

But, since this is so necessary a subject to be insisted on, we 
shall offer some arguments to prove it. Some have thought that 
it might be prove d from Hos. vi. 7. which they choose to ren- 
der, Theij^ like Adam^ have transgressed the covenant; from 
wtience they conclude, that Adam was under a covenant ; and 
so they suppose that the word Adam is taken for the proper 
name of our first parent, as it is probable it is elsewhere, viz* 
^yh-n Job says, If I covered my transgressions^ as Adam^ Job 
xxxi. Q>2>* alludmg to those trifling excuses which Adam made, 
to palliate his sin, immediately after his fall. Gen. iii. 12. And 
there are some expositors who conclude, that this is no impro- 
bable sense of this text :* yet I would not lay much stress on 
it ; because the words may be rendered as they are in our trans- 
lation, They^ like men^ &c. a. d, according to the custom of 
vain man, they have transgressed the covenant ; or, they are 
no better than the rest of mankind, who are disposed to break 
covenant with God. In the same sense the aposde uses the 
words, when reproving the Corinthians, he says, Are ye not 
carnal^ and walk as inen^ 1 Cor. iii. 3. 

Therefore, passing this by, let us enquire, whether it may 
not, in some measure, be proved from that scripture, which is 
often brought for this purpose. In the day thou eatest thereof^ 
thou shalt surely die^ Gen. ii. 17. from whence it is argued, 
that, if man had retained his integrity, he would have been 
made partaker of the heavenly blessedness. Many, indeed, are 
so far from thinking this an argument to prove this matter, that 
they bring it as an objection against it, as though God had 
given man hereby to understand, that he was not, pursuant to 
the nature of a covenant, to expect any farther degree of hap- 
piness than what he was already possessed of; but, agreeably 
to the sanction of a law, death was to be inflicted, in case of 
disobedience ; and life, that is, the state in which he was crea- 
ted, should be continued, as long as he retained his integrity. 
As when a legislator threatens his subjects with death, in case 
they are guilty of rebellion, nothing can be inferred from thence, 
but that, if they do not rebel, they shall be continued in the 
quiet possession of what they had a natural right to, as sub- 
jects, and not that they should be advanced to a higher degree 
of dignity. This sense of the text, indeed, enervates the force 
of the argument, taken from it, to prove, that man was under a 
covenant. But yet 1 would not wholly give it up, as contain- 
ing in it nothing to support the argument we are defending. 
For this threatening was denounced, not only to signify God's 
will to punish sin, or the certain event that should follow upon 

* Vid. Grot, in Hos. vi. 7. Mihi latina hxc interpretatio von djspiicet, ut semvs 
hie sit ; sicut Jidam, quia pactum rneumviolavifferpulsus est ex Hedenci ita cequum 
;st €x'8ua terra expeiU. 


it, but as a motive to obedience ; and therefore it includes in it 
a promise of life, in case he retained his integrity. 

The ques.ion therefore is ; what is meant by this life ? or, 
whether it has any respect to the heavenly blessedness ? In an- 
swer to which, I see no reason to conclude but that it has ; 
since that is so often understood by the word life in scripture : 
thus it is said. Hear arid your soul shall live ^ Isa. Iv. 3. and, If 
thou wilt enter into life^ keep the commandments^ Matt. xix. 17* 
and in many other places i therefore why should not /i/e, in 
this place, be taken in the same sense ? So, on the other hand, 
when death is threatened, in several scriptures it implies a pri- 
vation of the heavenly blessedness, and not barely a loss of 
those blessings, which we are actually possessed of. 

Moreover, Adam could not but know God to be the Foun- 
tain of blessedness, otherwise he would have been very defec- 
tive in knov/ledge ; and, when he looked into himself, he would 
find that he was capable of a greater degree of blessedness, than 
he did at present enjoy, and (which was yet more) he had a 
desire thereof implanted in his very nature. Now what can be 
inferred from hence, but that he would conclude that God, who 
gave him these enlarged desires, after some farther degree of 
happiness arising from communion with him, would give him 
to expect it, in case he* retained that holiness, which was im- 
planted in his nature ? 

But, that it may farther appear that our first parents were 
given to expect a greater degree of happiness, and consequent- 
ly that the dispensation, that they were under, was properly 
fede;ral, let it be considered ; that the advantages which Christ 
came into the world to procure for his people, which are pro- 
mised to them, in the second covenant, are, for substance,* 
the same with those which man would have enjoyed, had he 
not fa.llen ; for he came to seek and to save that which was losf^ 
and to procure the recovery of forfeited blessings. But Christ 
came into the M^orld to purchase eternal life for them ; there- 
fore this would have been enjoyed, if there had been no need 
of purchasing it, viz* if jnan had retained his integrity. 

The apostle, speaking of the end of Christ's coming into 
the world, observes, Gal. iii. 13, 14. not only, that it was to 
redeem us from the curse, or the condemning sentence of the 
laxv, but that his redeemed ones might be made partakers of 
the blessing of Abraham , which was a very comprehensive one, 
including in it, that God would be his God^ his shield^ and ex- 
ceeding- great reward^ Gen. xvii, 7. compared with chap. xv. 

* When I speak of the advantnges being, for substance the same, it is supposed^ 
that there are some ciraimstances of glory ^ in lohich that salvation that was purcha- 
sed by Christy diffei's from that happiness which *ddam tvculd have t>€enpos9€Sigd of, 
had he persisted in his integritij. 


1» and the same apostle elsewhere speaks of Christ's having 
redeemed them that were under the law, that is, the curse of 
the Violated law, or covenant, that we might receive the adop- 
iion oj sons, GaL iv. 4, 5. that is, that we might be made par- 
takers Oi all the privileges of God's children, which certainly 
include in them eternal life. 

Agc).in, there is another scripture that farther supports this 
argument, taken from Rom. viii. 3, 4. What the law could not 
do, in that it xvas weak through the fiesh, God sending his own. 
Son in the likeness of sinful Jlesh, and, for sin, condemned sin in 
thefesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in 
us ; which is as though he should say, according to the tenor 
of the first covenant, eternal life was not to be expected, since 
it was become weak, or could not give it, because man could 
not yield perfect obedience, which was the condition thereof: 
But God's sending his own Son to perform this obedience for 
us, was an expedient for our attaining that life, which we could 
not otherwise have enjoyed. This seems to be the general 
scope and design of the apostle in this text ; and it is agreea- 
ble to the sense of many other scriptures, that speak of the ad- 
vantages that believers attain by Christ's death, as compared 
with the disadvantages which man sustained by Adam's fall ; 
therefore it follows, that, had Adam stood, he, and all his pos- 
terity, would have attained eternal life. 

Thus we have endeavoured to prove, that God entered into 
covenant with Adam, inasmuch as he was given to expect^ 
that, if he had yielded perfect obedience, he should have been 
possessed of the heavenly blessedness. But supposing this be 
not allowed of, and the arguments brought to prove it are rec- 
koned inconclusive, it would be sufficient to our present pur- 
pose, and would argue the dispensation that Adam was under 
to be that of a covenant, if God b^d only promised him the 
grace of confirmation, and not to transplant him from the 
earthly to the heavenly paradise ; for such a privilege as thia^ 
which would have rendered his fall impossible, would have 
contained so advantageous a circumstance attending the state 
in which he was, as would have plainly proved the dispensa- 
tion he was under to be federal. Therefore, before we dis- 
miss this head, we shall endeavour to make that appear, and 

1. That to be confirmed in a state of holiness and happiness., 
was necessary to render that state of blessedness, in which he 
was created compleat; for whatever advantages he was possess- 
cd of, it would have been a great allay to them to consider^ 
that it was possible for him to lose them, or through any act 
of inadvertency, in complying with a temptation to fall, and 
ruin himself for eveiu If the saiat« in heaven^ who are ad- 

94 cod's providence to man in innocency. 

vanced to a greater degree of blessedness, were not confirmed 
in it; if it was possible for them to lose, or fall from it, it 
would render their joy incomplete ; much more would the hap- 
piness of Adam have been so, if he had been to have coiianu- 
ed for ever, without this privilege. 

2. If he had not had ground to expect the grace of confir- 
mation in holiness and happiness, upon his yielding perfect 
obedience, then this perfect obedience, could not, in any res- 
pect, in propriety of speaking, be said to have been condition- 
al, unless you suppose it a condition of the blessings which he 
was then possessed of; which seems not so agreeable to the 
idea contained in the word condition^ which is considered as a 
motive to excite obedience, taken from some blessing, which 
would be consequent thereupon. But, if this be not allowed 
to have sufficient weight in it, let me add, 

3. That it is agreeable to, and tends very much to advance 
the glory of the divine goodness, for God not to leave an in- 
nocent creature in a state of perpetual uncertainty, as to the 
continuance of his holiness and happmess; which he would 
have done, had he not promised him the grace of confirma- 
tion, whereby he would, by his immediate interposure, have 
prevented every thing that might have occasioned his fall. 

4. This may be farther argued, from the method of God's 
dealing with other sinless creatures, whom he designed to 
make completely blessed, and so monuments of his abundant 
goodness. Thus he dealt with the holy angeis, and thus he 
will deal with his saints, in another world ; the former are, the 
other shall be,- when arrived there, confirmed in holiness and 
happiness; and why should we suppose, that the goodn.ss of 
God should be less glorified towards man at first, had he re- 
tained his integrity ? Moreover, this will farther appear, if we 

5. That the dispensation of providence, which Adam was 
under, seems to carry in it the nature of a state of probation. 
If he was a probationer, it must either be for the heavenly glo- 
ry, or, at least, for a farther degree of happiness, containing in 
it this grace of confirmation, which is the least that can be sup- 
posed, if there were any promise given him ; and, if all other 
dispensations of providence, towards man, contain so many 
great and precious promises in them, as it is certain they do ; 
can we suppose that man, in his state of innocency, had no pro- 
mise given him ? And, if he had, then I cannot but conclude, 
that God entered into covenant with him, which was the thing 
to be proved. 

Object. 1. The apostle, in some of the scriptures but now re- 
ferred to, calls the dispensation,'that Adam was under, a law ; 
therefore we have no ground to call it a covenant* 

god's providence to man in INNdCENCY. B5 

Answ. It is true, it is often called a law ; but let it be coa- 
sidered, that it had two ideas inciuded in it, which are not op>" 
podite to, or inconsistent with each oiher, namely, that of a law, 
and a covenant. As man was under a natural and indispensa- 
ble obligation to yieici pt;riect obedience, and was liable to eter- 
nal death, in case of disobedience, it had in it the form and 
sanction of a law; and this is not inconsistent with any thing 
that has been before suggested, in which we have endeavoured 
to maintain, that, besides this, there was something added to it 
that contained the nature of a covenant, which is all that we 
pretend to prove; and therefore the dispensation may justly 
take its denomination from one or the other idea, provided, 
when one is mentioned, the other be not excluded. If we call 
it a law, it was such a law, as had a promise of super-added 
blessedness annexed to it ; or if we, on the other hand, call it a 
covenant, it had, notwithstanding, the obligation of a law, since 
it was made with a subject, who was bound, without regard to 
his arbitrary choice in tins matter, to fulfil the demands thereof. 

Object. 2. It ?s farther objected, against what has been said 
concerning man's having a promise of the heavenly blessed- 
ness given him, upon condition of obedience, that this is a pri- 
vilege peculiarly adapted to the gospel-dispensation ; and that 
our Saviour was the first that macie it known to the world, as 
the aj:)ostlc says, that life and ijnmortality is bro-fght to light 
through the gospel^ and made manifest^ by the appearing cf our 
Saviour Jesus Christy 2 Tim. i. 10. and therciore it was not 
made known b}' the law, and consequently there was no pro- 
mise thereof made to Adam in innocency; and the apostle 
says elsewhere, that the xvay into the holiest of all ^ that is, into 
heaven, xvas not yet made manifest^ -while the first tabernacle 
tvas yet standings till Christ came, Tvho obtained eternal re-- 
iemption for iis^ Heb. ix. 8, 11, 12. From whence they argue, 
tliat we have no reason to conclude that Adam had any pro- 
mise, or expt ctation, founded thereon, of the heavenlv blessed- 
ness ; and consequently the arg^^iment taken from then'ce to 
prove, that the dispensation he was under, was that of a cove- 
tiaqt, is not conclusive. 

Ans-w, It seems very strange, that any should infer, from the 
scriptures mentioned in the objection, that eternal life v/as al- 
together unknown in the world till Christ came into it, inas- 
much as the meaning of those scriptures is plainly this : in the 
former of them, when the apostle speaks of life and immortali-- 
ty as brought to light by the gospel^ nothing else can be inten- 
ded, but that this is more fully revealed by the gospel, than it 
%vas before ; or, that Christ revealed this as a purchased pos- 
session, in which respect it could not be revealed before. And, 
if this be opposed to the revelation given to Ad^i» of life an4 

Vol, IL M ' . 


immortality, in the first covenant ; it may be notwithstanding^ 
distinguished from it : for though the heavenly blessedness was 
contained therein j yet it was not considered, as including in it 
the idea of salvation^ as it does to us when revealed in the 

As to the latter of those scriptures, concerning the way int^ 
the holiest of all. that is, into heaven, not being made manifest 
-while the first tabernacle was yet standings the meaning there- 
of is, that the way of our redemption, b) Jesus Christ, was not 
so clearly revealed, or with those circumstances of giory under 
the ceremonial law, as it is by the gospel ; or, at least, whatever 
discoveries wcre made thereof, yet the promises had not their 
full accomplishment, till Christ came and erected the gospel- 
dispensation ; this, therefore, doth not, in the least, militate 
against the argument we are maintaining. Thus concerning the 
blessing promised in this covenant, namely, life, by which it 
farther appears to be a federal dispensation. 

(3^) We are now to consider the condition of man's obtain- 
ing this blessing, which, as it is expressed in this answer, was 
personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience. 

1. He was obliged to perform obedience, which was agree- 
able to his character, as a subject, and thereby to own the so- 
vereignty of his Creator, and Lawgiver, and the equity of his 
law, and his right to govern him, according to it, which obli- 
gation was natural, necessary, and indispensible. 

2. This obedience was to be personal, that is, not performed 
by any other in his behalf, and imputed to him, as his obedience 
was to be imputed to all his posterity ; and therefore, in that 
respect, it would not have been personal, as applied to them; 
but as the obedience of Christ is imputed to us in the second 

3. It was to be perfect, v/ithout the least defect, and that 
both in heart and life. He was obliged to do every thing that 
God required, as well as abstain from every thing that he for- 
bade him j therefore we are not to suppose, that it was only \ni\ 
eating the forbidden fruit that would ruin him, though that 
was the particular sin by which he fell; since his doing any 
other thing, that was in itself sinful, or his neglecting any thing- 
that was required, would equally have occasioned his fall. 

But since we are considering man's obligation to yield obe- 
dience to the divine law, it follows from hence, that it was ne- 
cessary that there should be an intimation given of the rule, or 
matter of his obedience, and consequently that the law of God 
should be made known to him ; for it is absolutely necessary^ 
not only that a law should be enacted, but promulgated, before: 
the subject is bound to obey it,. Now the law of God vras made 
known to man two ways, agreeable to the twofold distiiiction 

god's providence to man in innocency. 87 

Uf, The law of nature was written on his heart, in which 
the wisdom of God did as much discover itself, as in the sub- 
ject matter of this law. In this respect, the whole law of nature 
might be said to be made known to him at once ; the know- 
ledge of which was communicated to him, with the powers and 
faculties of his soul, and v/as, as it were, instamped on his na- 
ture ; so that he might as well plead, that he was not an intel- 
ligent creature, as that he was destitute of the knowledge of 
this law. 

2^/5/, As there were, besides this, several other positive laws, 
that man was obliged to yield obedience to, though these could 
not, properly speaking, be said to be written on his hearty yet 
he had th- knov/iedge hereof communicated to him. Whether 
this was done all at once, or at various times, it is not for us 
to determine ; however, this we must conclude, that these posi* 
tive iav/'s could not be known in a way of reasoning, as the law 
of nature might. But, since we have sufficient ground to con- 
clude, that God was pleased, in different ways and times, to 
communjcute his mind and will to man, we are not to suppose 
that he was destitutt of the knowledge of all those positive 
3av/s, that he was oblige a to obey. 

What the number of these laws was, we know not; but, as 
there have been, in all ages, various positive laws relating to 
instituted worsliip, doubtless, Adam had many such laws re- 
vealed to him though not mentioned in scripture. This I cannot 
but observe, because some persons use such modes of speaking 
about this matttr, as though there were no other positive law, 
that man was obliged to obey but that of his not eating of the 
tree of knowledge of good and evil, or, together with it, that 
which related to the observation of the sabbath, (a) 

4. The obedience, which man was to perform, was to be per- 
petual ; bv vv'hich we are not to understand, that it was to be 
performed to etennty, i^der the notion of a condition of the 
covenant, though it certamly was, as this covenant contained 
in it the obligation of a iaw^. The reason of this is very obvi- 
ous ; for, when any thing is performed, as a condition of ob- 
taining a subsequent blessing it is supposed that this blessing 
is not to be conferred till the condition is performed. But that 
is inconsistent with the eternal duration of this obedience, on 
the performance whereof the heavenly blessedness was to be 
conferred ; and therefore, though divines often use the word 
pej'petual^ when treating on this subject, it must be understood 
with this limitation, that man was to obey, without any inter- 
ruption or defect, so long as he remained in a state of proba- 
tion ; and this obedience had a peculiar reference to the dispen- 
.->ation, as it was federal : but, when this state of trial was over, 

(a) Yet it is the better opinign, that he %vas viJnera b]/? only on one point. 


and the blessing, promised on this condition, conferred, then, 
thougti the same obedience was to be performed to eternity, it 
would not be considered as the condition of a covenant, but as 
the obligation ot a law. And this leads us to enquire, 

Whether we may not, with some degree of probability, with- 
out being guiity of a sinful curiosity, determine any thing re- 
lating to the time of man's continuance in a state of trial, be- 
fore the blessing promised, at least, that part of it, which con- 
sisted in th'ct grace of confirmation, would have been conferred 
upon hiui. Though I would not enter into any subject that is 
over-curious, or pretend to determine that which is altogether 
uncertain, yei, I think this is not to be reckoned so; espt cially 
if we be not too peremptory, or exceed the bounds of modesty, 
in what respects this matter. All that 1 shall say, concerning it, 
is, that it seems very probable that our first parents would have 
cbndnuv-d no longer in this state of probation, but would have 
attained the grace oi" confirmation, which is a considerable cir- 
cumstance in the blessing promised in this covenant, as soon as 
they had children arrived to an age capable of obeying, or sin- 
ning, themselves, which, how long that would have been, it is a 
vain thing to pretend to determine- 

The reas:>n why divines suppose, that Adam's state of pro- 
bation would have continued no longer, is, because these chil- 
dren must then either be supposed to have been confirmed in 
that state of holiness and happiness, in which they were or not. 
If they had been confirmed therein, then they would have at- 
tained the blessings of this covenant, before Adam had iulfilled 
the condition thereof. If they had not been confirmed, then it 
ivas possible for them to have fallen, and yet for him to have 
stood ; and so his performing the condition of the covenant, 
would not have procured the blessing thereof for them, which 
is contrary to the tenor thereof. When our first parents would 
have been removed from paradise to|iieaven, and so have at- 
tained the perfection of the blessings contained in this covenant, 
it would be a vain, presumptuous, and unprofitable thing to en- 
quire into. 

(4.) The last thing observed, in this answer, is what some 
call the seals annexed to this covenant, as an ordinance design- 
ed to confirm their faith therein ; and these were the two trees 
mentioned in Gen. ii. of which the tree of life was more pro- 
perly called a seal, than the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

1. Concerning the tree of life, several things may be observ- 

l.s^, It was a single tree, not a species of trees, bearing one 
sort of fruit, as some suppose : This is evident, because it is 
expressly said, that it was planted in the midst of the garden^ 
Gen. ii, 9. 

2dlyy The fruit thereof is said, in the same scripture, to be 


pteasant to the sight ^ and good for food^ as well as t'^.at of other 
trees, which were ordamed for the same purpose. It is a vain 
thing to enquire v/hat sort of fruit it was ; and it is better to 
confess our ignorance hereof, thidi. to pretend to be wise above 
what is written. 

Zdly^ It is called the tree of life. Some suppose, that the prin- 
cipal, if not the only reason, of its being so called, was, because 
it was ordained to preserve man's natural life, or prevent anv 
decay of nature ; or So restore it, if it were in the least unpair- 
ed, to its former vigour. And accordingly they suppose, that, 
though man was made immortal, yet some things might have- 
happened to him, which would have had a tendency to impair 
his health, in some degree, and weaken and destroy the tempe- 
rament of his body, by which means death would gradually, ac- 
cording to the course of nature, be brought upon him : But, as 
a relief against this, he had a remedy ahva\s at hand ; for the 
fruit of this tree, by a medicinal virtue, would effectually re- 
store him to his former state of health, as much as meat, drink, 
and rest, have a natural virtue to repair the fatigues, and sup- 
ply the necessities of nature, in those who have the most health- 
ful constitution, which would, notwithstanding, be destroyed, 
without the use thereof. But, though there be somewdiat of spi- 
rit and ingenuity in this supposition ; yet why may we not sup- 
pose, that the use of any other food might have the same effect, 
which would be always ready at hand, whenever he had occasion 
for it, or wherever he resided I 

Therefore 1 cannot but conclude, that the principal, if not the 
only reason, of the tree of life's being so called, v/as because it 
was, by God's appointment, a sacramental sign and ordinance 
for the faith of our first parents, that, if they retained their in- 
tegrity, they might be assured of the blessed event thereof, to 
wit, eternal life, of which this was, as it is called in this answxr» 
■A pledge ; and it contained in it the same idea, for substance, as 
other sacraments do, namely, as it was designed not to confer^ 
but to signify the blessing promised, and as a farther means to 
encourage their expectation thereof: Thus our first parents were 
to eat of the fruit of this tree, agreeably to the nature of other 
sacramental signs, with this view, that hereby the thing signifi- 
ed might be brought to their remembrance, and they might take 
occasion, at the same time, to rely on God's promise, relating 
to the blessing which they expected ; and they might be as 
much assured, that they should attain eternal life, in case they 
persisted in their obedience, as they were, that God had given 
them this tree, and liberty to eat thereof, with the expectation 
of this blessing signified therebv. 

Now, to make it appear, that it was designed as a sacramen- 
tal si^n of eternal life, which was promised in this covencmt^ 

90 god's providence to man in inngcenc\. 

we may consider those allusions to it in the New Testament, 
whereby the heavenly glory is set forth : thus it is said, To him 
that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life ^ which is in 
the midst of the paradise of God^ Rev. ii. 7. and elsewhere, Bles- 
sed are they that do his cG77imandments^ that they may have a 
right to the tree of life ^ chap, xxii. 14. It seems very plain, that 
this respects, in those scriptures, the heavenly glory, which is 
called the Nexv Jerusalem ; or it has a particular application to 
that state of the church, When God shall wipe away all tears 
from their eyesy and there shall be no mere deaths neither sor- 
roiv nor crying^ chap. xxi. 4. and it is mentioned immediately 
after, Chrisfs coming quickly^ and his rewards being zuith him, 
chap. xxii. 12. and there are several other passages, which 
might be easily observed, which agree only with the heavenly 
state. Therefore, since this glory is thus described, why may 
we not suppose, that the heavenly state was signified by this 
tree to Adam, in paradise ? 

And, that this may farther appear, let it be considered, that 
nothing is more common, in scripture, than for the Holy Ghost 
to represent the thing signified by. the sign : Thus sanctifica- 
tion, which was one thing signified by circumcision, is called, 
The circumcision made without hands ^ Coloss. ii. 11. and re- 
generadon, which is signified by baptism, is called, our being 
horn of water ^ John iii. 5. and Christ, whose death was signi- 
fied by the passover, is called, Our Passover, 1 Cor. v. 7. Ma- 
ny other instances, of the like nature, might be produced ; there-- 
fore, since the heavenly glory is represented b)^ the tree of life, 
why may we not suppose, that the reason of its being so call- 
ed, was, because it was ordained, at first, to be a sacramental 
sign or pledge of eternal life, which our first parents were giv» 
en to expect, according to the tenor of that covenant, which 
they were under ? 

Object, 1. It is objected, by some, that sacramental signs, 
ceremonies, or types, were only adapted to that dispensation, 
which the church of the Jews were under, and therefore were 
not agreeable to that state in which man was at first. 

Answ. The ceremonial law, it is true, vv^as not known, nor 
did it take place, while man was in a state of innocency ; nor 
was it God's ordinary way to instruct him then by signs ; yet 
it is not inconsistent with that state, for God to ordain one or 
t\ro signs, as ordinances, for the faith of our first parents, the 
signification whereof was adapted to the state, in which they 
were, any more than our Saviour's instituting two significant 
ordinances under the gospel, viz, baptism, and the Lord's sup- 
per, as having relat'^on to the blessings expected therein, is 
inconsistent with this pre^sent dispensation, in which we have 
nothing to do with the ceremonial law, any more than our first 


parents had. And all this argues nothing more, than that God 
may, if he pleases, in any state of the church, instruct them in 
those things, which their faith should be conversant about, in 
what way he pleases. 

Object, 2. It is farther objected, that the tree of life was not 
designed ro be a sacramental sign of the covenant, which our 
first parents were under, bui rather, as was b<;fore observed, an 
expedient, to render them immortal in a natural way, masrnuch 
as when man was fallen, yet the tree oi life had still the same 
virtue : Accordingly it is said. Lest he put forth his hand^ and 
take of the tree of life ^ and eat and live for ever ; therefore the 
Lord God sent him forth out of the garden of Eden ; and he 
drove out the man : and placed cherubim and a faming szvord^ 
rvhich turned every xvay^ to keep the xvay of the tree of life^ 
Gen. iii. 22, 23, 24. And some extend this objection so far, as 
that they suppose man did not eat of the tree of life before he 
fell, which, had he done, he would by virtue of his eating of 
it, have lived for ever, notw^ithstanding his sin : or if, as soon 
as he had fallen, he had had that happy thought, and so had 
eaten of it, he might, even then, have prevented death ; and 
therefore God drove him out of paradise, that he might not 
cat of it, that so the curse, consequent upon his fall, might take 

Afisw, The absurdity of this objection, and the method of 
reasoning made use of to support it, will appear, if we consi- 
der, that there was something more lost by man's fall, besides 
immortality, which no fruit, produced by any tree, could re- 
store to him. And, besides, man was then liable to that curse, 
which was denounced, by which he was under an indispensa- 
ble necessity of returning to the dust, from whence he was 
taken ; and therefore the tree of life could not make this threat- 
ening of no effect, though man had eaten of it, after his fall : 
But, since the whole force of the objection depends on the 
sense they put on the text before-mentioned, agreeable there- 
unto, the only reply that we need give to it is, by considering 
what is the true and proper sense thereof. 

When it is said, God drove out the man^ lest he should eat of 
the tree of life^ and live for ever ; the meaning thereof is, as 
though he should say. Lest the poor deceived creature, who is 
now become blind, ignorant, and exposed to error, should eat 
of this tree, and think to live for ev^r, as he did before the fall, 
therefore he shall be driven out of paradise. This was, in some 
respect, an act of kindness to him, to prevent a mistake, which 
might have been of a pernicious tendency, in turning him aside 
from seeking salvation in the promised seed. Besides, when the 
thing signified, by this tree, was not to be obtained that way, 
in whicS it was before, it ceased to be a sacram'^^tal sign ; and 

.^2 ood's providexce to xan in ixnocenct. 

therefore, as he had no right to it, so it would have been no 
less than a profanation to make a rehgious use of it, in his fal- 
len state. 

2. The other tree, which we read of, whereof our first pa- 
rents were forbidden to eac, upon pain of death, is called. The 
tree of knowledge^ of gooa and evil. Though ihe fruit of this 
tree was, in itseir, proper tor food, as weii as that oi any other; 
yet God forbade man to tat oi it, out of his mere sovereignty, 
and that he might hereby let him know, that he enjoyed nothing 
but by his grant, and that he must abstain from things appa- 
rently good, if he require it. It is a vain thing to pretend to 
determine what sort of fruit this tree produced : it is indeed, 
a commonly received opinion, that it was an apple tree, or 
some species thereof; but, though I will not determine this to 
be a vulgar error, yet I cannot but think it a groundless con- 
jecture * ; and therefore I would rather profess my ignorance 
as to this mattc-r. 

As to the reason of its being called the tree of knowledge, 
of good and evil ; some have given great scone to their im- 
aginations, in advancing groundless conjectures: thus the Jev\'- 
ish historian |, and, after him, several rabbinical writers, have 
supposed, that it was thus described, as there was an internal 
vircue in the fruit thereof, to brighten the minds uf men, and, 
in a natural way, make them wise. And Socinus, and some of 
his brethren, have so far improved upon this absurd supposi- 
tion, that they have supposed, that our first parents, before they 
ate of this tree, had not much more knowledge than infants 
have, which they found on the literal sense they give of that 
scripture, which represents them as not knowing that they were 
naked :j:. But enough of these absurdities, which carry in them 
their own confutation. I cannot but think, it is called the tree 

* The principal argument brought to prove t/iisy is tJie applicatiov of that scrip- 
twe, to this purpose^ in Cant. viii. 5. I ':dset: tl;ee up uncici iho apple tree, vhere 
Ifcy moUier brought thee forth, cm if he should sdiJ, the church, iche}i fallen by our 
fir st parents eating thefrvit of this tree, rjas raised np, when the Ji'Iessiah -i-as first 
promised. But, though this be a truth, yet ivhether it be the thi?ig intended, by the 
Holy Ghost, in that scripture, is iincertain. ^'is for ihe cpmion of those ivho suppose 
it ivas afg-tree, as Theodoret, {Vi.d. Quest, xxviii. iti (yen.'\ and some other ancient 
•writers ; that has no other foundation, but ~vhat tve read, concerntng our frst parents 
.sewing fig leaves together, aiid making themselves aprovs, tvhich, they suppose, ivas 
done before they departed from the tree, their shame immediateh' suggesting the ne- 
cessity thereof lint others think, that ivhatever tree it -were, it certanily ivas not a 
fig-tree, because it ca7i hardly be supposed but that our first parents, having a sense 
cfgiult, as ivcll as shame, luoidd be afraid so 7nuch as to touch that tree, ivhich had 
occasioned their ruin. Others conclude, that it ivas a vine, because our Satnour ap- 
pointed t/iat -wine, which the vine produces, should be used, in covimeinorating his 
death, which removed the effects of that curse, which sin broitght on the world: bttt 
this is a vain and trifling method of reasoning, and discovers what lengths some men 
run in their absurd glosses on scripture. 

f Vid. Joseph. Antiquit. Lib. I. cap. 2. 

i Vid. Sadn. cdi' Stat. Prim. Ihtn, i^ Smalc. de ter. & JVfit, Dei. Fit. 


of knowledge, of good and evil, to signify, that as man before 
knew, by experience, what it was to enjoy that good which God 
had conferred upon him, the consequence of his eating thereof 
would be his having an experimental knowledge of evil. 

All that I shall add, concerning this prohibition, which God 
gave to our first parents, is, that, as to the matter of it, it was 
one of those laws, which are founded in God's arbitrary will, 
and therefore the thing was rendered sinful, only by its being 
forbidden ,* nevertheless, man's disobedience to it rendered him, 
no less guilty, than if he had transgressed any of the laws of 
nature. . 

Moreover, it was a very small thing for him to hare yielded 
obedience to this law, which was designed as a trial of his rea- 
diness, to p:;rform universal obedience in all the instances there- 
of. It was not so difficult a duty, as that which God afterwards 
commanded Abraham to perform, when he bade him offer up 
his son ; neither was he under a necessity of eating thereof, since 
he had such a liberal provision of all things for his sustenance 
and delight; and therefore his sin, in not complying: herewith, 
was the more aggravated. Besides, he was expressly cautioned 
against it, and told, that in the day that he eat of it, he should 
die ; whereby God, foreseeing that he would disobey this com- 
mand, determined to leave him without excuse. This was that 
transgression by which he fell, and brought on the world all th& 
miseries that have ensued thereon. 

Quest. XXI. Did ?nan continue in that estate zvherein God at 
first created him 7 

Answ. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their 
own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the 
commandment of God, in eating the forbidden fruit, alid 
thereby fell from the state of innocency, wherein they were 

IN this answer, 
I. There is something supposed, namely, that 6ur first 
parents were endued with a freedom of will. This is a property 
belonging to man, as a reasonable creature ; so that we may as 
Well separate understanding from the mind, as liberty from the 
will, especially when it is conversant about things within its 
own sphere, and, most of all, when we consider man in a state 
of perfection, as to all the powers and faculties of his soul, as 
he was before the fall. Now, that we may understand what 
this freedom of will was, let it be considered, that it consisted 
m a power, which man had, of choosing, or embracing, what 
Vol. IL N 


appeared, agreeably to the dictates of his understandings to be 
good, or refusing and avoiding what was evil, and that without 
any constraint or force, laid upon him, to act contrary to the 
dictates thereof; and it also supposes a power to act pursuant 
to what the will chooses, otherwise it could not secure the hap- 
piness that it desires, or avoid the evil that it detests, and then 
its liberty would be little more than a name, without the thing 
contained in it. 

Moreover, since the thing that the will chooses, is supposed 
to be agreeable to the dictates of the understanding, it follows^ 
that if there be an error in judgment, or a destructive, or un- 
lawful object presents itself, under the notion of good, though 
k be really evil, the will is, notwithstanding, said to act freely^ 
in choosing or embracing it, in which respect it is free to evil 5 
as well as to good. 

To apply this to our present purpose, we must suppose man^ 
in his state of innocency, to have been without an}" defect in his 
understanding, and therefore that he could not, when making a 
right use of the powers and faculties of his soul,, call evil good^ 
or good evil. Nevertheless, through inadvertency, the mind 
might be imposed on, and that which was evil might be repre- 
sented under the appearance of good, and accordingly the will 
determine itself to choose or embrace it ; for this is not incon- 
sistent with liberty, since it might have been avoided by the 
right improvement of his natural powers, and therefore he was 
not constrained or forced to sin. 

Now it appears, that our first parents had this freedom of 
will, or power to retain their integrity, from their being under 
an indispensible obligation to yield perfect obedience, and liable 
to punishment for the least defect thereof. This therefore, sup- 
poses th€ thing not to be in itself impossible, or the punishment 
ensuing unavoidable. Therefore it follows, that they had a 
power to stand ; or, which is all one, a liberty of will, to choose 
that which was conducive to their happiness. 

This might also be argued from the difference that there is 
betv/een a man's innocent and fallen state. Nothing is more 
evident^ than that man, as fallen, is, by a necessity of nature, 
inclined to sin; and accordingly he is st}ded, a servant of sin ^ 
John viii. S4. or a slave to it, entirely under its dominion : but 
It was otherwise with him before his fall, when^ according to 
the constitution of his nature, he was equally inclined to what 
is good, and furnished vv^ith ever}- thing that was necessary to 
his yielding that obedience, which was demanded of him. 

II. It is farther observed, that our first parents were left to 
the freedom of their own will. This implies, that God did 
not design, especially, while they were in this state of proba- 
tion, to jSford them that immediate help^ by the interposition of 

THE FALL 01 MAN. 95 

hh providence, which would have efFectually prevented their 
compliance with any temptation to sin ; for that would hav^<? 
rendered their fall impossible, and would have been a granting 
them the blessing of confirmation, before the condition thereof 
was fulfilled. God could easily have prevented Satan's en- 
trance into paradise ; as he does his coming again into heaven, 
to give disturoance to, or lay snares for any of the inhabitants 
thei^of ; or, though he suffered him to assault our first parents, 
he might, by che interposition of his grace, have prevented that 
inadvertency, by which they gave the first occasion to his vic- 
tory over them. There was no need for God to implant a new 
principle of grace in their souls ; for, by the right use of the 
liberty of their own wills, they might have defended themselves 
against the ttmptation; and had he given them a present inti- 
mation of their danger, or especially excited those habits of 
grace, which were implanted in their souis, at that time, when 
there was most need thereof, their sinful compliance with Sa- 
tan's temptation would have been prevented : but this God was 
not obliged to do ; and accordingly he is said to leave them to 
the freedom of their own wills. And this does not render him 
the author of their sin, or bring them under a natural necessity 
of falling, inasmuch as he had before furnished them with suf- 
ficiency of strength to stand. Man was not like an infant, or a 
person enfeebled, by some bodily distemper, who has no ability 
to support himself, and therefore, if not upheld by another, 
must necessarily fall ; but he was like a strong man, who, by 
taking heed to his steps, may prevent his falling, without the 
assistance of others. He had no propensity in nature to sin, 
whereby he stood in need of preventing grace ; and God, in 
thus leaving him to himself, dealt with him in a way agreeable 
to the condition in which he was. He did not force, or incline 
him to sin, but left him to the mutability of his own will, ac» 
cording to the tenor of the dispensation which he was under. 

III. It is farther observed, that there was an assault made 
on our first parents by Satan, not by violence, but by tempta- 
tion ; the consequence v/hereof was, that, by sinful compliance 
therewith, they fell from their state of innocency. It appears 
very evident, from scripture, that they were deceived, or be- 
guiled, as Eve says. The serpent beguiled 7ne, and I did eafy 
Gen. iii. 13. And the apostle Paul speaks concerning it to the 
same effect; The xvoman being deceived^ was in the transgress 
sion, 1 Tim. ii. 14. in which scripture, though it be said, in the 
foregoing words, that Adojii was not deceived^ probably nothing 
more than this is intended, that the man was not first deceived, 
or not immediately deceived, by the serpent, but by his wife ; 
though, indeed, some give another turn to that expression, and 
suppose that Adam sinned knowingly, being content to plunge 

%e 'f HE FALL OF MAN, 

liini3elf into the depths of misery, in complaisance to her, in 
her sorrows :* But we rather thmk, that ihe apostle does not 
speak of Adam'b not beuig cleceivea, but rather of his not being 
first deceivea, or first in the- transgression. 

Now this deception or temptation, was from the devil, who, 
because of his subtiity, is cahed, J hat old serpent, Rev. xii. 9» 
chap. XX. 2. and he is said to make use oi xviles^ Eph. vi. !!♦ 
that is, various methods of deceit in suiimg his temptations, 
so that men may be ensnared by them ; which itads us to con- 

IV. The methods he took to deceive our first parents, as we 
have a particular account ihereoi, ana oi their compliance there- 
'widi, in Gen. lii. 1- — 6. in ■whicli we shall take occasion to ob- 
serve w ho the tempter w^as ; and the way and manner how he 
assAulted ihem. 

; Therfe are two extremes of opinion, which some run into, 
which are equally to be avoided. On the one hand, some sup- 
pose that it was a beast, or natural serpent, that was the temp- 
ter, and that the devil had no hand in the temptation ; w^hereas 
Others suppose that there w^as no serpent made use of, but that 
the devil did all without it, and that he is styled a serpent, in 
that scripture, from his subtiity. This we call another extreme 
of opinion, and, indeed, the truth iits in a medium between 
them both ; therefore we mtist suppose, that there was really 
a natural serpent, a beast so called, made use of, as an instru- 
ment, bv the de^'il, by which he managed the temptation, and 
accordingly that he possessed and spake by it, which is the 
most common opinion, and agrees best with the account given 
of it in the above-mentioned scripture ; and it is also consistent 
with what our Saviour says of him, when describing him as a 
murderer from the begtnnmg^ John viii. 44. - 

That it was not only, or principally, the natural serpent that 
tempted our first parents, will appear, if we consider, > 

(1.) That, though the serpent, indeed, is said to be more 
subtile than all the beasts of the field, yet it never w^as endow- 
ed with speech,! and therefore could not, unless actuated by a 
spirit, hold a discourse with Eve, as he is said to have done. 

(2.) Brute creatures cannot reason, or argue, as the serpent 
did ; for, whatever appearance of reason there may be in them, .^ 

* Tins is beautif till y described by Milton, (iv his paradise lost, Hook- IX.) and 
manii others have asf;erted the stime thing fo,r substarice^as thinking it beloiv thewis' 
dom. of the man to be imposed on ; thereby insinuating, though tviihoiit sttfficient 
ground, that he had a greater degree ofivisdom allotted to him than his ivife. 

f JosepJii.is indeed, (See Antiq. Lib. J. cap. 2.) intimates, that the serpent ~vas, at 
Jlrst, endowed with speech, and that his loss of it %vas iujlicted for his tempting man; 
but it is a groundless conjecture arising fiom a supposition, that those things spokeTi 
of in Gen. ih. 7ahich are attributed to the dtn'i', were done ivithout him, ivhichis r.Ot 
^nUj his opinion, but of many other Jeiviih ivriters, and several modern oTiee. 


Jt would be a very hard matter to prove that they are capable 
of digesting their ideas into a chain of reasoning, or inferring 
consequences trom premises, as the serpent did ,* much kss are 
they capable of reasoning about divine subjects, who know no- 
thing of God, or the nature of moral good or evil, as the ser- 
pent that tempted Eve must be supposed to have done. But 
though the serpent was not the principal agent herem, yet it 
was made use of by the devil; and then fore the whole histo- 
ry, which we have thereof in the place bctore-mentioned, is not 
an allegorical account of what Satan dici, as some suppose, with* 
out any regard to the part that the serpent bore therein. 

This appears from the curse denouncea againsi the S( rpent. 
Because thou hast done this^ saith God, thou an cursed above all 
cattle^ and above every beast ojthejield; upon thy belly shall thou 
^'0, and dust shall thou eat all the days cjtliy lije^ Gen. iii. 14. 
which is only applicable to the beast so called, and this we see 
evidently fulfilled at this day. Some, iron, hence, inler, noi, I 
think, without reason, that the serpent, before this, ^vcnt erect; 
whereas afterwards, as containing the visible mark of the curse, 
it is said to go on its belly. This part of the curse therelore 
respected the naturid serpent only ; whereas that contained in 
the following words, / will put enmity betiveen thee and the xvo- 
man^ and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy 
head^ and thou shalt bruise his heel^ ver. 15. respects the devil, 
that actuated, or spake by it ,• though I am not insensible that 
some Jewish writers, and others, who would exem.pt the devil 
from having any hand in the temptation, and throw all the 
blame on the brute creature, the natural serpent, give a very 
jejune and empty sense of this text, as though it were to be 
taken altogether, according to the letter thereof, as importing, 
that there should be a w^ar between man and the serpent, that 
so he might be revenged on him, which should never cease till 
he had slain him, or had bruised his head. But it seems very 
plain, that as the former verse respects the instrument made 
use of, viz, the natural serpent, so this respects the devil, and 
contains a prediction, that his malice should be defeated, and 
his power destroyed, by our Saviour, who is here promised, 
and described as the seed of the woman. From all which we 
are bound to conclude, that the devil making use of the ser- 
pent, was the tempter, by whom our first parents were seduced, 
and led astray from God, to the ruin of themselves, and all 
their posterity. 

There are several things that may be observed in'the method 
Satan took in managing this temptation, by which he seduced 
and overcame our first parents, of which we have an account 
in the scripture before-mentioned. 

l..He concealed his character as a fallen spirit, and pre- 

^8 THE FALL Oi MA.\. 

tended himself to be in circumstances not unlike to those in 
which our first parents were, at least in this, that he seemed to 
pay a deference to the great God, so far as to allow that he 
had a right to give laws to his creatures ; and it is more than 
probable that this was done immediately after his fall, and that 
our first parents knew nothing of this instance of rebellion in 
heaven, and did not, in the least, suppose that there were any 
creatures who were enemies to God, or were using endeavours 
to render them so. Had the devil given Eve an historical nar- 
ration of his sin and fall, and begun his temptation with open 
blasphemy, or reproach cast on God, whom he had rebelled 
against, he could not but apprehend that our first parents would 
have tre?ted him with the utmost abhorrence, and fled from 
him as an open enemy ; but he conceals his enmity to God, 
while he pretends friendship to them, which was a great in- 
stance of subtilty ; inasmuch as an enemy is never more for- 
midable, that when he puts on a specious pretence of religion, 
or conceals his vile character as an enemy to God, and at the 
same time, pretends a great deal of friendship to those whona 
he designs to ruin. 

2. As he tempted our first parents soon after his own fall, 
which shews his restless malice against God and goodness ; so 
it was not long after their creation, in which he shewed his 
subtilty, not barely, as some suppose, because he was appre- 
hensive, that the longer man stood, the more his habits of 
grace would be strengthened, and so it would be more difH- 
cult for the temptation to take effect. But that which seems to 
be the principal reason, was, either because he was apprehen- 
sive" that man might soon have an intimation given him, that 
there were some fallen spirits, who were laying snares for his 
ruin, and therefore he would have been more guarded against 
him; or principally because he did not know but that man might 
soon be confirmed in this state of holiness and happiness ; for 
how long God would continue him in a state of probation, was 
not revealed, and the devil knew very well that, upon his ob- 
taining the grace of confirmation, after he had yielded obe- 
dience for a time, all his temptations would prove ineffectual : 
therefore he applied himself to his work with the greatest ex- 

3. He assaulted Eve when she was alone. This, indeed, is 
not expressly mentioned in scripture ; but yet it seems very 
probable, inasmuch as he directed his discourse to, and held a 
conference with her, and not with Adam, which doubtless, he 
would have done, had he been present; and then it could hardly 
have been said, as the apostle does in the scripture before- 
mentioned, that the woman was Jirst in the transgression, and 
that she was first deceived by the serpent ; and, indeed, had he 


been with her, though she might have been first in eating the 
forbidden fruit ; yet he would have sinned, as being a partaker 
with her therein, by suffering her to comply with the tempta- 
tion, and not warning her of her danger, or endeavouring to de- 
tect the devil's sophistry, and restrain her from compliance 
therewith. As the law deems every one to be principals in 
traiterous conspiracies against a prince, if they are only present, 
provided they do not use those proper means which they ought 
to prevent it; accordingly if Adam had been with Eve, he 
v/ould have sinned with her, before he received the forbidden 
fruit from her hand; which we do not find him charged with; 
therefore she was alone, on which account the devil took her 
at the greatest disadvantage ; for, as the wise man well ob- 
serv^es. Two are better than one ; for if they fall ^ the one -will 
lift up his fellow ; hut woe to him that is alone when he falleth^ 
Eccles. iv. 9, 10. 

4. The instrument Satan made use of, was, as was before ob- 
served, the serpent : Probably he was not suffered to take a hu- 
man shape ; or, if he had, that would not so well have answer- 
ed his end, since it would have tended to amuse and surprise 
our first parents, and have put them upon enquiries who he was, 
and whence he came, for they knew that there were no human 
creatures formed but themselves. If he had made use of an 
inanimate creature, it would have been more surprising to hear 
it speak and reason about the providence of God ; and if he 
had not assumed any visible shape, he could not have managedi 
the temptation with that success ; for there was no corrupt na- 
ture in our first parents to work upon, as there is in us. There- 
fore some are ready to conclude, that no temptation can be offer- 
ed to an innocent creature, in an internal way, by the devil ; 
therefore it must be presented to the senses, and consequently 
it was necessary that he should assume some shape, and par- 
ticularly that of some brute creature, that he might more effect- 
tually carry on his temptation. And it was expedient to an- 
swer his design, that he should not make use of any brute crea- 
ture, that is naturally more stupid, and therefore less fit for his 
purpose ; accordingly he made use of the serpent, concerning 
which it is observed, that it is more subtil than any beast of the 

field; and, as some suppose, it was, at first, a very beautiful 
creature, however odious it is to mankind at present, and that 
it had a bright shining skin curiously painted with variety of 
colours, which, v/hen the sun shone upon it, cast a bright re- 
fection of all the colours of the rainbow. But passing this by, 
as what is uncertain ; 

5. It is probable that the devil took that opportunity to dis- 
course with Eve about the tree of knowledge, when she was 
c^landing by, ©r at least, not far from it, that so he might pre- 


vail with her to comply with the temptation in haste ; whereas,. 
if he had given her room for too much deUberation, it might 
have prevented his design from taking effect : If she had been 
at some distance from the ti'ee, she would have had time to con- 
sider what she was going about ; she did not want understand- 
ing to detect the fallacy, had she duly v*^eighed matters, and 
thciefore would hardly have complied with the temptation. 
Again, that she was, at least, within sight of the tree appears 
from hence, that the serpent takes occasion, from the beholding 
of it, to discourse about it, and commend it ; and, while he was 
speaking about it to her, .b/if saw that it was pleasant to the eyCj 
and ^oocl for food, 

6. As to what respects the matter of the temptation, we may 
observe, chat the dcvi' di » not immediately tempt h^r to blas- 
pheme God, to procia m open war against him, or to break one 
of the commandm -nts of the moral law ; but to violate a po- 
sitive law, which, t lough heinous in its own nature, as it was 
a practical disownnig or denying the sovereignty of God," and 
had many other aggravations attendmg it; yet the breach of 
positive laws, founded on God's arbitrary will, are generally 
reckoned less aggravated, or we are inclined to entertain the 
temptation thereunto with less abhorrence than when we are 
tempted to break one of the moral laws, which are founded on 
the nature of God. Had he tempted her to deny that there 
was a God, or that there was any worship due to him ; or had 
it been to have murdered her husband, or to commit any other 
crime, which is in itself shocking to human nature, he would 
have had less ground to conclude that his temptation would 
have taken effect. 

And here we may observe, that he proceeded, in a gradual 
way, from less to greater insinuations, brought against God» 

(1.) He does not immediately and directly, in his first onset, 
bring a charge against God, or his providence, but prettnds ig- 
norance, and speaks as one that wanted information, when he 
says, Tea^ hath God said^ Te shall not eat of every tree in the 
j^arden, q. d» Here is a garden well stored with fruit, the trees 
whereof are designed for your food ; are there any of which 
you are prohibited to eat ? This question occasions her reply ; 
The woman said unto the serpent^ We may eat of the fruit of 
the trees of the garden ; but of the fruit of the tree which is in 
the midst of the garden^ God hath said^ Te shall not eat of it ; 
neither shall ye touch ity lest ye die. Some think, that her sin 
began here, and that she misrepresents the divine prohibition, 
for she was not forbid to touch it ; it is only said. In the da^ 
that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die ^ Gen. ii. 17. But 
I cannot see that this was any other than a just inference from 
the prohibition itself, as every thing is t6 be avoided that may 


^jTOve an occasion of sin, as well as the sin itself. Others sup- 
pose, that there is a degree of unbelief contained in that expres- 
sion. Lest ye die * ; which may be rendered, Lest per adventure 
ye die^ as implying, that it was possible for God to dispense 
with his threatning, and so death would not certainly ensue ; 
whereas God had expressly said. In the day that thou.eatest 
thereof^ thou shalt surely die. But passing by this, as an un» 
certain conjecture, let us farther consider, 

(2.) After this, Satan proceeds from questioning, as though 
he desired information, to a direct and explicit confronting the 
divine threatning, endeavouring to persuade her^ that God would 
aot be just to his word, when he says, Te shall not surely die^ 
He then proceeds yet farther, to cast an open reproach on the 
great God, when he says, God doth know that in the day ye eat 
thereof^ your eyes shall be opened^ and ye shall be as Gods, know^ 
ing- good and evil. Here we may observe, 

1^^, That he prefaces this reproach in a most vile and wicked 
manner, with an appeal to God for a confirmation of what he 
was about falsely to suggest, God doth know, &c. 

2dly, He puts her in mind, that there were some creatures 
above her, with an intent to excite in her pride and envy : and 
it is as though he had said ; notwithstanding your dominion 
over the creatures in this lower world, there are other creatures 
above you; for so our translation renders the words, gods^ 
meaning the angels. And Satan farther suggests, that these 
excel man, as in many other things, so particularly in know- 
ledge, thereby tempting her to be discontented with her pre- 
sent condition ; and, since knowledge is the highest of all na- 
tural excellencies, he tempts her hereby to desire a greater de- 
gree thereof, than God had allotted her, especially in her pre^ 
sent state, and so to desire to be equal to the angels in know- 
ledge ; whicli might seem to her a plausible suggestion, since 
knowledge is a desirable perfection. He does not commend 
the knowledge of fallen angels, or persuade her to desire to be 
like those who are the greatest favourites of GocL From whence 
it may be observed, that it is a sin to desire many things that 
are in themselves excellent, provided it be the will of God that 
we should not enjoy them. 

But it may be observed, that a different sense may be given of 
the Hebrew word, which we translate gods : for it may as well 
be rendered. Ye shall belike God, that is. Ye shall have a great- 
er degree of the image of God ; particularly that part of it that 
consists in knowledge. But however plausible this suggestion 
might seem to be, she ought not to have desired this privilege, 

* The -words of the prohibition, in XSeri. ii. 17. ere. Ye shall surely die : -whereof 
in the account she gives thereof to the serpe?U, her 7vords are, pfSDH \Q "^^'^^ich On^ 
Jcelos, in his Tanrum, renders, Ne ibrte moriamini, ' 

Vol. IL ^ O 


if God did not design to give it, especially before the condition 
of the covenant she was under was performed ; much less ought 
she to have ventured to have sinned against God to obtain it. 

S^/e/, Satan farther suggests, that her eating of the tree of 
knowledge would be a means to attain this greater degree of 
knowledge ; therefore he says, In the day you eat thereof^ your 
eyes shall be opened^ &c. We cannot suppose, that he thoiight 
her so stupid as to conclude that there was a natural virtue in 
the fruit of this tree, to produce this effect ; for none can reason- 
ably suppose that there is a natural connexion between eating 
and increasing in knowledge. Therefore we may suppose, that 
he pretends that the eating thereof was God's ordinance for the 
attaining of knowledge ; so that, as the tree of life was a sacra- 
mental ordinance, to signify man's attaining eternal life, this 
tree was an ordinance for her attaining knowledge ; and there-* 
fore that God's design in prohibiting her from eating of it, was, 
that she should be kept in ignorance, in comparison with what 
she might attain to by eating of it : Vile and blasphemous in- 
sinuation ! to suggest, not only that God envied her a privilege, 
which would have been so highly advantageous, but that the 
sinful violation of his law was an ordinance to obtain it. 

It is farther supposed, by some, though not mentioned in 
scripture, that Satan, to make his temptation more effectual, 
took and ate of the tree himself, and pretended, as an argu- 
ment to persuade her to do likewise, that it was by this means, 
that he, being a serpent, and as such on a level with other animals 
of the same species, had arrived to the faculty of talking and 
reasoning, so that now he had attained a kind of equality with 
man ; therefore if she eat of the same fruit, she might easily 
suppose she should attain to be equal with angels. By these 
temptations, Eve was prevailed on, and so we read, that she 
took of the fruit thereof and did eat ; it may be, the fruit was 
plucked off by the serpent, and held out to her, and she, with 
a trembling hand, received it from him, and thereby fell from 
her state of innocency. 

Having considered the fall of Eve, who was the first in the 
transgression, we are now to speak of the fall of Adam: This 
is expressed more concisely in the fore-mentioned chapter, ver* 
6. She gave also unto her husband^ and he did eat. We are not 
to suppose that she gave him this fruit to eat, without his con- 
sent to take it; or that she did not preface this action with 
something not recorded in scripture : but it is most probable 
that she reported to him what had passed between her and the 
serpent, and prevailed on him by the same arguments which 
she was overcome by ; so that Adam's fall was, in some res- 
pect, owing to the devil, though Eve was the more immediate 
instrument thereof. And to this we may add, that, besides her 


alleging the arguments which the serpent had used to seduce 
her, it is more than probable she continued eating herself, and 
commending the pleasantness of the taste thereof, above all other 
fruits, as it might seem to her, when fallen, to be much more 
pleasant than really it was ; for forbidden fruit is sweet to cor- 
rupt nature. And besides, we may suppose, that, through a 
bold presumption, and the blindness of her mind, and the hard- 
ness of her heart, which immediately ensued on her fall, she 
might insinuate to her husband, that what the serpent had sug- 
gested was really true ; for as he had said. Ye shall not surely 
die, so now, though she had eaten thereof, she was yet alive ; 
and therefore that he might eat thereof, without fearing any evil 
consequence that would attend it : by this means he was pre- 
vailed upon, and hereby the ruin of mankind was completed. 
Thus concerning their sin and fall. 

V. We shall now consider what followed thereupon, as con- 
tained in that farther account we have of it, in Gen. iii. 7, &:c. 
And here we may observe, 

1. That they immediately betray and discover their fallen 
state, inasmuch as they, who before knew not what shame or 
fear meant, now experienced these consequences inseparable 
from sinj They knew that they were naked, and accordingly 
they were ashamed; (o^ and had a sense of guilt in their con- 
sciences, and therefore were afraid. This appears, in that, 

(a) The coiBmand had been ^iven to Adam : he was the representative of" Eve 
and his posterity ; according- ;y, upon her eaiii.g-. no change was discovered : but 
as soon as he ate, " the eyes r^ them bcth -vere opened" They instantly felt a con- 
scious loss of innocence, and they v.ere ushamed of iheii' condition. 

This affection may have eithei good or evil as its exciting cause. The one spe- 
cies is pniise-worthy, the other culpable. When there exists shame of evil, the 
honour of the j^arty has been wounded. 

Honour, the boast of the irreligious, is the vanguard of virtue, and is always set 
for her defence, while she is contented with her own statior.. But when honour 
assumes the authority, which belongs to conscience and reason, the man becomes 
an idolater. For conscience aims at God's glory, honour at man's ; conscience 
leads to perfect integrity, whilst honour is contented with the reputation of it : 
the one makes us good, the other desires to become respectable. Conscience and 
religion will produce that, which honour aims at the name of Honour without 
virtue, is mere hypocrisy. 

But honour as ancillary to virtue, will detect and vanquish temptation, before 
virtue may apprehend danger : she is therefore to be regarded and fostered, but 
to be restrained within her own precincts. 

Shame of good is rather an evidence of a want of honour, and springs from 
dastardly cowardice : it argues weak faith, superficial knowledge, and languid 
desires of good. Such knowledge and desires are barely enough to aggravs'^te the 
guilt, and show it was deliberate. 

The religious man must count upon opposition from a world hostile to holi- 
ness. His conduct and character will necessarily, by contrast, condemn those of 
the wicked. "QvX he is neither to abandon his duty, but cause his light to shine; 
nor purposely afflict the sensibility of his enemies, but tre^'l them with mildness 
and kindness. The demure and dejected countenance is to be avoided, not only 
because the christian has » rig'ht to be cheerfiil, but b«c»u»e wl^^n voluntaryj it 


2. God calls them to air account for what they had done, an*! 
they, through fear, hide themselves from his presence ; which 
shews how soon ignorance followed after the fall. How un- 
reasonable was it to think that they could hide themselves from 
Gbd ? since there is no darkness^ nor shadow of deaths where the 
•workers of iniqinty may hide themselves^ Job xxxiv. 22. 

3. God expostulates with each of them, and they make ex- 
cuses; the man lays the blame upon his wife,^ ver. 12. The 
xvoman^ xvhoin thou gavest to be with me^ she gave me of the tree^ 
and J did eat ; which contains a charge against God himself^ 
as throwing the blame on his providence, The woman whom 
thou gavest to be with ?7ie. And here was an instance of at 
breach of affection between him and his wife : as sin occasions 
breaches in families, and, an alienation of affection in the near° 
est relations, he complains of her, as the cause of his ruin, as 
though he had not been active in this matter himself. 

The woman, on the other hand, lays the whole blame on the 
strpent, ver. 13. The serpent beguiled 77ie, a7id 1 did eat. There 
was, indeed, a deception or beguiling ; for, as has been already 
observedy an innocent creature can hardly sin^ but through in- 
advertency, as not apprehending the subtilty of the temptation, 
though a fallen creature sins presumptuously, and with delibera- 
tion ; however, she should not have laid the whole blame on 
the serpent, for she had wisdom enough to have detected the 
fallacy, and rectitude of nature sufficient to have preserved her 
from compliance with the temptation, if she had improved those 
endowments which God gave her at first. 

We shall now consider the aggravations of the sin of our first 
,parents». It contamed in it many other sins. Some have ta- 
ken pains to shev\^ how they broke all the Ten Commandments,, 
in particular instances : But, passing that bj^, it is certain, that 

5s h}pocriticaV; and because also it injures the causs by exciting disgust and 
'"onlempt, and provoking persecution, where a mild and evenly deportment would 
command the respect and admiration even of the evil themselves. 

Contempt and ridicule will come. But the christian should know that this in- 
dicates delect in the authors of ihem. If religion were, as the infidel hopes it will 
prove, witliout toundation, to ridicule the conscientious man for his weakness, is^ 
rudeness, weakness, and want of generosity. If religion be doubtful, to ridicule 
it is to run the hazard of Divine resentment, and highly imprudent. If it be cer- 
tain, it is to rush upon the bosses of God's buckler, and the most horrid inso- 

Ridicule '\a no test of truth, for the greatest and most important truths may be. 
aubjected to wit; it is no index of strength of understanding; and wit and great 
knowledge almost never are found together. It indicates nothing noble or gene- 
rous, hut a little piddling^ genlu.s, alvd contemptibie pride. 

lie who yields to the siiame of that which is good, weakens his powers of re- 
■sistance, pravokes the Spirit of grace, hardens his conscience, strengthens the 
hands of the enemy, excites the contempt of the wicked themselve.'^, grieves his 
fellow christians, alfionts God to his face, and incurs the judgment of Christ 
-' "Whosoever is aslramed of me and my words, of him will 1 be ashamed." 


tlicy broke most of them, and those both of the first and second 
table ; and it may truly be said, that, by losing their innocen- 
cy, and corrupting, defiling, and depraving their nature, and 
rendering themselves weak, and unable to perform obedience 
to any command, as they ought, they were virtually guilty of 
the breach of them all, as the apostle says, Whosoever shall keep 
the whole lawy and yet offend in one pointy he is guilty of ally 
James ii. 10. But, more particularly, there were several sins 
contained in this complicated crime ; as, 

(1.) A vain curiosity to know more than what was consist- 
ent with their present condition, or, at least, a desire of increas- 
ing in knowledge in an unlawful way. 

(2.) Discontentment with their present condition; thougli 
without the least shadow of reason leading to it. 

(3.) Pride and ambition, to be like the angels, or like God, 
in those things, in which it was unlawful to desire it : it may 
be, they might desire to be like him in independency, absolute 
sovereignty, ^c, which carries in it downright Atheism, for a 
creature to desire thus to be like to him. 

(4.) There was an instance of profaneness, in supposing that 
this tree was God's ordinance, for the attaining of knowledge, 
and accounting that, which was in itself sinful, a means to pro- 
cure a greater degree of happiness. 

(5.) It contained in it unbelief, and a disregard, either to 
the promise annexed to the covenant given to excite obedience, 
or the threatening denounced to deter from sin ; and, on the 
other hand, they gave credit to the devil, rather than God. 

(6.) There was in it an instance of bold and daring pre- 
sumption, concluding that all would be well v/ith them, or that 
they should, notwithstanding, remain happy, though in open 
rebellion against God, by the violation of his law ; concluding, 
as the serpent suggested, that they should not surely die. 

(7.) It was the highest instance of ingratitude, inasmuch as 
it was comaiitted soon after they had received their being from 
God, and that honour of having all things in this world put 
under their feet, and the greatest pltnty of provisions, both for 
their satisfaction and delight, and no tree of ihe garden pro- 
hibited, but only that which they ate of, Gen.'ii. 16, 17. 

(8.) It was committed against an express warning to the 
contrary ; therefore v/hatever dispute might arise concerning 
other things being lawful, or unlav/ful, there was no question 
but that this was a sin, because expressly forbidden by God, 
and a caution given them to abstain from it. 

(9.) If we consider them as endov/ed v/ith a rectitude of na- 
ture, and in particular that great degree of knowledge which 
God gave them : This must be reckoned a sin against the 
greatest light; so that what inadvertency soever there might 


have been, as to what respects that which first led the way td 
a sinful compliance : they had a sufficient degree of know- 
ledge to have fenced against the snare, how much soever they 
pretended themselves to be beguiled and deceived, as an ex- 
cuse for their sin ; and, had they made a right use of their 
knowledge, they would certainly have avoided it. 

(10.) Inasmuch as one of our first parents proved a tempter 
to the other, and the occasion of his ruin, this contained a no= 
torious instance of that w^ant of conjugal affection and concern, 
for the welfare of each other, which the law of nature, and the 
relation they stood in to one another, required. 

(11.) As our first parents were made after the image of God, 
this sin contained their casting contempt upon it ; for they 
could not but know that it would despoil chem of it. And as 
eternal blessedness was to be expected if they yielded obe- 
dience, this they also contemned, and, as every sinner does, 
they despised their own souls in so doing. 

(12.) As Adam was a public person, the federal head of all 
his posterity, intrusted with the important affair of their hap- 
piness, though he knew that his fail would ruin them, together 
with himself, there was not only in it a breach of trust, but a 
rendering himself, by this means, the common destroyer of all 
mankind; which was a greater reproach to him, than his being 
their common father was an honour. 

We shall conclude with a few inferences from what has been 
said, concerning the fall of our first parents. 

1st, If barely the mutability of man's wall, without any pro- 
pensity or inclination to sin in his nature, may endanger^ 
though not necessitate, his fall, especially when left to himself, 
as the result of God's sovereign wnll; then how deplorable is 
the state of fallen man, when left to himself by God in a judi- 
cial way, being, at the same time, indisposed for any thing 
that is good. 

2diy, From the action of the devil, in attempting to ruin 
man, without the least provocation, merely out of malice a- 
gainst God, we may infer the vile and heinous nature of sin, 
its irreconcileable opposition to God ; and also how much they 
resemble the devil, who endeavour to persuade others to join. 
with them as confederates in iniquity, and thereby to bring 
them under the same condemnation with themselves : this is 
contrary to the dictates of human nature, unless considered as 
vile, degenerate, and depraved by sin. 

Sdli/, How dangerous a thing is it to go in the way of temp- 
tation, or to parley with it, and not to resist the first motion 
that is made to turn us aside from our duty ? And what need 
have we daily to pray, as instructed by our Saviour, that God 


would not, by any occurrence of providence, lead us into temp- 
tation ! 

4thly^ We learn, from hence, the progress and great increase 
of sin : it is like a spreading leprosy, and arises to a great 
height from small beginnings ; so that persons proceed from 
one degree of wicktdness to another, without considering what 
will be the sad effect and consequence thereof. 

Quest. XXII. Did all mankind fall in that frst trans^ 
gression P 

Answ. The covenant being made with Adam, as a public per- 
son, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind 
descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, 
and fell with him in that first transgression. 

HAVING shewn, in the foregoing answer how our first pa- 
rents sinned and fell, we are now led to consider, how 
their fall affected all their posterity, whom they represented ; 
and accordingly it is said, that the covenant was made with 
Adam, as a federal head, not for himself only, but all his pos- 
terity; so that they sinned in, and fell with him. But, before 
we enter more particularly on this subject, it may not be im- 
proper to enquire, whether this character, of being the head of 
the covenant, respects only Adam, or both our first parents ? I 
am sensible there are many who think this covenant was made 
with Adam, as the head of his posterity, exclusive of Eve ; 
so that, as he did not represent her therein, but his seed, she 
was not, together with him, the representative of mankind ; 
therefore, though the covenant was made with her, and she 
was equally obliged to perform the conditions thereof, yet she 
was only to stand or fall for herself, her concern herein being 
only personal ; and therefore it follows, from hence, that when 
she fell, being Jirst in the transgression, all mankind could 
not be said to sin and fall in her, as they did in Adam ; there- 
fore, if she alone had sinned, she would have perished alone. 

And if it be objected hereunto, that she could not then be the 
mother of innocent children, for who can bring a clean thiJig 
out of an unclean P The reply, which is usually given to this, 
which is only matter of conjecture, is, that God would hav^ 
created some other woman, who should have been the mother 
of a sinless posterity, (a) 

The reason why these conclude that the covenant was made 
only with Adam, is because we never read expressly, in scrip- 
ture, of its being made with Eve in behalf of her posterity ; 
and particularly it is said, in Gen. ii. 16, 17. that the Lord God 

(a) If Adam represented Eve (his rib) iii the covenant, she did not fall till he fell. 


comma7tded the man^ sayings Of every tree in the garden thou 
mayest freely eat; but of the tree of khow ledge of good and evil y 
thou shah not eat of it ; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou 
shalt surely die. And it is observed, that this law was given to 
him before the woman was created ; for it said, in the following 
words, It is not good that 7Jian should be alone ; I will make 
him an help meet for him. And, in other scriptures, which 
treat of this matter, we read of the man's being the head of the 
covenant, but not his wife : thus the apostle, in 1 Cor. xv. 45, 
47. compares him, whom he styles, thejirst man, Adam, as the 
head of this covenant, with Christ, whom he calls, The second 
?nan, as the head of the covenant of grace ; and elsewhere he 
says. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, ver. 
22. and again By one 7nan sin entered into the xvorld, &c. Rom. 
V. 12, and By one man^s disobedience, many ivere made sinners, 
ver. 19. It is not said by the disobedience of our first parents, 
but of one of them, to wit, Adam ; therefore, from hence, they 
conclude, that he only was the head of this covenant, and here- 
in the representative of mankind. 

But, though I would not be too peremptory in determining 
this matter, yet, I think, it may be replied to what has been 
said in defence thereof; that though it is true, it^is said, in the 
scripture, but now mentioned, that God forbade the man to 
eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, before the woman 
Was created, yet she expressly says, that the prohibition re- 
spected them both *, when he tells the serpent, We may eat of 
the fruit of the trees of the garden ; but of the fruit of the tree 
in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Te shall not eat there- 
of, lest ye die. Gen. iii. 2, 3. Besides, we read, that Eve had 
dominion over the creatures, as well as Adam, Gen. i. 26 — 28. 
it is true, it is said, that God created man, &c. but by the word 
raan, both our first parents are intended ; for it immediately 
follov/s, and he blessed them, therefore the woman was not ex- 
cluded; so that we may apply the apostle's words, (though 
used with another view) The man is not ivithout the zuoman, 
2ior the woman zvithout the man, in the Lord, 1 Cor. xi. 11. to 
this particular dispensation of providence. And there seems 
to be the same reason for one's being constituted the federal 
head of their posterity, as the other, since they were both de- 
signed to be the common parents thereof; the tenor of the co- 
venant seems to be the same with respect to them both, and 
the tree of life was a seal and pledge of blessings, to be con- 
veyed by both. 

But to proceed to consider the subject-matter of this an« 


* The comfiilsrs of (lie LXX. seem to have nnderstood the words in this senscy 
vAenthe-v ri^nder the text in Gen- il, 17. >? S av Kytpxciynri cf/T ctyTK 0«yxT» ajT69*y«f9». 


I. We shall prove, that Adam was a public person, the head 
of the covenant with whom it was made for himself, and all 
his posterity. When we speak of him as the head of our pos- 
terity, we do not only mean their common parent, for, had 
there been no other idea contained therein, I cannot see how 
they could be said to fall in him ; for it doth not seem agree- 
able to the justice of God to punish children for their parents' 
sins, unless they make them their own, at least, not with such 
a punishment that carries in it a separation from his presence, 
and a liableness to the condemning sentence of the law. 

Therefore Adam must be considered as constituted their 
head, in a federal way, by an act of God's sovereign will, and 
so must be regarded as their representative, as v*'eil as their 
common parent ; which, if it can be proved, then they mav be 
said to fall with him. For the understanding hereof, we must 
conclude him to have been the head of the world, even as 
Christ is the Head of his elect ; so that, in the same sense as 
Christ's righteousness becomes their's to wit, by imputation, 
Adam's obedience, had he stood, would have been imputed to 
all his posterity, as his sin is, now he is fallen. This is a 
doctrine founded on pure revelation : and therefore we must 
have recourse to scripture, to evince the truth thereof. Ac- 

1. There are several scriptures in which this doctrine is 
contained ; as that in Rom. v. 14. where the apostle speaks 
concerning our fall in Adam, whom he calls, th^ figure * of him 
that was to come. Now, in what was Adam a type of Christ ? 
Not as he was a man, consisting of soul and body; for, in 
that respect, all that lived before Christ, might as justly be 
called types of him. Whenever we read of any person, or 
things, being a type in scripture, there are some peculiar cir- 
cumstances by which they may be distinguished from all other, 
persons, or things that are not types. Now Adam was distin- 
guished from all other persons, more especially as he was the 
federal head of all his posterity ; and that he was so, appears 
from what the apostle not only occasionally mentions, but large" 
ly insists on, and shews in what respect this was true ; and he 
particularly observes, that as one conveyed death the other was 
the head, or Prince of Life. These respective things indeed, 
were directly opposite, therefore the analogy, or resemblance^ 
consisted only in the manner of conveying them ; so that as 
death did not become due to us, in the first instance of our 
liableness to it, for our own actual sin, but the sin of Adam % 
that right we have to eternal life, by justification, is not the re- 
sult of our own obedience, but Christ's : This is plainly the a- 
postle's method of reasoning. Now, if Christ Vv^as^ in this re- 

^ Ti/,T;f, the Tope. 

Vol. IL ' P ^ 

tiO THE FALt or JIAN-, 

spect a federal Head and Representative of his people, then 
Ad:im, who is in this, or in nothing, his type, or figure, must 
be the Head of a covenant, in which his posterity were in- 

There is another scripture, by which this may be proved in 
1 Cor. XV. 45 — ^'— 59. where the apostle speaks of the first and 
second Adam; by the latter he means Christ. Now, why should 
he be called the second man, who lived so many ages after 
Adam, if he did not design to speak of him, as typified by 
him, or bearing some resemblance of him ? And, in other ex- 
pressions, he seems to imply as much, and shews how we de- 
rive death from Adam, of whom he had been speaking, in the 
foregoing verses. Accordingly, he says, Thejirst man was of 
the earthy earthij ; and, as is the earthy^ such are they also that are 
earthy^ and xve have borne the image of the earthy ; so that if 
Adam was the root and occasion of all the miseries we endure 
in this w^orld, arising from his violation of the covenant he was 
under, it plainly proves, that he was therein the head and re- 
presentative of all his posterit}^. 

For the farther proof of this, we may take occasion to consi- 
der the apostle's method of reasoning, in the scripture but now 
referred to. By one man sin entered into the xvorldy that is, by 
the first man, in whom all have sinjied^ Rom, v. 12. so I would 
choose to render it rather than as it is in our translation, since 
this seems to be the most natural sense of the word*; and it 
proves Adam, in v/hom all sinned, to be their head and repre- 
sentative, and also agrees best with the apostle's general design, 
or argument, insisted on, and farther illustrated in the follow- 
ing verses. 

Again, the apostle speaks of those penal evils consequent on 
Adam's sins, which could not have befallen us, had he not 
been our federal head and representative; Thus, in ver. 18. 
By the offence of one^ judgment came upon all men to condemna- 
tion -j. It may be observed, that the apostle, in this text, uses 
a word, which we translate condemnation \ ; which cannot, with 

* *Ep' tn \ The ivorda are, etc. h «vof 7rctj>A7ria>/uixl:g, u? TraviAc nvB-pob^ac n? aalouipi^uof* 
The ICO I'd Judgment, th&ji^h not in the original, in very justly supplied in our trans- 
kition,from verse 16. or else, as the learned Grotivs ohsei'ves, the ii^ord rytvilo might 
have been supplied; and so the meaning is, Res processit in condemnationem. J^nd 
J. CapeUus gives a vei^i good sense of the text, whe?i he compares ^idam as theheud^ 
luho brought death i?ito the world, with Christ by -ichom life is obtained. His tvorda 
are these : Quernadinedum omnes homines, qui condemuuntur. reatum suumcon- 
traxcrunt, ah una unius hominis oftensa; sic & quotquot vivificantui', absolutio- 
nem snam obtinuerunt ab una xinius hominis obedientia. 

j" The 7vord KuluKptuct is used in scripture, in a forensic sense, in those places of 
the JVew Testament, jvhere it is found .• Thus ver. 16. of this chapter, and chap, 
viii. 1. »4???J accordingly it signifies a judgment unto condenniatiou ; as also do those 
-u-rtrds, the sense -ivhereof has an acuity to it, in Horn. viii. 34. tic c KetldiKpivm ^ and 
a^so AUHlayfilai, as in Acts xvi. ST. and chap. xxii. 25, So thaty according to th'i 


any maimer of consistency, be taken in any other than a foren- 
sick sense ,* and therefore he argues, from thence, that we are 
liable to condemnation, by the offence of Adam ; which certain- 
ly proves the imputation of his offence to us, and consequently 
he is considered therein as our federal head. 

2. This farther appears, in that all mankind are exposed t-o 
many miseries, and to death, which are of a penal nature ; 
therefore they must be considered, as the consequence of sin. 
Now they cannot be the consequence of actual sin, in those, 
who are miserable and die, as soon as they are born, who have 
not sinned after the similitude of Adwri's transgression ; there- 
fore this must be the result of his sin, v/hich it could not be, 
had he not been the federal head of all his posterity, (a) 

Objects It is objected to this, that God might, out of his mere 
sovereignty, ordain that his creatures should be exposed to some 
degree of misery ; and, if this misery be not considered, as the 
punishment of sin, in infants, then it does not prove the impu- 
tation of Adam's sin to them ; and even their death, considered 
only as a separation of soul and body, may not contain in it a 
proper idea of punishment, (which consists in the stroke of jus- 
tice, demanding satisfaction for sin) if it be only reckoned an 
expedient, or a necessary means for their attaining eternal life. 
Therefore it doth not follow, that, because we are liable to death, 
before we have done good or evil, it must necessarily be a pun- 
ishment due to that sin, which was committed by Adam. 

Answ, 1. I will not deny but that God might dispense some 
lesser degrees of natural evil, to a sinless creature, out of his 
mere sovereignty ; neither will I contend with any, who shall 
say, that he might, without any dishonour to his perfections, 
send on him an evil, sensibly great, provided it were not only 
consistent with his love, but attended with those manifestations 
and displays thereof, which would more than compensate for it, 
and, at the same time, not have any tendency to prevent the 

constrxiction of the ivordy though Kfijun signifies judicium in general, KstluKpi/iAA sig- 
•fti/?es judicium adversus aliqueni, or condemnatio. 

(a) That mankind are born and live in sin, maybe collected from various sour- 
ces of argument; by matter of fact, none are found free from, who are capable of 
actual guilt, by the evils and death which a just God would not otherwise in- 
dict ; by the ideas of the ancients who speak of a degeneration from a golden, 
to an iron age, by the general practice o+' offering sacrifice, which is an acknow- 
ment of guilt, by the testimony of the heathens, tliat evil example has a prepon- 
derating influence over good, by the historical account of the fall of man in the 
scriptures, by their numerous testimonies that none are righteous before God or 
can be justified by their obedience to his laws, by the confessions of the saints, 
by the necessity of repentance in all, by the propriet}^ of jirayer for the pardon of 
sin, by Christ's example of daily prayer \vliich contains such a petition, by the 
necessity of faith that we may please God, by man's unwillingness to be reconci- 
led to God, and rejection of all the spiritual good things ottered, and contempt 
of divine threatnings ; and above all other proofs, by tte coming and suffering of 


answering the end of his being ; yet I may be bold to say, thaf, 
from the nature of the thing, God cannot inflict the least degree 
of punishment on a creature, who is, in all respects guiltless. 
If therefore these lesser eVils are penal, they are the conse- 
quence of Adam's sin. 

2. As for death, that must be considered as a penal evil ; 
for, as such, it v.^as first denounced, as a pan of the curse, con- 
sequent on Adam's sin ; and the apostle says. The wages of 
sin is deaths Rom. vi. 23. and elsewhere he speaks of all men, 
as dyi7ig in Adam^ 1 Cor. xv. 22. and therefore his sin is im- 
puted to all mankind ; and consequently he was their federal 
head and representative in the covenant that he was under. 

II. They, whose federal head and representative Adam w^as, 
are such as descended from him by ordinary generation. The 
design of this limitation is to signify, that our Saviour is ex- 
cepted, and consequently that he did not sin or fall in him, in- 
asmuch as he was born of a virgin ; therefore, though he had 
the same human nature with ail Adam's posterity, yet he did 
not derive it from him., in the same way as they do ; and a si- 
militude of nature, or his being a true and proper Man, does 
not render him a descendant from Adam, in the same way as 
we are. The formation of his human nature was the effect of 
miraculous, supernatural, creating power ; therefore he was no 
more liable to Adam^s sin, as being a Man, than a world of 
men would be, should God create them out of nothing, or out 
of the dust of the ground, by a mediate creation, which would 
be no more miraculous, or supernatural, than it was to form 
the human nature of Christ in the womb of a virgin. Now, as 
persons, so formed, Avould not be concerned in Adam's sin, or 
fall, whatever similitude there might be of nature ', even so our 
Saviour was not concerned tlierein. (a J - * 

Moreover, that we might understand that he was not included 
in this federal transaction with Adam, the apostle opposes him, 
as the second Man^ the federal Head of his elect, or spiritual 
seed, to Adam, tht first man^ and head of his natural seed, in 
that scripture before referred to, ver. 45. And, as an argu- 
ment, that his extraordinary and miraculous conception ex- 
empted him from any concern in Adam's sin and fall ; the an- 
gel, that gave the first intimation hereof, when he tells the bless- 
ed virgin, his mother, that the Holy Ghost should come upon her^ 
that the porver of the highest should over-shadoxv her^ he says, 
Therefore that Holy Things that shall be born of thee^ shall be 
called^ the Son of God ; thereby implies, that, in his first forma- 
tion, he was holy, and consequently had no concern in the guilt 
of Adam's sin, because of the manner of his formation, or con- 
ception ; and this is certainly a better way to account for his be- 

(nj The covenant of grace was t'roin eterniu, and implied: his innocence- 


ing sinless, than to pretend, as the Papists do, that his mother 
•was sinless ; which will do no service to their cause, unless 
they could ascend in a line to our first parents, and so prove, 
that all our Saviour's progenitors were immaculate, as well as 
the virgin ; which is more than they pretend to do. 

III. It is farther observed, in this answer, that mankind 
sinned in and fell with Adam in his frst transgression^ and 
therefore they had no concern in those sins, which he commit- 
ted afterwards. This appears from hence, that Adam, as soon 
as he sinned, lost the honour and prerogative, that w as confer- 
red upon him, of being the federal head of his posterity, though 
he w^as their natural head, or common father ; for the cove- 
nant being broken, all the evils, that we were liable to, arising 
from thence, were devolved upon us, and none of the blessings, 
contained therein, could be conveyed to us that way, since it 
was impossible for him, after his fall, to perform sinless obe- 
dience, which was the condition of the life promised therein. 
This doth not arise so much from the nature of the covenant, 
as from the change that there was in man, with whom it was 
made. The law, or covenant, would have given life, if man 
could have yielded perfect obedience ; but since his fall ren- 
dered that impossible, though the obligation thereof, as a law, 
distinct from a covenant, and the curse, arising from the sanc- 
tion thereof, remains still in force against fallen man ; yet, as 
a covenant, in which life was promised, it was, from that time, 
abrogated; and therefore the apostle speaks of it, as being 
^veak through the fleshy Rom. viii. 3. that is, by reason of A- 
dam's transgression, and consequently he ceased, from that 
time, to be the federal head, or means of conveying life to his 
posterity ; therefore those sins that he committed afterwards, 
■were no more imputed to them, to inhance their condemnation, 
than his repentance, or good works, were imputed for their jus- 

IV. Having considered the first transgression of Adam, as 
imputed to all those who descended from him by ordinary gene- 
ration, we shall proceed to consider, how this doctrine is op- 
posed, by those who are in the contrary way of thinking. 

Object, 1. It is objected, that what is done by one man can- 
not be imputed to another ,* for this is contrary to the divine 
perfections, to the law of nature, and the express words of 
scripture. It is true, that which is done by us, in our ov/n per- 
sons, may be imputed to us, whether it be good or evil. Thus 
it is said, that Phinehas's zeal in executing jiiclgment^bywhich 
means the plague zvas stayed, was counted to him for righteous- 
ness, Psal. cvi. 30, 31. so was Abraham's faith, Rom. iV. 9^ 
23. Accordingly God approved of these their respective good 
iictionjs, as what denominated them righteous persons, and pla- 

114 '*HE FALL OF MAN. 

ced them to their account, as bestowing on them some rewards 
accordingly ; so, on the other hand, a man's own sin may be im- 
puted to him, and he may be dealt with as an offender : But to 
impute the sin committed by one person to another, is to sup- 
pose that he has committed that sin which was really committed 
by another ; in which case, the Judge of all the earth would not 
do right, 

Ansxv. When we speak of persons being punished for a crime 
committed by another, as being imputed to them, we understand 
the word imputation in a lorensick sense, and therefore we do not 
suppose that here is a wrong judgment passed on persons or 
things, as though the crime were reckoned to have been commit- 
ted by them ; accordingly we do not say, that we committed 
that sin, which was more immediately committed by Adam. 
In him it was an actual sin ; it is ours, as imputed to us, or as we 
are punished for it, according to the demerit of the offence, and 
the tenor of the covenant, in which we were included. 

Moreover, it is not contrary to the law of nature, or nations, 
for the iniquity of some public persons to be punished in many 
others, so thai: whole cities and nations have suffered on their 
account; and as for scripture-instances hereof, we often read 
of whole families and nations, suffering for the crimes of those, 
who had been public persons, and exemplary in sinning. Thus 
Achan coveted the wedge of gold, and, for this, he suffered not 
alone ; but his sons and daughters were stoned^ and burned with 
pre^ together with himself, Joshua vii. 24, 25. though we do 
not expressly read, that they were confederates with him in 
the crime. And as for the Amalekites, who, without provoca- 
tion, came out against Israel in the wilderness, God threatens 
them, that he would have war with them for this^from gene- 
ration to generation^ Exod. xvii. 16. and in pursuance of this 
threatening, God', imputing the crime of their forefathers to 
their posterity, some hundreds of years after, ordered Said to 
go and littcrlif destroy them^ hij slaying both man and xuoman. 
infant and sucklings 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3. And the sin of Jeroboam 
was punished in his. posterity, according to the threatening de- 
nounced, 1 Kings xiv. 10, 11. as was also the sin of Ahab, 1 
Kings xxi. 21, 22. And the church acknowledges, that it was 
a righteous dispensation of providence for God to bring upon 
Judah those miseries, which immediately preceded, and fol- 
lowed their being carried cnptive, when they say, Our fathers 
have sinned^ and are not ; and we have borne their iniquity^ Lam. 
v. 7. and our Saviour speaks to the same purpose, when he tells 
the Jews, 7yiat upon you may come all the righteous blood shed 
2(pon the earthy from the blood of righteous Abel^ itnto the blood of 
Zacharias^ son of Baraehias^ whom ye slew between the temple 
and the allary INIatth. xxiii. o5. These instances, and others of 


the like nature, prove that it is no unheard of thing, for one man 
to suffer for a crime committed by another ^. 

Buc I am sensible the principal thing intended in the objec- 
tion, Yvhen this is supposed to be contrary to scripture, is, that 
it contradicts tne sense of what the prophet says, when he tells 
the people, that they should not have occasion any 7nore to use 
this proverb i?i Israel^ The fathers have eaten sour grapes^ and 
the children's teeth are set on edge ; for the soul that sinneth shall 
dte^ Ezek. xviii. 2 — 4. the meaning of which scripture is, that 
if they were humble and penitent, and did not commit those 
crimes that their fathers had done, they should not be punished 
for them, which was a special act of favour, that God would 
grant them on this supposition ; and it is as much as to say, that 
he v/ould not impute their father's sins to them, or suffer them 
to be carried captive, merely because their fathers had deserved 
this desolating judgment. But this does not, in all respects, 
agree with the instance before us ; for we are considering Adam 
as the federal head of his posterity, and so their fathers were 
not to be considered in this, and such like scriptures. More- 
over, the objectors will hardly deny, that natural death, and the 
many evils of this life, are a punishment, in some respects, for 
the sin of our first parents. Therefore the question is not, 
whether some degree of punishment may ensue hereupon ? but, 
whether the greatest degree of the punishment of sin in hell, 
can be said to be the consequence hereof ? But this we shall be 
led more particularly to consider, under a following answer f* 

Object, 2. It is farther objected, that it is not agreeable to 
the divine perfections, for God to appoint Adam to be the head 
and representative of all his posterity ; so that they must stand, 
or- fall, with respect to their spiritual and eternal concerns in 
him, inasmuch as tliis was not done by their own choice and 
consent, which they were not capable of giving, since they were 
not existent. The case say they, is the same, as though a king 
should appoint a representative body of men, and give them a 
power to enact laws, whereby his subjects should be dispossess- 
ed of their estates and properties, which no one can suppose to 

* This is not only agreeable to mmiy instances contained in scripture, but it has 
been ackmoidedged to be just by the very heathen, as agreeable to the laiv of nature 
and nations. Thus one says : Sometimes a ivhole city is pimishedfor the inckedncss 
of one men : Thtis Hesiod, Trcxxaici xui ^u/mTruirct TroKtg kuxh stvS'pog sTravpa ; and Horace 
says, Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi : Jind o?ie observes, that it loas 
the custom of several cities of Greece, to injlict the same punishment on the childrenof 
tyrants, as their fathers had done on others : In Grscis civitatibus liberi tyranno- 
rum suppressis iliis, eodem supplicio afficiuntur. Vid. Cicer. Epist. ad Bntt. XV. 
i^ Q. Curt. Lib. VI. speaks of a latv obsei^>ed among the JMacedonians ; in -vhich, 
traiterous conspiracies against the life of the prince were punished, not oidy in the 
traitors themselves, but in their near relations, Qai reg-i infidiati essent, iili cuni 
cog-natis & pvopinquis suis morte afSctTeulur, 

7 See Quest. -^jyi'i. 


be just ; whereas if they had chosen them themselves, they 
would have no reason to complain of any injustice that was 
done them, inasmuch as the laws, made by their representatives, 
are, in effect, their own laws. Therefore, to apply this to the 
case before us, had all mankind chose Adam to be their repre- 
sentative, or consented to stand or fall in him, there would have 
been no reason to complain of the dispensation of God's provi- 
dence, relating hereunto : but, inasmuch as it was otherv/ise, it 
does not seem agreeable to the justice of God, to constitute him 
the head and representative of all his posterity : so that, by his 
fall, they should be involved in ruin, and eternal perdition. 

Anszv, There are various methods taken to ansv/er this ob- 

1. Some say little more to it than this : That if Adam had 
retained his integrity, we should have accepted of, and rejoiced 
in that life, which he would have procured by his standing ; 
there would then have been no complaint, or finding fault, with 
the divine dispensation, as though it had been unjust; there- 
fore, since he fell, and brought death into the world, it is rea- 
sonable that we should submit, and acknowledge, that all the 
ways of God are equal. But, though we must all allow that 
submission to the will of God, in whatever he does, is the crea- 
tures duty, yet I cannot think this a sufficient answer to the 
objection, and therefore would not lay much stress upon it, but 
proceed to consider what may be farther said in answer to it. 

2. Others say, that, since Adam was the common father, 
and consequently the most honourable of mankind, (our Sa- 
viour only excepted, whom he did not represent) therefore it 
was- fit that he should have this honour conferred upon him ; 
so that, had all his posterity been existent, and the choice of a 
representative been wholly referred to them, the law of nature 
would have directed to, and pointed out the man, who ought, in 
this respect, to have the preference to all others. This answer 
bids fairer, I confess to remove the difficulty than the other, 
especially if it be added, that God might have given Adam 
some advantages of nature, above the rest of mankind, besides 
that relative one, arising from his being their common father ; 
and therefore, that it would have been their interest, as well as 
their duty, to have chosen him, as being best qualified to per- 
form the w^ork that was devolved upon him. 

3. But, since this will not wholly remove the difficulty, it is 
farther alleged, that God chose him, and therefore we ought to 
acquiesce in his choice ; and, indeed, had all mankind been 
then existent, supposing them to be in a state of perfect holiness 
(and we must not suppose the contrary) then they would have 
acknowledged the equity of this divine dispensation, other- 
wise they would have actually sirmcdj and fallen, in rejecting 


and complaining of the will of God. But this will not satisfy 
those who advance the contrary scheme of doctrine, and deny 
the imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity, who still com- 
plain of it, as a very severe dispensation, and conclude, that the 
sovereignty of God is pleaded for against his other perfections i 
therefore something farther must be added, in answer to the 

We freely allow, that it is not equitable (to use the similitude 
taken from human forms of government) for a king to appoint a 
representative, who shall have a power committed to him, to 
take away the properties, or estates of his subjects : but this 
does not, in many respects, agree with the matter under our 
present consideration : nevertheless, if we were to suppose, that 
these subjects had nothing which they could call their own, se- 
parate from the will of the prince, and their properties and es- 
tates were not only defended, but given by him, and that upon 
this tenure, that he reserved to himself a right to dispossess 
them of them at his pleasure ; in this case, he might, without 
any injustice done them, appoint a representative, by whose 
conduct they miglit be forfeited, or retained ; and this agrees 
with our present argument. Accordingly let it be considered, 
that there were some things which Adam was possessed of in 
his state of innocency, and others which he was given to ex- 
pect, had he stood, which he had no natural right to, separate 
from the divine will ; therefore it follows, from hence, that God 
might, without doing his posterity any injustice, repose this in 
the hands of a mutable creature, so that it should be retained 
or lost for them, according as he stood or fell. And this will 
appear less exceptionable, when we consider the nature of that 
'guilt, which all mankind were brought under, by Adam's sin^ 
and the loss of original righteousness, as the consequence of his 
fall ; which they, who maintain the other side of the question^ 
generally represent, in such a way, as though we supposed that 
there were no difference between it, and the guilt contracted, 
together with the punishment ensuing on actual sins, how great 
soever they are. But this will be more particularly considered 
under a following answer,* in which we shall endeavour to take 
a just estimate of the difference between the guilt of Adam's 
sin, imputed to us, and that of actual sins committed by us. 

Quest. XXIII. Into what estate did th-e fall bring mankind^ 

Answ. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and 

* See Quest, xxvii. 

Vol. IL Q 

113 ©F sm. 

Quest. XXIV. What is sin ? 

Answ. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of 
any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature. 

Quest. XXV. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate 
whereinto man fell? 

Answ. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, con- 
sisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of that righ- 
teousness wherein he was created; and the corruption of his 
nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made 
opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined 
to all evil, and that continually, which is commonly called, 
Original sin, and from which do proceed all actual trans- 

Quest. XXVI. How is original sin conveyed from our first 
parents unto their posterity P 

Answ. Original sin is conveyed from our first parents untor 
their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed 
from them, in that way, are conceived and born in sin. 

HAVING considered the fall of our first parents, and all 
mankind being so far concerned therein, as that their sin 
is imputed to them ; we are now led to speak concerning that 
sin and misery which ensues hereupon. And, 

I. This is not barely called a single act of sin, or one par- 
ticular instance of misery, but a state of sin and misery. Man's 
being brought into a state of sin, is sometimes called sin's reign^ 
ing, or having dominion over him ; and his being brought into 
a state of miseiy, is called the reign, or dominion of death ; so 
that as, by various steps, we proceed from one degree of sin 
unto another, our condemnation is gradually enhanced thereby* 
This is the subject matter of the first of these answers. 

II, "VVe have a brief definition of sin, in which there is some- 
thing supposed, namely, that there was a law given, and pro- 
mulgated, as a rule of obedience, to the reasonable creature, 
without which there could be no sin committed, or guilt con- 
tracted I as th€ apostle saith, Where no law is, there is no trans- 
gressiouy Rom. iv. 15. or. Sin is not imputed, where there is 
no law, chap. v. 13. 

And inasmuch as it is observed, that the subjects, bound by 
this law, are reasonable creatures ; this gives us to understand, 
that though other creatures be the eflfect of God's power, and 
the objects of his providence, yet they are not the subjects of 
moral government. They cannot tlierefore be under a law, in- 
asmuch as they are not capable of understanding their relation 
to God, as Sovereigii, or their obligation to obey him, or the 

OF SIN. 119 

meaning of a law, which is the rule thereof. Moreover, we have 
in this answer, an account of the formal nature of sin. 

1. It is considered, either in its negative, or rather privative 
idea, as containing in it a defect, or want of conformity to the 
law, a privation of that rectitude of nature, or righteousness that 
man had at first, or our not performing that which we are 
bound, by the law of God, to do ; and those particular instan- 
ces of sin, included herein, are called sins of omission. 

2. It is described by its positive idea, and so it is called, a 
transgression of the law, or doing that which is forbidden by it. 
Thus it is called, by the apostle. The transgression of the laWy 
1 John iii. 4. This we shall not insist on at present, inasmuch 
as we shall have occasion to enlarge on this head, when we con- 
sider the sins forbidden, under each of the ten commandments, 
and the various aggravations thereof.* 

III. We are, in the next answer, IccT to consider the sinful- 
ness of all mankind, as fallen in Adam, or original sin, as de- 
rived to, and discovered in us ; and this consists more espe- 
cially in our being guilty of Adam's first sin, our wanting that 
righteousness which he was possessed of; and also in the cor- 
ruption of nature, from whence all actual transgressions pro- 

1 . We shall enquire what we are to understand by the guilt 
of Adam's first sin. Having before shewn that his disobe- 
dience is imputed to his posterity, that which is the result there- 
of, is, that all the world becomes guilty before God : guilt is 
an obligation, or liableness to suffer punishment for an offence 
committed, in proportion to the aggravations thereof. Now, 
since this guilt was not contracted by us, but imputed to us, 
we must consider it as the same, in all ; or not admitting of any 
degrees ; nevertheless, there is a very great difference between 
that guilt which is the result of sin imputed to, and that which 
arises from sin's being committed by us. They, who do not put 
a just difference between these two, give occasion to many pre- 
judices against this doctrine, and do not sufficiently vindicate 
the perfections of God, in his judiciary proceedings in punish- 
ing one or the other of them. That we may avoid this inconve- 
nience, let it be considered, that original and actual sins differ 
more especially in two respects. 

(1.) The sin of our first parents, how heinous soever it was 
in them, as being an actual transgression, attended with the 
highest aggravations, yet it cannot be said to be our actual sin, 
or committed by an act of our will ; therefore, though the im- 
putation thereof to us, as has been before proved, is righteous, 
yet it has not those circumstances attending it, as though it had 
been committed by us. Therefore, 

* tSee Q?^e«^ cv.— cli. 

120 OF SINr 

(2.) The guilt thereof, or the punishment due to it, cannot be 
so great as the guilt we contract, or the punishment we are lia- 
ble to, for actual sins, which are committed with the approba- 
tion and consent of the will, and as they are against some degree 
of light and convictions of conscience, and manifold engage- 
ments to the contrary : but this does not properly belong to 
Adam's sin, as imputed to us ; nor is the punishment due to 
it the same, as though it had been committed by us in our 
own persons. 

But, that we may not be misunderstood, let it be considered, 
that we are not speaking of the corruption of nature inherent 
in us. We do not deny, but that the fountain that sends forth 
all actual sins, or that sin reigning in the heart, is, in various 
respects, more aggravated, than many others that are commit- 
ted, which we call actual transgressions, as the corrupt foun- 
tain is worse than the streams, or the root than the branch, or 
the cause than the effect. But when we consider, as at present 
we do Adam's sin only, as imputed, and as being antecedent 
to that corruption of nature, which is the . immediate cause of 
sinful actions ; or when we distinguish between original sin, as 
imputed and inherent, we only understand, by the former, that 
it cannot expose those who never committed any actual sins, 
to so great a degree of guilt and punishment, as the sins com- 
mitted by them are said to expose them to. 

And let it be farther observed, that we do not say that there 
is no punishment due to original sin, as imputed to us ; for 
that would be to suppose that there is no guilt attending it, 
which is contrary to what we have already proved ; but all our 
design, at present, is, to put a just difference between Adam's 
sin, imputed to us, and those that are committed by us. And, 
indeed, if what we have said under this head, be not true, the 
state of infants, dying in infancy, under the guilt of Adam's 
sin, must be equally deplorable with that of the rest of man- 
kind ; therefore, when I find some expressing themselves to 
this purpose, I cannot wonder that others, who deny this doc- 
trine are offended at it. It is one thing to say, that they are 
exposed to no punishment at all, which none, that observe the 
miseries that we are liable to, from pur first appearance in the 
world, to our leaving it, whether sooner or later, can well de= 
ny ; and another thing to say, that they are exposed to the same 
punishment for it, as though they had actually committed it ; 
the former we allow ; the latter we must take leave to deny lest 
we should give occasion to any to think that the Judge of all 
does any thing, which carries in it the least appearance of se- 
verity, and injustice. Thus concerning the guilt of Adam's 
first sin. imputed to us ; whiph leads us to consider the effects 
thereof. Accordingly, 

©1? SIN.^ 121 

2. Man is said to want that righteousness which he had at 
first, which is generaily called, original righteousness. This is 
styled, the privative part of originnl sin, as the corruption of 
the human nature, and its propensity to all sin, is the positive 
part thereof. In considering the former of these, or man's want 
of original righteousness, we ma)^ observe, 

(1.) That man has not wholly lost God's natural image, 
which he was possessed of, as an intelligent creature, consist- 
ing in his being endowed as such with an understanding, capa- 
ble of some degree of the knowledge of himself and divine 
things ; and a will, in many respects, free, viz. as to what con- 
cerns natural things, or some external branches of religion, or 
things materially good, and in his having executive powers, to 
act agreeably thereunto ; though these are miserably defaced, 
and come far short of that perfection, which he had in the state 
in which he was first created. Some have compared this to an 
old decayed building, which has, by the ruins of time, lost its 
strength and beauty, though it retains something of the shape 
and resemblance of what it was before. Thus the powers and 
faculties of the soul are weakened, but not wholly lost, by the 
fall. They are like the fruits of the earth, which are shrivelled 
and withered in winter, and look as though they are dead ; or 
like a man, who has out-lived himself, and has lost the vivacity 
and sprightliness of his parts, as well as the beauty of his body, 
which he formerly had. 

(2.) Our ability to yield acceptable obedience to God, much 
more perfect obedience, is wholly lost, as being destitute of a 
principle of spiritual life and grace, which must, if ever we 
have it, be implanted in regeneration ; so that every one may 
sky with the apostle. In me {that is, in my fiesh^ dwelleth no 
^ood thing, Rom. vii. 18. 

(3.) We are destitute of a right to the heavenly blessedness, 
and all those privileges, that were promised upon condition of 
our first parents performing perfect obedience, according to the 
tenor of the covenant made with them in their state of inno- 

This want of original righteousness is the immediate conse- 
quence of Adam's first sin. By original righteousness we un- 
derstand, either that freedom from guilt, which man had before 
he sinned, which exempted him from any liableness to condem- 
nation, and afforded him a plea before God for his retaining the 
blessings he was possessed of; and, had he persisted longer in 
his integrity, it would have given him a right to a greater degree 
of happiness : His perfect obedience was his righteousness, in a 
forensick sense ; and the failure thereof, in our first parents, ren- 
dered both them and us destitute of it. But, since this is the same 
with- what is expressed in the foregoing words, wherein we are 

122 OI SIN. 

denominated guilty of Adam's first sin, we mu^ consider some- 
thing else, as intended in this expression, when we are said to 
want that righteousness wherein he was created. 

We have before observed, that, by the fall of our first parents, 
the image of God in man was defaced : But now, we are to speak 
of his supernatural image, as what was wholly lost, and there- 
fore all mankind are, by nature, destitute of a principle of grace ; 
upon which account it may be truly said, as the apostle does, 
There is none righteous ; no^ not one^ Rom. iii, 10. and else- 
where man is called, A transgressor from the womb, Isa. xlviii. 
8. and, by nature, not only a child of wrath, but dead in tres- 
passes and Bins, Eph. ii. 1. and therefore it is necessary that we 
be created again to good works, or that a new principle of grace 
be implanted in regeneration, without which there is no salvation. 
Our being destitute of this supernatural principle of grace is dis- 
tinguished from that propensity to sin, or corruption of nature, 
which is spoken of in the following words of this answer ; and 
therefore, considering it as thus distinguished, and as called, 
by some, the privative part of original sin ; we are led to speak 
of man in his destitute state, deprived of that which was his 
glory, and tended to his defence against the assaults of temp- 
tation; and of those actual transgressions which are the conse- 
quence thereof. This excellent endowment man is said to have 

Some divines express themselves with a degree of caution, 
when treating on this subject; and therefore, though they allow 
that man has lost this righteousness, yet they will hardly own 
that God took it away, though it were by a judicial act, as sup- 
posing thtit this would argue him to be the author of sin ; and 
I would not blame the least degree of concern expressed to 
fence against such a consequence, did it really ensue on our 
asserting it ; yet I cannot but conclude, that the holiness of God 
may be vindicated, though we should assert, that he deprived 
him of this righteousness, as a punishment of his sin, or deni- 
ed him that power to perform perfect obedience, which he con- 
ferred on him at first; for there is a vast difference between 
God's restoring to him his lost power, to perform that which 
is truly and supernaturally good in all its circumstances ; and 
the infusing habits of sin into his nature : This, we acknow- 
ledge, he could not do, consistently with his holiness, and shall 
make it farther appear, under a following head. But the other 
he might do, that is, leave man destitute of a power to walk be- 
fore him in holiness and righteousness ; for, if God had been 
obliged to have given him this power, then his bestowing it on 
fallen man, would be rather a debt than a grace, which is con- 
trary to the whole tenor of the gospel. But this leads us to con- 
sider the positive part of original sin ; therefore, 

or «IN. 125 

3. Man's sinfulness, ^s fallen, consists in the corruption of 
his nature, or a propensity and inclination to all evil, which, as 
it is observed, is commonly called, original sin^ that is, original 
sin inherent, as distinguished from it, as imputed to us, which 
has been already considered. That the nature of man is vitia- 
ted, corrupted, and prone to all that is bad, is taken for grant- 
ed by all ; and, indeed, he that denies it, must either be very 
much unacquainted with himself, or hardly retain the common 
notices which we have of moral good and evil. This is frequent- 
ly represented, in scripture, as a plague, defilement, or deadly 
evil, with which his heart is affected ; upon which account it is 
said, that it is deceitful above all things^ and desperately xvick- 
edy Jer. xvii. 9. that out of it proceed evil thoughts^ and all o- 
ther abominations of the most heinous nature, Matth. xv. 19. 
unless prevented by the grace of God. 

This propensity of nature to sin discovers itself in the first 
dawn of our reason ; so that we no sooner appear to be men, 
but we give ground to conclude that we are sinners. Accord- 
ingly it is said. The imagination of man's heart is only evil, and 
that from his youth, (a J Gen. vi. 5. compared with chap. viii. 
21. and he is represented as estranged from the xvomb, going 
astray as soon as he is born, speaking lyes, Psal. Ivii. 3. which 
is, notwithstanding, to be understood with this limitation, that 
we are prone to sin, as soon as we have any dispositions, or in- 
clinations, to any thing ; for it cannot be supposed that man is 
disposed to commit actual sin before he is capable of acting. 
Some, indeed, have attempted to prove that the soul of a child 
sins as soon as it is united to the body in the w^omb, and have 

CaJ Gen. vi. 5. Is a picture of antideluvian iniquity, it not only proves that 
guilt was universal, and all men affected ; that it was general, the greater por- 
tion of the actions of men being- evil ; but that the depravity of every unsanctified 
man was total, extending not merely to his thoughts^ but to his jmagination 12f % 
the first fr-ame or form of the thoughts. They were not partially, but only evil^ 
and that not occasionally but continually. Yet the race v/ho were destroyed, 
must have performed relative duties, parental and filial ; and the tribes seem to 
have lived as free from war, at least, as those who have existed since the flood. 
If crimes before the flood exceeded in degree and multitude those of modern 
times, yet if they differed not in their nature, it will follow, that when the unre- 
newed in our days, are kind parents, dutiful children, honest men, and good citi- 
zens, they may be totally depraved ; the " imagi?iation of the thoughts of their hearti. 
may be only evil continually?* As we know not their hearts, are to judge of them 
by their fruits, and .are charitably to impute their actions to better motives, we 
may with propriety commend what God will condemn. He sees the intentions,, 
and the aversion of heart to him and holiness, and though he may reward virtu- 
ous conduct in this world, to encourage virtue, yet will eventually judge righte- 
ous judgment, and connect eveiy action with its motives. 

This scripture also shews us not only, that the material good?iess of actions 
will not recommend them to God, but that conscientiousness in the discharge of 
relative duties, (for this must have existed before the flood,) will not recommend 
them where the love oi'God, whic.&L is peculiar to the renc wad mind, is absent 

124 or SIN. 

carried this indefensible conjecture so far, as that tliey have 
maintained, that actual sin is committed in the womb. But this 
23 not only destitute of all manner of proof, but it seems so 
verv absurd, that, as few will be convinced by it, so it needs no 

As for this propensity to sin, (whenever it may be said to 
take place) it is certain, that it is not equal in all ; and in this 
it differs from Adam's guilt, as imputed to us, and from our 
want of original righteousness, as the immediate consequence 
thereof; for these corrupt inclinations appear, from universal 
experience, as well as the concurrent testimony of scripture, t« 
be of an increasing nature ; so that some are more obstinate and 
hardened in sin than others ; and the habits thereof, in many, 
are compared to the tincture of the Ethiopian^ or the leopard\<? 
spots^ Jer. xiii. 23. which no human art can take away. We 
are, indeed, naturally prone to sin at first ; but afterwards the 
leprosy spreads, and the propensity, or inclination to it, in- 
creases by repeated acts, or a course of sin. The Psalmist takes 
notice of this, in a beautiful climax^ or gradation ; They knou- 
noty 7ieit!ier will they understand^ they walk in darkness^ PsaL 
Ixxxii. 5. 

We shall now take occasion to speak something concerning 
the rise or origin hereof. This is a difficulty which many have 
attempted to account for and explain, though with as little suc- 
cess as any thing that comes within the compass of our enqui- 
ries. Some ancient heretics '^ have thought, that because it could 
not be from God, who is the author of nothing but what is good, 
that therefore there are two first causes ; one of all good, which 
is God, and the other of all evil. But this is deservedly explod- 
ed, as a most dangerous and absurd notion. 

Others seem to assert, that God is the author of it ; and, that 
they may exculpate themselves from making him the author 
of sin, which is the vilest reproach that can be cast upon him, 
they add, that he does this in a judicial way, as a punishment 
for the sin of our first parents, and that it is no reflection on him 
to suppose, that, as a Judge, he may put this propensity to sin 
into our nature ; so that it is, as it were, concreate with the 
soul, or derived to us, at the same time that it is formed in, 
and united to the body : But we cannot, by any means, conclude 
God to be the author hereof, though it be as a Judge ; for that 
would be to suppose his vindictive justice inconsistent with the 
spotless purity of his nature. We read, indeed, of God's giv- 
ing men up to their oxvn hearts^ lusts^ Psal. Ixxxi. 11, 12. as a 
punishment for other sins ; but never of his producing in them 
an inclination to sin, though it be under the notion of a punish- 
ment : But this having been proved and illustrated, under a 

* The Marcibniks in the iCCQud cenUinj^ and the Mfinifhees in the third. 

OF ^IN. 12.5 

Ibregoing answer, when speaking concerning the providence of 
God, as conversant about those actions, to which sin is annexed^ 
in a judicial way, we shall pass it over in this place *. 

The Pelagians, and, after them, the Papists, and some among 
the Remonstrants, being sensible, that this propensity of nature 
to sin cannot be denied, have taken such a method to account 
for it, as makes it a very innocent and harmless thing ; and, 
that it may appear agreeable to the notion v/hich they maintain 
of the innocency of man by nature, they suppose that the first 
motions, or inclinations of the soul to *in, or, to use their own 
expression, the first acts of concupiscence are not sinful ; and, 
to support this opinion, they maintain, that nothing can be 
deemed a sin, but what is committed with the full bent of the 
will ; and therefore when an unlawful object presents itself^ how 
much soever the mind may be pleased with it, yet there is no 
sin till there is an actual compliance with it ; and, for this, they 
bring that scripture, Whe7i lust has conceived^ it bring eth forth 
sin^ James u 15. that is, the second act of concupiscence, or 
the compliance with the first suggestions to sin, are only deno- 
minated sm J and, as a consequence from this supposition, they 
pretend that these first acts of concupiscence were not inconsis- 
tent with a state of innocency ; so that when Eye saw that the 
tree xvas good for food^ and that it was pleasant to the eyes^ and 
a tree to be desired to make one zuise, she took of the fruit there* 
of and did eat^ Gen. iii. 6. She did not sin till she took of the 
fruit thereof, and did eat ; and, as a farther consequence dedu- 
ced from this supposition, they conclude, that that original righ- 
teousness, which our first parents had, did not consist so much 
in a perfect freedom from all suggestions to sin, but it was ra-s? 
ther a bridle to restrain them from compliance therewith, which, 
by not making a right use of, they complied with the motions 
of concupiscence, and so sinned. And, according to this scheme, 
that propensity of nature to sin, which we have in our child- 
hood, is an harmless, and innocent thing, and therefore we may 
suppose it to be from God, without concluding him to be the 
author of sin. But this is a vile and groundless notion, and 
such as savours more of Antinomianism, than many doctrines 
that are so called i and, indeed, it is to call that no sin, which 
is, as it were^ the root and spring of all sin, and to make God 
the author and approver of that, which he cannot but look on 
with the utmost detestation, as being contrary to the holiness 
of his nature ; to which nothing farther need be said, since the 
notion carries the black marks of its own infamy in itself. 

There are others who oppose the doctrine of original sin, and 
pretend to account for the corruption of nature, by supposing 
chat all men sinned for themselves ; which is nothing else but 

* See Page S4r— 57 i ante. 

Vol. II, R 

22o OF sir?. 

reviving an old opinion tajten from the schools of Plato and Py- 
thagoras, namely, that God created the souls of all men at first, 
and before they were united to their bodies, at least those that 
now they have, sinned ; and, as a punishment of their crime in 
that state, they were not only condemned to their respective 
bodies, but to suffer all the miseries which they are exposed to 
therein ; so that the sin, which they committed in these bodies, 
is nothing else but the propagation of that, which had its first 
Hse in the acts of the understanding and will, when they first fell 
into a state of sin. This is so chimerical an opinion, that I 
v/ould not have mentioned it, had it not been maintained by 
some, as an expedient, to account for the corruption of nature, 
by those who deny original sin, and affirmed with that assu- 
rance, as though it were founded in scripture ; whereas I can- 
not think it has the least countenance from it. They first take it 
for granted without sufficient ground that those scriptures, that 
speak of the pre-existence of Christ in his divine nature, are to 
be understood concerning the pre-existence of his soul ,* and 
from thence they infer, that it is reasonable to suppose, that the 
souls of other men pre-existed likewise. And they also strain 
the sense of two or three other scriptures to prove it ; as when 
it is said, that^ when God had laid the foundation of the earthy 
the morning stars sang together^ and all the sons of God shout^ 
tdfor joy^ Job xxxviii. 7. where, by the morning stars ^ they un- 
derstand, as others do, the angels ; and, by the sons of God^ 
they suppose, is meant the souls of men, that were then crea» 
ted, and untainted with sin, and, to give farther countenance to 
this, they explain what is said in a following verse, ver. 12. a- 
greeably thereunto, where, when God had continued the ac- 
count which he gives of his having created the world, he says, 
Kiiowest thou ity because thou xvast then born^ or because the num- 
ber of thy days is great ; they render the words, K7iowest thou 
that thou zvast then born^ and that the number of thy days are 
Tuanyy or they depend upon the translation, which the LXX 
give of the text, I know that thou zvast then born^Jor the num- 
ber of thy days is 7nany, that is, that thou wast then existent ; 
for though thou knowest not what thou didst, from that time, 
till thou earnest mto the world, yet the number of thy days is 
great, that is, thou hadst an existence many ages before. How- 
easy a matter it is for persons to strain the sense of some words 
of scripture, to serve a purpose, contrary to the general scope 
and design thereof, if they attempt to give countenance thereby 
to any doctrine of their own invention. 

As for tho se scriptures, which they bring to prove that ih& 
Jews were of this opinion, I will not deny the inference from 
thence, that some of them were, as appears from the report that 
the disciples gave to our Saviour, v/hen he asked them, Whom 

do men say that lam? They replied, Some say that thou art 
yohn tJie Baptist^ some Elias, and others jferemiasy or one of 
the prophets^ Matth. xvi. 13, 14. that is, they judged, accord- 
ing to the Pythagorean hypothesis, that the soul of Jeremias^ 
OY one of the prophets^ dwelt in that body, which he had, and 
therefore that he was one of them. And there is another scrip- 
ture, in which our Saviour's disciples, speaking concerning the 
blind man, asked him. Did this man sin, or his parents y that he 
zvas born blind f John ix. 2. as if he should say : Was it for 
some sin that this man's soul committed, before it entered into 
the body, to which it is united ? And was his being born blind 
a punishment thereof? I say, I will not deny, but that some of 
the Jews, from hence, may be supposed to have given into thij 
fabulous notion, agreeably to the sentiments of the philosophy, 
which they had been conversant in. But I will not allow that 
our Saviour's not confuting this absurd opinion, is an intima- 
tion ; (as the defenders thereof generally conclude it to be) 
that he reckoned it just ; but I rather think, that he passed it 
over, as a vulgar error, not worthy of his confutation. And as 
for that passage, which they quote, for this purpose, out of the 
^ipocryphal book of Wisdom^ which is no proof of this matter 
from Scripture, when one is repi'esented, as saying to this ef- 
fect, that because he xvas good^ he came into a body undefiled ; 
this only proves, that this was the opinion of some of that tri- 
fling generation of men. And, when they speak of it, as what 
has been maintained by some of the Fathers, who leceived the 
notion from the philosophy above-mentioned, this is also as lit- 
tle to the purpose ; and, indeed, all the other arguments that; 
they bring, amount to nothing else but this ; that, if the scrip- 
ture had not given us ground to establish the contrary doc- 
trine, there might have been, at least, a possibility of the truth 
of this, but to lay this as a foundation, on which they assert 
the truth thereof, and that with the design above-mentioned, 
this is nothing else, but for men to substitute tiieir own fancies, 
without sufficient ground, as matters of faith, and build doc- 
trines upon them, as though they were contained in scripturCc 
I pass by other improvements, which they make on this fabu- 
lous notion, which still appear to be more romantic* 

There is another attempt to account for the origin of moral 
evil, without inferring God to be the author of it, which has 
formerly been advanced by those who deny the imputation of 
Adam's sin % and these suppose that the soul is rendered pol* 
luted with sin, by reason of its traduction, or propagation, from 
the soul of the immediate parent ; so that, in like manner, as 
the body is subject to hereditary diseases, the soul is defiled 

* See a bosk^ iuppnsid io h 7vritten m defines h^rcofx in/ Gianvil, i^itilktig Zux 

128 OF SIN. 

with sin, as both one and the other are the consequence of their 
formation, according to the course of nature, in the likeness of 
those, from whom they immediately derive their respective be- 
ings ; and they suppose that a similitude of passions, and na- 
tural dispositions in parents and children, is an argument to e- 
vince the truth hereof. 

But this appears so contrary to the light of nature, and all 
the principles of philosophy, to suppose, that one spirit can pro- 
duce another, in a natural way, and so repugnant to the ideas 
which we have of spirits, as simple beings, or not compounded 
of parts, as bodies are, that it seems almost to be universally 
exploded, as being destitute of any tolerable argument to sup- 
port it, though it was formerly embraced by some of the Fa- 
thers.^ And they, who pretend to account for it, by the simili- 
tude of one candle's lighting another, and yet the flame remain- 
ing the same as it was before,, have only made use of an un- 
happy method of illustration, which comes far short of a con- 
clusive argument to their purpose. And as for the likeness of 
natural dispositions in children to their parents, that does not^ 
in the least prove it ; since this arises very much from the tem- 
perament of the body, or from the prejudices of education. 
Therefore this method to account for the origin of moral evil, 
being not much defended at present, v»'e may pass it over, as a 
groundless conjecture. 

As for Arminius, and his follov/ers, they have very much 
insisted on a supposition, which they have advanced, that the 
universal corruption of human nature arises only from imita- 
tion. In answer to which, though I will not deny but that the 
progress and increase of sin, in particular persons, may be very 
much owing to the pernicious example of others, with whom 
they are conversant ; yet it seems very absurd to assign this, 
as the first reason thereof; for it may easily be observed, that 
this corruption of nature, or disposition to sin, is visible in chil- 
dren, before they are capable of being drawn aside, by the in- 
fluence of bad examples; and indeed, their being corrupted 
thereby, is rather the effect, than the cause of this first propen- 
sity that there is in nature to sin ; and it would soon appear, 
that, if they never saw any thing but what is excellent or wor- 
thy to be imitated in those, under whose care they are, they 
would soon discover themselves, notwithstanding, prone to the 
contrary vices. A.nd we may as well suppose, that wisdom, 
or holiness, takes its rise from imitation, in a natural way, as 
that sin, or folly, does so : But nothing is more common, than 

* TertulUan teas oftlus opinion^ [yid. ejjisd. de Anitna] and Augustine though hfi 
sometimes appears to give into the opinion of the traduction of the soul,- yet, at other 
timcs^ he is in great doubt about it, as ready to give it up for WJ indefensible opinion^ 
fid, Aug. th Orig, Mim. ^ in Oen, ad lit^r lib. 10. 

OF SIN. 129 

for children to be very degenerate from their parents. And 
whatever attempts are used to instil principles of virtue into 
them, it is nothing else, but striving against the stream of cor- 
rupt nature, unless the grace of God interpose, and do that 
which imitation can never be the cause of. 

Therefore we must take some other method to account for 
this corruption of nature, and at the same time, maintain, that 
the soul is from God, by immediate creation, which, though it 
be not so plainly contained in scripture, as other articles of faith 
are, yet scripture seems not to be wholly silent as to this matter ; 
especially when God says. Behold^ allsoids aremine^ Ezek. xviii. 
4. and elsewhere, which is more express to this purpose, God 
speaks of the souls that ha made^ or created, Isa. Ivii. 16. and 
the apostle, for this reason, styles him. The Father of spirits ^ 
Heb. xii. 9. and that in such a sense, as is opposed to the fa- 
thers of the flesh ; therefore, taking this for granted, the difficulty 
which will recur upon us, which we are to account for, is, how 
can the soul, that comes out of God's immediate hand, be the 
subject of moral evil ? To assert, that it is created guilty of 
Adam's first sin, or under an obligation to suffer that degree of 
punishment, which is due to it, is not inconsistent witkthe di- 
vine perfections, as will fardier appear, when, under a following 
head, vv^e consider v/hat this punishment is : but to suppose that 
it is created by God impure, or with an inclination, or propen- 
sity to sin, cannot well be reconciled with the holiness of God. 

This is what has been acknowledged by most divines, as one 
of the greatest difficulties that occur in the whole scheme of di- 
vinity. Some, w^ith a becoming and religious modesty, have 
confessed their inability to account for it, and advise us rather 
to bewail, and strive against it, than to be too inquisitive about 
the origin and cause of it. And, indeed, this-is far better, than 
either to darken counsel by words, without knowledge, or to ad- 
vance what we cannot prove ; and I would rather chuse to ac- 
quiesce in this humble ignorance thereof, than to assert any 
thing which contains the least insinuation of God's being the 
author of it. It is certain, there are many things which we 
know to be true, though we cannot, at the same time, account 
for the manner of their being what they are, and are at a loss 
to determine their first original, or the natural cause thereof i 
Thus, though we are sure that the body is united to the soul, 
which acts by it, yet it is very hard to determine by what bands 
they are united, or how the soul moves the body, as its instru- 
ment in acting. Moreover, we know that the particles of mat- 
ter are united to one another ; but it is difficult to determine 
what is the cause thereof. So if we enquire into the reason of 
tlie different colour, or shape of herbs and plants ; or why the 
grass is green, ^nd wot white or red : no one would be blamed 

i5Q OF SXK« 

if he should acknowledge himself to be at a loss to account for 
these, and other things of the like nature. The same may be 
said, if we should confess that we are at a loss to determine 
what is the first rise of the propensity of the nature of man to 
sin : nevertheless, if we keep within the bounds of modesty in 
our enquiries, and advance nothing contrary to the divine per- 
fections, we may safely, and with some advantage to the doc- 
trine of original sin, say something as to this matter, that here- 
by we may remove the objections that are brought, by some, 
against it. 

Various ways have been taken, as was before observed, to 
account for the origin of moral evil, which vv^e cannot acquiesce 
in, by reason of the many absurdities that attend them ; there- 
Fore it may be more excusable for me to offer my humble 
thoughts about this matter, in which, I hope, I shall not much 
deviate from the sentiments of many, who have judiciously and 
happily maintained this doctrine. 

There is, indeed, one conjecture, which I meet with, in a 
learned judicious divine, which differs very much from any ac- 
count which we have of it by any other,* namely, that the 
mother while the child is in the womb, having a sinful thought^ 
impresses it on its soul, whereby it becomes polluted, in the 
'>ame manner as its body is sometimes marked by the strength 
of her imagination : but this opinion is so very improbable, that 
it will hardly gain any proselytes to it ; and it only discovers 
how willing some persons are to solve this difficulty though in 
an uncommon method, as being apprehensive that others have 
not suHiciently done it. 

But, that we may account for this matter in the most unex- 
ceptionable wp^y, which does not in the least, infer God to be 
the author of sin nor overthrow the doctrine of imputation of 
Adam's sin to his posterity, we must consider this propensity 
of nature, or inclination that there is in the souls of men to sin 
as a corrupt habit, and therefore that it is not infused by God : 
and consequently though the soul, in its first creation, is guilty, 
that is, liable to suffer the punishment due to it for Adam's sin 
Imputed, yet it does not come defiled out of the hands of God; 
or, as one well expresses it,f " We are not to think that 

* Vid. Pictet. Theol. Chr. Lib. V. cap. 7. Absit ut animam creari impuram dica- 
:'nus^ Clan nihil impurum e Dei manibics prodire posait. — Diim infans est in vtero 
mairiiSy CT.m intime ei conjungatur, objecta i?i ejus cerebrum easdem impressiones ejffi- 
riitni, ac i?i mairia cerebvuin. — Hoc patet ex eogztod co?itingit mulieribiis prL-egnanti' 
hue ; ctim eivm avide ir.apiciunt aUguid, vel rubro, veljlavo colore^ vel pallida tinctum, 
r-nvtigit Sisfmsirie ut infantes quos in utero ge»tant, tali colore tincti nascantur. Ita 
•nf'Mme corpus & ayiirfiam unirif ut admotum corporis, cerics oriaiiturin mente cogti' 
tinnes. — Motua, qui faint in cerebro infantiiim idem praatare in ilUsyac in matribxm.f 
■^lempe eonim ardmam recens creatam rebua sensibilibus ^ carrialibus alUgare ; iinda 
T)di7nus infantiuTn animus omnia ad se & ad stitim referre corpus. 

t S:-- Ih^ MiiuUifs ^iridtomv ofAminimfm} Chap, X ^ 2; 15, 17, 

OF SIN* iSf 

*• God put original sin into men's souls ; for how should he 
" punish those souls, which he himself had corrupted ? And he 
" adds, that it is a great wickedness to believe that God put into 
" the soul an inclination to sin ; though it is true God creates 
" the souls of men destitute of heavenly gifts, and supernatural 
*' light, and that justly because Adam lost those gifts for him- 
self and his posterity," 

Another judicious divine* expresses himself to tins purpose ; 
that, though the soul is created spotless, yet it is destitute of 
original righteousness, as a punishment of Adam's first sin ; 
and accordingly he distinguishes between a soul's being pure, 
so as the soul of Adam was when it was first created, that is 
to say, not only sinless, but having habits, or inclinations in its 
nature, which inclined it to what was good ; and its being crea- 
ted with a propensity, or inclination to evil, which he, with good 
reason denies ; and, as a medium between both those extremes, 
in which the truth lies, observes, that the soul is created, by 
God, destitute of original righteousness, unable to do what is 
truly good ; and yet, having no positive inclination, or propen- 
sity in nature, to what is evil ; this is plainly the sense of his 
words, which I have inserted in the margin. 

Now if it be enquired, how this corrupt habit, or inclination 
to sin, is contracted ? the corruption of nature necessarily en- 
sues on the privation of original righteousness. Some have il- 
lustrated this by an apt similitude, taken from the travellers 
wandering out of his way, or taking a wrong path, as occasion- 
ed by the darkness of the night, in which his want of light is 
the occasion, though not properly the cause of his wandering. 
Thus man is destitute of original righteousness, or those habitf. 
of supernatural grace, which are implanted in regeneration ; and 
what can be the consequence thereof, but that his first actions, 
as soon as he is capable of doing good or evil, must contain in 
them nothing less than a sin of omission, or a defect of, and 
disinclination to, what is good ? and, by this means, the soul be 
comes defiled, or inclined to sin ; so that we first suppose it in- 
disposed to what is good, and that this arises from its being 
destitute of supernatural grace, which it lost by Adam's fall^ 

* See Turret. Instii. Theol. Elenct. Tom. I. hoc. 9, Q. 12. § S, 9. Licet animu 
sine ulla lahe creettir a Deo, non creatur tamen cwrn justitia originali, qvalis ainma 
Adaim^ adimagiiiem Dei ; sed cum ejus carentia iji pcenam prirru peccaii. Ut hie 
distinguendum sit inter ani7nam piiratn, impuram, & iic7i pvrr.jn. Ilia pnra dicitur^ 
quce orimta est habit it sanctitatis ; impura, guee contrarium habitnm ivjustiti<s habet; 
non pura, quce licet nullum habeut habitnm bonum, indhim tamen hubet malum, sed 
creatur simphciter cum facxdtatibus naturalibus ; gualis supponitur creari a Deo 
post lapsum, quia imago Dei amissa semel per peccatum, non potest amplius restitui, 
?nsi regenerationis beneficio per Spiritum Sanctum. Quamvis auteyr. ajiimce creentur 
a Deo destitutce juatitia originali; non propterea Dezts potest censeri author peccati^ 
quia aliud est impuHtuteTn infuntiere, aliitd puritatem non dare, qua homo se indig- 
mm reddidit in Adamo. 

132 OF SIN. 

and that God may deny this grace, without supposing him to 
be the author of sin ; for he was not obliged to continue that 
to Adam's posterity, which he forfeited, and lost for them. 
. And that which follows, from hence, is, that the heart of man, 
by a continuance in sin after it is first tinctured with it, grows 
w^orse and worse, and more inclined to it than before. This 
I cannot better illustrate, than by comparing it to a drop of poi- 
son, injected into the veins of a man, which will by degrees cor- 
rupt the whole mass of blood. 

As to what concerns the body, to which the soul was uni^ 
ted, as giving occasion to these corrupt habits being contracted 
thereby, some have compared this to sweet oil's being infected 
by a musty vessel, into which it is put ; so the soul, created 
good, and put into a corrupt body, receives contagion from 
thence : and this conjunction of the pure soul with a corrupt 
body, is a just punishment of Adam's sin. Thus a very learned 
and excellent divine accounts for this matter ; * though this 
similitude does not indeed illustrate this matter in every cir- 
cumstance, inasmuch as that tincture, which is received from a 
vessel in a physical way, cannot well agree with the corruption 
of the soul, which is of a moral nature ; but yet I would make 
this use of it, as to observe what daily experience suggests, 
namely, that the constitution, or temperament of the body, has 
a very great influence on the soul, and is an occasion of various 
inclinations to sin, in which it acts, in an objective way. There- 
fore when we suppose a soul united to a body, that, according 
to the frame and constitution of its nature has a tendency to in- 
cline it to sin, and this soul is deprived of those supernatural 
habits, which would have fenced it against this contagion ; what 
can ensue from hence, but that corruption of nature, whereby 
men are inclined to what is evil ? which inclination increases 
daily, till men arrive to the most rooted habits and dispositions 
to all that is bad, and are, with more difficulty, reclaimed from 
it. This leads us to consider, 

IV. The conveyance of original sin, from our first parents 
to their posterity, by natural generation, or how we are said to 
be born in sin. It is not the sin of our immediate parents that 
is imputed to us, for they stand in no other relation, but as natu- 
ral, and not federal heads of their posterity ; therefore the mean- 
ing of that answer, in which this doctrine is contained, is only 
this, that original sin is conveyed to us, by our immediate pa- 
rents, with our being ; so that, as we are born men, we are born 
sinners. Now, that we may consider this in consistency with 
what has been before laid down nothing can be inferred, from 
hence, but that the guilt of Adam's first sin is conveyed to us 
with our being, and that habitual inclination that we have. 
* See Perkins on the Creed 

OF SIKi 133 

^Kich we call a propensity of nature to sin, is the consequence 
hereof; so that what our Saviour says, is a great truth, That 
which is born of the flesh'^ is fleshy John iii. 6. or every one that 
is born of sinful parc;nts, will, as soon as he is capable thereof, 
be prone to sin. And this leads us to consider, 

What is objected against what has been before laid dowm, in 
explaining this doctrine as though it were inconsistent with the 
sense of several scriptures, which speak of sin, as derived from 
our immediate parents. For the understanding of which, in 
general, let it be considered, that no sense of any scripture is 
true, that casts the least reflection on the divine perfections. If 
we could but prove, that our souls were propagated by our 
immediate parents, as our bodies are, there would be no dif- 
ficulty in allov/ing the sense the objectors give of several scrip-* 
tures, from whence they attempt to account for the corruption 
of nature in a different way, since God would not then be the 
immediate author thereof. But, supposing the soul to be crea- 
ted by God, we must take some other method to account for 
the sense of some scriptures, which are brought in opposition 
to the foregoing explication of the origin of moral evil. 

The first scripture, which is generally brought against it, is, 
in Psal. li. 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity^ and in sin did 
my mother conceive me ; the meaning of which is, I was con- 
ceived, and born guihy of sin, with an inability to do what is 
good, and in such a state, that actual sin would necessarily en- 
sue, as soon as I was capable of committing it, which would 
bring with it a propensity to all manner of sin. And that Da- 
vid had a sense of guilt, as well as the pollution of nature, is 
plain, from several verses of this Psalm ; especially in ver. 9, 
14. It is therefore as though he should say, I was a guilty 
creature, as soon as I was conceived in the womb ; and left of 
God, and so sin has the ascendant over me. I was conceived a 
sinner by imputation, under the guilt of Adam's first sin ; and 
to this I have added much more guilt, and lately that of blood- 
guiltiness. So that though he is said to have been shapen in 
iniquity^ it does not necessarily follow, that his soul was crea- 
ted with infused habits of sin. Whatever the parents are the 
cause of, with respect to this corruption and pollution, let it be 
attributed to them ; but far be it from us to say, that God is 
the cause thereof. 

Again, it is said, in Job xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing" 
out of an ujiclean ? no not one. It is no strain upon the sense of 
this text, to suppose, that by unclean^ he means guilty ,* and by 
cleanness^ innocency, as opposed to it ; for, in most places of 
this book, it is so taken, that is, in a forensick sense; and 
therefore, why not in this ? And, if so, then it is not at all in- 
consistent with the above-mentioned explication of this dcc- 

Vot. II. S " 

134 or SIN. 

trine. See chap. xi. 4. I afn clean 771 thine eyes, that is, guilt- 
less ; otherwise Zophar's reply to him would not have been so 
just, when he saith, God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity 
deserveth ; and, in chap. xv. 14. What is 7nan, that he should be 
clean f and he^ that is born of a woman, that he should be righ- 
teous f where, to be righteous, seems to be exegetical of being 
clean; and both of them, being taken in a forensick sense, it 
agrees well with what Job is often reproved for, by his friends, 
namely, boasting too much of his righteousness, or cleanness ; 
thus he says, in chap, xxxiii. 9. / a7n clean xuithout transgres- 
sion, neither is there iniquity in ?ne; that is, I am not so guil- 
ty, as to deserve such a punishment, as he inflicts : He Jindeth 
occasions against me, &c. Surely, cleanness here is the same 
with innocence, as opposed to guilt; and, in chap. ix. 30. If 
I wash myself with snoxv water, and make my hands never si 
clean; this plainly implies, that if he should pretend himself 
guildess, yet he could not answer the charge which God would 
bring against him, neither could they come together in judg- 
ment, ver. 32. Now, if this be so frequently, if not always, the 
r^ense of clean, in other places of this book, why may not we 
take the sense of these words. Who can bring a clean thing cut 
of an unclean, to be this ; that a guilty child is born of a guilty 
pai'ent, which will be accompanied with uncleanness, and it will 
be prone to sin, as soon as it is capable thereof t 

Another scripture, which we bring to prove original sin, is 
in Gen. vi. 5. Every iinagination of the thoughts of the heart of 
vian, is only evil continually. Why may not we understand it 
thus ? The imagination of the thoughts are evil, as soon as there 
are imaginations, or thoughts, though not before. And this ra- 
ther respects the corruption of nature, than the first rise of it ; 
and so does that parallel scripture; in Gen. viii. 21. The ima- 
gination of man^s heart is evil from his youth ; q. d. Sin in- 
creases with the exercise of reason. 

And, in Psal. Iviii. 3. The xvicked are estranged from the 
womb ; they go astray as soon as they be born speaking lies. 
This agrees well enough with what we have said concerning 
their separation from God, from the womb, from whence ari- 
ses actual sin ; so that they speak lies, as soon as they are ca- 
pable of it* 

There is also another scripture, usually brought to prove ori- 
ginal sin, which is to be understood in a sense, not much unlike 
that which we but now mentioned, viz* Isa. xlviii. 8. Thou 
zvast called a transgressor from the woinb. This doth not over- 
throw what we have said ; for a person may be a transgressor, 
as it were, from the womb, and yet the soul not have a pro- 
pensity to sin implanted in it by God, in its first creation. 

Again, in Gen. v. 3. Adam begat a son in his oxvn likeness. 

OF SIN. 135 

that is, a falieii creature, involved in guilt, and liable to the 
curse, like himself; and that would be like him, in actual sin, 
when capable of it, born in his imag-e^ as having lost the di^ 
vine image, ^. 

Again, in John iii. 6. That xvkich is born of the fleshy isjiesh, 
We may understand this, that every one that is born of sinful 
parents, is a sinner, destitute of the Spirit of God, which is a 
great truth. But surely our Saviour did not design hereby to 
signify, that any one is framed by God with a propensity ot 
sin ; which is all that we militate against in this head, (a) 

V. The last thing to be considered, is, that all actual trans- 
gressions proceed from original sin. These are like so many 
streams that flow from this fountain of corruption ; the one dis- 
covers to us what we are by nature ; the other, what we are by- 
practice ; and both afford us matter for repentance, and great 
humiliation, in the sight of God. But since we shall have oc- 
casion to enlarge on that part of this subject, which more es« 
pecially relates to actual transgressions, with their respective 
aggravations, in some following answers,* we pass it over at 
present; and shall conclude this head with some practical in- 
ferences from what has been said, concerning the corruption of 
our nature, as being the spring of ail actual transgressions. 

1. We ought to put a due difference between the first dis- 
coveries there are of this corruption of our nature in our in- 
fancy, and that which arises from a course, or progress in sin; 
the latter has certainly greater aggravations in it than the for- 
mer, and is like a spark of fire, blown up into a flame. Accor- 
* See Quest, cv. — cli. 

'(a) The mind of man is as open to the %'ie\v of God, as our words or actions 
are; the intention is ordinarily the seat of guilt ; for the merely physical action 
of the body desen'es neither praise norblume; the Lord is able not only to detect, 
but to punish in every instance such guilt ; his justice thereibre requires that he 
should exercise such po\vei\ 

To prefer the creatures to the Creator, is to deny his superior excellency, and 
that he is the source from whence we have derived the good which we pos- 
sess ; it is to give the honour wiiich is due to him, unto otliers ; it is a robbeiy 
committed on him ; it is a revoltmg from his allegiance, and treason, which ought 
to be punished. 

It is an evidence that we have no love for him, when we desire communion 
and acquaintance with otherobjects on their own account. It is a proof of enmity 
against him, for we cannot at the same time fix our highest affections on sensual 
pursuits and on holiness ; and an attachment to the former evinces hatred of the 
latter ; and so an aversion to an holy God. If wc are enemies to God, Omnipotence 
must and wall prevail, nor can he suffer in tlie universe, his enemies to be fin^lly 
prosperoxis, possessing still their enmity. 

Where there exists not the love of God, there is no obedience to his laws, for 
this is the principle of obedience ; all the good deeds of such are but a semblance 
of holiness, and must be rejected by him^who views the motive with the action. 
Disobedience to his laws is to be punished v/ith death, the implied penalty of all 
divine laws ; and the least punishjiiient that the magnitude of an offence against 
an infinite Majesty can admit- 


dingly, it is our duty, as the apostle says, to exhort one another 
daily ^ while it is called to-day^ lest any be hardened^ tliat is, lest 
this corruption of nature be increased, through the deceitful' 
ness of sin^ Heb. iii. 13. 

2. Let us carefully distinguish between being born innocent, 
tvhich the Pelagians affirm, and we deny, and being born defi- 
led with sin, and so having a propensity of nature to it, as soon 
as we have a being ; or let us more especially take heed that 
we do not charge this on God, as though he were the author 
thereof, as Well as of our being, as though it were infused by 
him, and not acquired hy us. 

3. Since this corruption of nature so early discovers itself, 
and abides in us, as long as we are in this world, let us take 
heed that we do not use means to increase it, by giving way 
to presumptuous sins ,* or endeavour to excite or draw it forth, 
either in ourselves, or others ; for this will occasion abundance 
of actual transgressions. 

Thus having considered that guilt which we bring with us 
into the world, and that corruption of nature, which discovers 
itself, as soon as we appear to be intelligent creatures, or are 
capable of any disposition to sin i we proceed to speak concern- 
ing the misery and punishment that ensues hereupon. 

Quest. XXVII. What misery did the fall brin^ upon man- 

Answ. The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion 
- with God, his displeasure and curse, so as we are, by nature, 
children of wrath, bond-slaves to Satan, and justly liable to 
all punishments in this world, and that which is to come* 

HAVING considered the doctrine of original sin, as im- 
puted to, and inherent in us, we are now led to speak 
concerning the miseries that are consequent hereupon, or the 
punishment that is due to it. And, inasmuch as the fontier of 
these is equal in all ; and the latter increases, in proportion to 
that degree of obstinacy, and hardness of heart, which disco- 
vers itself in all ages, and conditions of life, and it is attended 
with greater guilt, as it is more deeply rooted in us, and gains 
very great strength by actual sinj it is necessary for us to con- 
sider the punishment due to original sin, as such, and how it 
differs from a greater degree thereof, which is due to its in- 
creasing guilt. The former of these is not distinguished from 
the latter, by many who treat on this subject; which gives oc- 
casion to some, who deny original sin, to represent it in the 
:no2t terrible view, as though there were no difference between 


the v/rath of God, that infants are exposed to, and that which 
is inflicted on the most obdurate sinner : but, that we may re- 
move prejudices against this doctrine, and set it in a just light, 
we shall consider the punishment due to original sin, in both 
these respects. 

I. The punishment due to original sin, as such, namely, in 
those who are charged with no other guilt, but that of Adam's 
first sin. This more especially respects those that die in their 
infancy, before they are capable of making any addition to -it. 
Concerning these, I cannot but conclude with Augustin, in his 
defence of original sin against the Pelagians, that the punish- 
ment thereof is the most mild of any, and cannot be reckoned 
so great, as that it might be said of them, that it had been bet- 
ter for them not to have been born,^ 

That this may farther appear, let it be considered, that the 
})unishment due to actual sin, or the corruption of nature in- 
creased thereby, is attended with accusations of conscience, in- 
asmuch as the guilt, that is contracted by it, arises from the 
opposition of the will to God ; and the alienation of the affec- 
tions from him, is oftentimes attended with rebellion, against a 
great degree of light, and many other aggravations, taken from 
the engagements which we are under to the contrary, and is per- 
sisted in with obstinacy, against all those checks of conscience, 
and means used to prevent it ; and, in proportion to the degree 
thereof, they, who contract this guilt, are said, as our Saviour 
speaks of the scribes and Pharisees, to be liable to the greater 
damnation^ Matt, xxiii. 14. and the prophet Jeremiah speaks of 
some of the greatest opposers of his message, as those who 
should be destroyed with double destruction^'] er. xvii. 18. This 
is certainly a greater degree of punishment, than that which is 
due to original sin, as such ,* and, with respect to these, there 
are oftentimes many sad instances of the wrath of God break- 
ing in upon the conscience, as he says by the Psalmist, that he 
would reprove them^ and set their iniquities in order before their 
eyes, Psal. 1. 21. and what our Saviour says elsewhere, con- 
cerning the wcrni that dieth not, Mark ix. 44. is to be applied 
to them. But this punishment does, not belong to those who 
have no other guilt, but that of Adam's sin, imputed to them. 

If this can be made appear, as, I hope, we shall be able to 
do, it may have a tendency to remove some prejudices, which 
many entertain against the doctrine of original sin, who express 
themselves with such an air of insult, as though they were op- 
posing a doctrine which is contrary to the dictates of human 

♦ See Aug. contra Julianum, Lib. V. cap. 8. Ego non dico, parvulos sine baptismo 
Christi morientes tanta poena esse plectendos ; ut eis non nasci potius expediret. Et 
ejusd. de peccat. merit. & remsis. Lib. L cap. 16. Potest proinde recte did, parvulos 
Miie baptismo de corpore exeunteSf in damnatione omnium mitissima futuros. 


nature, as well as represents God, as exercising the greatest 
severity against those who are chargeable with no other sin 
than this ; and they generally lay hold on some unwary expres- 
sions, contributing very little to the defence of this doctrine, 
which might as well have been spared ; for they are no less ex- 
ceptionable, though prefaced with an apology, for the want of 
pity, which such like unguarded expressions seem to contain in 
them, when they say, that their milder thoughts, concerning 
this matter, will do those infants, who are tormented in hell, 
no good, as their severer ones can do them no prejudice. We 
may therefore be allowed to make a farther enquiry into this 
matter, especially when we consider, that those, who die in in- 
fancy, will appear, at the last day, to have been a very consider- 
able part of mankind. And some tender parents have had a due 
concern of spirit about their future state, and would be very 
glad, were it possible for them, to have some hopes concerning 
the happiness tliereof. 

Various have been the conjectures of divines about it. The 
Pelagians, and those who verge towards their scheme, have 
concluded, tliat they are all saved, as supposing that they are 
innocent, and not, in the least concerned in Adam's sin : but this 
is to set aside the doctrine we are maintaining ; and therefore, 
I cannot think their reasoning, in this respect very conclusive. 

Others, who do not deny original sin, suppose, notwithstand- 
ing, that the guilt thereof is atoned for, by the blood of Christ. 
This would be a very agreeable notion, could it be proved ; and 
all that I shall say, in answer to it, is, that it wants confirma- 
tion. As for those who suppose, with the Papists, that the guilt 
of original sin is washed away by baptism, as some of the fathers 
have also asserted, this has so many absurd consequences attend- 
ing it, that I need not spend time in opposing it; one of them 
is, that it makes that, which, at most, is but a sign or ordinance, 
for our faith, in which we hope for the grace of regeneration to 
be the natural means of conferring it, which is contrary to the 
design of all the ordinances, which God has appointed : but, 
passing by this, which will afford little foundation for hope. 

Others have concluded, that all the infants of believing pa- 
rents, d}'ing in infancy, are saved, as supposing that they are 
interested in the covenant of grace, in which God promises, that 
he will be a God to believers, and their seed. This would be a 
very comfortable thought, to those who have hope concerning 
their own state. But I cannot find that this argument is suffi- 
ciently maintained ; since it seems very evident, that all such 
like promises rather respect the external, than the saving bless- 
ings of the covenant of grace. 

Others therefore conclude, (as many good and pious Chris- 
tians have done, that when they have been enabled, by an act 

er man's misery by the fall. 139 

of faith, in which they have enjoyed some sensible experience 
of the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit, to give up their 
infant-seed to Christ, whether it be in baptism, or not) from the 
frame of their own spirit, and the evidence they have had of the 
power of God, exciting this act of faith, that God would own 
that grace whiciJ he hath enabled them to exercise, and con- 
sequently that he has accepted of this solemn act of dedication 
of them to him, which has given them comfortable and quiet- 
ing thoughts about the salvation of their infant-seed. This is 
not only an excellent method, used by them, but it seems to 
be as just a way of reasoning about the salvation of those who 
die in infancy, as any that is generally made use of; and, it 
may be, David might infer the salvation of his child, when he 
says, I shall ^0 to him; but he shall not return to vie, 2 Sam. 
xii. 23. from some such method as this. But, since these are 
uncommon instances of faith, and such as every sincere Chris- 
tian has not always been found in the exercise of, I would 
hope, that there are multitudes of infants saved, concerning 
whom we have no certain ground to determine who they are ; 
and why may not we suppose, that there are many of them, 
who belong to the election of grace, that are not the seed of 
believing parents ? However, notwithstanding all the pious and 
kind thoughts, which the conjectures of men suggest, we must 
be content to leave this, as a secret that belongs to God, and 
not unto us to know. 

Therefore all that I shall attempt, at present, is, to prove^ 
that if all, who die in their infancy, are not saved, yet their 
condemnation is not like that which is due to actual sin, or 
those habits thereof, which are contracted by men. And here 
it must be allowed, pursuant to our former method of reason- 
ing, that, if they are not saved, they have the punishment of 
loss inflicted on them; for the right to the heavenly blessed- 
ness, which Adam forfeited and lost, respected not only him- 
self, but all his posterity. Whether they have any farther de- 
gree of punishment inflicted on them, or how far they are lia- 
ble to the punishment of sense, I dare not pretend to deter- 
mine. I do not care to conclude, with some of the Remon- 
strants, such as Episcopius, Curcellceus, and others, that they 
always remain in an infantine state, or, that they have no more 
ideas in the other world, than they had in this ; for this is to 
suppose what cannot be proved. Besides, if they always re- 
main in this state, this must be supposed, either to be the con- 
sequence of nature, and argued from their want of ideas, while 
they were in this world, or else it must be by a particular dis- 
pensation of providence, respecting some infants in the next, 
and not all. To suppose the former, is to suppose that none 
are saved, since remaining ia an infantile state, is not salva- 

140 or man's misery by the fall. 

tion ; for it is beyond dispute, the soul that is saved, whether 
it went out of the world an infant, or a man is exceedingly en- 
larged, and rendered receptive of the heavenly blessedness. 
And if, on the other hand, they suppose, that their remaining 
in this infantile state, is by a particular dispensation of provi- 
dence, this, was it true, would be a small punishment, indeed^ 
inflicted on them for Adam's sin : But we have as little, or less 
ground to conclude this, than that all infants are saved ; and 
therefore I cannot give into this notion, which, indeed, differs 
but little from that of the Papists, who suppose them, if dying 
unbaptized, to remain in a state of insensibility ; w^hich is no 
other, than an ungrounded conjecture. And, as for the ac- 
count which we have, in some of their writings concerning the 
place alloted for them, which they call Limbics Infantium^ and 
its situation between heaven and hell, this is no better than a 
theological romance ; and it cannot but be reckoned trifling 
and ludicrous, and nothing else but an imposing their own fan- 
cies, as articles of faith. 

I dare not, indeed, allow myself to be too peremptory, or 
give my thoughts too great a loose on this subject : but, since 
it is taken for granted by all, who give into the doctrine of ori- 
ginal sin, that infants, if not saved, are liable to the punish- 
ment of loss, which has been before considered, as the imme- 
diate consequence of the imputation of Adam's sin ; yet it doth 
not appear, to me, that they have such a tormenting sense of 
the greatness of their loss, as others have who were adult, and 
had received the knowledge of divine things, which infants are 
not- capable of. These, as it is more than probable, carry the 
ideas, which they had received of divine things, out of the 
world with them, which infants cannot be said to do ; and 
therefore, if ever they have the knowledge thereof, and con- 
sequently of the glory of the heavenly state, it must be by ex- 
traordinary revelation. How far they may be led into this 
matter, by observing the glorious work, which shall be per- 
formed in the most visible manner, in the day of judgment, I 
pretend not to determine. This, indeed, will give them some ap- 
prehensions of the happiness which others are possessed of, and 
they are excluded from : But even this cannot have so great a 
tendency to enhanse their misery, as when hardened and pre- 
sumptuous sinners, who have despised and neglected the means 
of grace, are said, as our Saviour speaks to the Jews, To see 
Abraham^ Isaac, and Jacob, in the ^ingdojn of God, and theu 
themselves thrust out] Luke xiii. 28. as intimating, that this 
will, in a judicial way, be a means to enhanse their misery; 
and consequently they cannot but have such a tormenting sense 
thereof, as what will make their loss appear greater, and s<;* 


render them more miserable than infants can be, who never 
had these means of grace in this world. 

But, because it is not safe to be too peremptory as to this 
matter, all that I shall farther observe is, that whatever con- 
ceptions they may have of the happiness, which they are not 
possessed of, yet they shall not have that part of the punish- 
ment of sin, which consists in self-retiection, on the dishonour 
that they hav2 brought to God or the various aggravations of 
sin committed, which is a very great degree of the punishment 
of sin in hell ; and therefore, when the wrath of God is said to 
break in on the consciences of men, whereby, in a judicial way, 
sins, before committed, are brought to remembrance, and the 
means of grace, which they have neglected, cannot but occa- 
sion the greatest distress and misery, this is certainly a punish- 
ment that infants cannot be liable to; and, if the condition of 
the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon is represented by our Sa- 
viour, as more tolerable than that of Capernaum^ so in nropor- 
tion the condemnation of infants, who have no other guilt but 
that of original sin, will be more tolerable than thai of the 
heathen, inasmuch as they had no natural capacities or doing 
good or evil. And this is all that I pretend to determine, 
which' amounts to no more than this, that, since punishment 
must be proportioned to the crime ; as they are liable only to 
the guilt of Adam's sin, which is much less than being liable 
to it, with those other transgressions that proceed from it, 
therefore their punishment must be less than that of any others. 
This, I think, may safely be asserted : and, if we proceed no 
farther in our enquiries about this matter, but confess our ig- 
norance of many things relating to the state and capacity of 
separate souls, it will be more excuseable, than for us to pre- 
tend to a greater degree of knowledge, than is consistent with 
our present state. 

II. We shall consider the punishment due to original sin, 
when attended with many actual sins, proceeding from a na- 
ture defiled, and prone to rebel against God. This is greater 
or less, in proportion to the habits of sin contracted, as will 
be more particularly considered, when we speak of the aggra- 
vations of sin, and its desert of punishment.* We shall there- 
fore, at present, speak to it in the method in which it is laid 
down in this answer. 

1. By the fall of our first parents, all mankind lost commu- 
nion with God. This was enjoyed at first ; for God having 
made man, with faculties capable of this privilege, designed to 
converse with him ; and, indeed, this was one of the blessings 
promised in the covenant, which he was under, and it was a 
kind of prelibation of the heavenly state ; therefore it follows, 

* See Qiiest. clL clii. 

Vol. II. T 

143' OF man's misery by the fall. 

that the fall of our first parents could not but first expose thein - 
selves, and then their posterity, to the loss of this privilege ; 
and, indeed, this was the more immediate result of sin com- 
mitted, and guilt hereby contracted. It is a reflection on the 
divine perfections to suppose that God will have communion, 
with sinners, while they remain in a state of rebellion against 
him ; or that he will love and manifest himself to them, and 
admit them into his presence, as friends and favourites, unless 
there be a Mediator who engages to repair the injury offered 
to the holiness and justice of God, and secure the glory of his 
perfections, in making reconciliation for sin, and thereby bring- 
ing them into a state of friendship with God : But this privi- 
lege man had no right to, or knowledge of when first he fell, 
and consequently God and man could not walk together^ as 
not being agreed^ Amos iii. 3» God was obliged, in honour, 
to withdraw from him, and thereby testify his displeasure 
against sin, as he tells his people, 7'oiir iniquities have separa- 
ted belween you and your God; and your sins have hid his face 
from youy Isa. lix. 2. 

This consequence of sin is judicial ; and, at the same time, 
through the corruption of nature, as the result of that enmity 
against God, which follows on our fallen state, man is farther 
considered, as not desiring to converse with God : His guilt 
inclined him to fly from him, as a sin-revenging Judge ; and 
his loss of God^s supernatural image, consisting in holiness of 
heart and life, rendered him disinclined, yea, averse to this 
privilege ; so that, as he was separate from the presence of 
God, he desired to have nothing more to do with him, v/hich 
is the immediate result of his sinful and fallen state. 

2. Man, by his fall, was exposed to the divine displeasure, 
or to the wrath of God, in which respect, as the apostles says, 
"We are, by nature children cf wrath^ Eph. ii, 3. by which wc 
are not to understand, as some do, who deny the guilt and pu- 
nishment of original sin, that notliing is intended hereby, but 
that M'e are inclined to wrath as signifying those depraved and 
corrupt passions, whereby we are prone to hate God, and ho- 
liness, v.'hich is his image in man, which is rather the conse- 
quence of original sin, and discovers what we are by practice, 
whereas this text speaks of what we are by nature ^ and it 
seems a very great strain and force on the sense of the word^ 
when some understand this mode of speaking, that we are 
children of wrath only by custom, which according to the pro- 
verbial expression is a second nature; or as tho' it only signi- 
fied the temper of their minds, or their behaviour towards one 
another, as giving way to their passions as the apostle says, 
that they lived in malice and envy^ and hated one another^ Tit. 
iii. 3. as though it denoted only the effects of the corruption 

of nature, not their liableness to the wrath of God due to it^ 
tvhereas it is plain, that the apostle makes use of an hebraism^ 
very frequently ocoLuring in scripture, both in the Old and 
New Testament ; as when a person, that is guilty of a capital 
crime, and liable to suffer death, is called, A son of death: so 
our Saviour calls Judas, who was liable to perdition, A son of 
perdition^ John xvii. 12. so here children of wrath are those 
that were liable to the wrath of God, by wnich we are to un- 
derstand that punishment, which is the demerit of sin ; not that 
wrath is a passion in God, as it is in us; but it signifies either 
his will to punish, or his actual inflicting punishment on them, 
in proportion to the crimes committed, whereby he designs to 
glorify his holiness. If this be meant by the punishment due 
to all mankind, as they come into the world with the guilt of 
the sin of our first parents, in which respect guilt denotes a 
liableness to punishment and all punishment contains some de- 
gree of wrath ; I say, if this be the meaning of their being so 
by nature, I am far from denying it. For the only thing that 
I have militated against, is, the supposition, that the punish- 
ment due to original sin imputed, bears an equal proportion to 
that of guilt contracted, whereby the nature of man is render- 
ed more depraved, by a continuance in sin ; and therefore I 
cannot but acquiesce in that explication given hereof by the 
learned Beza, who is a most strenuous defender of original 
sin,^ who, v/hen he speaks of men as children of wrath, by na- 
ture^ as all mankind are included herein, understands this, not 
as referring to the human nature^ as created by God, but as 
corrupted by its compliance with the suggestions of Satan ; and 
therefore we suppose, that as th» corruption of nature is daily 
increased, whatever punishment is due to it, at first, there is 
notwithstanding a greater condemnation, which it is exposed 
to, as the consequence of sin committed and continued in ; and 
this is described, in scripture,^ in such a way, as renders it, 
beyond expression, dreadful; Who knoxveth the poxver of thine- 
anger? even according to thy fear ^ so is thy xvrath^ Psal. xc. 
11. or, as the prophet says. Who can stand before his indig- 
nation f andxvho can abide in the fierceness of his anger ^ Nahr 
i. 6. 

3. Man, as fallen, is exposed to the curse of God, which is 
an external declaration of his hatred of sin, and will to punish 
it, which we sometimes call the condemning sentence of the 
law, as the apostle says, As mamj as are of the xvorks of the 
law^ are under a curse as it is xvritten. Cursed is every one that 

* Vid Bez. in he. Ubicungtie Ira est^ ibi & peccatum ; quo sine exceptione in- 
vohn tctam humanam g-entem idem teatatur^ Bom. i. 18. Sed naturam tamen zntel' 
Uge lion quateiius ir^ta esf, v^rum ^vai^^s psr J!?i^hli sv^^^itwnem cgrrupta tsi 


continuetk not in all things that are nritten in the hook of the 
law to do them^ Gal. iii. 10. so that whatever threatnings therq. 
are by which God discovers his infinite hatred of sin, these we 
are liable to as the consequence of our fallen state ; and accor- 
dingly, as we were, at first, separate from God, the sin of our 
nature tends, according to the various aggravations thereof, 
to make the breach the wider, and our condemnation much 

4. By the fall, we became bond-slaves to Satan : thus it is 
said, that the devil has the pozuer ofdeath^ Heb. ii. 14. and sin= 
ners are described, as walking according- to the prince of the 
power of the air^ the spirit thatnoxv workefh in the children of 
disobedience^ Eph. ii. 2, and he is elsewhere described, as a 
strong ?7ian armed^ who keeps the palace^ till a stronger than 
he shall overcome him, a?id take from him all his armour, Luke 
xi. 21, 22. The heart of man is the throne in which he reigns, 
and men are naturally inclined to yield themselves slaves to 
him, and corrupt nature gives him the greatest advantage a- 
gainst us. None of us can say, as our Saviour did. The prince 
of this xvorld cometh, and hath nothing in me, John xiv. 30, 
for we are as ready to comply, as he is to tempt, especially if 
not prevented by the grace of God, and therefore may well be 
said to be bond-slaves to him. No age, or condition of life, 
is exempted from his assaults, and he suits his temptations to 
our natural tempers, and hereby we are overcome, and more 
and more enslaved by him ; and certainly this must be a state 
of ■ isery^ and that more especially, because such are enemies 
to Christ, and withdraw themselves from his service^ despi- 
sing his protection, and the rewards he has promised to his 
faithful servants ; and our Saviour says, that xve cannot serve 
two masters. Mat. vi. 24, and so long as we continue bond- 
slaves to Satan, we contract greater guilt, and the dominion of 
sin increases therewith ; so that to be the servants of Satan, 
is to be the servants of sin ; and we are herein miserable, in 
that we serve one who intends nothing but our ruin, and is 
pleased in all steps leading to it, and will be as ready to ac- 
cuse, torment, and make us more miserable in the end, as he 
is to solicit or desire our service, or as we can be to obey him. 
Let us therefore use our utmost endeavours, that we may be 
free from this bondage and servitude ; and accordingly let us 

(1.) That Satan has no right to our service. Though he be 
permitted to rule over the children of disobedience ; yet he has 
no divine grant, or warrant for it, to render it lawful for hira 
to demand it, or us to comply therewith, and he is no other than 
an usurper, and declared enemy to the king of heaven ; and^ 

OF man's misery by the tall. 145 

though sinners are suffered to give themselves up to him, this 
is far from being by divine approbation ; therefore, 

(2.) Let us orofessediy renounce, groan under, and endea- 
vour, througn the grace of God to withdraw ourselves from his 
service, vv^henever we are led captive by him, and not be his 
willing slaves, to obey him with our free consent, or out of 
choice, 9na with pleasure ; and, in order hereunto, 

('i.) Let us list ourselves into Christ's service, put ourselves' 
un .'^r his protection, and desire his help, against the wiles and 
fit ■ y dans of the devil. 

' 4 ) Let us improve the proclamation of liberty made in the 
go:::-!, and rejoice in it, as the most desirable blessing. If the 
Sor^ make you free ^ then shall ye be free indeed^ John viii. 36. 

The la3t thing observed in this answer, is, that, as fallen crea- 
tures we are justly liable to all punishments in this world, and 
that which is to come ; by which we are to understand, not on- 
ly the consequences of original sin, imputed to, but inherent in 
us, and increased by that guilt which we daily contract, which 
exposes the sinner to punishment in both worlds, in proportion 
to the aggi. rations thereof. This we are led to speak to,* in 
the tv/o foiLov/ing ansv/ers. (a) 

(a) It has been frequently objected, if they that ai'e in the flesh be dead in sin, 
crsov.holly inclined to evil, that thev " cajinot please God,*' they must be viewed 
as miserable rather than guilty, as objects of pity rather than subjects for punish- 

To analyse is to enervate this objection. Wherein consists the impotency, and 
what is die guilt of an evil action ? If there be any physical defect in the under- 
standing, or any external obstacle, which may prevent a conformity to the reveal- 
ed will of God ; it is an excuse, the pai-ty is clear : but this inability is of a dif- 
ferent kind ; the sensual heart is prevailingly inclined to the objects of time and 
sense, and the mind possesses no ability to resist its strongest inclination, which 
IS but the common case of every deliberate choice. Evil men cannot see, because 
they shut their eyes ; they cannot hear, because they stop their ears ; they cannot 
come to Clu-ist, or, which is the same thing, will not apply to him by faith. They 
persevere in such opposition until death or despair fixes their enmity ; except 
their wills are changed, and they are drawn by divine grace. 

The guilt of an evil action, depends not upon, or exists not in the mere action 
of the body ; otherwise brutes, and machines of wood and metal, would be sub- 
jects of blame. The guilt is seated in the intention, and lies in the inclination of 
the mind to that which is prohibited ; and the habitual preponderancy of the in- 
clinations to evil, mai-ks a worse character, than a sudden and individual choice 
of it. 

If the prevailing desires of that which is evil, be the only impotency of the state 
of death in sin, and at the same time the only guilt of the party ; this inability 
and guilt are conconfitant, and always inexact proportion to each other; or 
rather may be considered as the same 'thing, under different aspects and names ; 
it results therefore tliat as certainly as vice is not rirtue, tJie iippotency to good 
of the unrenewed man, is no excuse for his gailt. 


Quest. XXVIII. What are the punishments of mi m thi.j 
world P 

Answ. The punishments of sin in this world, are either inward 
as blindness of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, 
hardness of heart, horror of conscience, and vile affections ; 
or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our 
sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, 
estates, relations, and employments, together with death itself. 

Quest. XXIX. What are the pumshinents of sin in the world 
to come ? 

Answ. The punishments of sin in the world to come, are ever- 
lasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, 
and most grievous torments in soul and body, without inter- 
mission, in hell-lire for ever. 

I. TT N the former of these answers, we have an account of 
JL those punishments which sin exposes men to in this world. 
These are distinguished as being either inward or outward, 
personal or relative ; of which, those that are st5ded outward^ 
which more especially respect our condition in the world, as 
we are liable to many adverse dispensations of providence there- 
in, and are generally reckoned, by sinners, the gi-eatest, as they 
are most sensible while they groan under the many evils and 
miseries which befall them, in their bodies, names, estates, re» 
lations, and employments, and they end in death, the most for= 
midable of all evils ; though, in reality, the punishments of sin, 
which are styled inward^ such as blindness of mind, hardness 
of heart, &c. how little soever they are regarded by those who 
fall under them, by reason of that stupidity, which is the na- 
tural consequence thereof: yet they are, by far, the greatest and 
most dreaded by all, who truly fear God, and see things in a 
just light being duly affected with that which would render 
them most miserable in the end. 

Here we shall consider, 

Firsts Those puni-shments that are called inward, which re- 
spect either the understanding, will, conscience, or affections. 

1. We are said to be exposed to blindness of mind: This 
the apostle describes in a most moving way, when he speaks of 
the Gentiles^ as walkirig in the vanity of their mind, having- the 
understanding- darkened, being alienated from the life of Gody 
through the ignorance that is in the7n, because of the blindness of 
their heart, Eph. iv. 17, 18. Ignorance and error are defects 
of the understanding, whereby it is not able to find out, nor de- 
sirous to enquire after the way of truth and peace ; and accor- 
dingly the apostle says. The ivay ofp^acQ liaye they v.Qt kuQWih 


Rom, iii. 17. and by reason hereof, we are naturally inclined 
to deny those doctrines, which are of the greatest importance^ 
namely, such as more immediately concern the glory of God, 
and our own salvation. This ignorance is certainly most dan- 
gerous, and cannot be exempted from the charge of sin, mucli 
more when we are judicially left to it, as a punishment for other 
sins committed by us. 

2. Another punishment of sin, mentioned in this answer, is 
strong delusion, which is the consequence of the former. This 
is taken from the apostle's words, For this cause God shall send 
them strong' delusion^ that they should believ? a lie^ 2 Thess. ii. 
11. the meaning of which is notliing else but this, that God 
suffers them, who receive not the love of the truth, but take 
pleasure in unrighteousness, to be deluded, by denying them 
that spiritual and saving illumination, which would have effec- 
tually prevented it. Now, that we may consider what the apos- 
tle means by these strong delusio7is, we may observe, that every 
error, or mistake in lesser matters of religion, is not intended 
hereby ; for then few or none, would be exempted from this 
judgment ; but it includes in it a person's entertaining the most 
abominable absurdities in matters of religion, which are con- 
trary to the divine perfections, and the whole tenor of scrip- 
ture, and subversive of those truths, which are of the greatest 
importance ; or, when persons pretend to revelations, or are 
turned away from the truth by giving credit to the amusements 
of signs, and lying M'^onders ,* with which Antichrist is said to 
come, after the -working of Satan ; and the consequence hereof 
is, that they believe a lye^ which they suppose to be confirmed 

• Errors, in matter of religion, are sometimes invincible and 
unavoidable, for want of objective light, or scripture-revelation, 
as in the Heathen, Mahometans, and others, who through the 
disadvantages and prejudices of education, are estranged from 
the truth : but even this in some respects, may be said to be 
judicial ; for, though such do not sin against the gospel-light, 
yet they are guilty of other sins, which justly provoke God to 
leave them in this state of darkness and ignorancCc But the 
punishment of sin, when God gives men up to this judgment,, 
is more visible in those, who have had the advantages of edu- 
cation, above others, and have had early instructions in tlie 
doctrines of the gospel; yet, by degrees, they are turned aside 
from, and have denied them, and so forsaken the guide of their 
youth^ Prov. ii. 17. These sometimes call those sentiments 
about religious matters, which once they received, implicit 
faith, and please themselves with their new schemes of doc- 
trine, looking, as they call it, with pity, or, I might ratlier say, 
disdain, on others, who are not disentangled from their fetters, 


or have not shook off the prejudices of education, nor arrived, 
to so free and generous a way of thinking, as they pretend to 
have done. But how much soever they may glory in it, it is a 
sad instance of God^s giving them up, in a judicial way, to the 
vanity and delusion of their minds ; and accordingly they be- 
lieve that to be a truth, which others can prove to be a lie, and 
which they themselves once thought so. Now this appears to 
be a punishment of sin, in that the gospel, which once they pro- 
fessed to believe, had not that effect, or tendency, as it ought, 
to subdue their lusts and corruptions ; but they rebelled against 
the light, and were under the power of presumptuous sins : 
their understanding, and talents of reasoning, have been en- 
larged, and, at the same time, the pride and vanity of their 
minds hath not been subdued, and mortified, by the grace of 
God ; whereupon, they have been given up first to question, 
then to deny, and afterwards to oppose, and, in the most pro- 
fane and invidious manner, to ridicule those sacred and impor- 
tant truths, which they once received. This is a sad instance of 
the punishinent of sin ; and the use that I would make of it^ 
may be in the following inferences. 

(i.) That we ought not to be content with a bare speculative 
knowledge of divine truths, but should endeavour to improve 
them, to promote practical godliness, as they have a tendency 
to do in all those, who, as the apostle saith, hwoe so learned 
Christy as that they have been taught by him^ as the truth is in 
yesus^ Eph. iv. 21. 

(2.) We ought not to content ourselves with an implicit faith, 
or b.elieve the doctrines of the gospel, merely because they have 
been received by wise and good men, in former or later ages^ 
but should be able to render a reason of the faith and hope that 
is in us, as l^uilt upon clear scripture evidence ; so, on the other 
hand, we must take heed that we do not despise the many tes- 
timonies which God's people have given to the truth, or for- 
sake the footsteps of the flock, as though God had left his ser- 
vants to delusions, or groundless doctrines, and there were no 
light in the world, or the church, till those, who have studiously 
endeavoured to overthrov,^ the faith delivered to, and main- 
tained by the saints, brought in that which they, with vain- 
boasting, call new light, into it, 

(3.) Let us strive against the pride of our understandings 
which oftentimes tempts us to disbelieve any doctrine which 
we cannot fully account for, by our shallow methods of reason- 
ing, as though we were the onl)^ men that knew any thing ; and^ 
as Job says, Wisdojn must die with ns^ Job xii. 2. 

(4») If we are in doubt concerning any important truth, let 
113 apply ourselves, by faith and prayer, to Christ, the great 
prophet of his churchy who he^s promised his Spirit to lead hia 


people into all necessary truth, to establish them in, and to keep 
them from being turned aside from it, by every wind of doc- 
trine, through the management and sophistry of those who lie 
in wait to deceive. And to this we may add, that we ought to 
bless God for, and to make a right use of the labours of others, 
who have not only been led into the knowledge of the gospel 
themselves, but have taken a great deal of pains, and that with 
good success, to establish the faith of others therein. 

(5.) If we have attained to a settled knowledge of the truths 
and, more especially, if we have been blessed with a spiritual 
and practical discerning thereof, let us bless God for it, and 
endeavour to improve it to the best purposes, which will be a 
preservative against this sore judgment of being given up to 
the blindness of our minds, or strong delusions, and thereby to 
forsake our first faith. 

3. Another punishment of sin, which more especially re- 
spects the will, is hardness of heart, and a reprobate sense, 
when men are given up to the perverseness and obstinacy of 
their natures, so that they are fixedly resolved to continue in 
sin, whatever be the consequence thereof, when they cannot 
bear reproof for, and refuse to be reclaimed from it; whatever 
methods are used in order thereunto. Thus the prophet speaks, 
concerning a people, which had had forewarnings by sore judge- 
ments, and were, at that time, under sad rebukes of providence ; 
yet God says, concerning them. They will not hearken unto tne; 
for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted^ Ezek. 
iii. 7* and the apostle speaks of some, who have their conscien- 
ces seared with a hot iron^ 1 Tim. iv. 2. and others, who are 
described, as sinning wilfully^ Heb. v. 26. that is, resolutely^ 
being head-strong, and determined to persist therein ; and are 
as the man described in Job, Who stretcheth out his hand against 
God^and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty ; he run- 
neth upon him^ even upon his neck^ upon the thick bosses of his 
bucklers^ Job xv. 25. Thus corrupt nature expresses its enmity 
and opposition to God ; and, as sinners are suffered to go on in 
this way, it may well be reckoned a punishment of sin, or an 
instance of God's judicial hand against them for it. This hard<» 
ness of heart is sometimes compared to a stone ^ Ezek. xxxyif 
26. or a rock^ Jer. xxiii. 19. or an adamant^ which is hardly 
broken with a hammer, Zech. vii. 12. or an iron sinew, and 
their brow is said to be as brass, Isa. xlviii, 4. and sometimes 
they are compared to a swift dromedary, traversing her ways ; 
or the wild ass, used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the 
wind at her pleasure, Jer. ii. 23, 24. and the bullock unaccus- 
tomed to the yoke, Jer. xxxi. 18. or to the deaf adder, that stop^ 
peth her esrs ; that will not hearken to the voice of the charmers ^ 
charming never so wi^eluy Psal. Iviii* 4 , 5c Thi? stupidity of 

Vol. IL U 


the heart of man is so great, that it inclmes him to go on in a 
com-se of rebellion against God, and, at the same time, to con- 
clude all things to be v/ell ; whereas, this is the most dangerous 
symptom, and a visible instance of God's judicial hand, as a 
punishment of sin in this life. There are several instances, in 
which this hardness of heart discovers itself; as, 

(1.) When men are not afraid of God's judgments threaten- 
ed, nor regard the warnings given thereof before-hand, or when 
they refuse to humble themselves under them, as God says to 
Pharaoh, Hoxv long tvUt thou refuse to humble thyself before 
meP Exod. x. 3. 

(2.) When they stifle, and do not regard those convictions of 
conscience, which they sometimes have ; and, though they know 
that what they do is sinful, and displeasing to God. yet they 
break through all those fences, which should have prevented 
their committing it, as the apostle speaks of some, Who know- 
ing the judgment of God., that they ivho commit such things.^ are 
xvorthy o^ death ; not only do the same., but have pleasure in 
them that do them^ Rom. i. 32. 

(3.) Men may be said to be hardened in sin, when they do 
Tiot mourn for, or repent of it, after they have committed it : 
but, on the other hand, endeavour to conceal, extenuate, and 
plead for it, rather than to forsake it. And here we may take 
occasion to enquire, 

[1.] What are those sins which more especially lead to this 
Judgment of hardness of heart. These are, 

1st., A neglect of ordinances, such as the v/ord preached, as 
though we counted it an indifferent matter, whether we wait at 
wisdom's gate, or no, or make a visible profession of subjection 
to Christ, and desire of communion wdth him herein ; and par- 
ticularly when we live in the constant neglect of secret prayer : 
thus the hardened sinner is described, when it is said. Tea., thou 
castest off fear., and restrainest prayer before God., Job xv. 4. 

2dly., Another sin leading to it, is, a person's delighting in, 
or associating himself with such companions, as are empty and 
vain, express an enmity to the power of godliness, and frequent- 
ly make things sacred, the subject of their wit and ridicule, 
choosing such for his bosom-friends, who cannot bear to con- 
verse about divine things, but rather depreciate, or cast con- 
tempt upon them ; such an one is called, A companion of fools ^ 
and is opposed to those that -walk rvitk wise men., who shall be 
wise., Prov. xiii. 20. and there is no method w^hich will have a 
:more direct tendency to harden the heart, or root out any of 
the remains of serious religion, than this. 

3<^/z/, A shunning faithful reproof, or concluding those our 
enemies, who are, in this respect, our best friends. He that can- 
4JOt bear to be told of his crinies, by others, will, in a little 


while, cease to be a reprover to himself, and hereby will be ex- 
posed to this judgment of hardness of herat. 

Aithly^ Our venturing on the occasions of sin, or committing 
it presumptuously, widiout considering the heinous aggrava- 
tions thereof, or the danger that v/iil ensue to us thereby ; these 
things will certainly bring on us a very great degree of hard- 
ness of heart. 

But, since there are some who are afraid of falling under 
this judgment, and are ready to complain, that the hardness, 
which they find in their own hearts, is of a judicial nature ; this 
leads us to enquire, 

[2.] What is the difference between that hardness of hearty 
which believers often complain of, and judicial hardness, which 
is considered, in this answer, as a punishment of sin. There is 
nothing that a believer more complains of, than the hardness 
and impenitency of his heart, its lukewarmness and stupidity 
under the ordinances ; and there is nothing that he more de- 
sires, than to have this redressed, and is sometimes not with- 
out a degree of fear, lest he should be given up to judicial hard- 
ness ; and therefore, to prevent discouragements of this nature, 
let it be considered, 

(1.) That judicial hardness is very seldom perceived, and 
never lamented ; a broken and a contrite heart is the least thing; 
that such desire : But it is otherwise with believers ; for, as it 
is said of Hezekiah, that he was humbled for the pride of his 
hearty 2 Chron. xxxii. 26. so all they, who have the truth of 
grace, and none but such, are exceedingly grieved for the hard- 
ness of their heart, which is an argument that it is not judicial, 
how much soever it be, in common with every sin, the result 
of the corruption of nature, and the imperfection of this present 

(2.) Judicial hardness is perpetual" ; or, if ever there be any 
remorse, or relenting, or the soul is distressed, by reason of its 
guilt, or the prevalency of sin, it is onlv at such times when he 
is under some outward aiflictions, or filled with a dread of the 
wrath of God ; and, as this wears off, or abates, his stupidity 
returns as much, or more, than ever : Thus it was with Pharaoh, 
when he was affrighted with the mighty thundering and hail, 
with which he was plagued, he sent for Moses and Aaron^ and 
said unto them^ I have sinned; the Lord is righteous^ and I and 
my people are wicked^ Exod. ix. 27. but, when the plague was 
removed, it is said, that he. sinned yet mcre^ and hardened his 
heart. But it is otherwise with a believer ; for sometimes, when 
no adverse dispensations, with respect to his outward circum- 
stances in the world, trouble him, yet he is full of complaints, 
and greatly afflicted, that his heart is no more affected in holy 
duties, or inflamed with love to Ood, or zeal for his glory, or 


that he cannot delight in him as he would, or obtain a compleat 
I'ictory over in-dwelling sin, which is his constant burden ; and, 
whenever he has a degree of tenderness, or brokenness of heart. 
Under a sense of sin, it is not barely the fear that he has of the 
Wrath of God, as a sin-revenging judge, or the dreadful conse- 
quences of sin committed, that occasion it, but a due sense of 
that ingratitude and disingenuity, which there is in every act of 
rebellion against him, who has laid them under such inexpres- 
sible obligations to obedience. 

(3.) Judicial hardness is attended with a total neglect of all 
holy duties, more especially those that are secret ; but that hard- 
ness of heart which a believer complains of, though it occasions 
his going on very uncomfortably in duty, yet it rather puts him 
upon, than drives him from it. 

(4.) When a person is judicially hardened, he makes use of 
indirect and unwarrantable methods to maintain that false peace, 
which he thinks himself happy in the enjoyment of; that, which 
he betakes himself to, deserves no better character than a re- 
fuge of lies ; and the peace he rejoices in, deserves no better a 
name than stupidity : but a believer, when complaining of the 
hardness of his heart, cannot take up with any thing short of 
Christ, and his righteousness ; and it is his presence that gives 
him peace ; and he always desires that faith may accompany his 
repentance, that so, whenever he mourns for sin, the comforta- 
ble sense of his interest in him, may afford him a solid and last- 
ing peace, which is vastly different from that stupidity and hard- 
ness of heart, which is a punishment of sin. 

There is another expression in this answer, which denotes lit- 
tle rnore than a greater degree of judicial hardness, when it is 
styled, A reprobate sense^ or, as the apostle calls it, A reprobate 
mind^ Rom. i. 28. which God is said to have given them up to, 
xvho did not like to retain /mn in their knowledge ; the meaning 
of which is, that persons, by a course of sin, render their hearts 
so hard, their wills so obstinate and depraved, as well as their 
understandings so dark and defiled, that they hardly retain those 
notices of good and evil, which are enstamped on the nature of 
man, and, at some times, have a tendency to check for, and re- 
strain from sin, till they are entirely lost, and extinguished by 
the prevalency of corrupt nature, and a continued course of pre- 
sumptuous sins ; and, as the result hereof, they extenuate and 
excuse the greatest abominations : Thus Ephraim is represent- 
ed, as saying. In all my labours^ they shall find none iniquity in 
me that were sin^ Hos. xii. 8. whereas God says in a following 
verse, that they provoked him to anger most bitterly^ ver. 14. 
and, after this, they entertain favourable thoughts of the vilest 
actions, as some are represented doing, Who call evil good, and 


g'ood evil ; that put darkness for lights ajid light for darkness ^ 
that put bitter for sweety and sweet for bitter^ Isa. v. 20. 

4. The next spiritual judgment mentioned in this answer, afe 
a punishment for sin, is a person's being given up to i i/e affec* 
tions. This God is said to have done, to those whom the apos- 
tle describes, as giving themselves over to the committing of those 
sins^ which are contrary to nature, Rom. i. 26. such as all men 
generally abhor, who do not abandon themselves to the most 
notorious crimes : This is a contracting that guilt, which is re- 
pugnant to those natural ideas of virtue and vice, which even 
an unregenerate man, who has not arrived to this degree of im- 
piety, cannot but abhor. These are such as are not to be named 
among Christians, or thought of, without the utmost regret, and 
an afflictive sense of the degeneracy of human nature. 

5. The last thing mentioned in this answer, in which the in- 
ward punishment of sin, in this life, consists, is. Horror of con- 
science* Under the foregoing instances of spiritual judgments, 
conscience seemed to be asleep, but now it is awakened, and 
that by the immediate hand of God, and this is attended with a 
dread of his wrath falling upon it : horror and despair are the 
result hereof; The arroxvs of the Almighty are xvithin him^ the 
poison -whereof drinketh up his spirit ; the terrors of God do set 
themselves in array against him^ Job vi. 4. and. Terrors take 
hold on him as xvaters ; a tempest stealeth him azvay in the night, 
1 he east xvind carrieth him away^ and he departeth ; and^ as a 
storm^ hurleth him out of his place. For God shall cast upon him^ 
and not spare ; he xuould fain flee out of his hand, chap, xxvii. 
20— 22. 

This differs from those doubts and fears, which are common 
to believers, inasmuch as it is attended with despair, and a 
dreadful view of God, as a God to xvhom vengeance belongeth^ 
and is attended, as the apostle says, vSith a certain fearful look- 
ing for of judgment^ and fiery indignation^ which shall devour 
the adversaries, Heb. x. 27. Before this, he took a great deal 
of pains to stifle convictions of conscience, but now he would 
fain do it, but cannot ; which is a sad instance of the wrath of 
God pouring forth gall and wormwood into it, when he says, 
to use the prophet's words. Thine oxvn zvickedness shall correct 
thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee, Jer. ii. 19. 

But, now we are speaking concerning horror of conscience, 
we must take heed, lest we give occasion to doubting believers, 
who are under great distress of soul, through a sense of sin, tQ 
apply what has been said, to themselves, for their farther dis- 
couragement, and conclude, that this is a judicial act of Godj 
and a certain evidence, that they have not the truth of grace : 
Therefore we may observe, that there is a difference between 
this horror of conscience, which we have feesu describing, and 


that distress of soul, which believers are often liable to, in three 

(1.) The former, under horror of conscience, flee from God, 
as from an enemy, and desire only to be delivered from his 
wrath, and not from sin, the occasion of it ; whereas the belie- 
ver desires nothing so much, as that his iniquity, which is the 
occasion of it, may be subdued and forgiven, and that he may 
have that communion with God which he is destitute of; and, 
in order thereunto, he constantly desires to draw nigh to him 
in ordinances, and, if he cannot enjoy him he mourns after him : 
Thus the Psalmist complaineth, as one in the utmost degree of 
distress. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflhcted 
me -with all thy waves, Psal. Ixxxviii. 7. yet he says. Unto thee 
have I cried, Lord, and in the morning shall my prayer pre- 
vent thee, ver. 13. 

(2.) The one reproaches God, and entertains unworthy 
thoughts of him, as though he were severe, cruel, and unjust 
to him ; whereas the other, with an humble and penitent frame 
of spirit, complains only of himself, acknowledges that there is 
no unrighteousness with God, and lays all the blame to his own 

(3.) Horror of conscience, when it is judicial, seldom con- 
tinues any longer, than while a person is under some outward 
afflictive dispensation of providence, under which sin is increas- 
ed, and the removal thereof leaves him as stupid as he was be- 
fore : whereas it is otherwise with a believer ; for the removal 
of God's afflicting hand, as to outward troubles, will not afford 
him any remedy against his fears, unless sin be mortified, and 
God is pleased to lift up the light of his countenance upon him, 
and give him joy and peace in believing. 

Secondly, Having considered the i«war<^ punishments of sin^ 
in this life we are now to speak something concerning those, 
which, in this answer, are styled outward, of which some are the 
immediate consequence of the first entrance of sin into the world, 
and others are increased by the frequent commission thereof ; 
the former includes in it the curse of God upon the creature 
for our sakes, and our liableness to death ; the latter respects 
those various other evils that befal us, of which some are perso- 
nal, and others relative ; accordingly, many evils are said to be- 
fal us, in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments. 

1. The curse of God was denounced against the creatures^ 
immediately after man's apostasy from him : This is, in part, 
contained in the threatning, Cursed he the ground for thy sake* 
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee ; by the sweat of 
thy face shalt thcu eat bread, till thou return to the ground. Gen. 
iii. 17 — 19. and it is very elegantly described by the aposde, who 
speaks of (a J the creature as subject to vanity, not xuillinghj,^ 

(c) x^icri^, mfans anjn^al nature in man. The. relief of the body i? spcken «f; 


hut by reason ofhbn^ who hath subjected the same m hope; (b) and 
of the zvhole creation's groajiing and travelling in pain together 
until noTv^ Rom. viii. 20—22. the generai scope and cltsign 
whereof seems to be this, that it retains the visible marks of 
the curse of God, which followed upon man's sin. This I ra- 
ther think to be the sense thereof, than to suppose, as some do, 
that the creature^ here spoken of, is the Gentile world, and the 
vanity^ whica they were subject to, that idolatry which they 
"were universally addicted to ; for that does not seem to agree 
-with what the apostle says, when he supposes that their subjec- 
tion to this vanity was not zvillingly^ neither can it well be call- 
ed the bondage of corruption. But if, on the other hand, we take 
it for that part of the creation, which was more immediately 
designed for the use of man, being abused, and so subject to 
that vanity, which is the consequence of his fall, this agrees 
very well with its being not willingly ; for he is speaking here 
of creatures not endowed w^ith understanding and will, yet abus- 
ed by those that are, and therefore their subjection to man's va- 
nity, is not so much from themselves, as from man's sin ; and 
then he speaks of the liableness of all these things to corruption, 
as the world is decaying and growing toward a dissolution. 
How far this curse of God, on the creature, extended itself, 
■whether only to this lower world, or to the heavenly bodies 
themselves, such as the sun, moon, and stars, I pretend not to 
determine; for I desire not to extend my conjectures beyond 
the line of scripture, which speaks of the earthy as cursed for 
7mnCs sake; and how far the other parts of nature, are liable to 
corruption, or inclined towards a dissolution, it is hard to say. 
All that I shall add, on this head, is, that, when this is called 
a- punishment, which is consequent on man's sin, it more espe- 
cially respects man, who is the only subject of punishment in 
this world : inanimate creatures are the matter, in which he is 
punished, but he alone is the subject thereof. 

2. There are other evils that befal us, in which we are more 
immediately concerned, and these are either personal or rela- 
tive ; and, accordingly, 

(1.) We are liable to bodily diseases, which are a continual 
\Veakness, or decay of nature ; and afterwards to death, which 
is the dissolution of the frame thereof. All the pains and dis- 
orders of nature, whereby our healdi is impaired, and our pas- 
sage, through this world, rendered uneasy, are the consequence 
of our sinful and fallen state, and, in that respect, are sometimes 
styled, a punishment of sin : thus, when our Saviour healed the 
man that was sick of the palsy, he intimates, that his sickness 
was the consequence of sin, by the mode of expression used, 
Thy sins are forgiven thee^ Mat. ix. 2. and the Psalmist speaks 

CbJ ver. 20. is a parenthesis, except, *'m hope'' ^( Walteth &c. sms of God () 
*' fn hop^ tlm the creature, &c^^ 


of God's pardoning the iniquities of his people^ and healing all 
their diseases^ PsaL ciii. 3. at the same time ; in this respect, 
they are styled, in a more large sense, a punishment of sin : but, 
when they have a mixture of the wrath of God in them, and 
are not rendered subservient to our good, nor included among 
those dispensations, which are called fatherly chastisements, as 
they are not in those that are in an unjustified state, they are, 
in a more proper sense, punishments of sin. Thus the diseases 
that God brought on the Egyptians, are reckoned among the 
plagues of Eg}pt, and so were a visible instance of the vindic- 
tive justice of God. The same thing may be said of death, 
which is the dissolution of the frame of nature, which is a con- 
sequence of sin, in all, and in the most proper sense, a punish- 
ment of sin, in those, who are liable not only to the stroke, but 
the sting of death, and thereby are brought under the power 
of the second death. 

(2.) There are many evils that befal us in our names, when 
we meet with reproaches and injurious treatment, as to what 
concerns our character in the world, from those who act as 
though their tongues were their own, and they were not ac- 
countable to God, for those slanders and revilings, which they 
load us with. We are, in this case, very ready to complain of 
the injustice done us, by their endeavouring to deprive us of 
that, which is equally valuable with our lives : but we ought to 
consider, that sin is the cause of all this, a^id God's suffering 
them thus to treat us, and thereby to hinder our usefulness in 
the world, must be reckoned a punishment of sin. 

(3.) There are other evils that befal us in our secular con- 
cerns, namely, our estates and employments in the world, which 
are entirely at the disposal of providence, which renders us 
rich, or poor, succeeds, or blasts, our lawful undertakings. This 
God may do, out of his mere sovereignty, without giving an 
account of his matters to any one. But yet, when we meet with 
nothing but disappointments, or want of success in business, 
and whatever diligence, or industry, we use, appears to be to 
no purpose, and adverse providences, like a torrent, sweep 
away all that we have in the world, and poverty comes upon 
us, like an armed man, this is to be reckoned no other than a 
punishment of sin. 

(4.) There are other evils, which we are exposed to, in our 
relations, by which we understand, the wickedness of those 
who are nearly related to us, or the steps they take to ruin 
lhemselves,--and cast a blemish on the whole family to which 
they belong. The bonds of nature, and that affection, which is 
the result thereof, render this very afflictive: and especially 
when they, who are related to us, attempt any thing against us 
to our prejudice, this is a circumstance that sharpeneth the edge 
of the affliction. And, as it is a sin in theiHj which is contrary 


to the dictates of nature ; so sometimes we may reckon it a 
punishment which we are Hable to, as the consequence of our 
sin in general. But, if we have occasion to reflect on our for- 
mer conversation, as not having filled up every relation v\'ith 
those respective duties, that it engages to ,* if we have been un- 
dutiful to our parents, or unfaithful servants to our masters, or 
broke the bonds of civil society, by betraying or deserting our 
friends, and setting aside all those obligations which they have 
laid us under; this oftentimes exposes us to afflictive evils of 
the like nature, whereby the affiiction we meet with in others^ 
appears to be a punishment of our own sin. Thus concerning 
the punishment of sin in this life ; from whence we may make 
the following remarks. 

1. Whatever evils we are exposed to in this world, we ought 
to be very earnest with God, that he would not give us up to 
spiritual judgments. The punishments of sin, which are out- 
Avard, may be alleviated and sweetened with a sense of God's 
love, and made subservient to our spiritual and eternal advan- 
tage. But blindness of mind, hardness of heart, and those other 
evils, which tend to vitiate and defile the soul, which have in 
them the formal nature of punishment, these are to be dreaded 
like hell ; and, as we are to be importunate with God to pre- 
vent them, so we ought to watch against those sins that lead 
to them ; and therefore let us take heed of being insensible, or 
stupid, under any afRictive evils, as neglecting to hear the voice 
of God, who speaks by them, or refusing to receive instruction 
by correction. 

2. Let us not be too much dejected, or sink under those out- 
ward afflictive providences, which we are liable to ; for, though 
they be the consequence of sin, yet, if we have ground to con- 
clude, by faith, that our sins are forgiven, they are not to be 
reckoned the stroke of justice, demanding satisfaction, and re- 
solving never to remove its hand from us, till we are consumed 
thereby; since believers often experience, what the prophet 
prays for, that God i?i xvrath remembers mercij^ Hab* iii. 2. 

3. Let us take heed that we do not ascribe afflictive provi- 
dences to chance, or content ourselves with a bare reflection on 
them, as the common lot of man in this world, who is born to 
trouble as the sparks fiy upwards : For, this we may do, and 
not be humbled for that sin, which they are designed to bring to 
remembrance, as they are to be reckoned a piinishment thereof^ 

4. Let us not murmur, or quarrel with God, as though he 
dealt hardly with us, in sending afflictive evils ; but rather le£ 
us bless him, how heavy soever they appear to be, that they 
aie not extreme, but mitigated, and have in them a great mix- 
ture of mercy. Thus God says, concerning the evils that he 
had' brought upon Israel^ that in measure h^ laciild debgte vnth 

Vol. IL X 


ihem^ who stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind^ 
and by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged^ Isa. xxvii. 8^ 
9. and, by this means, Grod not only afflicts us less than our ini- 
quities deserve, but brings good to us thereby in the end. If 
the guilt of sin is taken away, we have ground to conclude, that 
all these things shall work together for good^ as he has promised 
they shall, to those that love him. This leads us to consider, 

II. The punishment of sin in the world to come. Though 
the wrath of God be revealed, in many instances, in a very ter- 
rible manner, as a punishment of sin in this life, yet there is a 
punishment unspeakably greater, which sinners are liable to, in 
the world to come. That this may appear, let us consider the 
following propositions. 

1. That the soul exists after its separation from the body by 
death ; which is evident, from the immateriality thereof, and its 
being of a different nature from the body. This was known and 
proved by the light of nature ; so that the very heathen, who 
had no other light than that to guide them, discover some 
knowledge of it. But this is more plain from scripture ; as when 
it is said. Fear not them whieh kill the body^ hut are not able to 
kill the soul; but rather fear him^ which is able to destroy both 
soul and body in hell^ Matt. x. 28. 

2. The soul thus existing, though separate from its body^ 
snust be supposed to retain those powers and capacities it had, 
while united to it, which are proper to it, as a spirit, and parti- 
cularly as the subject of moral goveniment; and those powers 
and capacities may also be supposed to be in it in a greater de- 
gree, when dislodged from the body, which is a great hindrance 
to it in ks acdngs, as every one- sensibly experiences ; therefore 
it follows, 

3. That it cannot but be happy, or miserable, in another 
world; for there is no middle state between these two. This 
is farther evident from what was observed in the last proposi- 
tion, concerning the continuance and increase of its powers and 
faculties, whereby it is rendered more capable thereof, than it 
is now. 

4. If it goes out of this world, under the weight and guilt of 
ski upon it, it must retain that guilt, because there is no sacri- 
fice for sin, extending itself to that world ; no mediator, no gos- 
pel, or means of grace ; no promises of, or way to obtain for- 
giveness ; therefore, 

5. Wicked men, whose sins are not forgiven in this world; 
are the subjecti of punishment in the other. 

6. This punishment cannot be castigatory, or paternal, or 
consistent with the Special love of God, or, for their advantage, 
as the punishments of the sins of believers are in this world, 
Siince it is always expressed as the stroke of vindictive justice. 
demanding satisfaction for sins committed. 


7. Some are happy in a future state, namely, those who are 
justified ; for, xvho7n he justified^ them he also glorified^ Rom, 
viii. 30. But this is not the privilege of all ; therefore they who 
are not justified, or whose sins are not pardoned, are the sub- 
jects of the punishment of sin in the world to come- This is a 
very awful subject, and should be duly improved, to awaken 
©ur fears, and put us upon using those means, which God has 
ordained to escape it. But I shall not, in this place, enlarge 
upon it, since it is particularly insisted on under another an- 
swer,* and therefore I shall only observe, that, as sin is objecr 
tively infinite, as being against an infinite God, it deserves etei> 
nal punishment. And therefore all the punishments inflicted on 
sinners, in this world are not proportioned to it; and conse- 
quently there are vials of wrath, reserved in store, to be poured 
on those, who wilfully and obstinately persist in their rebellion 
against God, and the punishment will be agreeable to the nature 
of the crime ; so that as sin is a separation of the heart and af- 
fections from God, and contains in it a disinclination to con- 
verse with him, as well as unmeetness for it, the punishment 
thereof will consist in a separation from bjs comfortable pre- 
vsence, and that is to be separated from the fountain of blessed- 
ness, which must render the soul beyond expression, misera- 
ble. This is generally called a punishment of loss ; and there is 
besides it, a punishment of sense, expressed by diose grievous 
torments, which are to be endured in soul and body % the soul, 
in a moral sense, may be said to be capable of pain, as it has 
an afllictive sensation of those miseries which it endures ; and 
the body is so in a natural sense, which, as it has been a partner 
with the soul in sinning, must likewise be so in suffering. And 
this farther appears inasmuch as the body endures several pains 
imd evils, as punishments of sin in this life, which shall be con- 
tinued, and increased in another. This is usually expressed by 
that punishment, which is most terrible, namely, of fire ; and 
the place in which it is inflicted,^ is hell, and the duration there- 
of is to eternity. But of these things elsewhere, {a) 

* See Quest. Ixxxis. 

(a) The faculties of the soul speak it made for eternity ; particularly con- 
science points to a time of retribution. The same truth may be deduced from 
the holiness, justice, and even the g-oodness of God; from the moral agency of 
inan ; from the course of the conduct of men; and from the unequal administra- 
tion of justice : but the solid and clear proofs are found in the word of God. How 
pitiable tlie condition of that man, who having- spent his life without a view to a 
final account, has no other hope in the hour of death, except that which is found- 
ed upon the groundless supposition, that God will cease to be holy, just, and 
true ; that he will change from his original pui-pose, subvert the order of jiis go- 
vernment, and surrender the demands of religion, conscience, and reason, to save 
ihe guilty in their sins. 

Humanity would lead us t© entsrtam a secret tvlsh. tliat the in?peiutent shmH 


Quest. XXX. Doth God leave all ynankind to pertsli in the state 
ofsbi and misery ? 

Answ. God will not leave all mankind to perish in the state 
of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the 
first covenant, com.monly called, the covenant of works ; but 
of his mere love and mercy, delivereth his elect out of it, 
and bringeth them to an estate of salvation by the second 
covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace. 

HITHERTO we have considered man as made upright, 
and having many blessings in possession, and more in 
expectation, according to the tenor of the covenant he was un- 

be permitted to drop into non-existence, and that the demands of justice should 
be waved ; but this sentiment is unadvised, and springs from an ignorance of the 
demerit of sin; defective views of the importance of rectitude in the administra- 
tion of the div'me government; from imperfect conceptions of God's perfections ; 
from our ov/n interest, or from a faulty sympathy for the undeserving. Existence 
is a blessing ; but when prostituted to the dishonour of the Creator, the party 
v'lli not be at liberty to throw it up when he chooses, and thus elude the de- 
mands of jutjtice. 

The minds of the unrenewed are directed prevailingly to temporal tbing3; a 
total separation from I hem, is, perhaps, the first sense of punishment which is 
felt. They have not in life sought eternal happiness, yet they generally have 
supposed it possible to be attained, or that mercy would bestow it. The dis- 
covery of their eternal separation from heaven, the society of tlie blessed, the 
beatific vision of God, from fulness of joys, and rivers of pleasures, will produce 
abject despair. This will be aggravated by the reflection that they might have 
been happy. The blessings of providence, the mercy of God in making provision 
for their recovery, the love and compassion of Christ, the means of gi'ace, the in- 
vitations and warnings of the Gospel, all abused and lost, will augment their re- 
morse to an inconceivable degree. The malice and horrors of their cursed socie- 
ty of fiends and damned spirits, will be another source of torment. 

Great as these distresses may be, the separate spirits are dreading greater 
evils. " Hast then come to torment us before the time.^" When the judgment haa 
passed, *' deuih/' the bodies which iiad been dead, " and hell,*' the spirits which 
had been in Hudes, " shall be cast into the lake of fire?* If their bodies shall be 
raised spiritual, incorruptible, and immortal, which is affirmed of the righteous; 
and seems probable, because the eai'th will be destroyed, and they will be asso- 
ciated with spirits, yet the sense of the pain, which arises from burning, may be 
given and continued in them by the application of fire, or even without it. 

But that which imbitters all their distresses in the highest degree, is, tliat 
they shall be eternal. The original words of the scripture expressive of their 
perpetuity, being unrestrained by any implied or expressed limitation, should be 
understood as when applied to Deity, or the happiness of the saints. The same 
perpetual duration is also shown by negation, which is the strongest language. 
<^* The worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched;** it is " unqnenchable fire,** and 
"' their end,** (or final state,) " is to be burtied.'* We read of a sin which shall 
'^' not be forgiven.** " JVot every one — shall enter into the kingdorn;** and where 
Christ is, they " cannot come.** They will " have judgment loithout mercy.** None 
of these things are true, if all men sjiall be saved. 

Perhaps justice required that these evils sliould be disclosed; but if they be 
unjust, it was improper to threaten them. Our aversion to them springs from 
our ignorance of the evil of sin. Nevertheless, the sacrifice of Christ, and the 
warnings of scripture, speak their extent; iuid the continuance of the damned i« 
siDi establishes their certainty. % 

OF man's recovery. 161 

der. We have also observed the first entrance of sin into the 
world, with all those miseries that attended it ; and we are now 
led to speak of that inestimable display of divine love and grace, 
which appears in our salvation, which is considered more gene- 
rally in this answer ; wherein there is, 

I. Something supposed, namely, that if God had left man in 
the state into which he brought himself by sin, he would have 
perished for ever. He was not only in danger of ruin and de- 
struction, but sunk into it. He was like a brand in the fire, that 
would soon have been consumed, had he not been plucked out 
of it. His state was not only miserable, but hopeless, inasmuch 
as he could not think of any expedient how he might recover 
himself. He was guilty, and no creature could make atonement 
for him; separated from the comfortable presence of God, 
whose terrors made him afraid, and whose hand was heavy 
upon him; neither could he apply himself to any one, who 
would interpose or appear in his behalf, whereby he might be 
restored to the enjoyment of those privileges, which he had 
forfeited and lost. What tongue can express, or heart be suit- 
ably aifected with the misery of this condition ! And this vv^ould 
have been our deplorable case for ever, had we been left of God 
in our fallen state. But we have, in the gospel, a door of sal- 
vation opened, or glad tidings proclaimed therein, to those who 
were sunk as low as hell, which is the only spring and hope of 
comfort, to those who are afflicted with a sense of their sin and 
misery. Accordingly, it is farther observed, 

II. That God v/ill not leave all mankind to perish in that 
state, but designed to deliver his elect out of it, and bring them 
into a state of salvation. That God designed not to leave man- 
kind in tliis miserable condition, appears from the discovery 
he has made of the way of salvation which was contained in 
that promise, which God gave to our first parents, respecting 
the seed of the woman^ who was to break the serpent* s head; 
or the Saviour's being manifested that he yrught destroy th& 
works of the devil ; and all the promises contained in the gos- 
pel, are, as it were, a farther improvement on it, or a continued 
declaration of God's purpose relating to the salvation of hia 
people. The v/ork of redemption wrought out by Christ, as God 
incarnate, was a wonderful discovery of this great truth, that 
God had a design to recover and save lost sinners ; and all the 
gifts and graces of the Spirit, by whom the redemption pur- 
chased by Christ, is applied, and that joy and peace, which 
they have in believing, which are, as it were, the first fruits of 
eternal life, these are all a convincing proof that God deter- 
mined not to leave man to perish in his fallen state. And to 
this we may add, that even the malice and rage of Satan, and 
all the endeavours used by him, to defeat this design, and the 


glorious victory which God enables his people to obtain over 
him, who are made more than conquerors through him that loved 
them ; these are so many convincing proofs, that God designed 
not to leave man, in his ruined condition, but to make known 
to him the way of salvation ; first, to make him meet for it, and 
then to bring him to the possession of it. 

Salvation is an inestimable privilege, containing in it all the 
ingredients of blessedness, such as are adapted to the condition 
of miserable sinners ; and it is a very comprehensive one ; which 
will appear, if we consider what we are hereby delivered from, 
and what we are possessed of. There is a great variety of bless- 
ings contained in the former of these ; as, we are saved from 
sin, namely, from the guih thereof in justification, and from the 
dominion thereof in sanctification, and from that bondage we 
wore liable to, whereby we were in perpetual dread of the wrath 
of God, desiring to fly from his presence, and naturally incli- 
ned to yield ourselves subjects and slaves to his greatest ene- 
my : all these we are delivered from. And there are many posi- 
tive blessings and privileges, which we are made partakers of; 
such as, grace and peace begun here, and perfected in glory 
hereafter ; and these are not only such as exceed our highest 
desert, but tend to make us completely and eternally happy. 
Here we are to consider, 

1. The subjects of this privilege. Salvation is not extended 
to all miserable creatures ; for, fallen angels, w^ho were the first 
that rebelled against God, were left to perish, without hope of 
salvation, being reserved for ever in chains under darkness* 
And as for fallen man, how extensive soever the proclamation 
of salvation in the gospel is, as it is now preached to all nations, 
and all who sit under the sound thereof, are commanded and 
encouraged to press after it ; yet this privilege is applied only 
to those who were ordained to eternal life. The purpose of 
God, relating hereunto, and the application thereof, are joined 
together in that golden chain of salvation, Whom he predestina- 
ted^ them he also called; and xohom he called^ them he also justi- 
fied ; and whom he justified^ them he also glorified^ Rom. viii. 
30. But this has been more particularly considered elsewhere*^. 

2. Here is the only moving cause, or reason, why God bestows 
this great salvation, or why he has designed to bring any of 
the sons of men to it ; and that is his mere love and mercy. 
Salvation, whether considered in its first rise, in God's eternal 
purpose, or in the execution thereof in the work of conversion 
and sanctification, as weU as in the completing of it in glorifi- 
tation, is ascribed to the sovereign grace and mercy of God. 
A re we Chosen in Christ to be holy^ or predestinated to the a- 
eioption cf children by him? this is said to be to the prqise of 

OF MAn'fi RECOVERY- 163 

theghry of his grace^ Eph. i. 4 — 6. And the apostle elsewhere, 
when resolving this great privilege of salvation, in all the 
branches of it, namely, regeneration, renovation, and justifica- 
tion, into the same original cause and ground thereof, to wit, 
the kindness, love, and grace of God, excludes all those works 
of righteousness which we have done, from being the induce- 
ment, or moving cause leading to it. Tit. iii. 4 — 7. so that it 
was the grace of God that laid the foundation stone, and it is 
that that brings the work to perfection. 

To make this farther appear, let it be considered, that salva- 
tion must either be of grace, or of debt ; either the result of 
God's free favour to us, or it must proceed from some obligation, 
which he is laid under by us, to confer this privilege upon us- 
Now it is certain, that it cannot take its rise from any obliga- 
tion that we can lay on him ; for whatever difference there is 
between the best of saints and the worst of sinners, it is from 
God, and not from the sinner himself. We have nothing but 
what xvejirst received irom. him, ofwhom^ and through xchomy 
and to whom are allthingSy Rom. xi. 35, 36. 

Moreover, this salvation must be conferred, in such a way, 
as redounds to the glory of him, who is the author of it, where- 
by all the boasting in the creature is excluded, and therefore it 
cannot take its rise from any thing done by us ; it is not of 
VJorks^ lest any man should boast^ Eph. ii. 9. And, indeed, this 
is contrary to the main design of the gospel, which is, that no 
flesh should glory in his presence. And the circumstances in 
which those are, who are said to be the objects of salvation, are 
such as argue it to be altogether of grace ; for, whom did the 
Son of Man come to seek and to save, but them that were lost t 
or, to whom was the way of salvation discovered, but to those 
who v/ere going astray from God, and were neither inclined to 
return to him, nor apply themselves to any one, who might di- 
rect them how to regain his lost favour t And, if they had, it 
would have been to no purpose ; since no creature could make 
known the way of salvation, any more than apply the blessings 
contained therein. 

Were man only to be considered as a creature, and so not 
properly the object of salvation, which is no other than a lost 
sinner ; or did he expect nothing else but some effects of com- 
mon goodness, or the blessings of nature, he could not expect 
them in a way of merit; for that is contrary to the dependance 
of the creature on God ; therefore the blessings of Providence 
must be considered as the result of his free favour. And were 
Inan in a sinless state, and able to perform perfect obedience, 
as he was at first, his ability hereunto must be supposed to be 
an unmerited favour ; and accordingly the obedience performed 
wotUd be no other than a just debt due to God, and therefore 

164 or man's recovery- 

would afford him no pit a, from any merit of condignity, for the 
conferring any privilege, as a reward thereof : this therefore, 
must be the result of the divine favour. 

But, when we consider hini as a sinner, he is altogether una- 
ble to do what is good ; and therefore, if salvation were entire- 
ly to depend on our performing obedience, so that any failure 
therein wOuld deprive us of it, we should never attain it ; for 
this obedience would be so imperfect, that God could not, in 
honour, accept of it. But alas ! fallen man is so far from any 
disposition, or inclination to perform obedience, that his heart is 
naturally averse to it; The carnal 7nind is enmity against 
God; for it is not subject to the laxv of God^ neither indeed can 
be^ Rom. viii. 7. If therefore, such an one is saved, and that 
in such a way, that God is pleased to love him, and manifest 
himself to him, it must be a wonderful instance of divine grace, 
which no ofte, who has experienced it, can think on, but with 
admiration, especially when considering how discriminating it 
is ; as one of Christ's disciples said unto him. How is it that 
thou wilt vianifest thyself unto iiSy and not unto the world f 
John xiv. 22. 

3. Having considered salvation, as designed for all the elect, 
we proceed to consider the means of their attaining it ; or their 
being brought into a state of salvation by the second covenant^ 
commonly called the covenant of grace. As salvation is as- 
cribed to the grace of God ; so it is an instance of condescend- 
ing goodness, that our faith, relating hereunto, should be con- 
firmed by such a dispensation, as is generally styled a covenant. 
Thus David, speaking concerning it, says, He hath made with 
mean everlasting covenant^ ordered in all things^ and sure ; for 
this is all my salvation., and all my desire^ 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. This, 
covenant, as to what respects the parties concerned therein, and 
the manner in which the grace of God is displayed in it, toge- 
ther with the various dispensations, or administrations thereof; 
is particularly considered under the five following answers. 
The only thing, that remains to be insisted on in this, is its be- 
ing called the Second Cove?iant^ as opposed to the covenant of 
\v orks, which is styled the Fir'^t. The covenant of works has 
been considered under a foregoing answer * ; and therefore all 
that I shall observe, concerning it, at present, is, that though 
life was promised therein, as including all those blessings, 
which were suited to the state of man in innocency, yet there 
was no promise of salvation in it, which is the restoring of for- 
feited blessings, or a recovery from a state of death and ruin. 
In this respect, the covenant of grace is opposed to it. 

Again, diough Adam was the head of that covenant, whose 
obedience, or apostacy, would convey life or death to all hispos- 
* >See quat. XX. I'a^-c 70. Mts. 

OF man's recovery. 165 

terlty, whom he represented, yet he stood not in the relation of 
a Mediator, or surety, to them, for that was inconsistent with 
the dispensation he was under, and is applicable to no other co- 
venant, than that which we are considering, as thus opposed 
to it. 

Moreover, perfect obedience was demanded, as a condition 
of man's attaining life, and this he was thoroughly furnished to 
perform ; whereas, in the covenant of grace, if God should in- 
sist on our performing perfect obedience, the condition would 
be in its own nature impossible, and therefore we should here- 
by rather be excluded from, than brought into a state of salva- 
tion ; and whatever obedience we are engaged to perform, as 
expectants of salvation, this is entirely owing to the grace of 
God, by which we are what we are, as well as attain to the 
blessings we hope for : Herein the covenant of works, and the 
covenant of grace, differ. 

The next thing that we are to observe, is, that the covenant 
of grace is called the Second Covenant ; and this leads us to 
enquire, whether we have any ground, from scripture, to con- 
clude, that there are more covenants than these two ; or, at 
least, whether what we call the Second Covenant, or the cove- 
nant of grace, may not be subdivided into two covenants ; 
since the apostle seems to speak of two covenants made with 
fallen man, viz. one that was made with the Israelites, given 
from mount Sinai, Avhich was designed to continue no longer 
than that dispensation they were under, lasted ,* and the other 
is, that which the church has been under, ever since the gospel 
dispensation was erected, which is to continue to the end of 
the world. These are described by their respective properties, 
in an allegorical way, and illustrated by a similitude, taken 
"from two mountains, Sinai and Sion; and two persons, men- 
tioned in scripture. Agar and Sarah : The former of these is 
said to gender unto bondage ; the latter brings those, who are 
under it into a state of liberty, Gal. iv. 24. £5? seq, and one of 
these covenants is said to be better than the other, and particu- 
larly called a 72ew covenant ; the other is represented as decays 
ing, waxing old, and ready to vanish away, Heb. viii. 6, 8, 13. 

Moreover, the apostle seems to speak of more covenants 
than one, made with the Jewish church ; for he says, that to 
them pertaineth the adoption,and the glory, and the covenants^ 
Rom. ix. 4. &c. and elsewhere, speaking concerning the Gen- 
tiles, as aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, he adds, that 
they were also strangers from the covenants of promise, Eph. iie 
i2. which seems to argue, that there were more than two co- 
venants with man ; one with innocent man ; the other, the gos- 
pel-covenant, which we are under; and, besides these, there 
were other covenants, made with Israel, which seems to carry 
Vol. II. Y 

i^S OF man's recoverv. 

in it the appearance of an objection, to what was before ob- 
served, that there was, in reality, but two covenants, and that 
whenever we read of any covenant in scripture, it is reducible 
to one of them. 

This may, without much difficulty, be accounted for, con- 
sistently therewith, if we consider the sense of those scriptures 
above mentioned. 

Firsts As to those scriptures, that seem to speak of two 
distinct covenants, made with fallen man, to wit, one with the 
Israelites, the other, that which we are under, they really in- 
tend nothing more than two different dispensations of the cove- 
nant of grace ; in which sense we are to understand the apos- 
tle, when he speaks of the two covenants, the Old a.nd the Nezu^ 
the First and the Second: the covenant is the same, though the 
dispensation of the grace of God therein, or the way of reveal- 
ing it to men, differs. But this will be more particularly in- 
sisted on in those following answers, which respect the vari- 
ous administrations of grace, under the Old and New Testa- 
ment ; therefore we proceed, 

Secondly^ To enquire into the meaning of those other scrip- 
tures, before-mentioned, which seem to speak of more cove- 
nants than one, which the Jewish nation was under. By the 
covenants there mentioned, the apostle seems to refer to some 
different times, or periods of the church, before our Saviour's 
incarnation, of which some divines take notice of four ; in each 
of which, there was something new and distinct from the rest, 
in the dispensation of divine providence towards the church. 
The first of these took its rise from the promise which God 
gave to man, as soori as he fell, relating to that salvation, 
which was to be brought about, in its proper time, by the seed 
of the woman. The second period of the church began after 
the flood, when God is said to have revealed his covenant to 
Noah, which he established betxveen him and all JiesJi upon the 
earthy Gen. ix. 17. A third remarkable period, or change of 
affairs in the church, v/as, when God called Abraham out of 
an idolatrous country, to sojourn in the land of promise^ as in 
a straH'g'e country^ at which time he established his covenant 
with him, promising to be a God to hifn, and his sevdy and in- 
stituting circu77icision as a token thereof Geri. xvii. 7—11. upon 
which occasion, this particular dispensatiofi thereof is called, 
The covenant of circumcision^ Acts vii. 8. The fourth and 
last dispensation, or period, which more especially respected 
(he seed of Abraham, as increased to a great nation, is what we 
Tead of, soon after they were delivered from the Egyptian 
bondage, when God was pleased to separate that nation, as a 
peculiar people to himself, and sent Mbses from mount Sinai, 
4vhere iic appeared to them, to demand their explicit consent 


to be his people ; upon which occasion, when they had pro- 
mised, that all that the Lord had said^ they would do and be 
abedienty and a public and solemn sacrifice xvas offered^ and 
the people sprinkled -with the blood thereof ^ it is said, They saw 
Gody and did eat and drink ^ as a farther sign and ratification of 
this dispensation of the covenant, Exod. xxiv. 1 — 11. and af- 
terwards many statutes and ordinances were given them, con- 
taining those lav/s, which God required of them, as a cove- 
nant people ; and this continued till the gospel-dispensation, 
which succeeded it, was erected. This seems to be the mean- 
ing of what the apostle speaks, in the scriptures before cited, 
when he says, that the church of the Jews had the covenants, 
as intending nothing else thereby, but the dispensation of the 
covenant of grace, as subdivided into several periods, during 
the various ages of the church, from the fall of Adam to our 
recovery by Christ. Therefore, though those dispensations 
were various, yet whatever God has transacted with man, in a 
federal way, may be considered under two general heads ; the 
first called the covenant of works ; the other, the covenant of 
grace ; the latter of which is to be farther considered, under 
the following answers. 

Quest. XXXI. With whom was the covenant of^race madeP 

Answ. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the 
second Adam ; and in him, with all the elect, as his seed. 

AS the covenant of grace is opposed to that which was made 
with Adam, as the head of mankind, so it is consider- 
ed in this answer, as made with the second Adam, and, in 
him, with all his elect, who are described, by the Psalmist, as 
a seed that should serve him^ zvhich should be accounted to ths: 
Lord for a generation^ Psal. xxii. 30. and the prophet Isaiah, 
speaking of them, says, He shall see his seed^ Isa. liii. 10. In 
explaining this answer, we shall consider, 

I. What we are to understand by a covenant in general, and 
more particularly how it is to be understood, as used in scrip- 
ture. The word commonly used in the Old Testament,^ to 
signify a covenant, being taken in several senses, may be bet- 
ter understood, by the application thereof, in those places, 
where we find it, than by enquiring into the sense of the root^, 
from whence it is derived. Sometimes, indeed, it signifies 
such a compact between two parties, as agrees with our com* 
mon acceptation of the word, especially when applied to trans- 
actions between man and man; as in the covenant between 
Abraham, and those neighbouring princes, that were confedt" 


rate with hinty where the same word is used, in Gen. xiv. 13* 
and in the covenant between Isaac and Abimelech, mentioned 
in Gen. xxvi. 28, 29. and in that between Jonathan and Da- 
vid, in 1 Sam. xx. 16, 17. in all which instances there was mu- 
tual stipulation, and re-stipulation, as there is in human cove- 
nants ; and, for this reason, some apply those ideas to the 
word, when it is used to signify God's entering into covenant 
with man. 

But there is another acceptation thereof when God is re- 
presented as making a covenant with man which is more agree- 
ble to the divine perfections, and that infinite distance there is 
between him and us ; therefore we find in several places of 
scripture, that when God is said to make a covenant there is 
an intimation of some blessings which he would bestow upon 
his people, without any idea of stipulation, or re-stipulation, 
annexed to it : thus we read, in Jer. xxxiii. 20. of God's cove- 
nant of the day and nighty or that there should be day and night 
in their season } and, in Gen. xi. 9, 10, 11. of God's establish- 
ing his covenant zuith Noah^ and his seed^ and every living 
creature^ that alljiesh should not be cut off any more^ by the 
waters of a floods And, in Ezek. xxxiv. 25. when God pro- 
mises to cause evil beasts to cease out of the land^ and that his 
people should dxvell safely in the xvilderness^ and that he would 
confer several other blessings upon them, mentioned in the fol- 
lowing verses; this is called, his making with them a cove- 
nant of peace. And, when God promises spiritual blessings 
to his people, in Isa. lix. 21. he says. This is my covena?it 
with them; my Spirit that is upon thee, and the words that I 
have put into thy mouthy shall not depart out of thy mouthy nor 
out of the mouth of thy seed^ nor out of the inouth of thy seed'^s 
seed^ saith the Lord^ from henceforth^ and for ever. 

Moreover, sometimes the Hebrew word, which we trans- 
late covenajity is used to signify a statute^ or ordinance^ which 
God has established, or appointed, in his church: thus, in 
Numb, xviii. 19. when God ordained, that Aaron and his sons 
should have the heave-offerings of the holy things, he says. 
These have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters xvith 
thee^ to be a statute for ever^ and adds, in the words imm-c- 
diately following. It is a covenant of salt for ever, before the 

And as for the word used in the New Testament,* by which 
the LXX generally translate the Hebrew word, before-men- 
tioned, in the Old Testament, this signifies the same thing; 
so that both the words imply little more than a divine estab- 
iishrrent or ordinance, in which God gives his people ground 
to expect' promised blessings, in such a way, as redounds most 
to his own glory; and at the same time, they, who are expec- 


tants thereof, are not exempted from an obligation to perform 
those duties, which this grace obliges them to, and which will 
be an evidence of their right to them. 

And I cannot but farther observe, that among other accep- 
tations of the word, especially as used by the apostle, in his 
epistle to the Hebrews, in chap. ix. 15 — 18. it signifies a Tes- 
tament; v.hich word some who treat on this subject, rather 
choose to make use of, than to call it a covenant, being war-'*' 
ranted so to do, by the sense given of it in this scripture ; and 
their rtason for it is, not only because, as the apostle says, it 
was tonjirmed by the death of the Testator; but because they 
conclude, that this more conduces to the advancing the grace 
of God, in this dispensation, than to style it a covenant^ in that 
sense, in which the word is commonly used, when applied to 
other matters : but 1 would rather acquiesce in that medium, 
betwixt both extremes, which some have given into, who join 
boi.h the ideas of a covenant and a testament together*, and 
style it, in some respects, a covenant, and, in others a testa- 
ment. If it be called a covenant, they abstract from the ideas 
thereof, some things, that are contained in the sense of the 
word, as applied to human contracts, and add to it other things, 
contained in a testament; such as the giving or bequeathing 
certain legacies, as an act of favour, to those who are denomi- 
nated, from thence, legatees, interested in those gifts that are 
thus disposed of by the will of the testator. Or if, on the 
other hand, we call it a testament it seems very agreeable, to 
this dispensation, to join with it the idea of a covenant, more 
espsciaily as to what contains the concern of Christ herein, as 
the Head thereof, or the Person in whom all the benefits, con- 
tained in this testament, are first reposed, as they are purcha-* 
sed by his blood, and, as the consequence thereof, applied by 
his Spirit. And this agrees very well with the subject-matter 
of this answer, in which the covenant is said to be made with 
him, and with the elect in him, as well as with what is con- 
tained in that answer immediately following, in which the cove- 
nant of grace is described in such a way, as they describe it, 
who say that it was made with believers. This is necessary 
to be premised, that we may not, in our explication of this 
doctrine, advance any thing which is inconsistent with its be- 
ing a covenant of grace : and, that we may farther consider 
this matter, we shall proceed to shew, 

II. What there is in the idea of a covenant, as we generally 
understand the word, when applied to signify a contract be- 

* These style it, Testamento Foedus, or Foedus TeitaTnentarivm^ or Testamen- 
turn Foederale. 

(<-') Ruther, ** ratified over a Ueftd body," tr\ aaciwt mode cf covenant ing*. 


tween man and man. In this case, there are two parties, one 
of which is said to stipulate, or enter into a covenant with the 
other, in which he makes a proposal, that he will confer some 
favours on him, upon certain conditions, provided he will o- 
blige himself to fulfil them ; and the other party complies with 
the proposal made, and, in expectation of those advantages, con- 
sents to fulfil the conditions enjoined, and accordingly is said 
to re-stipulate ; as when a person engages another to be his 
servant, and to give him a reward for his service ; and the o- 
ther consents to serve him, in expectation of the wages which 
he engages to give him : in this case, each party, is supposed 
to be possessed of something, which the other has no right to, 
but by virtue of this contract made between them : thus the ser- 
vant has no right to the rewards, which his master promises, 
nor has the master any right to his service, but by mutual con- 
sent. Each party also proposes some advantage to himself, 
and therefore, when they enter into this agreement, they are 
supposed, in some respects, to stand on a level w^th each other. 
No one will enter into a covenant with another, for the perform- 
ing that which he had an antecedent right to ; nor w^ill any one 
engage to perform any service, as a condition of his receiving 
those benefits, which he had a right to, without any such con- 
dition enjoined on him. Moreover, when two parties are said 
to enter into covenant with one another, they are supposed, in 
some respects, to stand in need of some things, which they had 
before no right to ; one party needs the reward proposed ; the 
other, the service which he enjoins, as a condition of his be- 
stowing it. These things are generally supposed, and con- 
tained in contracts between man and man. 

III. When God is said to enter into covenant with man, 
what method soever we take to explain this federal transac- 
tion, we must take heed that we do not include in it any thing 
that is inconsistent with his infinite sovereignty, or argues him 
to be dependent on his creatures, as though he had not an ante- 
cedent right to their obedience, which he demands in this cove- 
nant, or it were left to man's arbitrary will whether he would 
perform it or no. Though men may be said to have some 
things in their own power, so that one has a right to that, which 
another has no right to, but by his own consent, and are en- 
tirely left to their liberty, whither they will consign over that 
right, which they had to it, to another, who could not other- 
wise lay claim to it; yet this is by no means to be applied to 
man when considered as having to do with the great God. The 
best of creatures have no right to any thing, separate from his 
arbitrary will ; and therefore though stipulation and re-stipula- 
tion are proper words, when applied to a man's covenant, they 
ought not to be made use of, when we explain this covenant 
between God and man. 


IV. Though the parties concerned in the covenant, as ex* 
plained in this answer, to wit, God the Father, and Christ the 
Head of his elect, are both divine Persons, so that one of 
them is not infinitely below the other, as man is below God; 
and therefore it is more properly called a covenant, in this res- 
pect, than that which God is said to enter into with man, (and, 
if stipulation and re -stipulation is, in any respect, applicable to 
the divine dispensation, it may be applied in this case :) never- 
theless, there are some things, which are implied in the idea 
of a covenant between man and man, that cannot, consistently 
with the glory of these divine Persons, be contained in this 
federal transaction between them ; particularly, as he that en- 
ters into covenant with another, proposes some advantage to 
himself hereby : thus a master, when he stipulates with one to 
be his servant, is supposed as much to need his service, as the 
servant does the wages that he promises to give him ; there is 
a kind of mutual advantage arising from thence : but, in the 
covenant of grace, whether God be said to make it with man, 
or with Christ, as the Head of his elect, the advantage that 
arises from thence is our's, and not God's. In this respect, 
what was done by Christ, made no addition to the essential 
glory of God, or the divine blessedness, any more than man 
can be said, in that respect, to be profitable to him : thus some 
understand those words of the Psalmist, as spoken by our Sa- 
viour, when he says. My goodness extendeth not to thee, but to 
the saints which are in the earth, Psal. xvi. 2, 3. and this agrees 
very well with some other things, contained in the same Psalm, 
which are expressly, in other parts of scripture, applied to him ; 
and, if so, then the meaning is, that whatever glory God the 
Father designed to demonstrate by this federal transaction with 
his Son ; yet he did not, as men do, by entering into covenant 
with one another, propose to receive any addition of glory from 
it, as though he were really to be profited thereby. 

Again, when men enter into covenant with one another, they 
are supposed to have different wills, and accordingly the)'- 
might refuse to enter into those engagements, which they bring 
themselves under, as well as comply with them ; the obliga- 
tion, on both sides, is founded in mutual consent, and that is 
supposed to be arbitrary : but, when we consider the eternal 
compact between the Father and the Son, we must conclude, 
that though they be distinct as to their personality, yet, hav- 
ing the same essential perfections, the will of the Father and 
the Son, cannot but be the same. Therefore when many, who 
explain this doctrine, represent one as proposing, the other as 
complying, with the proposal ; one demanding, the other ex- 
pecting, and each depending on mutual promises, made by one 
to the other, this« it is true, seems to be founded on some 


scripture-expressions to the same purpose, wherein the Holy 
Ghost is pleased to condescend to make use of such modes of 
speaking, which are agreeable to the nature of human cove- 
nants, as he does in various other instances ; nevertheless, we 
must not so far strain the sense of words, as to infer, from 
hence, any thing that is inconsistent with the divine glory of 
the Father and the Son. And to this we may add, that no 
act of obedience can be performed by a divine Person, in the 
same nature, as there cannot be an act of subjection in that na- 
ture, which is properly divine ; and consequently when we con 
sider Christ, in this respect, as entering into covenant, and en- 
gaging to perform those conditions, which were insisted on 
therein, these are supposed to be performed by him, as Me- 
diator, or God incarnate, in his human nature ; and, in this 
respect, he is the Head of the covenant, which is made with 
him, and, in him, with the elect. Therefore we must sup- 
pose, when we speak of a covenant between the Father and 
the Son, that, whatever be the will of the Father, the same is 
the Son's will; and whatever conditions the Son consented to 
perform, as stipulated in this covenant, it was in his human 
nature that the work was to be done ; and therefore it is well 
observed, in some following answers, that he, who is the Head 
or Mediator of this covenant, is, as it was absolutely necessa- 
ry for him to be, both God and man, in one Person. But of 
this more hereafter. 

V. There are several expressions used, in scripture, that 
give us sufficient ground to conclude, that there was an eter- 
nal transaction between the Father and the Son, relating to the 
salvation of his elect, which, if explained agreeably to the di- 
vine perfections, and consistently with the glory of each of these 
divine Persons, is not only an undoubted truth, but a very im- 
portant article of faith, as it is the foundation of all those bless- 
ings, which are promised, and applied to us in the covenant of 
grace, in which is all our salvation and our hope. Here let it 
Ije considered, that, when wc speak concerning a covenant, as 
passing between the Father and the Son, we understand there- 
by, that there was a mutual consent between them both, that 
the work of our redemption should be brought about in such a 
way, as it was, by our Saviour, when this eternal agreement 
had its accomplishment ; and accordingly the Father is said to 
have set him up^ as the Head of his elect, from everlasting-^ 
Prov. viii. 23. and ordained, that he shjDuld execute those of- 
fices, which he was to perform, as Mediator, and receive that 
revenue of glory, that was the result thereof; and the Son, as 
having the same divine will, could not but consent to do this ; 
and this is called, his eternal undertaking; and, both these to- 


gether, are styled the etenial covenant, between the Father and 

For the proof of this doctrine, %ve might refer to those 
several scriptures that speak of our Saviour as called^ and giv^ 
€21 for a covenant of the people^ Isa. xlii. 6. ?c[id fore-ordained^ 
1 Pet. i. 20. to perforin the work which he engaged in, in the 
behalf of his elect >• and also consider him as consenting to 
do every thing for liis people, which he did in time, and to 
stand in every relation to them, that was subservient to their 
redemption and salvation, which he could not but do, as hav- 
ing the same divine will with the Father ; and without his 
consent, it could not properly be said that there was a cove- 
nant between them. We might also prove it from those sever- 
al scriptures, that speak of him, a^. sanctified and sent into the 
worlds John x. 36. to act as Mediator, sealed by the Father ^ 
John vi. 27* and receiving 2i poxvcr to lay doxvn his life^ and 
take it up again^ John x. 18. that so he might answer the great 
end of our redemption thereby ; and also, from his being em- 
powered to execute the offices of a Prophet, Priest, and King ; 
confirmed in his priestly office by the oath^ Psal. ex. 4. Heb. vii. 
21i of the Father, sent by him to execute his Prophetical of- 
fice to those whom he was to guide in the way of salvation : 
and, as God'*s King^ set on his holy hill of Zion^ Psal. ii. 6- 
When we consider all these things done, on the Father's part, 
as antecedent to Christ's acting as IMedialor, and, at the same 
time, when we compare them with other scriptures, that speak 
of the So*n, as consenting to do the will of God, or complying 
with his call, willing to be and do whatever was necessary, to 
secure the great ends designed thereby; when we consider 
him, as taking the human nature into union with the divine, 
not without his own consent thereunto, and as bearing the 
punishment due to our sin, which it would not have been just 
for God to have inflicted, without his will or consent ; I say» 
this mutual consent between the Father and the Son, that those 
things should be done which were subservient to the redemp- 
tion and salvation of the elect, which the scripture is very ex- 
press in giving an account of^ these are a sufficient foundation 
for our asserting, that there was a covenant between the Fa- 
ther and the Son relating thereunto. 

But now we shall enquire, more particularly, into the sense 
of those scriptures, on which this doctrine is founded. And 
here we cannot wholly pass over what we read, in Psal. cxix« 
122. Be surety for thy servant for good; and Hezekiah's prayer, 
in Isa. xxxviii. 14. / am oppressed; undertake^ or be surety,, 
for 77ie. The Hebrew words are the same in both places,* and 
signifies, not barely to confer some privileges on persons, but 
to do this under the character of a surety; and therefore when 

Vol. II. Z 


David and Hezekiah pray that they may be delivered, either 
from their enemies, or their afflictions, by addressing them- 
selves to their Deliverer under this character, it must be sup- 
posed that they understand him, as having undertaken to be a 
Suretv for his people, which is a character that belongs only to 
the Son. And since it is so evident, that his Mediatorial work 
and character was so w ell known to the Old Testament churchy 
as their salvation was equally concerned herein with ours ; and» 
since they are often represented as addressing themselves to 
him by faith and prayer, it seems more than probable that he 
is so considered in these texts, when it is desired that he would 
be surety for them^ namely, that as he was appointed by the 
Father, and had undertaken, by his own consent, to stand in 
that relation, they pray that they might be made partakers of 
the benefits arising from thence. 

There is also another scripture, in which the same word ^ is 
used, which seems to be applied to our Saviour, vizp in Jer. 
XXX. 21. Their nobles^ or, as it ought to be rendered, in the sin- 
gular number, their noble, or magnificent person, shall be of 
themselves^ and their governor shall proceed from the midst of 
them J and I xvill cause him to drazv near^ and he shall approach, 
unto me ; for -who is this that engaged his heart to approach to 
me, saith the Lord? This sense of the text is very agreeable to 
several other prophecies, relating to the Messiah's being of the 
seed of Israel ; and when it is said, / xvill cause hitn to draw 
near^ and he shall approach unto me, it implies, that he should 
sustain the character, and perform the work of a surety, in the 
behalf of his people, for that is the proper sense of the word 
there used j for xvho is this that hath engaged his heart unto 
me P that is, who is there, among the sons of men, that dares 
engage in this work, or is qualified for it ? Or it may be un- 
derstood with a note of admiration ; that is, how glorious a per- 
son is this, who hath engaged his heart, or (as it was deter- 
mined that he should) has freely consented to approach unto 
me, that is, in so doing, to act as a surety with me for my peo- 
ple ! And that this is a more probable sense of the text, than 
to suppose that it is meant either of Zerubbabel, or some other 
governor, that should be set over them, after the captivity, ap- 
pears, if we compare it with ver. 9. in which it is said. They 
shall serve the Lord their God^ and David their king^ which can 
be meant of none but Christ, inasmuch as David was dead; 
and none that sat on his throne, or descended from him, can 

* The Hebre-w -word in this, and the txvo other scriptures above mentioned, is 31 j^ 
■^'hich sigTufies, In fidem suam recipere ; spondere pro aliquo ; and it is v.sed in 
several other scriptures, in the same sense, for a person's undertaking to be a surety 
for anotJier. See Gen. xliii. 6. chap. xliv. 32- Frov. xi. 15. Job xvil 3. 2 Kings: 
xviii. 32. and elsevfhen. 


be called David in this place, because divine worship is said 
to be performed to him, which could not be done without ido- 
latry, which no true sense ot" scripture can give countenance to ; 
and this is a character given of our Saviour in other scriptures : 
thus, in Ezek. xxxiv. 24. I will be their God^ and mi/ servant 
David a Prince among them; and, in Hos. iii. 5. Theij shall 
seek the Lord their God^ and David their King, and fear the 
Lord and his goodness in the latter day ; that is, they shall ad- 
here, and give divine worship, to the Messiah, whom their 
fathers rejected, when they are converted, in the latter days. 
Now it is this David, their King, who is said to have engaged 
his heart to approach unto God; and then, in the words imme- 
diately following, ver. 22. God reveals himself, as a covenant- 
God, to them, which is the consequence of Christ's engaging 
his heart to approach unto him : Te shall be my people, and 1 
will be ijoiir God, Now this proves an eternal transaction be- 
tween the Father and the Son, in that the Father wills, or de- 
termines, that he shall draxv near, or approach to him, as a sure- 
ty, and the Son consents, in that he has engaged his heart to 
do it ; and all this with a design that his covenant should be 
established, and that he should be a God to his people. 

There is another scripture which proves that there was a 
federal transaction between the Father and the Son, from seve- 
ral expressions therein used, namely, in Isa. xlii. 1, 6. which 
is, beyond dispute, spoken concerning our Saviour ; for it is 
applied to him in the Nev/ Testament, Matt. xi. 18 — 21. Here- 
in God the Father calls him his Servant, as denoting that it 
was his will, or (to use that mode of speaking, which is gene- 
rally applied to covenants between man and man) that he stipu- 
lated with him, to perform the work which he engaged in, as 
Mediator, to which he is said to be called in righteousness ; 
and, with respect to his human nature, in which he performed 
it, he is styled God\'i elect, as fore-ordained hereunto, and the 
person in whom his soul delighteth, as he is glorified by him in 
the faithful discharge thereof; and, that he might not fail there- 
in, God promises to hold his hand, and keep him; and, as the 
result of his having accomplished it, to give him for a covenant 
of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, 

And elsewhere, in Isa. xlix. 8, 9. which also appears to be 
spoken to Christ, not only from the context, but from the re- 
ference to it in the New Testament, 2 Cor. vi. 2. In an accep- 
table thne have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I 
helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a cove- 
7iant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the 
desolate heritages; that thou may est say to the prisoners^ Go 
forth ; to them that are in darkness. Shew yourselves, we have 
a plain intimation oi his being ordained by the Father to per- 


form that work, which he was engaged in, as Mediator ; and 
his being" g-iven for a covenmit of the people^ signifies his being 
sent into the world, in pursuance of a covenant, in which the 
salvation of his people was contained. And there is another 
scripture, in which our Saviour, speaking to his disciples, says, 
in Luke xxii. 29. I appoint unto you a kingdom^ as my Father 
hath appointed 77ie;^ or, I confer the blessings of this kingdom 
Upon you, in a covenant way, as my Father hath appointed 
me to do, in that eternal covenant, which passed between him 
and me. 

Again, there are several rewards, which were promised to 
him, as the consequence of his discharging the work committed 
to him, some of which respected that glory which belongs to 
his person, as Mediator; and others, more especially, respected 
the salvation of his people, and therein the success of his un- 
dertaking : thus it is said, in Isa. liii. 10. When thou shalt make 
his soul an offering for sin^ he shall see his seed ; he shall prO" 
long his days^ and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his 
hands y together with several other things relating to the event, 
and consequence of his performing the work he v/as engaged in. 

Moreover, as he was called to this work, or, as it was, as we 
before explained it, the result of the Father's will, that he should 
perform it ; so we have elsewhere an account of his own con- 
sent, as implying, that it was the result of his own will, as well 
as his Father's : thus it is said, in Fsal. xl. 6 — 8. Mine ears 
hast thou opened^ or bored ; alluding to a custom used under 
the ceremonial law, by which the willing servant was signified 
to be obliged, by his own consent, to serve his master for ever^ 
Exod. xxi. 5, 6. Thus God the Father, engaged Christ, if I 
3Tfiay so express it, to perform the work of a Mediator; and 
then v/e have an account of his consent hereunto, when he says, 
Z,o^ I come^ I delight to do thy zvill, O my God; yea^ thy lazv is 
■^vithin my heart ; and this mutual consent is farther expressed 
in Isa. 1. 5. The Lord God hath opened mine ear^ and Iivas not 
rebellious ; neither turned away back. 

And he is farther represented, as making a demand, or in- 
sisting on the accomplishment of what was stipulated in this 
covenant ; and this he had a warrant to do from the Father, in 
Psal. ii. 8. Ask of me^ and I shall give thee the heathen for thine 
inheritance^ and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy posses- 
sion. These, and many other scriptures of the like nature, suf- 
ficiently prove this doctrine, that there was an eternal covenant 
between the Father and the Son, relating to the redemption 
and salvation of the elect; and this implies more than his be- 
ing barely fore-ordained to perform the work he was engaged 
in, as he is said to have been, 1 Pet. i. 2. for that, alone, would 

• £uxli$tfAAS ujuiv, KtiQai JiiSiro y.oi o Tramp /ah 0'x<rthuxv^ 


xiot have proved that there was a federal transaction between 
the Father and him ; since it may be said of any one, v/ho is 
engaged in works of an inferior nature, that God, who called 
him to perform them, fore-ordained that he should do so ; but 
Vi^hen it is said, concerning our Saviour not only that he enga- 
ged in the work of our redemption, as the result of his Father's 
■will, but of his own, and so consented to do whatever was in- 
cumbent on him, as Mediator, this certainly argues that there 
was an eternal covenant between the Father and him, with re- 
lation to this matter, so far as we may be allowed to retain any 
of those ideas taken from human covenants, when we speak of 
any transaction between two divine Persons. 

There is but one scripture more that I shall mention, which, 
though some will not allow that it relates to this matter, yet, if 
we duly consider the scope and design thereof, together with 
its connexion with the foregoing words, may probably appear 
to be of some weight to confirm this doctrine; namely, in Zech. 
vi. 13. in which it is said. The counsel of peace shall be betzveen 
them bath. Some, indeed, understand these words, as referring 
to Joshua and Zerubbabel, and that they signify their mutual 
consent, to promote the peace and welfare of the church. But 
this cannot reasonably be concluded to be the sense of the text ; 
for Zerubbabel is not mentioned in this chapter ; nor are there 
any tv/o persons spoken of therein, that it can be applied to, 
but Jehovah and the Branch, that is, the Father and the Son, 
who are mentioned in the foregoing words ; Christ, who is call- 
ed the Branch, is said to build the temple of the Lord^ and 
to be a Priest upon his throne ; and this work, which he was 
engaged in, and the royal dignity, which he was advanced to, 
are both of them said to be the result of a counsel, or federal 
transaction, that was between them both. 

If it be objected to this, that this counsel of peace only respects 
the harmony that there is between Christ's priestly and kingly 
offices, as both of them have a reference to our salvation : this 
cannot well agree with the meaning of the word counsel^ which 
implies in it a confederacy between two persons, and not the 
tendency of two offices, executed to bring about the same end. 
And, if it be farther objected, that the grammatical construc- 
tion of the words do not favour the sense which we give of 
them, inasmuch as they contain an account of something that 
was future, and not from all eternity. To this it may be replied, 
that it is not, in the least, disagreeable to the sense of the words, 
and other phrases of the like import, used in scripture, to un- 
derstand them in the sense before-mentioned, since it is no un- 
common thing, in scripture, for that to be said to be, that ap- 
pears to be : thus it is said. Let all the house of Israel know 
^siuredly^ that God hath made that same jfesus, xvhQvi ije have 


crucified^ both Lord and Christy Acts ii. 36. that i?, he hath, by 
his raising him from the dead, demonstrated him to be both 
Lord and Christy which, in reality, he was from all eternity ; so, 
in this text, when it is said, that the counsel of peace shall be 
between them both^ it signifies, that Christ's building the tem- 
ple, and bearing the glory, and sitting as a Priest upon his 
throne, is a plain evidence, or dem.onstration, that there was a 
counsel or covenant, between the Father and him, from all eter- 
nity, relating to the peace and welfare of his people, who are 
the spiritual house that he builds, and the subjects whom he 
governs, defends, and saves. Thus concerning the federal trans- 
action that was between the Father and the Son ; and, since 
this is called, in this answer, The covenant of grace ^ it may be 
necessary for us to enquire, 

VI. Whether this be a distinct covenant from that which 
God is said to enter into, or make with man. This covenant 
is said, indeed, to be made with Christ, as the head of his 
elect : but it may be enquired, whether there be not also ano- 
ther covenant, which is generally styled the covenant of grace, 
that is made with the elect, as parties concerned therein. Every 
one, that is conversant in the writings of those who treat on 
this subject, will observe, that divines often distinguish between 
the covenant of redemption, and that of grace ; the former they 
suppose to be made with Christ, in the behalf of his elect ; the 
latter, to be made with them, in which all spiritual blessings 
are promised, and applied to them, which are founded on 
Christ's mediation ; and accordingly they say, the covenant of 
redemption was made with Christ more immediately for him- 
self; whereas the covenant of grace is made with believers for 
Christ's sake, in which respect they suppose that these are two 
distinct covenants, and explain themselves thus. 

1. In the covenant of redemption, made with Christ, there 
%vere several promises given, which more immediately respected 
himself; and these related, some of them, to those supports and 
encouragements that he should receive from the Father, which 
were necessary, in order to his being carried through the suf- 
ferings he was to undergo, v'lz^ that God -would hold his hand^ 
that he should not fail^ or he discouraged^ Isa. xxiv. 4. and 
others respected that Mediatorial glory, which should be con- 
ferred upon him, 'when his sufferings were finished; as it is 
said, Ought not Christ to have suffered^ and to enter into his 
glory ? Luke xxiv. 26. and that he should have a name given 
him above every name^ Phil. ii. 9. and many other promises to 
the like purpose. 

And, besides these, there were other promises made to him, 
respecting his elect; as that he should have a seed to serve him y 
Psal. xxii. 30. and that he should see of the travail of his soul^ 


and be satisjied ; and that God would divide him a portiofi with 
the g-reaty and he should divide the spoil with the strong;., Isa. 
liii. 11, 12. or that his difFiciilt undertaking should be attended 
with its desired success, that so it might not be said tliat he 
died in vain. 

But, on the other hand, in the covenant of grace, which they 
suppose to be distinct from that of redemption, God promiseth 
forgiveness of sins, and eternal life, through Christ ; or that 
that should be restored to us by him, which we lost by our fall 
in Adam, with great advantage ; and that all the blessings, 
which we stand in need of, for the beginning, carrying on, and 
completing the work of grace in us, and the making us meet 
to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, should 
be freely given us. Now, as these promises are made to the 
elect, the covenant, in which they are contained, is called. The 
covenant of grace^ and so distinguished from the covenant of 

2. In the covenant of redemption, as they farther explain it, 
the elect, on whose account it was made, were considered, as to 
be redeemed by Christ : But, in the covenant of grace, they are 
to be considered as redeemed by him ; therefore the covenant 
of redemption is antecedent, or subservient, to the covenant of 

3. They farther suppose, that the conditions of the covenant 
of redemption, on which the promises made therein were found- 
ed, are what Christ did and suffered in his own Person ; where- 
as faith, wrought in us, is generally styled by them, a condi- 
tion of the covenant of grace, and as such it is variously ex- 
plained, as we shall have occasion to observe, under the next 
answer, in which faith is said to be required, as the condition 
to interest believers therein ; in this respect, among others, the 
covenant of redemption is oftentimes explained, as a distinct 
covenant from that of grace. 

I confess, I am not desirous to offend against the generation 
of those who have insisted on this subject, in such a way, as 
that they have not advanced any doctrine derogatory^ to the di- 
vine perfections, or subversive of the grace of God, displayed 
in this covenant ; and therefore I am inclined to think, as some 
have done, that this controversy may be compromised,* or, if 
we duly weigh those distinctions that are necessary to be con- 
sidered, it will appear to be litde more than what consists in 
different modes of explication, used by those, who, in the main, 
intend the same thing. I shall therefore humbly offer my 
thoughts, about this matter, in the four following heads. 

(1.) It is to be allowed, on all hands, that the covenant of 
redemption, as some style it, is a covenant of the highest grace^ 
se far a^ it respects the advantages that the elect are to receive 


from it; for it is a wonderful instance of grace, that there should 
be an eternal transaction between the Father and the Son, re- 
lating to their salvation, and that herein he should promise to 
Christ, that, as the reward of his obedience and sufferings, he 
would give grace and glory to them, as it is allowed by all, 
who have just notions, either of the covenant of redemption, or 
that of grace, that he did herein. 

(2.) It must be farther allowed, on both sides, whether it be 
supposed that the covenant of grace, and the covenant of re- 
demption, are distinct covenants, or not, that salvation, and all 
the blessings, which we generally call privileges of the covenant 
of grace, have their first foundation in this transaction, between 
the Father and the Son ; so that if there had not been such a 
covenant, which some call a covenant of redemption, we could 
have had no promise of these privileges made in the covenant 
of grace. 

(3.) As there is nothing promised, or given, in the covenant 
of grace, but what is purchased and applied by Christ, so there 
is nothing promised to Christ, in the covenant of redemption^ 
as some style it, but what, some way or other, respects the ad- 
vantage of his people : thus whatever was stipulated between 
the Father and the Son, in that covenant, was with a peculiar 
regard to their salvation. Did Christ, as their surety, promise 
to pay that debt, which was due from them, to the justice of 
God ? this must be considered, as redounding to their advan- 
tage. And, was there a promise given him, as was before ob- 
served, that God would hold his hand^ that he should not fail^ 
or be discouraged^ till he had finished the work that he came 
about \ this must also be supposed to redound to our advan- 
tage as hereby our salvation is secured, which it could not have 
been, had he sunk under the weight of that wrath, which he 
bore. And, was there a promise given him, that he should, af- 
ter his sufferings, enter into his glory f this also redounds to 
the advantage of the elect ; for it not only consists in his being 
freed from his sufferings, and having some personal glories put 
upon him, but in his going thither to prepare a place for them, 
and with this design, that they should be brought there to behold 
his glory ; and this is also considered, as a pledge and earnest 
of their future happiness, to whom he says. Because I live^ ye 
shall live also^ John xiv. 19. 

(4.) When we consider this covenant, as made with Christ, 
whether we call it the covenant of redemption, or of grace, stili 
we must look upon it as made with him, as the Head and Re- 
presentative of his elect, and consequently it was made with 
them, as is observed in this answer, as his seed ;. therefore if the 
question be only this, whether it be more or less proper to call 
this two covenants, or one, I will not contend with them, who 


in compliance with the common mode of speaking, assert, that 
they are two distinct covenants : but yet I would rather choose 
to call them two great branches of the same covenant; one 
whereof respects what Christ was to do and suffer, and the glo- 
ry that he was to be afterwards possessed of; the other more 
immediately respects that salvation, which was to be treasured 
up in and applied by him to the elect ; and therefore I cannot 
but think, that what is contained in this answer, that the covenant 
of grace was made with Christ, as the Head, and, in him, with 
the elect, as his seed, is a very unexceptionable explication of 
this doctrine. 

VII. Since we frequently read, in scripture, of God's enter- 
ing into covenant with man, and man with him, this is next to 
be explained, in such a way, as is consistent with the divine 
perfections, and, in order hereto, we have, in our entrance on 
this subject, enquired ^ into the grammatical sense of the word 
covenant^ and the common acceptation thereof in scripture, when 
applied to any transaction between God and man, and have 
shewn, that, however, there may be stipulation and re-stipula^ 
tion, and thereby a passing over of mutual rights, from one 
party concerned to the other, in covenants between man and 
man ; y6t that this cannot, consistently with the glory of God, 
and that infinite distance which there is between him and the 
creature, be applied to the covenant of grace, and have produ- 
ced some scriptures to prove, that the main thing to be consi- 
dered therein, is God's promising the blessings that accompany 
salvation to his people. 

Other scriptures might have been referred to, to the same 
purpose, in which, when God is said to make a covenant with 
his people, we read of nothing but promises of temporal, or 
spiritual privileges, which he would confer on them : thus, when 
he made a covenant with Abraham, he says. Unto thy seed have 
I given this land^from the river oj Egypt ^ unto the great river ^ 
the river Euphrates^ Gen. xv. 18. and elsewhere he says. This 
shall be the covenant that I will make -with the house of Israel^ 
I will put my lazu in their inward parts ^ (a) and write it in 

* See Page 168. ante. 

faj We are not to suppose that they shall not teach every man, &c. is designed 
to exclude all public and private, ministerial, family, and social insti-uction ; for 
this is founded on the law of nature, and is enforced in the New Testament in- 
stitution of a g-ospel-ministry to continue to the consummation of all things, 
{Matth. xxviii. 20. and Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13.) and in the oblig'ation that it has laid 
upon Christian pareJits to briyig- up their children in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord; (Eph. vi. 4.) as also in the directions that are given in this very epistle, 
chap. iii. 13. and x. 24, 25. to private Christians, to exhort one another daily^ &c. 
This passage therefore must be taken, either in a comparative sense, as such ex- 
pressions often are : (See Isa, sJiii. 18. Jer. xxiii. 18. and Mat. ix. 13.) Or else 

Vol. II. A a 


their hearts^ and will be their God^ mid they shall be my people^ 
They shall all knoxv me^ from the least to the greatest of them; 
for I xvill forgive their iniquity^ and I will remember their sin 
no more^ Jer. xxxi, 53, 34. We might also consider the descrip- 
tion hereof, as it is called, A covenant of promise^ Eph. ii. 12» 
and they, who are interested herein, as called, The children of 
promise^ Gal. iv. 28. Nevertheless, God has ordained, that, 
pui'suant to this method of applying the promises of this cove^ 
nant, none should have ground to expect to be made partakers 
thereof, but in such a way, as tends to set forth his infinite 
sovereignty, and unalienable right to obedience from his crea^ 
tures, which they are bound to perform, not only as subjects, 
under a natural obligation to obey the divine law, but as those 
who are laid under a super-added engagement thereunto, by 
the grace of the covenant. This will prepare the way for what 
may be farther said, in order to our understanding the mean- 
ing of those scriptures, that speak of God's entering into a co- 
venant with man, and man with him. Therefore let it be ob- 

1. That when God entered into a covenant with Christ, as 
the Head of his elect, this included his entering into covenant 
with them ; as it is expressed in this answer ; so that they have 
their respective concern therein in all things, excepting what re- 
lates to his character, as Mediator, Redeemer, Surety, and those 
peculiar branches of this covenant, which, as was before ob- 
served, belong only to himself, which some call the covenant of 
redemption, as distinct from the covenant of grace. From hence 
it may be observed, without any strain on the sense of words, 
that the same covenant that was made with him, was in that 
peculiar branch thereof that respected the elect, or the privi- 
leges that they were to receive from him, made with them. 
This is very agreeable to, and tends to explain that peculiar 
mode of speaking, often used by the apostle Paul, concerning 
believers htmg crucified with Christy Gal. ii. 20. dead^ Rom. 
vi. 8. buried^ ver. 4. quickened or risen. Col. ii. 12. compared 
with chap, iii, 1. and made to sit together in heavenly places in 
Christ Jesus, Eph. li. 6. as denoting their being made parta- 
kers, as his members, of the benefits arising from Christ^s suf- 
ferings and glory, as really as though they had suffered, and 
were now actually glorified with him. 

2. Since the covenant of grace is sometimes called a cove- 
nant of promise, for the reasons before-mentioned, we may ea- 
sily understand hereby, that God's entering into covenant with 

v.'ith reference to that manner of teaching which was used, and rested in under 
the obscurities of the Old Testament dispensation, and tllC corrupt interpretj^ 
•^ons of the J&xvisfi doctors ; or both may be include^' Gti^se, 


his people, signifies his giving, or making known to them, those 
great and precious promises, that are contained therein, which 
have a more immediate reference to their salvation ; and, on 
the other hand, his keeping covenant with them, impHes, his 
foestov/ing on them the blessings promised in it, which is other- 
wise called his remembering his holij covenanty Luke i. 72. or 
hi$ performing the truth to Jacob^ and the mercy to Abraham^ 
ivhich he had sxvorn unto them from the days of old ^ Micah. vii* 
iiO. and it is sometimes called his shelving them his covenant^ 
Psal. XXV. 14. not barely in a way of revelation, but special ap- 
plication of the blessings contained tlierein, and his bringing 
them into the bond of the covenant^ Ezek. xx. 37. that is, en- 
gaging or obliging them to obedience, from the constraints o£ 
his love and grace, manifested in the promises of this covenant : 
so that now they are doubly bound to be his, not only as he is 
their Creator and Sovereign, but as he has made them, by this 
federal transaction, the peculiar objects of his favour and grace. 

3. When God is pleased, as he often does, to annex to this 
covenant a demand of faith, repentance, or any other graces^ 
to be exercised by those, who may claim an interest in the 
blessings thereof, this is agreeable to that idea, which, as was 
before observed, is contained in this covenant, by which it is 
denominated an establishment, or divine appointment, or, as it 
2S sometimes called, a statute^ Numb, xviii. 19. Psal. 1. 16. and 
this respects the connexion of those graces with salvation, and 
their indispensible obligation thereto, who hope to attain it* 
But this is rather a consequence of God's entering into cove« 
nant with them, than an antecedent condition, stipulated by him^ 
which would infer a kind of suspense in him, whether he should 
fulfil his promise or no, till the conditions were performed* 
This is the principal thing v/e militate against, when we except 
against the use of the word stipulation^ with relation hereunto % 
■whereas, if nothing else were intended by this word, but the 
necessary connexion, which God has ordained, that there 
should be between the blessings promised, and the grace de- 
manded in this covenant, as some, who use the word, under- 
stand nothing else by it ; I would not , contend about persons 
using, or laying aside an improper, and, I think, I may say, un- 
scriptural mode of speaking. 

Thus concerning the meaning of God's entering into cove- 
nant with man. We shall now proceed to the latter branch o£ 
tliis head, namely, what we are to understand by those scrip- 
tures that speak of man's entering into covenant with God : 
such a mode of speaking we have, when Moses says to the peo- 
ple, Te stand this day all of you before the Lord your God^ that 
thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God^ and 
into his oath^ vMch the Lord thy Godmaketh with thee this day^ 


Deiit. xxix. 10 — 12. and it is said elsewhere, The people enter ^ 
ed into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers^ with all 
their hearts^ and with all their soul^ 2 Chron. xv. 12. and thaty 
Josiah made a covenant before the Lord^ to xvalk after the Lordy 
and to keep his commandments^ and his testimonies^ and his sta- 
tutes 7vith all their hearty aiidwith all their soul^ to perform the 
words of this covenant^ that were written in this book^ and all 
the people stood to the covenant^ 2 Kings xxiii. 3. This is a most 
solemn transaction, and includes in it the very essentials of prac- 
tical religion ; therefore it is necessary for us to enquire, what 
we are to understand thereby; and, since scripture is the best 
interpreter of itself, and parallel texts give light to each other, 
we may observe what is said elsewhere, upon the like occasion, 
where God speaks of some that chuse the things that please hi?ny 
love the name of the Lord^ and to be his servants^ and take hold of 
his covenant^ Isa. Ivi. 4, 6. so that to enter into covenant, is to 
take hold of God's covenant ; to embrace the blessings promis- 
ed therein, as the apostle speaks of those who died infaith^ not 
having received the promises ^ or the blessings promised, but 
having seen them afar off^ and were persuaded of them ^ and em- 
braced them^ Heb. xi. 13. Again, as we receive the blessings of 
the covenant by faith, so to enter into covenant with God im- 
plies, a professed dedication of ourselves to a covenant-God, 
with a due sense of our obligation to yield that obedience, which 
we are engaged to thereby, or a declaration that we pretend not 
to lay Claim to the blessings of the covenant, without being ena- 
bled, by his grace to comply with the demands thereof; and 
this is sometimes expressed, by swearing to the Lord, as it is 
said, UMo me every knee shall bow^ and every tongue shall swear y 
Isa* xlv. 23. As God, when he enters into a covenant with man, 
is sometimes said to swear to him, or to confirm his promise by 
his oath, upon which account the covenant of grace is sometimes 
called his oath, as in one of the scriptures before-mentioned, and 
others caat might have been referred to, Luke i. 72, 73. so, on 
the other hand,our entering into covenant with him, is oiu' swear- 
ing fealty, as subjects do to their princes, whereby they own them 
to be their rightful governors, and themselves under an obliga- 
tion to serve them. 

This is farther explained, in that solemn transaction that pass- 
ed between God and his people, in the close of the ministry and 
* life of Moses, Deut. xxvi* 17, 18« by which we may understand 
what is meant, in other places, by (jod's entering into covenant 
with them ; this is ex}>ressed by his avouching them to be his 
peculiar people^ a^ hs had promised them^ and that they should 
keep all his commandments; q, d, he conferred this privilege 
upon them with that view, that they might reckon themselves 
uiider the highest obligation to be obedient to him i and then 


we have an explication of man's entering into covenant with 
God, when it is said, Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to 
he thy God^ that is, thou hast pubhcly declared, that thou art 
willing to be subject to him, as thy covenant-God, and express- 
ed a ready inclination, pursuant hereunto, to walk in his ways, 
and keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judg- 
ments, and to hearken unto his voice : this is such an entering 
into covenant, as is incumbent on all who expect the blessing 
thereof ; and, if any one intends nothing more than this by re- 
stipulation, when he uses the word in explaining this doctrine, 
I will not contend with him ; but, since it is to use a word 
without its proper ideas, which others annex to it, I humblj 
conceive this doctrine may be better explained without it. 

Quest. XXXII. Hoxv is the grace of God manifested in the 
second covenant f 

Answ. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant 
in that he freely provideth, and offereth to sinners a Media- 
tor, and life and salvation by him ; and requiring faith as 
the condition to interest them in him, promiseth and giveth 
his Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith, 
with all other saving graces, and to enable them unto all holy 
obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith and 
thankfulness to God, and as the way which he hath appointed 
to salvation. 

SINCE the covenant, which we have begun to consider, is 
called the covenant of grace, it is necessary for us to shew 
in what respects the grace of God is manifested therein ; and, 
in order thereunto, we may observe, 

I. That life and salvation, which are very comprehensive 
blessings, containing all that sinful creatures stand in need of, 
are promised herein. Hereby the grace of God is more eminent- 
ly illustrated than it was in the first covenant ; in which though 
life was promised, yet there was no promise of salvation, or of 
the recovery of a forfeited life. This is only brought to light by 
the gospel, which contains a glorious discovery of the grace of 
this covenant : the blessings promised therein, are, grace here, 
and glory hereafter ; all which are contained in that promise, / 
-will be a God to thee^ that is, I will deal with thee in such a war, 
as that all my divine perfections shall contribute to thy Happi- 
ness. And sometimes when God reveals himself as a covenant- 
God, he promises, as he did to Abraham, that he will be their 
$hield^ and their exceeding great reward^ Gen. xv. 1. And there 
are other promises respecting the forgiveness of sin ; as when 
God says, /, evm /, Qr)\ ht that hktteth 9'Htthy tr»nsgres^i9nsyf&f 


'Tnine own sake^ and will not remember thy sin^y Isa. xlili. 2S, and , 
that we may consider this in its utmost extent, the apostle says 
as much as can be expressed in words, which is the conse- 
quence of God's being a covenant-God to his people, when he 
tells them, All things are yours^ -whether Paul^ or Apollos^ or 
Cephas y or the worlds or life^ or death^ or things present^ or things 
to <:ome ; all are yours^ 1 Cor. iii. 22. 

II. Man could not have been made partaker of these invalua- 
ble blessings contained in this covenant, without the interposi- 
tion of a Mediator ; for he no sooner rebelled against God, but 
he was separated from his presence and deprived of all those 
blessings, which he might otherwise have expected ; and, on 
the other hand, the holiness and justice of God obliged him to 
testify his displeasure against him, whereby he was utterly ex- 
cluded from all hope of obtaining any blessings from him : the 
perfections of the divine nature rendered it necessary that a sa- 
tisfaction for sin committed, should be insisted on ; and this 
could not be given by man in his own person, nor could he 
reasonably expect that God should receive him into favour 
without it, as having rendered himself guilty in his sight, and 
so liable to condemnation. Therefore, since he could do nothing 
that had any tendency to repair the injuries which he had ofFer- 
rd to the divine justice, if ever he have access to God, and ac- 
ceptance in his sight, it must be in and through a Mediator ; 
which leads us to consider what we are to understand, by a me- 
diator, and what was to be done by him, in order to the procur- 
ing this favour. 

A mediator, in general, is one who interposes between two 
•paities that are at variance, in order to make peace ; and this he 
does, eithei: by endeavouring to persuade the party offended to* 
lay aside his resentment, and forgive the injury, which is a less 
proper sense of the word ; or else by making an overture of 
^5atisfaction, as an inducement hereunto. In the former sense it 
would have been an affront to the divine Majesty, and an injury 
to his justice, for any one to desire that God should be recon- 
ciled, without a satisfaction given ; in the latter, we are to un- 
derstand the word Mediator ^ when applied to Christ, in this an- 
swer. He is not therefore herein to be considered barely as a 
Mediator of intercession, as pleading that God would remit the 
debt, out of his mere sovereignty or grace ; but as a Mediator 
of satisfaction, or a Surety, entering into an obligation to answer 
all the demands of justice. In this respect, he is the Mediator of 
the covenant ; whereas, when he is sent, by God, to reveal, or 
make known the blessings thereof to man, he is styled. The Mes^ 
senger of the covefiant^ Mai. iii. 1. It was possible for a mere 
creature to perform the work of a mediator, in this lower^ and 
less proper sense of the word j or, provided satisfaction were 

OE THE covenant; of grace. 187 

given to the justice of God, to intercede with him for the sin- 
ner, or intreat him to turn away from the fierceness of his wrath, 
which sin deserved, in which sense Moses is styled a mediator^ 
and in no other * } so some understand that text, as spoken of 
him, when the apostle says, Gal., iii. 19. of the law, that it was 
ordained by ang-eh^ in the hand of a mediator] ; and, agreeably 
hereunto, Moses says, / stood between the Lord and you at that 
tvne^ to shew you the xvordofthe Lord ; for yoxi were afraidy bij 
reason of the fire ^ Deut. v. 5. and elsewhere, after Israel had 
sinned, in worshipping the golden calf, he says, Tou have sin-- 
nedag^atsin^andnowlwillgo up unto the Lord: per adveU'^ 
turey I shall make an atonement for your sin, Exod. xxxii. 30. 
not that he was to be accounted a mediator of satisfaction, for 
the atonement he hoped to make, was by entreaty, or humble 
supplication, that God would not destroy them, as they had de- 
served. This I call a less proper sense of the word Mediator ; 
whereas, in this answer, Christ is styled a Mediator, in the 
iiame sense in which he was a Redeemer, or Surety, for man, 
or made a proper atonement to procure reconciliation between 
God and man by his blood, of which more will be considered, 
when we speak concerning Christ's priestly office. 

III. It is a very great instance of grace, that God should ad- 
mit of a Mediator, who might have exacted the debt of us in 
bur own persons ; and, we being unable to pay it, might have 
punished us with everlasting destruction. That he was not o- 
bliged to admit of a Mediator, will appear, if we consider the 
nature of the debt due from us, who were obliged to perform 
perfect obedience, or else to suffer punishment ; and therefore 
he might have refused to have allowed of this to be performed 
■ by another, in our stead : in this case, it is not like as when pe- 
cuniary debts are paid, which cannot be refused by the credi- 
tor, though paid by one that is surety for the debtor. But, since 
this will be more particularly considered, when we speak con- 
cerning the satisfaction Vt^hich Christ gave to the justice of God, 
as our great High-Priest, all that we shall add, concerning it, 
at present, is, that it was an instance of that grace, which was 
displayed in the covenant, in which Christ is considered as a 
Mediator of satisfaction. 

ly. The grace of God farther appears, in that he not only 
admitted of a Mediator, but provided one. It was impossible 
for fallen man to find out any one that would so much as plead 
his cause, or speak a word in his behalf, till satisfaction were 
first given ; and no mere creature could pay unto God a ran- 
som that was worthy of his acceptance, or available, to answer 
the end designed thereby. If the best of creatures had undev™ 

* Such an one is more properly called IntemunviuCf thap Mect^mttiv, 
t- Vid. Bsz. and Whitby in Iqv, 


taken the work, it would have miscarried in his hands : How 
deplorable and hopeless then must the condition of fallen man 
for ever have been, if God had not found out the expedient him- 
self to bring about our redeitiption ! this was a blessing un- 
thought of, unasked for by him. I will not deny but that man 
might have some ideas of the divinity and glory of the second 
Person in the Godhead, as the doctrine of the Trinity was re- 
vealed to him, while in a state of innocency, as it was necessary 
that it should be, in order to his worshipping of each of the di- 
vine Persons, and I doubt not but he retained some ideas here- 
of when fallen. But it may be questioned, whether he knew 
that it was possible for the Son of God to be incarnate ; or sup- 
pose, for argument-sake, we allow that he had some idea of the 
possibility thereof ,* yet he could never have known that he was 
willing to submit to this astonishing instance of condescension, 
and thereby to put himself in the sinner's room, that he might 
procure that redemption that was necessary for him. This mys- 
tery of the divine will was hid in God, and therefore could ne- 
ver have been known by him without revelation, and conse- 
quently would not have afforded him any matter of relief in his 
deplorable state. How wonderful therefore was the grace of 
God, that he should find out this expedient, and lay help on 
one that is mighty, or provide one to do that for him, which 
none else could have done ! 

And to this v/e may add, that it was no less an instance of 
divine grace, that God the Son should consent to perform this 
work for him : his undertaking it, was without the least force 
or compulsion ,* for that would have been inconsistent with his 
consenting to become a Surety for us, and, as such, to suffer in 
our room and stead, since all punishment must either be de- 
served by him, that bears it, Or else voluntarily submitted to : 
The former of these can by no means be said of Christ ; for a 
personal deseil of punishment is inconsistent with his spotless 
purity, and would have rendered the price, laid down by him 
for our redemption, invalid ; therefore he voluntarily conde- 
scended to engage in this work. He gave his life a ransom for 
many ; and this is considered as a peculiar display of grace in 
him, as the apostle expresses it, 2^e know the grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christy that though he was rzch^ yet^ for your sakes^ he 
became poor ^ that ye^ through his poverty y might be rkh^ 2 Cor. 
viii. 9. • 

V. This Mediator being provided for man, without his de- 
sert or expectation, we proceed to consider him as offered to 
him, and, together with him, life and salvation. This is the 
great design of the gospel, to discover, or make an overture 
hereof to him ; without this, the gospel could not be preached, 
nor a visible publication made of the grace of the covenant con- 


tained herein : but, since the overture of grace, or the call of 
God to accept of, and embrace Christ, as oifered in the gospel, 
is more particularly considered under a following answer *, we 
shall reserve the farther consideration of this matter to it. 

VI. It is farther said, in this answer, that the grace of God is 
manifested in the second covenant, in his requiring faith, as the 
condition to interest believers in Christ. This expression may 
be allowed of, or excepted against, according to the method ta- 
ken to explain it, which we shall endeavour to do, and therein 
shew in what sense we deny the covenant of grace to be condi- 
tional ; and then enquire, whether there be not another sense, 
agreeable to the divine perfections, in which these words may 
be understood, and other expressions, of the like nature, fre- 
quently used by divines, in which faith is styled a condition 
thereof; and accordingly we shall enquire, 

1. What we are to understand by a person's having an inter- 
est in Ciirist. This implies our having a right to claim him, as 
our Mediator, Surety, Advocate, and Saviour, and with him 
all those spiritual blessings, which are purchased and applied 
by him to those whom he has redeemed ; so that such an one 
may say, upon good grounds, Christ is mine, together with all 
spiritual blessiiigs in heavenly things i?i hijn. 

Here let it be considered, that it is one thing to say, that Christ 
is the Redeemer and Saviour of man, or, in particular, of his 
elect, who are given to him for this end ; and another thing for 
a person to say, he is my Redeemer or Saviour : the former of 
these is a truth, founded in scripture-revelation ; and according- 
ly every one may say, as Moses expresses it, 7'ea,, he loved the 
people^ Deut. xxxiii. 3. or his peculiar chosen people ; or, as the 
apostle says, Christ loved the churchy and gave himself for ity 
Eph. V. 25. But he, who has an interest in Christ, has a right 
to claim him, as his Saviour, and ther,efore may say, with the 
apostle. He loved fne^ and grwe hiraselffor me^ Gal. ii. 20. This 
I rather choose to express, by a believer's having a right to 
claim him as his Saviour, than his being actually enabled so to 
do, inasmuch as many have an interest in Christ, who are des- 
titute of that assurance, which would give them a comfortable 
sense thereof in their own souls. 

2. We are now to consider how faith is said to be required, 
as the condition to interest us in Christ ; or how far this expres- 
sion may be qualified and explained, without asserting any thing 
derogatory to the glory of God, or the grace of the covenants 
The word condition^ though often used when we speak of con- 
tracts between man and man, as an essential ingredient therein, 
is not so plainly contained in those explications of the covenant 
of grace, which we have in scripture ; and, whenever we use it,, 

* .See Qttest. Ixvii, 

Vol. II. B b 


•with a particular application thereunto, we must understand it 
in such a sense, as is agreeable to the divine perfections. There- 
fore, that we may compare these two senses of the word condi- 
tion together, in order to our determining how far it may be 
used, or laid aside, in explaining this doctrine, let us consider, 

(1.) That m human covenants, in which things are promised 
on certain conditions, these conditions are supposed to be possi- 
ble to be performed, otherwise the promise, depending thereon^ 
is rendered void, and it contains no other than a virtual denial 
to make it good. Thus the king of Israel did not, at first, un- 
derstand the message sent him by the king of Syria, requiring 
of him to heal Naaman of his leprosy, as a condition of peace 
and friendship between them ; and the inference he makes from 
5t was, that he had a design to seek a quarrel against him ; and 
his reasoning would have been just, had it been intended in this 
sense, since the condition was not in his own power. Moreo- 
ver, if a master should tell his servant, that he would give him 
a reward, in case' he would perform the work of ten days in 
one, he would conclude nothing else from it, but that he was 
resolved not to give Inm any thing. Now, to apply this to our 
present purpose, we must consider whether faith, when it is a 
condition of the covenant of grace, be in our own power or no» 
There are some external acts thereof, indeed, which are so ', but 
these are too low to be deemed conditions of salvation, or of 
the blessings of the covenant of grace ; and as for those acts 
■^vhich are supernatural, or the effects of the exceeding greatness 
of the power of God, though they are inseparably connected 
with salvation, yet they are not in our pov>' er ; so as that we 
may conclude, that they are proposed as conditions, in the same 
sense as those things are said to be, that are supposed to con- 
tain this ingredient in them. 

In this respect, the covenant of grace, as to the conditionality 
of it, differs from the covenant of innocency, in which perfect 
obedience, which was the condition thereof, was so far in man's 
power, that he could have performed it, without the super- 
added assistance of divine grace : but when, on the other hand, 
perfect obedience is considered, as a condition of fallen man's 
entering' into life^ in vv^hich sense our Saviour's reply to the 
young man's question, in Matt. xix. 17 • is understood by many, 
this is a plain intimation that eternal life is not to be obtained 
this way, inasmuch as the condition is impossible. 

(2.) When conditions are insisted on, in human covenants, 
it is generally supposed, that though it be possible for the per- 
son, that enjoins them, to assist, and enable him, who is under 
this obligation, to perform them, ^'■et he will not. give him that 
assistance ; for, if he does, the contract can hardly be reckoned 
conditional, but absolute : thus if a creditor shoiild tell an in- 


solvent debtor, that he will discharge him, provided he pays the 
debt, and, at the same time, gives him to understand that he 
will supply him with a sum of money, that shall enable him to 
do it, this is altogether the same as though he had discharged 
him, without any conditional demand of payment. This I can- 
not but mention, because there are some persons, who speak of 
faith, as a condition of the covenant of grace, and, at the same 
time, take it for granted, that it is not in our own power to 
perform it : nevertheless, since God has promised that he will 
work it in us, they conclude it to be conditional ; whereas such 
a promise as this would render the covenant absolute, or, at 
least, not conditional, in the same sense, in which human cove- 
nants are, and only infer what we do not deny, that there is a 
necessary connexion between that grace, which God will ena- 
ble us to perform, and salvation, which he has promised in this^ 

(3.) When any thing is promised to another, on condition 
that he do what is enjoined on him, it is generally supposed 
that it is a dubious and uncertain matter whether this condition 
shall be fulfilled, and the promise take place ; or, as I may ex- 
press it, every condition contains not a necessary, but an un- 
certain connexion between the promised advantage, and the 
duty enjoined, and that for this reason, because all human cove- 
nants depend on the power and will of men, who are under 
conditional engagements to perform what is demanded therein; 
and these are supposed to be mutable and defective, and, as far 
as they are so, the performance of tlie condition may be reck- 
oned dubious ; and he that made the promise is liable to the 
same uncertainty, whether he shall make it good or no. This 
will hardly be denied, by those who defend the other side of 
the question, who, in explaining the nature of human liberty, 
generally suppose, that every one, who acts freely, might do 
the contrary ; therefore they must, from hence, conclude, that, 
if the performing the conditions of a covenant be the result of 
man's free will, it is possible for him not to perform them, and 
therefore it must be a matter of uncertainty, whether a person, 
who promises a reward upon the performance of these condi- 
tions, will confer it or no. But, however this may be applied to 
human covenants, we are not to suppose that faith, or any other 
grace, is, in this respect, a condition of the covenant of grace^ 
as though God's conferring the blessings promised therein were 
dependent on the will of man, as determining itself to the exer- 
cise of these graces ; in this respect, we cannot but deny the 
covenant of grace to be conditional. 

(4.) If we take an estimate of the worth and value of a con= 
dition enjoined, the advantages that he, who enjoins it, expects 
to receive from it, or the reference that the performance thereof 


has to the procuring the blessing promised, in which case the 
person, who has fulfilled it, may be said to merit, or have 
whereof to glory in himself, as to what concerns the part he 
has performed therein : this must not be applied to any trans- 
action between God and man, and therefore is wholly to be 
excluded from those ideas, which are contained in the word 
condition, when applied to the covenant of grace, as will be al- 
lowed by most, v/ho do not give into the Popish doctrine of 
the merit of good works. Concerning the worth and value of 
faith, and all other graces, I would not be thought, in the least, 
to depreciate or divest them of that excellency, which they 
have, above all other effects of God's power and blessings of 
providence i whereas certainly we ought to bless God for them, 
or glory in him, as the Author of them : but that which we 
would fence against in this matter, is nothing more than what 
our Saviour does, when he says, When ye shall have done all 
those things which are commanded you., say. We are unprojita- 
hie servants, Luke xvii. 10. And I would not have any one 
suppose, that whatever condition is performed by us, has such 
a value put on it, as that eternal life is hereupon due to us, in 
a way of debt, v»hich would make way for boasting. It is true, 
the conditions which Christ performed in that branch of the 
covenant, which more immediately respected himself, which 
some call the covenant of redemption, were properly merito- 
rious, and the blessings he purchased thereby were given him 
in a way of debt, and not as an undeserved favour : but, if we 
suppose that there is the same reference of faith, or any other 
grace acted by us, to that salvation, which we expect, we turn 
the covenant of grace into a covenant of works, and resolve that 
into ourselves which is due to God alone. 

But since many excellent divines have asserted faith to be a 
condition of the covenant of grace, v/ho do not understand the 
word condition, either as containing in it any thing dubious or 
uncertain on the one hand, or meritorious on the other ,* and 
probably they choose to express themselves so, in compliance 
with custom, and to explain away the common ideas of the 
word condition, as applied to human covenants, rather than al- 
together to lay it aside ; and, it may be, they do this, lest they^ 
should be thought to deny the necessary connexion between 
faith and salvation : I shall therefore, for the same reason, con- 
clude this head with the following propositions, whereby our 
not using the word condition, may be vindicated, from any just 
exception ; or, our using of it may not appear to be inconsis- 
tent with the divine perfections, or the grace of this covenant. 

1st, We shall lay down this as an undoubted truth, the de- 
nial whereof would be subversive of all religion, that faith, and 


all Other gi-aces, are required by God, and our obligation there- 
unto is indispensible ; whether it be reckoned a condition of the 
covenant or no, it is no less a duty. («) It is true, there are 

(a) " The law of God itself requires no creature to love him, or obey him, be- 
yond his strength^ or with more than all the powers which he possesses. If the 
inability of sinners to believe in Christ, or to do tliing-s spiritually good, Avere of 
this nature, it would undoubtedly form an excuse in their favour; and it must 
be as absurd to exhort tkem to such duties, as to exhort the blind to look, the 
deaf to hear, or the dead to vv^alk. But the inability of sinners is not such as to 
induce the Judge of all the earth, (who cannot do other than right) to abate iu 
his requirements. It is a fact that he does require them, and that without paying 
any regard to their inability, to love him, and to fear fumy and to do all his com- 
mandments alivaya. The blind are admonished to look, the deaf to hear, and the dead 
to arise. Isa. xlii. 18. Ephes. v. 14. If there were no other proof than what is af- 
forded by this single fact, it ought to satisfy us that the blindness, deafness, and 
death of sinners, to that which is spiritually good, is of a different nature from 
that which furnishes an excuse. This however is not the only ground of proof. 
The thing speaks for itself There is an essential difference between an inability 
which is independent of the inclination, and one that is owing to nothing else. It 
is equally impossible, no doubt, for any person to do that which he has no mind 
to do, as to perform that which surpasses his natural powers ; and hence it is that 
the same terms ai'C used in the one case as in the other. Those who were under 
the dominion of envy and malignity, coulu not speak peaceably ; and those who 
have eyes fidl of adultery, cannot cease from sin. Hence also the following lan- 
guage — lloiu CAST ye, being evil, speak good things ? — The natitral man receiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God,neither can he kjioia them — The canial mind is e?imity 
against God; and is not subject to the la-zv of God,neither indeed can be — They that 
are in the flesh cannot j&Zease God — JVb man can come to me, except the Father -who 
sent me draxv him. — It is also true, that many have affected to treat the distinction 
between natural and moral inability as more curious than solid. * If we be unable, 
say they, we are unable. As to the nature of the inability, it is a matter of no ac- 
count. Such distinctions are perplexing to plain Christians, and beyond their ca- 
pacity.' But surely the plainest and weakest Christian in reading his bible, if he 
pay any regard to what he reads, must perceive a manifest difference between the 
blindness of Bartimeus, who was ardently desirous that he might receive his sight, 
and that of the unbelieving Jews, who closed their eyes, lest they should see, and be 
converted, and healed ; Mark x. 51. Matt. xii. 15. and between the want of the 
natural sense of hearing, and the state of those ivho have ears, b^it hear not. 

So far as my observation extends, those persons who affect to treat this dis- 
tinction as a matter of mere curious speculation, are as ready to make use of it 
as other people where their own interest is concerned. If they be accused of in- 
juring their fellow -creatures, and can allege that what they did was not knoiv- 
ingly, or of design, I believe they never fail to do so : or when charged with ne- 
glecting their duty to a parent, or a master; if they can say in truth that they 
were iinable to do it at the time, let their -will have been ever so good, they are 
never known to omit the plea : and should such a master or parent reply by sug- 
gesting that their want of ability arose from want of iriclination, they would very 
easily understand it to be the language of reproach, and be very earnest to main- 
tain the contrary. You never hear a person, in such circumstances, reason as he 
does in religion. He does not say, « If I be imable, I am unable ; it is of no ac- 
count whether it be of this kind or that :" but bbours with all his might to es- 
tablish the difference. Now if the subject be so clearly understood and acted 
upon where interest is concerned, and never appears diflUcult but in religion, it 
is but too manifest where the difficulty lies. If by fixing the guilt of our conduct 
, upon our father Adam, we can sit comfortably in our nest ; we shall be veiy 
averse to a sentiment that tends to disturb our repose, by planting a thorn in it. 

It is sometimes objected, that the inability of sinners to believe in Christ, is 
not tke effect of their deprarity ; for that A4am himself in his purest state wa.^ 


some who distinguish hetvreen the obligation of a law*, and thai 
of a covenant; the former of which depends on an express com-- 
mand ; the latter is the result of some blessings promised or 

only It natural man, and had no power to perform spiritual duties. But tins ob- 
jection belongs to another topic, and has, I hope, been already answered. To 
tliis, however, it may be added — The natural mayi -who receiveth vot the things of 
the Spirit of God, (I'Cor. ii. 14.) is not a man possessed of the holy image ot God, 
as was Adam, but of mere natural accomplishments ; as were the -wise men of the 
■world, the philosophers of Greece and Rome, to whom the things of God were 
foolishness. Moreover, if the inability ot sinners to perform spiritual duties, were 
of the kind alleged in the objection, they must be equally unable to commit the 
opposite sins. He that from the constitution of his nature is absolutely unable to 
understand, or believe, or love a certain kind of truth, must of necessity be alike 
unable to shut his eyes against it, to disbelieve, to reject, or to hate it. But it is 
manifest that all men are capable of the latter; it must therefore follow, that 
nothing but the depravity of their hearts renders them incapable of the former. 

Some vTiters, as hath been alread^^observed, have allowed that sinners are the 
subjects of an inability which ai'ises from their depravity ; but they still contend 
that this is not all; but that they are both na^wra^ and morally unable to believe 
in Christ; and this they think agi-eeabie to the scriptures, which represent them 
as both unable and imivilliiig to come to him for life. But these two kinds of ina- 
bility cannot consist with each othei*, so as both to exist in the same subject, and 
towards the same thing. A moral inability supposes a natural ability. He who 
never in anv state was possessed of the power of seeing, cannot be said to shut 
his eyes against the light. If the Jews had not been possessed of natural powers, 
equal to the knowledge of Christ's doctrine, there had been no justice in that 
cutting question and answer, Why do ye not iinderstand my speech ? Because ye 
CA^^^-OT f^ar my -word. A total physical inability must of necessity supersede a 
moral one. To suppose, therefore, that tlie phrase, J\''o man can coirie to me, is 
meant to describe the former ; and, Ye will >'ot cane to me that ye may have lifct 
tlie latter; is to suppose that our Saviour taught what is self-conti'adictory. 

Some have supposed that in ascribing physical or natural power to men, we 
deny their natural depravity. Through the poverty of language, w'ords are obli- 
ged' to be used in diHerent senses. When we speak of men as by nature depraved, 
we doliot mean to convey the idea of sin being an essential part of human nature, 
or of tlie constitution of man as man : our meaning is, that it is not a mere effect 
of education and example ; but is from his very birth so interwoven through all 
his powers, so ingrained, as it were, in his very soul, as to grow up with him, 
and become natural to him. 

On the other hand, v. hen the term natural is used as opposed to moraly and ap- 
plied to the powers of tiie soul, it is designed to express those faculties which 
are strictly a part of our nature as men, and which are necessary to our being 
accountable creatures. By confounding these ideas we may be always disputing, 
and bring nothing to an issue. 

Finally, It is sometimes suggested, that to ascribe natural ability to sinners to 
perform things spiritually good, is to nourish their self-sufficiency ; and that to 
represent their inability as only moral, is to suppose that it is not insuperable, 
but may after all be overcome by efforts of their own. But surely it is not ne- 
cessary, in order to destroy a spirit of self-sufliciency, to deny that we are men, 
and accountable creatures ; which is all that natural ability supposes. If any pep- 
son imagine it possible, of his own accord to chuse that to which he is utterly 
averse, let him make the trial. 

Some have alleged, that ' natural power is only sufficient to perform natural 
things ; atid that spiritual power is required to the performance of spiritual 
things.' But this statement is far from accurate. Natural powder is as necessary 
to the performance of spiritual, as of natural things : we must possess the powers 
of men in order to perform the duties of good men. ^wd as to spiritual power, 
or, which is the •'•Jtme tiling, a right state of mind, it is not properly a faculty ot 


conferred, which has in it the obligation of a law, but not the 
formal nature of it; and therefore they conclude, that we are 
comimanded by God, as a Lawgiver, to believe and repent, but 
that it is more proper to say, we are rather engaged by him, 
as a covenant-God, than commanded to exercise these graces : 
but this dispute is rather about the propriety of words, than the 
main substance of the doctrine itself; and therefore I shall en- 
ter no fiirther into this critical enquiry, but content myself with 
the general assertion, that faith, and all other graces are neces- 
sary duties ; without v/hich, it is impossible to please God^ to 
use the apostle's expression, Heb. xi. 6. or to have any right 
to the character of Christians. 

2f://z/, Faith, and all other graces, are to be also considered 
as blessings, promised in the covenant of grace. This appears 
from those scriptures that speak of them as the gifts of God^ 
Epli* ii. 8. purchased by the blood of Christ, and so founded 
on his righteousness^ 2 Pet. i. 1. and wrought in us by his Spi- 
rit, and the exceeding greatness of his power, Eph. i. 19. and 
as discriminating blessings, which all are not partakers of, as 
the apostle says. All men have not faith, 2 Thess. iii. 2. 

This may be farther argued, from what Christ undertook to 
purchase for, and apply to his people, as their federal Head; 
so that, in pursuance hereof, all spiritual blessings in heavenly 
things, are bestowed on them, in him ; and hereby the cove- 
nant is made good to them, as God is said, together with 
Christ, to give them all things, Rom. viii. 32. First, Christ is 
given for a covenant of his people, and then, upon his fulfilling 
what he undertook to procure for them, all that grace, which 
is treasured up in him, is applied to them ; therefore faith, and. 
other concomitant graces, are covenant-blessings. 

3dli/, There is a certain connexion between faith, with other 
concomitant graces, and salvation. But this having been con- 
sidered elsewhere, together with the sense of those scriptures, 
that seem to be laid down in a conditional form, from whence 
the arguments, to prove the conditionality of the covenant of 
grace, are generally taken;* all that we shall add, at present, 
is, that since, in this eternal covenant between the Father and 
the Son, it was agreed, established, and, on our Saviour's part, 
undertaken, that the elect should be not only redeemed, but 
sanctified, and enabled to exercise all grace, before they are 
brought to glory, this is made good to them in this covenant ; 
and therefore, as the consequence of Christ's purchase, faith, 

* See Vol. 1. page 479, 480. 

the soul, but a quality which it possesses : and which though it be essential to 
the actual performance of spiritual obedience^ yet is not necessary to our being; 
under QbUgutian to perform it." " Fulleb. 


and all other graces, are wrought in the soul, v/hich afterwards, 
in receiving the end of faith, is brought to eternal salvation; 
so that we may as well separate Christ's undertaking to redeem 
his people from their attaining salvation, as we can his apply- 
ing those graces which accompany it. 

However, when we speak of these graces, as connected with 
salvation, we must not conclude that they are the cause thereof. 
Though we are saved in a way of believing, we are not saved 
for our faith ; and therefore I cannot but approve of what is 
observed by many divines, who treat of this subject, that these 
graces are the way to heaven, though Christ's righteousness be 
the cause of our coming there. "^ I am sensible there are some 
who express their dislike of some of the most unexceptionable 
modes of speaking, if not altogether agreeable to those which 
they make use of, who can hardly approve of any one's assert- 
ing, that faith, and other graces, are the way to salvation ; part- 
ly, because they are the beginning of salvation, and principally, 
because Christ styles himself. The Way^ John xiv. 6. But to 
this it may be replied, that though grace be glory begun, yet 
it may as truly be said to be the way to complete salvation, as 
the traveller's setting out, and going forward on his journey, 
is the way to the end thereof, without which it can never be 
attained ; and, though C4irist be the way to salvation, as every 
thing that tends to fit us for, and bring us to it, is founded on 
what he did for us, as Mediator ; yet this does not, in the least, 
overthrov/ the connexion of grace with glory, in the method in 
which he brings his people to it, by first working faith, and 
all other graces in them, before the work is brought to perfec- 
tion, or the top-stone thereof is laid. 

Mhli/y If we assert more than this, namely, that faith is a 
condition of the covenant of grace, or, as it is expressed in this 
answer, a condition to interest believers in Christ, we must 
distinguish between God's bestowing the blessings of the cove- 
nant of grace, pursuant to his secret will, or his eternal pur- 
pose ; and our having a visible ground, or reason, to claim an 
interest in them ; the former of these cannot be supposed to 
be conditional, without making God dependent on our act; the 
latter may, and, I think, ought to be deemed so. Thus faith is 
a condition, or an internal qualification, without which no one 
has a warrant to conclude his interest in, or lay claim to the 
saving blessings of the covenant of grace, so that when it is 
said to be a condition to interest believers in Christ, in this an- 
swer, we are to understand it, as that which evinces our claim 
to him, or gives us ground to conclude, that we are redeemed 
by him, and to expect that he will bestow upon us complete 

* The former of these is generaUy styled. Via ad regiium ; the latter^ Causa r^g- 


salvation. To deny this, would be to suppose, that an unbe= 
liever has a warrant to conclude that Christ loved and gave 
himself for him, or that he shall be saved by him ; which is a 
doctrine that I cannot but oppose with the greatest detestation, 
as what contains in it an unwarrantable presumption, and leads 
to licentiousness, which, I hope, nothing, that has been said on 
this subject, has the least tendency to do. Thus we have con- 
sidered how faith may be said to be a condition of our laying 
claim to an interest in Christ ; we proceed, 

VII. To consider how the grace of God is glorified, in his 
having ordained, that we should apprehend or discern our in- 
terest in Christ, and the blessings of the covenant, by faith. 
Of all other graces, faith is that which has the greatest ten- 
dency to discover to the soul its own vileness, and nothingness , 
and, indeed, every thing that we behold in Christ its object, 
has a tendency to abase us in our own sight. Do we, by faith, 
behold Christ's fulness ? This has a tendency to humble us, un- 
der a sense of our own emptiness. Do we look on Christ as 
the Fountain of all righteousness and strength ? This leads us 
to see that we are destitute hereof in ourselves ; so that, as 
faith beholds all that we have, or hope for, as being founded 
on, and derived from Christ, and gives us hereupon the greatest 
sense of our own unworthiness, this is in its own nature adapted 
to advance the grace of God ; and therefore God, in taking this 
method to apply the blessings of the cov^enant, requiring faith, 
as an instrument, hereof, ordained the best expedient, to illus- 
trate, and set forth his own grace as displayed therein. But 
since it is a very difficult matter to believe, as this grace of 
faith is the gift and effect of the poAver of God, we are now 
tQ consider, 

VIII. That the grace of the covenant is farther manifested, 
in that God has promised, and pursuant thereunto, gives his 
Holy Spirit to work faith, and all other graces that are con- 
nected with, or flow from it. That we have in the covenant of 
grace a promise of the Holy Spirit, to work in us, that grace 
which God requires, is very evident; for he says, I will pour 
iipon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusa- 
lem^ the Spirit of grace ^ and of supplications, Zech. xii. 10. 
and elsewhere, God promises to pour his Spirit upon their seed^ 
and his blessings upon their offspring, Isa» xliv. 3. and this is 
farther set forth, in a metaphorical way, when he promises to_ 
sprinkle clean water on his people, and that he would cleanse 
them from all their flthiness, and from all their idols, and give 
them a new heart, and put a new spirit within them, and take 
axvay the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them an heart 
of flesh, and all this is said to be done by his Spirit, which he 
promised to put within them^ Ezek. xxxvi* 25 — 2^. And mor^ 

Vol. IL C ^ 


particularly, the Spirit, as working faith in the hearts oi* be^ 
lievers, is called, for that reason. The Spirit offaith^ 2 Cor. iv. 
13, and all other graces are called, The fruit of the Spirit^ Gal, 
V. 22, 23. so that they are from the Spirit, as the Author of 
all grace, and they proceed from faith, as one grace tends to 
excite another : thus the heart is said to be purified hij faith^ 
Acts XV. 9» which is said also to -work by love^ Gal. v. 6. and 
hereby we are enabled to overcome the world ; and this produ- 
ces all holy obedience, which is called, The obedience offaith^ 
Rom. xvi. 26. Thus concerning the Spirit's working faith and 
all other graces. 

Again, it is farther added, that the truth and sincerity of faith 
\o evidenced as well as the grace of faith wrought by the Spi= 
rit ; and this is also a blessing promised in the covenant of grace. 
Hereby we are enabled to discern our interest in Christ, and our 
right to all the blessings that accompany salvation ; in which 
respect, the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him^ and he 
shews them his covenant, Psal. xxv. 14. He not only discovers 
to them that there is such a dispensation of grace in general, 
but that they have a right to the blessings promised therein, 
and accordingly seals them unto the day of redemption.^ Eph. iv. 
SO. and hereby they are enabled to walk comfortably, as know- 
ing in whom they have believed, and, are induced to the great- 
est thankfulness, as those, who are under the highest obligations 
to God, who promises and bestows these, and all other bless^ 
ings, whereby his grace is abundantly manifested, in this cove- 

Quest. XXXIII. Was the covenant of grace always administer- 
ed after one and the same manner V 

Answ. The covenant of grace was not always administered 
after the same manner ; but the administrations of it, under 
the Old Testament, were different from those under the New. 

Quest. XXXIV. How was the covenant ofgrac^ administered 
under the Old Testament* 

Answ. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old 
Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, 
the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all 
fore-signify Christ then to come, and were, for that time, 
sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Mes- 
siah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eter- 
nal salvation. 

Quest. XXXV. How is the covenant of grace administered 
under the New Tes^tament ? 


Answ. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance 
was exhibited the same covenant of grace was, and still is, to 
be administered in the preaching of the word ; and the ad- 
ministration of the sacraments of Baptism, and the Lord's 
Supper, in which, grace and salvation is held forth in more 
fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations. 

HAVING considered the nature of the covenant, in which. 
God has promised salvation to his people, and hoW his 
grace is manifested therein, we proceed to speak concerning 
the various dispensations thereof, or the way in which God has 
been pleased, from time to time, to discover and apply the bless- 
ings contained in it, for the encouragement of his people to hope 
for salvation. This he has done, at sundry ti?n€S, and in divers 
manners^ Heb. i. 1. the first method of administration was bc» 
fore Christ's incarnation ; the other, in all succeeding ages, to 
continue to the end of the vv^orld. Accordingly we are led to 

I. How the covenant of grace was administered under the 
Old Testament. As Crod has always had a church in the world, 
in the earliest ages thereof, which has been the seat of his spe- 
cial presence, and been favoured with the displays of his glo- 
ry ; so he has made known, and applied to them, the blessings 
of salvation, or the promises of this covenant, in which they 
are contained. How he has done this, is particularly consider- 
ed in this answer; in which there is something supposed, name- 
ly, that it was absolutely necessary, for the salvation of the 
elect, that God should, some way or other, reveal Christ to 
them, by whom they were to obtain remission of sins ; for he 
was to be the object of their faith, as well as the fountain of 
their blessedness. This he could not have been, unless he had ' 
taken some methods to lead the world into the knowledge of his 
Person, and that work he designed to engage in, whereby they^ 
who lived before his incarnation, might be encouraged to look 
for the benefits which he would procure, by what he was to do 
and suffer, in order thereunto. Now, that he has done so, and 
that the method which he has taken therein, was sufficient to 
build up his elect in the faith of the promised Messiah, is what 
we are particularly to consider, and so shall shew, 

1. That God revealed Christ, and the blessings of the cove- 
nant of grace, to his church of old. There were two ways by 
which h.^ did this ; one was by express words, or an intimation 
given from heaven, that the Messiah, the prince of life, should, 
in the fulness of time, take our nature, and dwell among us | 
and that what he was then to be, and do, should be conducive . 
to the salvation of those who lived before his incarnation, as 
Tnv\ch as though he had done this from the beginning of the 


World : the other was, by types, or significant ordinances, which 
are only different ways of discovering the same import&nt doc- 
trines to them. 

(1.) God revealed Christ then to come to the Old Testament 
church, by promises and prophecies ; to the end, that though 
they were not, at that time, to behold him, as manifested in the 
flesh, they might take a view of him by faith, and hereby he 
might be rendered the object of their desire and expectation, 
that when he came, it might be no unlooked-for event, but the 
accomplishment of those promises and predictions that related 
thereunto : thus God told Abraham, not only that he should be 
blessed with a numerous off-spring, but that, in his seed^ that 
is^ in the Messiah, who should descend from him, all the na- 
tions of the earth should he blessed; he likewise says to Israel, 
by Moses, The Lord thy God -will raise up unto thee a Prophet^ 
from among thy brethren^ like unto me ; unto him ye shall hear- 
ken^ Deut. xviii. 15. and, in following ages, there were promi- 
ses and predictions, that gave farther light, concerning the per- 
son and offices, the sufferings and glory of the Messiah, as it is 
said, To him give all the prophets witness^ Acts x. 43. And the 
prophet Isaiah is so express, in the account he gives of this 
matter, that he is styled, by some, the evangelical prophet ; 
what he says, concerning him, is so particular, as though it had 
been an history of what w^as past, rather than a prophecy of 
what was to come ; accordingly he foretells, that he should be 
born, or given, as a public blessing to the world, and describes 
him not only as haj/ing the government upon his shoidder, but 
as having the perfections of the divine nature, which discover 
him fit for that important trust, w^hen he styles him, Wonder^- 
ful. Counsellor, the mighty God^ the everlasting Father, the 
Prince of peace, Isa. ix. 6. And, as he speaks of his birth, so 
he intimates, that he should be born of a virgin ; chap. vii. \A<* 
and he describes him, in chap. liii. as condescending to bear 
our sins, as standing in our room and stead, designing hereby 
to make atonement for them ; he speaks of him, as brought like 
a lamb to the slaughter, and cut oj^ out of the land of the livings 
making his grave zvith the wicked, and zvith the rich in his 
death, and after this, that he should prolong his days, and that 
the consequence hereof should be glorious to himself, and of 
the highest advantage to his people : and he describes him else- 
where, chap. Ixiii. 1, &c. in a most elegant manner as one tri- 
umphing over conquered enemies ; travelling, or pursuing his 
victories, in the greatness of his strength, and making it appear 
that he is mighty to save* 

Another prophet speaks of him as a Branch that should grow 
out of the root or stock of David, when it was almost dead and 
dry, and that he should set up a more glorious throne, and ex- 


ercise a government over his people in a spiritual way, Jen 
xxiii. 5, 6. And the prophet Micah gives us an account of the 
very place of his birth, and speaks of Bethlehem, as rendered 
famous and renowned by his being born therein, zvho should be 
a rider in Israel^ though otherwise it was little among the thou- 
sands ofjudahy Micah v. 2. Another prophet signifies his com- 
ing at that time, when God would shake all nations^ that is, fill 
the world with civil commotions, and cause it to feel the sad 
effects of those wars,- whereby the kingdoms of the world had 
been dis-jointed, and many of them broken in pieces, that then 
the desire of all nations should come ^ and f.ll his hoiise^ to wit, 
the second temple, -with glory^ Hag. ii. 7. And the prophet 
Daniel speaks of him as the Messiah, or Christ, the character 
by which he was most known, when he was here on earth, and 
gives a chronological account of the time when he should come, 
and be cut off^ though not for himself and hereby confrm the 
covenant^ and at the same time, cause the sacrifice and oblatio7i^ 
that is, the ordinances of the ceremonial law, to cease, and so 
make way for another dispensation of the covenant, to wit, that 
which we are under, which was to succeed in the room thereof. 

(2.) The covenant of grace was also administered by the va- 
rious types and ordinances of the ceremonial law, which were 
all significant signs of that grace, that should be displayed in 
the gospel, which was to be obtained by Christ. Many of these 
types and ordinances were instituted before the whole body of 
the ceremonial law was given from mount Sinai. The first wc 
read of was that of sacrifices, which were offered in the first 
^ges of the world, whereby they had an early intimation given 
them of the blood of the covenant, which should be shed to 
'expiate sin. And, after this, circumcision was instituted, first 
given to Abraham, as a visible mark, or token, of the covenant, 
immediately before the birth of Isaac, the promised seed, at that 
time, when God was pleased to enter into covenant with him, 
Gen. xvii. 9, 10. and this ordinance was continued in the church, 
throughout all the generations thereof, till our Saviour's time, 
and is explained by the apostle, as a sign, or seed of the righ- 
teousness of faith, Rom. iv. 11. 

Another type was the passover, which was first instituted in 
commemoration of Israel's departure out of Egypt, which had 
in it many significant rites and ceremonies, whereby our re- 
demption, by Christ, was set forth ; upon which occasion, the 
apostle calls him our Passover^ who is sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. 
V. 7. and in allusion hereunto, he is styled, The Lamb of God^ 
ivhich taketh away the siji of the world, John i. 29. 

There were many other ceremonial ordinances, or types, 
which God gave to the Jewish nation, which were significant 
representations of the grace tliat was to be displayed in the gos- 


pel, or, as it is expressed in this answer, they fore-signified 
Christ then to come, which contained as the apostle expresses 
it, A shadow of good things to come^ Heb. x. 1. so that they 
all pointed at the grace of the covenant, or the accomplishment 
of what was to be performed by Christ, after his incarnation : 
but this will be more particularly considered, when we speak 
of the ceremonial law, as distinguished from the moral, under 
a following answer *, Therefore, at present, we shall only con- 
sider the types in general, and their reference to the grace of 
the covenant, whereby the Old Testament church were led into 
the knowledge of the Messiah then to come, together with what 
he was to do and suffer, to purchase and apply the blessings of 
this covenant to his people. And here we shall shew, 

Isty That there were typical ordinances under the ceremo- 
nial law. This we are obliged to maintain, against those who 
have advanced several things relating to the origin of the cere- 
monial law, which tend very much to divest it of its spirituali- 
ty and glory f, when they assert, that all the rites and ordinan- 
ces thereof were derived from the Egyptians j and that they 
v/ere first observed by them, before known and received by the 
church ; and that the reason why God accommodated his law 
thereunto, was because he knew how tenacious they were of 
that religion in which that generation had been trained up in 
Egypt, and how difficult it would be for them wholly to lay it 
aside, and to give into another way of worship, which was al- 
together foreign to it : nevertheless, they say that he cut off, 
or separated from it, every thing that was idolatrous, and adapt- 
ed other things to that mode of worship, which he thought most 
conducive to his glory. But though he commanded his people^ 
when they left Egypt, to borrow vessels of silver and gold, to 
be used in that service they were to perform in the wilderness ; 
yet far be it from us to suppose, that God, in ordaining this 
law, borrowed any part of it from them. It is true, there were 
rites of worship used by the Egyptians, and other nations, which 
had some affinity with the divine law, and were received by • 
them in common with other heathen nations, by tradition, from 
the church, in former ages; and it cannot be denied, but that 
the Israelites sometimes corrupted the worship of God, by in- 
troducing some things into it, which were practised by neigh- 
bouring nations : but God gave no countenance to this matter, 
by accommodating his law to theirs. But since this has been 
purposely and largely insisted on, with much learning and judg- 
ment, by others :|:, I shall pass it over. 

There are others, who make farther advances on this subject, 

* See Quest, xcii. 

t Vid. Spencer, de leg. Ihhr. andejusd. Dissert, de Urbn SJ Thummlm ; & Mdr 
^hami Can. Chron. 
i Vid. JVitsii Eg'jptiaca. 


tending to overthrow that which appears to be the main design 
of the ceremonial law, together with the spiritual meaning of it ; 
these not only conclude, that the main end of God's giving it to 
the Jews, was because it was necessary that there should be 
some form of worship erected, otherwise they would have in- 
vented one of their own, or practised that which they had re- 
ceived from the Eg5'^ptians ; and the more pompous and cere- 
monious this form was, and especially the nearer it came to 
that of neighbouring nations, it would more readily be received 
and complied with : but, that there was no design herein to ty- 
pify, or shadow forth Christ, or the blessings of the covenant 
of grace ; these therefore, were commanded duties *, (whereby 
the people were to be kept employed,) but not typical ordinan» 
ces. But it is very strange that any, v/ho have read some ex- 
plications hereof, occasionally mentioned in the Old Testament, 
and especially that large comment on the ceremonial law, given 
by the apostle, in his epistle to the Hebrews, should embrace 
this opinion. 

2dly^ Whatever ordinances were typical, they respected 
Christ, his person, offices, the grace of the covenant, and the 
way of salvation, by him ; therefore I cannot approve of what 
I occasionally meet with, in some ancient commentators, and 
other modern writers, who sometimes speak of things being ty- 
pical of other things besides Christ, and what relates to the 
work of redemption by him. Thus some speak of those noto- 
rious wicked persons mentioned in scripture, as Cain, Pharaoh.^ 
and others, as though they were types of the devil ; and of An- 
tiochus Epiphanes, as a type of Anti-christ. And others speak 
of some things as types of Gospel-ordinances, so they call cir- 
cumcision a type of baptism, and the passover of the Lord's 
supper ; and several writers, amongst the Papists, suppose, that 
the bread and wine, that was brought forth by Melchisedek to 
Abraham, was a type of the Eucharist, as they call that ordi- 
nance. Others speak of Noah's being saved in the ark from 
the deluge, as a type of baptism, being mis-led herein by a mis- 
taken sense of the word, used by the apostle, when he says, 
having spoken before of Noah's being saved in the ark, The 
like figure •whereunto^ even baptism^ doth also now save usy 1 
Pet. iii. 21. &c. whereas the meaning of the Greek word f is 
not that this was a type of baptism, but that it signified, as bap- 
tism also doth, that salvation, which we have by Christ. 

Sdly, When we consider what was typified by those ordinan- 
ces, under the ceremonial law, we must avoid two extremes: 
namely, that of those who make more types, than the Holy 
Ghost designed in scripture ; and others, who will not acknow- 
ledge many things to be types, which plainly appear to be so : 

■ .P'\rcepta ohservantite, "^ a.vrnvTro';, 


the former give too great scope to their wit and fancy, when 
they reckon every thing to be a type, that may be adapted to 
Christ, and the gospel-state ; and accordingly suppose, many 
persons and actions done by, them to be typical, which it is 
hard to prove that they were designed to be, or were looked 
upon as such by the Old Testament-church, Thus it would be 
a difficult matter to prove that Samson (especially in any other 
respect than as he was a Nazarite) was a type of Christ. But, 
if it could be proved, that the success he sometimes had in his 
skirmishes with the Philistines, was a type of Christ's victories 
over his and our enemies ; yet it doth not appear, though some 
have extended the parallel so far, that his carrying the door 
and posts of the gate of Gaza to the top of a hill that is before 
Hebron, Judges xvi. 3. signifies Christ's resurrection. But it 
is abominable, when any one supposes, as some have unwarily 
done, that his loving a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose 
name was Delilah, ver. 4. was a type of Christ's loving the 
Gentile church. 

But, because I v/ould not give any occasion to conclude that 
I have light thoughts of the performance of some, who have 
explained many things, which they call types, in scripture, with 
a very honest and good design, to lead the world into the know- 
ledge of several great gospel-truths ; I shall take leave to dis- 
tinguish between those things, which were plainly designed, in 
scripture, to be types, and some other, which, though it doth 
not appear that they were looked upon as such by the Old Tes- 
tament-church, yet they may be accommodated to illustrate or 
explain some doctrines contained in the gospel. If any one call 
these methods of illustration, types, because there is some ana- 
logy or resemblance between them and Christ, or the benefits 
of the covenant, they may extend their illustrations as far as 
they please ; I will not contend with them. It is not their say- 
ing, that such and such things are similitudes, by which Christ 
may be set forth ; but their asserting that these similitudes were 
designed by God, to be ordinances for the faith of his church, 
to lead them into the knowledge of Christ, that I militate 
against, when I suppose that some are chargeable with an ex^ 
treme, in extending this matter too far, which, it is certain, 
many have done. 

But this may give occasion to enquire ; when we may deter- 
mine that a thing is designed, by God, to be a type of Christ, 
and the grace of the covenant ? To this I answer, 

(1.) As to what respects persons, or, as it is commonly ex- 
pressed, personal types, though I cannot say, that every one, 
whose life and actions bear a very great resemblance to some 
things that are remarkable in the life of Christ, is a type of 
him, in any other sense, than, ^s we arc led, by the analogy, or 


resemblance of things, to speak of it, in a way of accommoda- 
tion or illustration ; yet we have some directions given us, by 
which we may conclude some persons to be types of Christ; 
one of which is, when he is called by their name : thus our Sa- 
viour's being called David, in several scriptures, Hos. iii. 5. 
Ezek. xxxiv. 23. and David's often speaking in the Person of 
our Saviour, in several of his Psalms, seems to intimate, that 
he was looked upon, by the church in his day, as a type of 

Again,Moses seems to Imply as much concerning himself, when 
he speaks of Christ as a Prophet^ whom the Lord 'God should 
raise up from among' their brethren^ and he adds, that he should 
be like wito him^ and consequently typified by him, Deut. xviii. 
15. and the apostle seems to intimate as much, when he com- 
pares Moses and Christ together, in point of faithfulness, that 
the one xu as faithful as a servant in God's house, the other as 
a Son over his oxvn house^ Heb. iii. 2, 5, 6. 

Again, when any remarkable actions, were done by persons 
mentioned in scripture, which were allowed to be typical, it 
follows, from thence, that the person, who was appointed to be 
God's minister in doing them, was a t\'pe of Christ. Thus we 
may conclude Joshua to have been reckoned, by Israel, a type 
of Christ, in leading them into the land of Canaan, upon the 
same ground that they had to look upon that land, as a type of 
the gospel-rest, which we are brought to by Christ. And, for 
the same reason, Solov.on might be called a type of Christ, as 
he built the temple, which was reckoned, by the Jews, as a type 
of God's presence, in a way of grace with his people ; and there 
are other passages, that might be referred to in scripture, which 
farther prove him to be a type of Christ. =^ 

And nothing is more evident, than that the priests, under the 
law, who were ministers in holy things, and the high priest, in 
a way of eminency, were types of Christ; they are so consi- 
dered in the explication thereof, given in the epistle to the He- 
brews ; and they farther appear to be so, inasmuch as the church 
had sufficient ground to conclude, that their ministry was ty- 
pical, or the gifts, or sacrifices that they offered, were types of 
what was offered by Christ, for our redemption. And this 
leads us, 

(2.) To consider those types, which are called real, or things 
done, as being ordinances designed to signify the grace of the 
covenant. These were either occasional, or stated ; the former 
whereof were designed for types, at those times, when the 
things were performed. But it doth not appear that they were 
so afterwards, in succeeding ages ; as their passing through 

* See Psal. Ixii. the title, compared with the subject-matter of the Pidlniy xoMch 
epeaks of Christ in the person of Solomon. 

Vol. II. D d 

204i Of THE COVENANT 01' GKAC£. 

the red sea^ being under the cloudy their eating manna in the 
wilderness, and drinking xuater that came out of the rock. Ail 
these things are expressly mentioned, by the apostle, as types, 
1 Cor. X. 1, 3, 4. compared with ver. 11. and we may add 
thereto the brazen serpent^ which was plainly a type of Christ, 
and, as such, our Saviour applies it to himself, in John iii. 14. 
But all these were occasional types, which were ordinances to 
the church no longer than the action was continued. 

Again, there were other things, which seemed to be stand- 
ing types, or ordinances, in all successive ages, till Christ the 
Antitype came, as circumcision, the passover, sacrifices, and 
other rites of worship, used in the ttmple service ; these things 
being expressly mentioned, in scripture, as types, we have 
ground to determine them to be so. Thus concerning the cove- 
nant of grace, as revealed to the church of old. 

2. We are now to consider, that the method which God took 
in the administration of the covenant of grace, under the Old 
Testament, was sufficient to build up his elect in the faith of 
the promised Messiah. There were, indeed, many types given 
to the church, but these would not have led them into the 
linowledge of Christ, and salvation to be obtained by him, un- 
less God had taken some method to explain them ; for they had 
not a natural tendency to signify Christ, and the blessings of 
the covenant of grace, as words have, according to the com- 
mon sense thereof, to make known the ideas they convey : but 
their signification was, for the most part, if not altogether, in- 
stituted, or annexed to them, by the divine appointment, and 
many of them had not the least resemblance, in themselves, of 
what they were ordained to signify ; therefore it was necessary 
that they should be explained. For we may say the same thing 
of a type, that is said of a parable, as they are both figurative 
representations of some less known ideas, that are designed to 
be conveyed thereby ; now a parable is styled, by the Psalmist, 
A dark sayings Psal. Ixxviii. 2. and, by tlie prophet Ezekiel, 
A riddle^ Ezek. xvii. 2. and our Saviour, speaking thereof, in 
this sense, tells his disciples, that unto them it was give?i to 
knoxv the mysteries of the kingdom of God^ but to others in para- 
bles^ Luke viii. 10. and they are elsewhere opposed to a plain 
way of speaking, as when the disciples say. Now speakest thou 
plainly^ and speakest no proverb^ or parable^ John xvi. 29. as it 
is rendered in the margin; so when Nathan reproved David 
for his sin, in the matter of Uriah, he first represented it by a 
parable, taken from the I'ich mail's robbing the poor man of his 
ewe-lamb^ which, before he explained the meaning of it, was 
not understood by him, 2 Sam. xii. 1 — .6. But when he told 
him. Thou art the man intended hereby, it was as evident to 
him, as though he had made use of the most significant words 


relating to this matter. The same may be said concerning types 
under the Old Testament dispensation ; they woLiid iiave been 
unintelligible, had there been no explication annexed to tiiem, 
whereby the spiritual meaning thereof might be understood. 
And, if we consider them as a part of religious worship, we 
cannot suppose that that consisted only in some bodily exercises, 
such as killing of beasts, sprinkling the blood, &c. for that is 
no part of religion, any otherwise than as it refers to, and leads 
the faith of those, who are engaged therein, into the knowledge 
of some things, in which it is more imm.ediately concerned. 

But this argument having been insisted on elsewhere,* and 
the necessity of God's leading his church into the meaning of 
the ceremonial law, having been considered and proved, from 
the divine goodness, and a brief account having been given of 
the method which God took to lead them into it, which tends to 
obviate any objection that might be made against it we shall 
only observe, at present, that as there is a very clear explication 
given hereof, in several places in the New Testament, so there 
are some expressions used in the Old, which seem to refer to 
the spiritual meaning thereof; and, if it be allowed that the 
church had then the least intimation given them, either by some 
hints, contained in scripture, or by some other methods of re- 
vealing it, that there was a spiritual meaning affixed thereunto, 
which it is plain there was, then it will follow, that they might 
easily, from this direction, have applied this to particular in- 
stances, and have attained a very great degree of the know- 
ledge of the spiritual meaning of these types and ordinances. 

That this may farther appear, let it be considered, that they 
were led into several doctrines relating to the Messiah, and the 
offices that he was to execute as Mediator, by express words, 
and they must be given up to a very great degi-ee of judicial 
blindness, as the Jews are at this day, if they could not under- 
stand thereby many of those great truths, which relate to the 
way of salvation by Christ. Now, if they were led into them, 
by this more plain method, they might easily accommodate the 
typical ordinances thereunto, and accordingly the one would 
be a key to the other : thus, when they were told of the Mes- 
siah's bearing the iniquity of his people, as the prophet Isaiah 
does, or of the Lord'*s laying on him the iniquity of us all^ Isa. 
liii. 4, 6. they might easily understand that the same thing was 
signified by some rites used in sacrificing, as when the priest 
was to lay his hand on the head of the sacrifice, before he slew 
it, and its being, upon this occasion, said to bear the iniquity 
of the congregation^ Lev. iv. 4. compared with chap. xvi. 21, 
22. therefore they could not be at a loss, as to the spiritual 

* ^ee Vol I. pages 53—56- 


meaning thereof. And, when we read elsewhere such expres- 
sions, as plainly refer to the thing signified, by some ceremo- 
nial ordinances, viz. The circwncision of the hearty Deut. xxx^ 
6. The calves of the lips^ Hos. xiv. 2. The sacrifice of thanks- 
givings Psal. cxvi. 1 7. and many other passages of the like na- 
ture, it cannot reasonably be supposed that they were wholly 
strangers to it ; and therefore these types and ordinances were, 
in an objective way, sufficient to build them up in the faith of 
the Messiah. 

This being considered, it may very evidently be inferred, 
from hence, that they had full remission of sins, and eternal 
life, as it is farther observed ; and therelbre it is not necessary 
to suppose, with some of the Pelagians and Socinians, that they 
might be saved without the knowledge of Christ ; nor, with the 
Papists, that they were incapable of salvation, till Christ came 
and preached to them after his death, and so discharged them 
from the prison, in which they were detained ; nor with some 
among the Protestants, who extend the bondage of the Old 
Testament-church so far, as though they were not fully justi- 
fied, but lay under a perpetual dread of the wrath of God. This 
we often meet with in the writings of many, who, in Other re- 
spects, explain the doctrine of the covenant of grace in a very 
unexceptionable way. And here I cannot but observe, what is 
well known, hj those who live in the United Netherlands, that 
ikiiZ matter has btvU debated with so much warmth in those 
parts, that it has occasioned divisions and misunderstandings 
among divines, who, in other respects^ have adhered to, and 
well defended the doctrines of the gospel, against those who 
have opposed them. The judicious and learned Cocceius, whom 
1 cannot but mention with the greatest respect, who lived about 
the middle of the last century^ has been, and is now, followed 
by many divines, in those particular modes of explaining this 
doctrine, which he makes use of: his sentiments, indeed, about 
tlus matter, were not wholly new; but having written com- 
mentaries on several parts of scripture, he takes occasion to 
explain great numbers of texts, agreeably to that particular 
scheme, which he maintains ; and while, on the one hand, he 
runs great lengths, in explaining what he reckons to be scrip- 
ture-types and predictions, and thereby gives great scope to 
his imagination on the other hand, he extends the terror, 
bondage, and darkness, which the church was under, during 
the legal dispensation, farther than can well be justified, and 
advances several things in defending and explaining his scheme, 
which many divines, who do not give into his way of thinking, 
Have excepted against. 

Instead of making but two dispensations of the covenant of 
grace, according to the commonly received opinion, he sup- 


yoses that there were three ; * namely, the first from God's 
giving the promise to our first parents, immediately after they 
fell, relating to the seed of the woman, that should break the 
serpent's head, to his delivering the law from mount Sinai ; 
which dispensation had nothing of terror, or bondage, in it, any 
more than the dispensation which we are under; and he sup- 
poses, that the church had clearer discoveries of Christ, and 
the blessings of the covenant, than they had after Moses's 
time. The second dispensation was, that which took place 
when God gave Israel the law from mount Sinai, which he 
generally describes as a yoke, which they cou-d hardly bear ; 
and sometimes as a curse, a rigorous dispensation, in which 
there was a daily remembrance of sin : and the reason of God's 
exercising this severity, and shutting them up in a judicial 
way, under terror, darkness, and bondage, was, because they 
revolted from him, by worshipping the golden calf, a little be- 
fore the law was given ; upon which occasion, God put a vail 
upon his ordinances, covered the mysteries of the gospel by- 
types, and, at the same time, did not lead them into the mean- 
ing thereof, which as was before observed, would have a ten- 
dency to leave them in a state of darkness, as to the great doc- 
trines that were signified by these types and ordinances of the 
ceremonial law. And this he supposes to be the meaning of 
what the apostle says, concerning the double vail; one put on 
the things themselves, the other, on the hearts of the Jews ; 
and both these were typified by the vail, which Mosts put over 
his face ^ 2 Cor. iii. 13' — 15, and this darkness was attended 
with distress and terror of conscience, whereby they were, as 
the apostle says elsewhere, Ail their life-time subject to bori' 
dage^ Heb. ii. 15. which they explain, concerning the church 
of the Jews, under the legal dispensation. And they add, 
that all this continued as long as that dispensation lasted, or till 
it was succeeded by the third, viz, the gospel-dispensation, 
which we are under, whereby the church was delivered from 
this yoke, which neither they^ nor their fathers^ were able to 
bear. But that which I would take occasion to except against, 
in this scheme, is, 

1. They seem to make the terror, bondage, and darkness^ 
which the church was under, greater than they ought to do ; 
for, I humbly conceive, all those scriptures, which they refer 
to for the proof hereof, are to be taken, not in an absolute, 
but a comparative sense. It is one thing to say, that this dis- 
pensation was less bright and comfortable, than the present 
dispensation, which we are under, is ; and another thing to say. 

*\c scco 

The fir St, he a7id his folloiuers call, Oeconomia promissionis, or, ante-Jegalis 
TOrti/, 09©ondmi;< legalis ; the tMrd, QeconemiH cyan jelioa. 


that it was so dark and comfortless, as they generally represent 
it to be. 

2. I cannot but think, as I have before obser\'ed, that the 
church of Israel had a clearer discerning of the meaning of the 
ordinances of the ceremonial law, than these divines would al- 
low them to have had ; or, at least, that the. vail, that was 
upon their hearts, principally respected a part of ihem, and 
that in some particular ages, not in every age of the Jewish 
church ; for some of the Old Testament-saints seem to have 
discovered a great degree of light in the doctrines of the gos- 
pel, as appears more especially from several of the Psalms of 
David, and some of the writings of the prophets. 

3. Whatever degree of judicial blindness and darkness the 
church of the Jews might be exposed to for sin, it does not so 
fully appear that this was inflicted as a punishment on them, 
for worshipping the golden calf at the foot of the mount Sinai: 
but there were several instances of idolatry and apostacy from 
God, that gave occasion thereunto, which, when they repent- 
ed of, and were reformed from, the effects of his wrath were 
taken away ; therefore we are not to suppose, that the cere- 
monial laAv was given, at first, as a yoke, or curse, laid on them 
for this sin in particular. 

4. We are not to extend the bondage and darkness thereof 
so far, with respect to any of them, as to suppose, that, under 
that dispensation, they had not full remission of sin ; for the 
contrary hereto seems to be contained in several scriptures ; as 
when it is said. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven^ 
xvhose sin is covered, blessed is the man to whom the Lord hn- 
puteth not iniquity, Psal. xxxii. 1, 2. and. There is forgiveness 
zvith thee, that thou mayest be feared, Psal. cxxx. 4. and else- 
where, Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plen- 
teous in mercy, to all that call upon thee; and thou hast for giv* 
671 the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin^ 
Psal. Ixxxvi. 5. and Ixxxv. 2. and elsewhere. Who is a God 
like unto thee, that par doneth iniquity, and passeth by the tranS' 
gression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his 
anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He zvill turn 
again, he will have compassion upon us ; he will subdue our ini- 
quities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the 
sta, Micah. vii.'lS, 19. 

These, and such-like scriptures, seem so plainly to over- 
throw this part of their scheme, that they are obliged, in de- 
fence thereof, to understand them all, as containing nothing 
else, but a prediction of that blessedness, which the New Tes- 
tament-church should receive, and not as a privilege that was 
enjoyed under the legal dispensation, which I cannot but think 
to be an evasive perversion of the sense of those scriptures, but 


jiow referred to, and others of the like nature ; for it is plain 
that the apostle, referring to one of them, to wit, the words of 
the Psalmist, in Rom. iv. 6. compared with ver. 9. says, that 
therein David describes the blessedness that cometh not on the 
circumcision only^ that is, not only on the Jews, but on the un- 
circumcision also^ that is, the gospel-church; which is a plain 
argument, that this blessedness, that accompanies forgiveness, 
was a privilege, that the Old Testament-church enjoyed, and 
not barely a promise of what the New Testament-church was 
to expect : q, d. was the Old Testament-church the only bless- 
ed persons in enjoying forgiveness ? No, says he, as they for- 
merly enjoyed it, we who believe, are partakers of the same 

And to this we may add, that, in consistency with this 
scheme, they entertain some unwarrantable notions about the 
justification of the Old Testament church. Some say, that it 
was less full ; others, which is a more unguarded w ay of speak- 
ing, that it was less true ; * and, agreeably hereunto, they sup- 
pose, that they had no other ideas of the doctrine of justifica- 
tion, but as implying in it the divine forbearance, or not pun- 
ishing sin ; though they had a perpetual dread that it would be 
punished at last, and no comfortable sense of the forgiveness 
thereof.f But this is certainly an extending the terror and 
bondage of that dispensation farther than we have just ground, 
from scripture, to do, whatever turns they give to several 
scriptures in defence thereof; and therefore we must conclude, 
as it is obsers'ed in this answer, that the Old Testament-church 
had full remission of sins, as well as eternal salvation. 

II. We are now to consider the covenant of grace, as ad- 
ministered under the New Testament, Avhich is the dispensa- 
tion thereof, that we are under and is to continue to the end 
of the world, which by way of eminency, we call the gospel- 
dispensation ; concerning which it is observed, 

* Minus plena, or minus vera. 

f Fbv the proof of this, they often refer to that scripture in Rom. iii. 25. in -which 
it is said, Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, to dec hire his righte- 
ousness, for the remission of sins that are past, throug-h, or after, the forbear- 
ance, of God, ivhich they suppose to contain an intimation of the privilege -which 
the goHpel-church enjoyed, namely, remission of sins ,- lohereas, vnder the legal dis- 
pensation, there loas nothing else apprehended by them, but the forbearance of God: 
*-o that f-'ie Old Testament-church had Trufiviv AfASLflim ; the JVe-w Testament churchy 
cttiTiv i and they all suppose, that they looked upon Christ as Fide-jussor, and not 
Expromissor, ivhich are terms used in the civi! laiv ; the former of -which signifies a 
person's undertaking to be a surety, and, at the same time, leaving the creditor at 
his liberty to exact the debt, either of him, or the debtor himself; -whereas. Expro- 
missor, sigmfies, a person's U7idertaking to be a surety, in so full and large a se?ise, 
as that, by virtue hereof , the debtor is discharged. Therefore, since they did not , 
so clearly, know that God -ivould discharge theyn, by virtue of Christ's undertaking 
to be a Surety, but concluded that he might exact the debt, either of him, or them i 
this Yt>a* the foundation of that terror and bondage, w/«cA they -were perpetually entf- 
ject to. 


1. That it began when Christ, the Substance, was exhibit^ 
«d. He is called the Substance thereof, without any particu- 
lar limitation of the word; and therefore we may understand 
thereby, either that he was. the Substance of the ceremonial 
law, as all the promises and types thereof had a peculiar re- 
ference to him ; and, as the apostle says. To him give all the 
prophets witness^ Acts x. 43. or eke he may be considered 
as the Sabstdnce of the New Testament-dispensation, the sub- 
ject-matter of the ministry of the gospel. Thus the apostle 
speaks of Christ crucified^ as the principal thing which he de- 
termined to know^ or insist on, in the exercise of his ministry, 
and that with good reason, since all gospel-doctrines were de- 
signed to lead us to him, and set forth his glory, as the Foun- 
tain and Author of our salvation, 1 Cor. i. 23. chap. ii. 2, 
And both the seals of the new covenant, namely. Baptism, and 
the Lord's Supper, signify that salvation which we enjoy, or 
hope for, by Christ, our consecration to him, and communion 
with him : thus he is truly styled the substance of both the dis- 
pensations of the covenant J the former looked forward, and 
pointed out Christ to come, as the object of the church's de- 
sire and expectation; the latter represents him as being come, 
and so the object of our joy and thankfulness, for the blessings 
which he has procured for us. 

And this leads us to consider when it was that the New 
Testament-dispensation commenced, which is here said to be 
upon Christ's being exhibited. Christ's exhibition implies in 
it, either his public appearing when he was made flesh, and 
dwelt amongst us, or else it has a particular respect to the time 
when he first entered on his public ministry and went about 
doing good, confirming his mission by uncontested miracles : 
this he did immediately after his baptism, whereby he appear- 
ed to be the Person, whose coming the prophets had foretold, 
and whom John the Baptist had pointed at, and given the 
world ground to expect that he would immediately shew him- 
self, in a public manner to them which he did accordingly. 
This appearing of Christ, was like the sun's rising after a night 
of darkness, and therefore, in some respects, the gospel-dis- 
pensation might be said to begin then ; nevertheless, in pro- 
priety of speaking, it could not be said fully to commence till 
Christ's resurrection : then it was that the ceremonial law ceas- 
ed, all the types and ordinances thereof having had their ac- 
complishment in him. Thus the prophet Daniel speaks first 
of Christ's being cut off^ and thereby conjirming the covenant^ 
and then of the sacrijice and oblation's ceasing^ Dan. ix. 26, 
27. and, when that dispensation was at an end, the gospel 
dispensation immediately succeeded it* We are now to con^ 


!2. Hov;" these two dispensations differ. They v/ere, Indeed^ 
the same for substance, both before and since the coming of 
Christ, as was before observed, when we considered that the 
covenant of grace, notwithstanding the different dispensations 
thereof, is but one. And this farther appears, in that the bles- 
sings promised therein were the same, to wit, redemption 
through the blood of Christ, and compleat salvation by him^ 
He was the Mediator and Fountain of all that happiness which 
his people enjoyed, either before or after his incarnation; 
nevertheless, the way of administering this covenant, under 
the gospel dispensation, differs from its former way; 

(1.) In that it was, before this, predicted and signified, that 
Christ should come, and therefore the Old Testament-church 
waited for his appearing ; and accordingly they are represent-^ 
ed as saying. Until the day hreaky and the shadows Jlee axvay ; 
turn, my beloved^ and be thou like a roe^ or a young hart upon 
the mountains of Bether^ Cant. ii. 17. But the New Testa- 
ment-church adores and magnifies him, as having appeared 
to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself and fully accom- 
plish the work of our redemption thereby ; and, in the preach- 
ing of the gospel, he is represented as having abolished death^ 
and brought life and i??nnortality to Ught^ and done every thing 
for us that is necessary to bring about our redemption. And 
this is also signified by the sacraments of the New Testament^ 
Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, which, though they may be 
jastly called gospel-types, or external signs of Christ, and the 
blessings of the covenant of grace ; yet they differ from the 
types under the ceremonial law, not only in the matter of them, 
but in that they refer to the w^ork of redemption, as fully ac- 
complished by him, which the ceremonial law could not from 
the nature of the thing, be said to have done. 

(2.) The gospel-dispensation differs from the legal, and very 
much excels it, as grace and salvation is therein held forth in 
more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations. This is 
founded on what the apostle says, 2 Cor. iii. 7 — 11. when com- 
paring the tv/o dispensations together, he calls one the minis- 
iration of deaths or condemnation^ and describes it, as that which 
is now done away^ which while it continued, was glorious .i 
the other he calls, the ?ninistration of the Spirit, or of righte-^ 
(susness^ and speaks of it, as excelling in glory. Whether the 
former is styled, The ministration of death, because of the 
terrible manner in which the lav/ was given from mount Sinai, 
upon which occasion the people said to Moses Let not God 
speak with us, in such a way, any more, lest we die ; or whe» 
ther it respects the many curses and threatenings, denounced 
in that dispensation, to deter the people from sin, we will not 
determine : but it is certain, that the apostle speaks of the gos- 

VOT. TI. E e 


pel-dispensation, as excelling in glory, which is the principal 
thing we are now to consider, and this it might be said to do, 

1*^, As grace and salvation are therein held forth with great- 
er clearness, or evidence. This we may truly say without 
supposing the legal dispensation to be so dark, as that none of 
the church, in any age thereof, could see Christ, and the way 
of salvation by him, to be signified by any of its types or or- 
dinances. We may observe, that when the apostle speaks of 
this dispensation, he does not say absolutely that it had no 
glory, but that it had no glory in this respect hij reason of^ or 
compared with, the glory that excelleth. Now the gospel-dis- 
pensation excels the legal, as to its clearness, or fulness of evi- 
dence, in that the accomplishment of the predictions, or the 
making good of the promises of redemption and salvation by 
Christ, affords greater evidence of the truth and reality of these 
blessings, than the bare giving the promises could be said to 
do ; for though one gave them the expectation, the other put 
them into the actual possession thereof, when Christ the Sub- 
stance, was, as was before observed, exhibited, and the cere- 
monial law had its accomplishment in him. 

2^/z/, Under the gospel-dispensation, grace and salvation re- 
vealed therein, are attended with greater efficacy; for as the 
greatest part of the Old Testament-church were not so much 
disposed, as they ought, especially in some ages thereof, to 
enquire into, or endeavour to attain a clearer discerning of the 
spiritual meaning of the ceremonial institutions, through the 
blindness of their minds, and the hardness of their hearts, so 
the effect and consequence hereof, was answerable thereunto, 
inasmuch as there was but a small remnant of them, who ob- 
tained mercy to be faithful, who rejoiced to see Christ's day, 
and embraced the promises which they beheld afar off; where- 
as, in the gospel-dispensation, the word of the Lord had free 
course^ andxvas more eminently glorified in those places where 
it was made known : but this will farther appear, if we con- 

Zdly^ That it excelled in glory, in regard of the extent there- 
of; for it was under this dispensation that that promise was to 
have its accomplishment, that Christ should be a light to the 
Gentiles^ and God's salvation unto the end of the earthy Isa» 
jslix. 6. or that God would destroy the face of the covering cast 
over all people^ and the vail that was spread over all natio?is^ 
chap. Xxv, T» It was then that a commission was given to 
preach the Gospel to every creature, Mark xvi. 15. or that Christ 
should be preached unto the Gentiles and believed on in the 
worlds 1 Tim. iii. 16. In this respect, the gospel-dispensation 
certainly excelleth in glory, and it is owing hereunto that we 
eUjoy, at present, this invaluable privilege. But if this present 


dispensation be only reckoned the dawn and twilight, or the 
beginning of that glory that shall be revealed at Christ's se- 
cond coming, as grace is sometimes styled glory begun ; or if 
the apostle's description of it, when he says, that xue are come 
unto the heavenly Jerusalem^ and to an innumerable company of 
angels^ to the general assembly and church of the Jirst-born^ and 
to the spirits of just men made perfect^ Heb. xii. 22, 23. con- 
tains an intimation, that the glory, which still remains to be re^ 
vealed, is nothing else but the perfection of this present dis- 
pensation, that we may conclude that it far excelleth all others 
in glory. 

From what has been said, in comparing the former, and pre- 
sent dispensation of the covenant of grace, we may infer. 

[1.] The care of God extended to his church, in all the ages 
thereof; so that he never left them without the means of grace, 
which, how various soever they have been as to the matter of 
them, have yet tended to answer the same end, namely, lead- 
ing the church into the knowledge of Christ. 

[2.] We may farther infer the necessity of external and visi- 
ble worship, which the church was never wholly destitute of, 
for then it would have ceased to have been a church ; and also 
the necessity of divine revelation, as to what respects the way of 
salvation by Christ ; and therefore we must not conclude, that 
the church was, at any time, without some beams of gospel- 
light shining into it, or that they were left, as the Heathen are, 
to seek the Lord^ if haply they might feel after Aim, as the apos- 
tle speaks. Acts xvii. 27. or that, before the gospel-dispensa- 
tion commenced, salvation was to be obtained, by adhering to 
the light and dictates of nature, which discovers nothing of the 
way of salvation by Jesus Christ, or of that remission of sin, 
which is only to be obtained through him. 

[3.] Christ's having been revealed to, and consequently 
known by the Old Testament church, as the promised Mes- 
siah, may give some light to our understanding what we often 
read in the New Testament concerning persons believing in 
him, upon his working of miracles, or using some other me- 
thods to convince them that he was the Messiah, when, at the 
same time, we do not read of any particular discovery made to 
them relating to the glory of his Person, and offices, and the 
design of his coming into the world, which was necessary to 
their believing him, in a saving way, to be the Messiah. Thus 
when he converted the woman of Samaria, by revealing him- 
self to be that Prophet^ whom the church expected, when he 
told her some of the secret actions of her life, she immediately 
believed in him, John iv. 18, 19, 29. and many of her fellow- 
citizens believed on him, upon the report that she gave them 
hereof, ver. 39. and, when he opened the eyes of tl>e man that 


was born blind, he only asked hifh this question, Dost thou be-* 
lieve on the Son of God? and then discovers that he was the 
Person ; and it immediately follows, that he believed and zvor- 
shipped him, John ix. 35^ 37, "38. And there were many other 
instances of the like nature in the New Testament, in which 
persons believed in Christ, before he gave them a particular ac- 
count of his design in coming into the world, barely upon his 
working miracles, which gave them a conviction that he was 
the Messiah; whereas faith supposes not only a conviction 
that Christ is the Messiah, but a knowledge of his Person, 
and the offices he was to execute as such. This may very ea- 
sily be accounted for, by supposing that the Jews had been be- 
fore instructed in this matter, and therefore they wanted no 
new discoveries hereof; accordingly they believed in him, and. 
worshipped him, as being induced hereunto, by those intima- 
tions that were given to them, under the Old-Testament dis- 
pensation, ih-4t the Messiah, whenever he appeared, would be 
the Object of faith and worship, 

[4.] Since the gospel is more clearly preached under this 
present dispensation, than it was before; this tends to aggra^^ 
vate the sin of those Vvho despise Christ, as revealed therein, 
as our Saviour says. This is the condemnation that light is come 
into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, becaitse 
their deeds are evil, chap. iii. 19. Before our Saviour's incar- 
nation, the Old Testament-church might be said to reject the 
covenant of promise, or not regard the gospel contained there- 
in ; but, under the New Testament-dispensation, sinners reject 
the covenant of grace, as confirmed, ratified, and sealed, by the 
blood of Christ ; and, as the apostle says. Count the blood of 
the covenant xvherewith he rvas sanctified, anmiholy thing, and 
therefore are thought worthy of much sorer punishment, Heb. 
X. 29. 

Quest. XXXVI. Who is the Mediator of the Covenant of 
Grace f 

Answ. The only mediator of the covenant of grace is the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who being the eternal Son of God, of 
one substance and equal with the Father, in the fulness of 
time became man, and so was and continues to be God and 
Man, in two entire distinct natures, and one Person for ever. 

Quest. XXXVII. How did Christ, being God, become Man P 

Answ. Christ, the Son of God, became Man by taking to 
himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived 


by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin 
Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin, 

l^TEXT to the covenant of grace, and its various adminis- 
±yi trations, we have, in some following answers, an account 
of the Mediator thereof, who is set forth in the glor}' of his 
Person ; the offices that he executes, and the estate in which 
he either v/as, or is, together with those accessions of glory, 
with which he shall perform the last part of his work in the 
close of time. The first thing to be considered, is the consti- 
tution of his Person, as God-man, Mediator ; and here, 

I. He is set forth as the only Mediator of the covenant of 
grace. Hov/ we are to understand his being Mediator, has 
been already considered *, and it was observed, that he did 
not make peace, by intreating, that God would remit the debt, 
without giving that satisfaction, which was necessary to be 
made, for the securing the glory of the divine justice. Herein 
we militate against the Socinians, who suppose him to be sty- 
led a Mediator, only because he made known unto the world 
those new laws contained in the gospel, which we are obliged 
to obey, as a condition of God's being reconciled to us ; and 
giving us a pattern of obedience in his conversation ,* and, in the 
close thereof, confirming his doctrine by his death ; and then 
interceding with God, that, on these terms, he would accept of 
us, without any regard to the glory of his justice, which he is 
no farther concerned about, than by prevailing that it would de- 
sist from the demands which it might have made, and so pardon 
sin without satisfaction; But this is directlycontrary to the whole 
tenor of scripture, which represents him 2ls giving his life a ran- 
^som for manij^ Matt. xx. 28. upon which account it is said he 
made peace through the blood of his cross^ Col. i. 20. and that 
God brought him again from the dead through the blood of the 
everlasttJig covenant^ as the God of peace ^ Heb. xiii. 20. and, at 
the same time, appeared to be a God of infinite holiness and 
justice, and Christ a Mediator of satisfaction : But this will be 
farther considered, when we speak concerning his Priestly 
office f. 

That which we shall, at present, observe is, that he is styled 
the only Mediator : Thus it is said. There is 07ie Mediator be- 
tzveen God and men. The man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. ii. 5. Ih 
this we oppose the Papists, who greatly derogate from^the glo- 
ry of Christ by pretending that the angels, and glorified saints, 
are mediators of intercession, and that they not only offer up 
supplications to God in the behalf of men here on earth, but 
with them they present their owti merits, as though Christ's 
* Se« Fage 379. Vol. I. t Sec Quest, xliv. 


redemption and intercession had not been sufficient without 
them ; and accordingly a great part of their worship consists 
in desiring tiiat these good offices may be performed by them, 
on their behalf, which I cannot but conclude to be a breach 
:)f the firsts or, at least, let them put never so fair colours up- 
on it, of the second commandment ; which will be faither con- 
sidered in its proper place. 

The scrij;tures they bring, in defence of this practice, are 
nothing to their purpose. For whenever an angel is said to 
intercede for men, as it is expressed, The angel of the Lord an- 
swered and said^ Lord of hostSy how long- zuilt thou not have 
mercy on Jerusalemy and on the cities of judah ? Zech. i. 12. 
or to be the object of their prayers, or supplications, as Jacob 
says, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the ladsy 
Gen. xlviii. 16. no other person is intended hereby but Christ 
the angel of the covenant. Another scripture, which they bring 
to the same purpose, is that, in which Moses says, Remember 
Abraham, haac, and Israel, thy servants, Exod. xxxii. 13. 
which they miserably pervert ; for Moses does not desire that 
God would hear the prayers that these saints made to him in 
the behalf of his church ; but that he would remember the co- 
venant that he made with them, and so accomplish the promi- 
ses thereof, by bestovv'ing the blessings that his people then 
stood in need of. 

And there are two other scriptures that are often cited by 
the Papists, to this purpose, which, they think, can hardly be 
taken in any other sense ; one is in Rev. v. 8. where it is said, 
that the four beasts, and four and txventy elders fell down before 
the Ilamb, having every one of thein harps, and golden vials full 
of odours^ which are the prayers of saints ; and the other is in 
chap. viii. 3. And another 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 zvas before the thro7ie. It must be 
allowed, tliat there are many passages, in this book, which are 
hard to be understood ; but there are none contrary to the ana- 
logy of faith, or derogatory to the glory of Christ, as the sense 
they give of these scriptures is ; and therefore we must enquire, 
whether they may not be understood otherwise by us ? It is 
said, indeed, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders, had 
golden vtuds full of odours, -which are the prayers of saints ; but 
it is not fully determined whether, by these beasts and elders^ 
are intended the inhabitants of heaven, or men on earth. If it 
is only an emblematical representation of those prayers that are 
directed to God from the church in this world, it is nothing to 
their purpose. But we will suppose that, by these beasts and 
elders, here spoken of, Vi\\o fell doxvn before the Lamb, are meant 


the inhabitants of heaven : nevertheless, we are not to under- 
stand, that they are represented as praying for the samts here 
on earth ; for the golden vials full of odours^ are only an emblem 
Cf the prayers that are put up by the saints here on earth, which 
God accepts of, or smells a sweet savour in, as perfumed with 
odours of Christ's righteousness. This, may be illustrated by 
those political emblems, that are used in public solemnities ; 
such as the coronation of kings, in which the regalia are carried 
by the prime ministers of state, not to signify that they have 
any branch of kingly dignity belonging to them : but the whole 
ceremony is expressive of his honours and prerogatives, who 
is the principal subject thereof; so when the heavenly inhabi- 
tants are represented, in this vision, in such a way, as they are 
here described, it only signifies, that the prayers, which are put 
up by God's people here on earth, through the mediation of 
Christ, are graciously heard and answered by him. 

As tor the other scripture, in which it is said, Another angel 
stood at the altar ^ and there was given him. much incense^ that he 
should offer it^ xvith the prayers of all saints,, that is generally 
understood, by those who do not give into this absurd opinion 
of the Papists, as spoken of our Saviour, and then it makes 
nothing to their purpose, but rather militates against it. But if 
it be objected, to this sense of the text, that our Saviour can- 
not properly be called another angel^ and thereibre it must be 
meant of one of the created angels ; the sense but now ^\vcn 
of the foregoing scripture may be accommodated to it, and so . 
the meaning is, this angel, or one of the angels, stood at the 
altar before the Lamb,, and, in an emblematical way, is set forth, 
as having incense put into his hand, v/hich he presents to him ; 
not as offering it up for himself, but as signifying that it was for 
the sake of Christ's merits, that the prayers of his people, here^ 
on earth, ascended with acceptance in the sight of God. And 
it is as though he should say to Christ, '■' The incense is thme, 
" thou hast a right to the glory thereof,* and therefore let al! 
" know, that this is the only foundation of the church's hope, 
" that their wants shall be supplied by th^t." So that this does 
not give the least countenance to the Popish doctrine, of there 
being other mediators between God and man besides our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Some of the Papists, indeed, are sensible that this opinion 
tends to detract from the glory of our great Mediator, and 
therefore they chuse rather to assert, that the saints and angels 
are mediators between Christ and men, so that we are through 
their means, to have access to him, and by him, to the Father : 
but, since C hrist not only condescended to take our nature 
upon him, and therein to procure redemption for us ; but in- 
vited his people to come to him; and since it is said, through 


him we have an access unto the Father^ Eph. ii. 18. and no 
mention is made of any, by whom we have access to Christ ; 
and our access to God is founded only in his blood, we have 
nothing else to do, but, by faith, in what he has done and suf- 
fered to draw nigh to God, as to a Father, reconciled to this 
great and only Mediator. 

II. This Mediator is described, as to his Person, as God 
incarnate, or, as it is expressed, the eternal Son of God, of one 
substance, and equal with the Father, who became Man, and 
that, in the most proper sense, by assuming to himself a true 
body, and a reasonable soul, which are the two constituent parts 
of man. Here we are to consider, 

1. The Person assuming the human nature. He is styled the 
eternal Son of God, of one substance with the Father, and^ 
with respect to his personality, equal with him.=*^ This is the 
same mode of speaking that was used by the Nicene fathers^ 
in defence of our Saviour's divinity against the Arians, which 
we have largely insisted on, in our defence of the doctrine of 
the ever-blessed Trinity ^\ and having also explained what we 
mean by Christ's Sonship, as referring to his Person and cha- 
racter, as Mediator,:}: we shall add no more on that subject at 
present, but take it for granted, that our Saviour is, in the most 
proper sense, a divine Person, and shall consider him as as- 
suming the human nature ; accordingly we may observe, 

(1.) That it was the second Person in the Godhead who v/as 
incarnate, and not the Father, nor the Holy Ghost. This we 
affirm against the Sabellians, who deny the distinct Personality 
of the Father, Son, and Spirit ; and assert that the Father, or 
the Holy Ghost, might as truly be said to have been incarnate, 
as the Son, since their Personality, according to them, is not 
so distinct, as that what is done by one divine Person, might 
not be said to have been done by another.^ 

(2.) It follows, from hence, that the divine nature, which 
belongs in common to the Father, Son, and Spirit, cannot be 
properly said to have been incarnate. It is true, we read, that 
God was manifest in the fleshy 1 Tim. iii. 16. and elsewhere, 
that in hi?n, namely, in the human nature, divelleth all the ful- 
ness of the Godhead^ Col. ii. 9. from whence some take occa- 
sion to conclude, that the human nature was united to the God^ 
head, or that the Godhead of Christ was said to be incarnate : 
but if this be asserted, it must be with caution and a distinc- 
tion. I cannot therefore suppose, that the Godhead absolutely 
considered, but as including in it the idea of its subsisting in 
the Person of the Son, was incarnate ; which is very well ex- 

* See Vol. I. Page 243. 

\ See Quest. \x, x, xi. g 

t Vide, the note. Vol. f. Page 279. 

% Fer this reason, the SabeUiam are often called, b^ ansknt Turiters, Patripa^vian^. 


pressed, when we say that the human nature was united to the 
second Person in the Godhead, rather than to the Godhead 

(3.) Christ being farther considered, as the eternal Son of 
God ; it follows from hence, that he existed before his incar- 
nation, which has been largely insisted on, under a foregoing 
answer, in defence of Christ's proper deity. In this we oppose 
not only the Socinians, who deny that he existed before he was 
conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin; but also the 
Arians, especially those of them who take occasion to explain, 
widiout disguise, or ambiguity of words, what they mean when 
they speak of him, as being before time, which comes infmicely 
short of what is intended by his being styled God's ettrnal 
Son, and so existing with him before time. Thus we have an 
account of the Person assummg the human nature. 

2. We are now to consider the nature assumed, or united to 
the divine Person, which was an human nature, consisting of 
a true bodv, and a reasonable soul ; so that as Christ is, in one 
nature, God equal with the Father, in the other he is Man, 
made, in ail the essential properties of the human nature, like 
unto us. Here we may consider, 

(1.) That, since this is a matter of pure revelation, we have 
sufficient ground, from scripture, to assert, that our Saviour is 
both God and Man, Many of the scriptures, that have been 
before referred to, to prove his deity, expressly attribute to him 
an human, as well as a divine nature, and speak ot the same 
Person as both God and Man; as when God styles him, The 
Man that is my Fclloxv^ Zech. xiii. 7. or, when he, who is Je- 
hovahy our righteousness^ is also described as a branch raised 
unto Davidy jer. xxiii. 5, 6. that is, of the seed of David ; or, 
as the apostle says, he, who is over all^ God blessed for ever^ 
7vas of the fathers concerning the fleshy or his human nature, 
Rom. ix. 15. Moreover, when we read of the same Person, 
as styled, The mighty God^ and yet a Child born unto us^ a Son 
givejij Isa. ix. 6. or of the same Person's being called Em- 
manuel, Godzvith uSy and yet bor?i of a Virgin^ Isa, vii, 14. com- 
pared with Matt. i. 23. or, when we read of the Word'^s being 
made fleshy and dwelling among us : and elsewhere, being called 
the Son of God^ Jesus Christ our Lord^ and yet made of the seed 
of David ^ according to the fleshy Rom. i. 3. or, God raanifest in 
the fiesh^ 1 Tim. iii. 16. These, and many other scriptures, as 
plainly prove him to be man, as they do that he is God.* 
And, indeed, the arguments to prove his humanity, taken from 

* Seethe same scriptures^ and others to the like purpose, before cited, for theproof 
of Christ's proper deity, under Quest, ix." x. xi. Vol. I. Pag-e 302, to 319. and 
also what has been said concerning his Sonship, as implying him to be God-man Jiie- 
diator. Vol. I. Page 274. 279, &c. 

Vol. II. F f 


thence, are not so much contested, as those that respect his 
|)roper deity; and therefore, if these scriptures prove him to be 
God, they contain as strong and conclusive arguments to prove 
liim to be Man, so that the- bare mention of them is sufncient, 
especially when we consider, as it cannot be denied, that all 
these scriptures speak of the same Person ; therefore, 

(2.) When Christ is said to be both God and Man, it does 
not imply that there are two Persons in the Mediator ; and ac- 
cordingly it is said, in the ansv/er we are explaining, that though 
these natures are distinct, yet the Person who has them, is but 
one. This is to be maintained against those who entertain fa° 
vourable thoughts of that ancient heresy, first broached by Nes- 
torius,* whose method of reasoning cannot be reconciled with 
the sense of those scriptures, which plainly speak of the same 
Person, as both God and Man, and attribute the same actions 
to him in different respects, v.hich is inconsistent with assert- 
ing, that the Mediator is both a 'divine and a human Person ; 
and it cannot be denied but that it is a contradiction in terms, 
to say, that two Persons can be so united, as to become one. 
However, it must be acknowledged, that this is one of the in- 
comprehensible mysteries of our religion; and when divines 
have attempted to explain some things relating to it, they have 
only given farther conviction, that there are some doctrines con- 
tained in scripture, which we are bound to believe, but are at 
a loss to determine hov/ they are what they are asserted to be. 

If it be objected, that we cannot conceive of an human na- 
ture, such an one as our Saviour's is that has not its own Per- 
sonality, since there is no parallel instance hereof, in any other 
3nen, which I take to be the principal thing that gave occasion 
to the asserting, that he had a human Person, as w^ell as a di- 
vine ; 

The answer that I would give to this objection, is, that 
t"hough, it is true, every man has a distinct subsistence of his 
own, without being united to any other person, yet we have no 
ground to conclude, that the human nature of Christ, even in. 
3ts first formation, had any subsistence separate from the di- 
vine nature. Had it been first formed, and then united to the 
idivine nature, it would have had a proper subsistence of its 
own ; but, since it was not, its Personality, considered as uni- 
ted to the second Person in the Godhead, is contained therein^ 
though its properties are infinitely distinct from it. 

o. These two natures are distinct; united but not confound- 
ed. This iii asserted, in opposition to an old exploded* heresy, 

"^ JVestoriua was Bishop of Constantinople, in the reign of Theodomis, thet/onnger, 
,?. D. 428. -iv'io very toarmiii maintaived., that the Virgin J\fary tuns not the mother 
of that Person that xvus G'od, but of a distinct human Person, callexl Christ, -which 
-.iffa ctn^iived and condemned by the council at EphesitSf A. D. 431. 


•which was maintained by some, who, to avoid the error of Nes- 
torius, and his followers, went into the other extreme,* and 
asserted, that the divine and human nature of Christ were con- 
founded, or blended together, after the similitude of things that 
are mixed together in a natural or artificial way, whereby the 
composiiion is of a different nature from the parts of which it 
is compour:ded, by which means they debase his Godhead, and 
advance his manhood; or rather, instead of supposing him to 
be both God and man, they do, in effect, say, he is neither God 
nor man. The main foundation, as I apprehend, of this absurd 
and blasphemous notion, was, that they could not conceive how 
he could have a divine and human understanding and will, 
without asserting, with Nestorius, that there were two persons 
in the Mediator, whereby they split against one rock, while 
endeavouring to avoid another. And to fence against both ex- 
tremes, the fathers, in the council of Chalcedon, explained the 
doctrine in words to this purpose : That the two natures of 
Christ were indivisibly and inseparably united, without sup- 
posing that one was changed into the other, or confounded 
with it. 

Therefore we must consider, that though these two natures 
are united, yet each of them retains its resj)ective properties, 
as much as the soul and body of man do, though united to- 
gether, which is the best similitude by which this can be illus- 
trated, though I do not suppose that, in all respects, it answers 
it. Thus, in one nature, Christ had aii the fulness of the God- 
head, and in nothing common with us ; nothing finite, derived, 
or dependent, or any other vray defective. In his other nature^ 
he was made in all things like unto us, sin only excepted : in- 
this nature, he was born in time, and did not exist from all 
eternity, and increased in knowledge, and other endowments, 
proper thereunto. In one nature, he had a comprehensive know- 
ledge of all things ; in the other, he knew nothing but by com- 
munication, or derivation, and with those other limitations that 
fmite wisdom is subject to. In one nature he had an infinite 
sovereign will; in the other, he had such a will as the creature 
has, which though it was not opposite to his divine will, yet its 
conformity thereunto was of the same kind with that which is in 
perfect creatures ; so that though we do not say that his human 
will was the same with his divine, as to the essential proper^ 
ties thereof; yet it may be said to be the same, in a moral 
sense, as conformed thereunto, in like manner, as the will o£ 
man is said to be subjected to the will of God. 

* These are called Euii/chiang, from Entyche,?, a?} abbot of Constandrnple, Vfho, 
-jifien he had gained a great deal of itpiUatiou^ in dispviinq- against J\''estoriuSf in 
the cbimcil at Ephesus, a feiv years after, viz. A. J). 443. propagated his opiniov^ 
rvhichioai- corukmnedy as hereiic(d, in ths CQUncU at C.h^kedw^ 4. i>. 4*1. 


Had this been duly considered, persons would not have beer* 
so ready to give into an error so dangerous and blasphemous^ 
as that which we are opposing. And we have s,ufficient ground, 
from scripture, to distinguish between his divine and human 
understanding and will, inasmuch as it is said, in one place, 
speaking of his divine understanding, Lord^ thou knowest all 
things^ John xxi. 1 7. and of his human, Of that day and hour 
knoiveth no man; no^ not the Son^ Mark xiii. 32, and so of his 
will, it is sometimes represented as truly divine, in the same 
sense as the Father's, as when it is said, -4^ the Father raiseth 
up the dead^ and qmckeneth them^ even so the Son qmckencth 
xvhom he xvUl., John v. 21. and elsewhere, Ij xoe ask any thing 
according to his zvill he heareth us^ 1 John v. 14. and, Iii7}t 
thai Cometh to me^ I will in no wise cast out^ John vi. ^7» And, 
in other places, he is represented as having an human will, es- 
sentially distinct from the v.'^ill of God ; as when he says, Not 
my willy but thincy be done^ Luke xxii. 42. 

4, Tiie nature that was assumed by the Son of (jod, is far- 
ther icrbcribed, as truly and properly human. It was not an an- 
gelic nature ; as the apostie says. He took not on hi??i the nature 
of angels^ inasmuch as he did not design to redeem the angels 
that fell, but he took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham^ 
Heb. ii. 16. And, this nature is farther described, as consist- 
ing of a true body, and a reasonable soul. 

(1.) Christ is described as having a true body. This is main- 
tained against those who, in an early age of the church,* de- 
nied that he had a real human nature. These, it is true, do not 
deny his deity; but they suppose, that it was impossible for 
God to be united to humai: flesh, and therefore that he appear- 
ed only in the likeness thereof; as some hea.then writers repre- 
sent their gods, as appearing in human forms, that they might 
converse with men. Thus they suppose, that the Godhead of 
Christ appeared in an human form, without a real human na- 
ture, in which sense they understand that scripture, He took 
upon him the form of a servant^ and xvas made in the likeness 
of men ^ Phil. ii. 7. as though, in that place, the similitude of a 
man were opposed to real humanity ; or, at least, they suppose, 
that he had no other human nature when he dwelt on earth, 
than what he had, when he appeared to the church, under the 
Old Testament-dispensation, vrz, to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, 
and several others, in which ihey conclude, that there was only 
the likeness of a human body, or an aerial one, which, accord- 
ing to some common modes of speaking, is called a spirit. To 
give countenance to this, they bring some other scriptures, as 
when it is said, after his resurrection, xkv^X he appeared in ano- 

* Tins absurd opinion, subversive of Christianity, -was propagated by sereral a~ 
Tyion^ the .Onoaticksj in the second Qenturijj-ivho, for this reasoTif ivers called Docsta:'. 


iherform to two disciples^ as they xvalked into the country^ Mark 
xvi. 12. so when he appeared to Mary, it was in such a form, 
as that she knexv not that it was Jesus ^ but supposed him to he 
the gardener^ ]o\\\i xx. 14, 15. and especiaiiy when it is said, 
in another scripture, Luke xxiv. 21. when his two disciples at 
Emmaus knew him, he vanished out of their sight ;* which they 
understand of his vanishing, in the same sense, as, according to 
the popular way of speaking, a spectrum is said to do. 

But this opinion is so absurd, as well as contrary to scrip- 
ture, that it only shews how far the wild and extravagant fancies 
of men may run, who are so hardy, as to set aside plain scrip- 
tures, and take up with some few passages thereof, without 
considering their scope and design, or their harmony with other 
scriptures. And, indeed, there is scarce any thing said con- 
cerning him in the New Testament, but what confutes it; 
where we have an account of him, as being born, passing 
through all the ages of life, conversing familiarly with his peo- 
ple, eating and drinking with them, and, at last, dying on the 
cross, which put this matter out of all manner of dispute ; as 
also when he distinguishes himself from a spirit, when the dis- 
ciples were terrified upon his standing unexpectedly in the 
midst of them, supposing that he had been a spirit, he satisfies 
them that they were mistaken, by saying. Behold my hands and 
my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see ; for a spirit 
hath not flesh and hones, as ye see me have, Luke xxiv. 29. 

As for those scriptures in the Old Testament, which speak 
of his appearing in a human form, assumed for that purpose ; 
whether there was, in every one of those instances, a real hu- 
man body that appeared, though, in some of them, it is be- 
yond dispute that there was, I will not pretend to determine ; 
yet it must be considered, that this is never styled his incar- 
nation, or becoming man, but it was only an emblem, or pre- 
libation thereof; and when it is said, in the scripture before 
mentioned, that he v/as made in the likeness of men, it does not 
from hence follow, that he was not, after his incarnation, a 
real man, for the likeness of man is oftentimes so understood 
in scripture ; as when it is said, on occasion of the birth of 
Seth, that Adam hegat a son in his own likeness. Gen. v. 3. 
And as to that other scripture, in which Christ is said to ap- 
pear in different forms, it is not to be supposed that there was 
a change in his human nature, but only a change in his coun- 
tenance, or external mein ; or he appeared with other kind of 
garments, which rendered him not immediately known by them. 
And when, in the other scripture, it is said, he vanished out 
of their sight, nothing is intended thereby, but an instantane- 
ous withdrawing of himself from them, which, it may be 
miglit contain something miraculous. 


(2.) Christ is farther described, as having taken to himself 
a reasonable soul, to which his body was united. This is main- 
tained against the Arians, who deny that he had an human soul, 
concluding that the divine nature, such an one as they will allow 
him to have, was, as it were, a soul to his body ; which is found- 
ed partly on their misunderstanding the sense of those scrip- 
tures, in which it is said, The Word was made jlesh^ John i. 14, 
and God was manifest in the Jlesh^ 1 Tim. iii. 16. and. Foras- 
much as the children are partakers of Jiesh and bloody he also 
himself likewise took part of thesame^ Heb. ii. 14. and, Ofwhom^ 
as concerning the fleshy Christ came^ &c. Rom. ix. 5. But the 
principal argument, by which this opinion is supported, is, be- 
cause they suppose, that, if he had an human soul, distinct from 
his divine nature, he must have had two understandings and 
wills, to wit, a divine and an human, and then it would h^ve 
been possible for him to have had contrary ideas in his mind, 
and determinations in his will, as man, to v/hat he had as God, 
which would infer a sort of confusion of thought, and irregu- 
larity of actions : but to this it may be answered, 

1^^, As to the former, relating to his assuming flesh, it is a 
very common thing, in scripture, by a synecdoche^ of the part 
for the whole, iox flesh to signify the whole man, consisting of 
soul and body, of which we have many instances in scripture ;• 
as when it is said. All flesh had corrupted his rvai/^ Gen. vi. 12. 
that is, all men had corrupted their way ; and the prophet speak- 
ing concerning the vanity of man, as mortal, says, Allfiesh is 
g-rass^ Isa. xl. 6. 

2dlif^ As to the other branch of their argument ; we allow 
thai Christ, as Man, had a distinct understanding and will, from 
what he had as God, and that his human understanding was 
not equally perfect with his divine, neither had his human will 
the sovereignty and glory of his divine will. And, if it should 
be also allowed, that if his human understanding and will had 
not always been under the influence and direction of his divine, 
he might have had contrary ideas, and determinations, as man, 
to what he had as God ; yet we cannot allow that the divine 
nature would so far suspend its direction and influence, as that 
his human understanding should have contradictory ideas to 
his divine, so that this inconvenience should ensue, which 
would occasion a confusion and disorder in his actions, or me- 
thods of human conduct. It was no disparagement to him, nor 
hindrance to his work, to suppose that his human soul was sub- 
ject to some natural imperfections, which vrere inconsistent with 
the infinite perfection of his deity ; however, it is suflicient to 
assert, that, as Man, he knew every thing, which he was oblig- 
ed to perform, in a way of obedience, and consented to, and 
delighted in every thing that was agreeable to his divine will, 
which would render his obedis-tic^ complesit ; though we sup- 


pose, that the nature, m which he performed it, was less per- 
fect than that to wnich it was united ; therefore this method of 
reasoning is not conclusive, and we must suppose, that he had 
a human soul, distinct from his divine nature. This is evident, 
because he could not perform obedience in the divine nature, 
his human soul being the only subject thereof, and it is proper 
to the cieity to be dispassionate ; therefore those sinless passions 
which he was subject to, were seated in his soul, as united to 
the body ; and that he had such passions, is very plain from 
scripture ; for he says, 3Iy soul is exceeding" sorrowfuly even 
7mto deaths Matt. xxvi. ^S» And there are various other pas- 
sions besides sorrow, which he was subject to, which, though 
free from sin, were altogether inconsistent with the infinite per- 
fection of the divine nature. 

9. This human nature is said to have been conceived by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, 
and born of her, yet without sin. Here we may observe, 

(2.) That there was something in the formation of Christ's 
3mm an nature, in which he resembled the rest of mankind, in 
that he was not produced, and brought into a state of manhood 
in an instant, or created out of the dust of the ground, as 
Adam was, but was born, or as the apostle expresses it, made of 
a woman ^ Gal. iv. 4. to denote his being formed out of her sub- 
stance ; and accordingly he began his state of humiliation in 
infancy, that he might, in all respects, be made like unto those 
v;hom he came to redeem. Herein the promise made to our 
first parents, relating to his being the seed of the woman^ Gen. 
iii. 15. was not only fulfilled; but another express prediction, 
by the prophet Isaiah, who says. Unto us a Child is born^ Isa, 
ix. 6. 

(2.) There was something peculiar and extraordinary in his 
formation, as he was an extraordinary Person, and to be en- 
gaged in a work peculiar to himself; so he is said to have been 
born of a Virgin, not because, as some suppose, that that is a 
state of greater sanctity, than any other condition of life, but, 
as was before observed *, that he might be exempted from the 
guilt of Adam's first sin, which he would have been liable to, 
though sanctified from the womb, had his human nature been 
fotmed in an ordinary v/ay. It was certainly necessary that his 
human nature, which was, in its first formation, united to his 
divine Person, should be perfectly sinless ; since it would have 
been a reproach cast on the Son of God, to have it said con- 
cerning him, that he was, in the nature which he assumed, es- 
tranged to, and separate from God, as all mankind are, who 
lire born in an ordinary way. And this was also necessary for 
his accomplishing the work o£ our redemption, since as the a- 
postle ssys. Suck an High Priest became rw, V'ho is hohj^ harm,- 


kss^ 2nidefiled^ and separate from sinners^ Heb. vli. 26. And, 
in order to his being born ot a Virgin, there was an extraordi- 
nary instance of the power of Goa ; and therefore it is said. 
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee^ and the power of the High- 
est shall overshadow thee^ Luke i. t^5. 

His oeing born of a Virgni, was an accomplishinenl ot that 
prediction which we read of in Isa. vii. 14. The Lord himself 
shall give you a sign ; Behold^ a Virgin shall conceive^ and bear 
a Son^ and shall call his name ImmanueL This text being so 
convincnig a proof of Christianity, and, as such, referred to in 
the New Testament, Matt. i. 22, 23. the Jews, and many of 
the modern Deists, have endeavoured to weaken the force there- 
of, wiiich renders it necessary for us to illustrate and expiain 
it, agreeably to the scope and design of the prophecy, contain- 
ed in the context ; which we shall endeavour to do, in the fol- 
lowing Paraphrase. Says God to the prophet, " Go to Ahaz, 
*^ and bid him not be faint-hearted, by reason of the threatened 
*' invasion by the confederate kings of Israel and Syria ; but let 
/' him ask a sign for the confirmation of his faith, that I may 
" hereby assure him, that they shall not be able to do him any 
*'■ hurt : but I know, before-hand, his unbelief, and the sulien- 
^ ness of his temper, that he will refuse to ask a sign ; there- 
" fore, when thou goest to meet him, take thy young son Shear- 
^'^ jashub in thine hand, or in thine arms, from whom thou may- 
" est take occasion to deliver part of the message which I send 
*' thee with to him ; tell him, that though he refuse to ask a sign, 
" nevertheless *, the Lord shall give thee a sign^ to his people, 
" whom thou shait command to hear this message, as well as 
^' Ahaz, they being equally concerned herein : therefore let them 
" know, that, though their obstinate and wicked king calls a com- 
" pliance with my command a tempting me, and therefore will 
" not ask a sign, I will not give him any other sign, than what 
" the* whole house of Israel shall behold, in future ages, which, 
'* though it cannot be properly called a prognostic sign, yet it 
" will be, when it comes to pass, a rememorative sign f, and that 
*' shall be a glorious one ; for, Behold a Virgin \ shall conceive^ 

* So the JJehrcit toord ought to be rendered, rather than tlierefore ; for so it is un- 
derstood in other scripture.^; particulurly in Jer. xxx. 16. 

f This is a p/.st distinction relating to signs mentioned in scripture; in n-hich^ 
soinetim-'s a sign did not take place till the thing signijied, or brought to reiHe7n- 
brance thereby, had been accomplished. See Exod. iii. 12. 1 Sam. ii. 34. Isa. xxxvii. 
oO. Jer. xliv. 29, 30. as Bishop Judder well observes. See Demonstrat. of the Mcs- 
iias, Part II. page 105, in Fol. 

i The Jlehreio word n07>^ is trrdif rendered i\ Virgin, as it ?> translated by the 
JjXX. \yi 7r:i.fibv/o{] -who well vnderstand the sense '^ifit, in this and other places, -zvliere 
■we meet with it ; as also doth the Chaldee Paraphrast thus understand it, and the 
Suriac, Arabic, and vulgar Ijatin versions : and this sense agrees 'with the gram- 
matical cotistmction of the word, which is derived from OSP abscondit, and it ol- 
hides to the custom used among the Jews of keeping their virgins concealed till thi-tf 


^*" and bear a Son, and thou shah call his name Immanueh When 
*' this wonderful thing happens, a thing new and unheard of, 
** which shall be created in the earthy that a woman should com- 
** pass a man^ as it is said elsewhere, Jer. xxxi. 22. then the 
<^* house of David shall understand the reason why I have not 
** suffered these two kings to destroy Judah, so that it should 
*' be broken^ that it be not a people^ as Ephraim shall^ within 
** threescore and Jive years ^ [ver. 8.] for then the Messiah could 
*' not come of the house of David ; and what he shall do for 
*' them, when he comes, is the ground and reason of all the tem- 
** poral deliverances that I work for them, and particularly of 
*' this from the intended invasion of these two confederate kings« 
'* Tell them, moreover, that as this shall be a re77iemorative sign^ 
** so I will give them to understand, at present, that they shall 
'' be delivered in a little time ; for before this Child, which thou 
*' hast here brought with thee, shall know to refuse the evil, and 
** chuse the good, or shall know the difference between moral 
** good and evil, that is, in two or three years time. The land 
*' that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings ; or 
•■' those two kings, which thou dreadest, shall be driven, by the 
" king of Assyria, out of their own land. And inasmuch as my 
*' people may be afraid, that, before these two years are expir- 
'' ed, they shall be brought into such straights, through famine, 
*' or scarcity of provisions, which generally attend sieges, that 
'"* they shall want the necessaries of life ; let them know that 
*' this child, meaning Shear-jashub, shall not want butter and 
** honey, that is, the best and most proper food for it, that he 
" may know, or rather, until ^ he know to refuse the evil, and 
" chuse the god, that is, till these two kings, Re?:in and Pekah^ 
." be utterly destroyed." 

Thus having considered our Saviour's being born of a Vir-? 
gin, there is one thing more that is to be obs«rved under this 
head, namely, that he was of her substance, which is particular- 
ly mentioned in this answer, with a design to fence against an 

fjere mar rial; therefore as a learned writer ivell obsei^ce^, HD^^ Notat statiim so- 
litarium domi delitescentium ideoq ; c3elebuTn & virginum ; and in those i-wo pla- 
ces, in ivhich it is objected by the Jews, that the word does not signify a virg-in, but a 
young woman, namely, Prov. xxx. 19. a7id Cant. vi. 8. In the former, as one ob- 
serves, Pi'omptissimum est intelligere vinciila amoris quibus virgo mcipit ad- 
stringi futuro sponso suo ; a7id therefore it may be understood of a virgin, i?i tft^ 
literal sense of the word. Vid. Cocc. Le.ric. in V'>c. Tlie LXX. indeed, re?ider it^ 
n-vJ'fCi tv vKmlt, and the vulgar Lati?i version, Viri in adolescentia ; but the Chaldee 
JParaphrast renders it, Viri in virgine. Jtnd as for the later scripture, in which it is 
said, there are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins withouit^ 
number, it is plain, the word virgins is not opposed to young women, for such were 
many of them that are called queens and concubines, but to persons defoured ; there- 
fore we may conclude, that the word ahvays sig7iif.es a virgin, and therefurc ?> ri^hu 
'fj iranflated in the text, under o%ir present consideratio7i. 
* So the word is properly remiered ki) the Chaldee Pfirt^hra^h 

VojL. H. G 



ancient heresy, maintained by the Gnostics in the second cen- 
tury, and hath been defended by others, in later ages, who sup- 
posed, that our Saviour did not derive his human nature from 
the Virgin Mary, but that it was formed in heaven, and sent 
down from thence ; and tiiat the Virgin's womb is only to be 
considered as the first seat of its residence in this lower world, 
which they found on those scriptures which speak of his com- 
ing' doxv7ifrom heaven., John iii. 13, 14. which they understand 
concerning his human nature ; whereas, nothing is intended 
thereby but the manifestative presence of his divine nature, in 
which respect God is, in other scriptures, said to come dotvn 
into this lower world. Gen. xi. 5, 7. And another scripture, 
which they bring to the same purpose, is that, in which, they 
suppose, he denies his relation to his mother, when he says. 
Who is mij mother f andxvho are imj brethren ? Whosoever shall 
do the xvill of my Father., which is in heaven., the same is mij bro- 
ther^ and sister., and mother., Mat. xi. 48. 50. in which he does 
not deny his natural relation to them, but designs to shew, that 
his regard to persons in the exercise of his public ministry, was 
principally founded on their doing the will of his Father. And 
whereas they farther suppose, that if his human nature had, in 
any respect, been derived from the substance of the Virgin, ei- 
ther she must be concluded immaculate, as the Papists do, or 
else he must have been born a sinner ; this hath been already 
proved to be no just consequence, inasmuch as the formation of 
his human nature, though it were of the substance of the Vir- 
gin, was in an extraordinary and miraculous way, whereby he 
was exempted from the guilt of original sin. 

Th^re is another opinion maintained by some of the school- 
men, which, though it be not generally received, seems, to me, 
not altogether improbable, namely, that Christ's human body, 
though formed in the womb of the virgin, and a part of her sub- 
stance, yet, as to the manner of its formation, it differed from 
that of all other human bodies, inasmuch as the matter, of 
which they consist, receives its form in a gradual way, and they 
cannot properly speaking be styled human bodies, till organized 
and fitted to have their souls united to thfem ; w^hereas these 
suppose that the body of Christ, in its first formation, was ren- 
- dered fit to receive the soul, which was, in an instant united to 
it ; and both soul and body, at the same time, w ithout having 
any separate subsistence, were united to the divine nature. This 
account of the formation of Christ's human body, though I 
think it most adapted to the union of his soul and body with 
the divine nature, in the very instant of its formation, and there- 
fore cannot but conclude it a more probable conjecture than what 
is generally received, yet I do not lay it down as a necessary 
article of faith ; nor would I, from hence, be supposed to deny 


that the body of Christ grew in the womb like other human, 
bodies, after the soul is united to them ,* nor would I set aside 
the account the scripture gives of the virgin's accompVishmg the 
full number of days^ in which she should he delivered^ Luke \u , 
6. Gal. iv. 4. Thus we have considered our Saviour, as having 
a true bod}^ and a reasonable soul, and both united to the di- 
vine nature, whereby he is denominated God incarnate, in this 

6. Our Mediator is farther said to have been incarnate, in the 
fuln|^ of time ; and it is added, he shall continue to be both 
GocTand man for ever. 

(1.) Let us consider what is meant by Christ's becoming 
man in the fulness of time. The human nature could not be 
united to the divine from all eternity; since it is inconsistent 
with its being a created nature, that it should exist from eter- 
nity ; notwithstanding he might, had it been so determined, have 
assumed this nature in the beginning of time, or immediately 
after the fall of man, who then stood in need of a Mediator ; 
but God, in his sovereign and wise providence, ordered it other- 
wise, na.mely, that there should be a considerable distance of 
time between the fall of man and Christ's incarnation, in order 
to his recovery, which is called, in scripture, the fulness of time^ 
Gal. iv. 4. that is, the time foretold by the prophets, and parti- 
cularly Daniel, Dan. ix. 24, 25. whose prediction had an ad- 
ditional circumstance of time annexed to it, which gave occa- 
sion to the Jews to expect his coming at the same time that he 
was incarnate. 

That there was an universal expectation of the Messiah at 
this time, appears from the disposition of many among them to 
adhere to any one, especially if he pretended himself to be a 
prophet, or that he would make some change in their civil af- 
fairs ; and the Jewish historian * tells us of many tumults and 
seditions that were in that age. Some of their ring-leaders he 
styles magicians ; and persons pretending to be prophets, though, 
indeed, he does not expressly say that they assume the charac- 
ter of Messiah, yet he observes, that the time in which this was 
done, gave occasion hereunto f ; by whicli he means that it be- 
ing at that time that the Jews expected that the Messiah, their 
king, should come, they thought it a fit opportunity to make 
these efforts, to shake off the Roman yoke ; and they were so 
far from concealing the expectation they had thereof, that it 
was well known by the heathen, who were not without jealou- 
sies concerning them, with respect to this matter ; so that some 
celebrated writers among them observe, that it was generally 

* See Joseph. Antiq. Lib. XVIll cap. 1. & Lib. XX. cap. % &? d4 JSdL Jufl 
Lib. IL cap. 6. 


received throughout the east, according to some ancient pi^- 
dictions, that, at that time, the Jews should obtain the empire ; *■ 
and there are several expressions, in scripture, which intimate 
as much : thus Gamaliel speaks of one Theudas, who boasted 
himself to be somebody^ by which, it is probable, he means the 
Messiah, to xvhom a number of men^ about four hundred^ joined 
themselves^ and xvere slain^ Acts v. 36, 37. which some think 
to be the same person that Josephus mentions, the name being- 
the same ; though others are rather inclined to think that it was 
another pretender to this character, from some critical remarks 
they make on the circumstance of time referred to by Gamaliel, 
being different from that which is mentioned by Josephus. f 
However, this does not affect our argument ; for it is plain, from 
hence, that, about that time, the Jews were disposed to join 
themselves to any one who endeavoured to persuade them that 
he was the Messiah. 

And this failher appears, from what our Saviour says. All 
that ever came before me, are thieves and robbers, John x. 8. by 
which, doubtless, he means, several that pretended to be the 
Messiah, in that age, before he came ; and it is said elsewhere, 
Luke xix. 11. a little before our Saviour^s crucifixion, that they^ 
that is, the Jews, generally thought that the kingdom of God, and 
consequently the Messiah, whom they expected, should 2W?we- 
diately appear ; and he also foretels, that between this ^nd the 
destruction of Jerusalem, that is, before that age was at an end, 
many false Christs, should arise, ?in6. warns his followers not to 
adhere to them. Mat. xxiv. 24—26. 

Moreover, had not the Jews expected that the Messiah would 
appear at that time, they would never have sent in so formal a 
manner, as they are said to have done, to enquire, Whether Johji 
the Baptist, when he exercised his public ministry amongst them^, 
Tvas he? John i. 19 — ^21. And, when he had convinced them 
that he was notj the Messiah, but that our Saviour would soon 
appear publicly amongst them, who had the only right to this 
character, he found it no difficult matter to persuade them to 
believe it ; and accordingly Jerusalem and all Judea, that is, the 
people almost universally attended on his ministry, and were 
baptized, making a profession of this faith, and of their expec- 
tation of, and willingness to adhere to him ; and it was the re- 
port, that the wise men, who came from the east, had received 
from the Jews, who were conversant with them, that this was 
the time that the Messiah should appear, that brought them to 

* Vid' Sueton in Vespas. Percrebuerat oricnte tolo,ventus& constans opimo,€$se 
ih/atis ; ut eo tempore Judea, profecti, rervm potirentur ,• £<f Tacit. Hisior. Lib. V. 
Pluribus pertna.sio inerat, antiqxiia saccrdotnm Uteris continei% CO ipso ttmp9Te fgi^^ 
vt 'Tuileaceret, Oriens, profectiq ; Judea renim potprenti/r. 

j See Lifhtfoofs xvorfc.i, Vol. J. Fa^.. 765, 766. 


Jerusalem, from their respective countries, otherwise that pre- 
ternatural meteor, or star, which they saw, could not have given 
them a sufficient intimation concerning this matter, so as to in- 
duce them to come and pay their homage to him ; and when 
they came, and enquired of Herod, Where is he that is bom 
king of the Jexvsf how surprizing soever it might be to that 
proud tyrant, to think that there was one born, who, as he sup- 
posed, would stand in competition with him for the crown, yet 
it was no unexpected thing to the Sanhedrim, whose opinion in 
this matter he demanded, in an hypocritical manner ; therefore 
they say, he was to be born in Bethlehem^ according to the pre- 
diction of the prophet Micah ; whereas, if they had not known, 
that this was the time in which he was to be born, they would 
have replied, that it was an unseasonable question, and a vain 
thing, to ask where a person was to be born, whose birth was 
not expected in that age ; and they might easily have satisfied 
Herod, and removed the foundation of his jealousy and trou- 
ble, and thereby have prevented that inhuman barbarity com- 
mitted on the infants of Bethlehem, if they had told him that 
the time spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in which the Mes- 
siah was to be born, was not yet come : but they knew other- 
wise ; and in this respect, Christ might be said to be born in 
the fulness ofti?}ie. That which we shall farther observe, con- 
cerning it, is, 

1*^, That it was at that time when God had sufficiently tried 
the faith of the Old Testament-church, in waiting for his com- 
ing, and thereby glorified his sovereignty, who hath the times 
and seasons of his bestowing all blessings in his own power. 

2d/i/^ It was at that time when the measure of the iniquity 
of the world was abundantly filled, whereby his people might 
observe the deplorable state into which sin had brought man- 
kind, and the utter impossibility of our recovery without a Me- 
diator, and that the light of nature could not discover any 
method by which the redemption and salvation of man might 
be brought about. 

3dli/, It was at that time that the Jewish church was at the 
lowest ebb, and therefore the most seasonable time, and they 
were laid under the highest obligations to adore and magnify 
him : their political state was broken, the sceptre departed from 
Judali, and they were brought under the Roman yoke, which 
sat very uneasy upon them ; neither could they ever expect to 
make that figure in the world as they once had done, there* 
fore now was the time for the Messiah to come, and erect his 
kingdom. And, besides this, they were given up to a very great 
degree of judicial blindness and hardness, and were disposed 
to make void the law of God by their traditions ; so that reli- 
gion, aijjong them, was ^t a very low ebb ; therefore it was the 


fittest time for God to display his grace, in reviving his work, 
and preventing his cause and interest from wholly sinking in 
the world. This was the time in which the Son of God became 

(2.) Christ shall continue to be God and Man for ever, or 
the union of these two natures is indissoluble : as to his divine 
nature, he is necessarily eternal and unchangeable ; and the hu- 
man nature shall continue for ever united to it, as the result of 
the divine purpose, in which God intends that some ends, glo- 
rious to himself, honourable to the Mediator, and advantageous 
to his people, should be attained thereby. For, 

l^if, If he had had a design to lay aside his human nature, he 
would have done it when he finished his work of obedience and 
sufferings therein, and thereby had so far answered the end of 
his incarnation, that nothing more was necessary for the pur- 
chase of redemption : but v/hen he rose from the dead, as a 
Conqueror over death and hell, and was declared to have ac- 
complished the work he came into the world about, it is cer- 
tain he did not lay it aside, but ascended visibly into heaven, 
and shall come again, in a visible manner, in that same nature, 
to judge the world at the last day. 

2^/y, The eternity of Christ's human nature appears from 
the eternity of his mediatorial kingdom, of which more under 
a following answer, when we come to speak concerning the glo- 
ry of Christ's kingly office. It appears also, from the eternity 
of his intercession, which, as the apostle expresses it. He ever 
liveth to make^ Heb. vii. 25. for his people : thus he does, by 
appearing in the human nature in the presence of God, in their 
behalf ; therefore he must for ever have an human nature. 

^dly^ His saints shall abide for ever in heaven, and, as the 
apostle says, Shall ever be zuith the Lord^ 1 Thess. iv. 17. and 
their happiness shall continue both as to soul and body ; and, 
with respect to their bodies, it is said, they shall be fashioned 
like unto Chrisfs glorious body^ Phil. iii. 21. therefore his glo- 
rious body, or his human nature, shall continue for ever united 
to his divine Person. 

Mhly^ His retaining his human nature for ever, seems neces- 
sary, as it redounds to the glory of God : it is an eternal monu- 
ment of his love to mankind, and an external means to draw 
forth their love to him, who procured those mansions of glory, 
which they shall for ever be possessed of, by what he did and 
suffered for them therein. 


Quest. XXXVIII. Whi/ was it requisite that the Mediator 
should be GodP 

Answ. It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that 
he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking 
under the infinite wrath ot God, and the power of death, give 
worth and efRcacy to his sufferings, obedience, and interces- 
sion ; and so satisfy God's justice, procure his favour, pur- 
chase a peculiar people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all 
their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation. 

Quest. XXXIX. Why xvas it requisite that the Mediator 
should be Man ? 

Answ. It was requisite that the Mediator should be Man, that 
he might advance our nature, perform obedience to the law, 
suifer, and make intercession for us in our nature, have a fel- 
low-feeling of our infirmities, that we might receive the adop- 
tion of sons, and have comfort and access with boldness unto 
the throne of grace. 

Quest. XL. Whi/ was it requisite that the Mediator should be 
God and Man in one Person ? 

Answ. It was requisite that the Mediator, who was to recon- 
cile God and Man, should himself be both God and Man, 
and this in one Person, that the proper works of each nature 
might be accepted of God for us, and relied on by us, as the 
works of the whole Person. 

OU R Mediator having been considered as God and Man, 
in one person, we have a farther account of the necessity 
of being so. And, 

I. It was necessary that he should be a divine Person, for se- 
veral reasons here assigned, with others that may be added. As, 

1. If he had not been God, he could not have come into the 
the world, or been incarnate, and have had the guilt of our sins 
laid on him, with his own consent ; for he could not have been 
a party in the everlasting covenant, in which this matter was 
stipulated between the Father and him ; and, had he not con- 
sented to be charged with the guilt of our sin, he could not have 
been punished for it, inasmuch as God cannot punish an inno- 
cent person ; and, if such an one be charged with this guilt, and 
consequently rendered the object of vindictive justice, as our 
Saviour is said to have been, in scripture, it must be with his 
own consent. Now the human nature could not consent to its 
own formation, and therefore it could not consent to bear our 
iniquities ; since to consent supposes the person to be existent, 
which Christ, had he been only Man, would not have been be- 


fore his incarnation, and therefore he could not have come inta 
the world as a Surety for us, and so would not have been fit, 
in this respect, to have discharged the principal part of the 
work, which he engaged in as Mediator. 

2. There is another thing, mentioned in this answer, which 
rendered it requisite that the Mediator should be God, name- 
ly, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sink- 
ing under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death- 
It must be allowed, that the weight of the wrath of God, due 
to our sin, was so great, that no mere creature could, by his 
own strength, have subsisted under it. We will not deny, that 
a mere creature, supposing him only innocent, but not united 
to a divine Person, might have been borne up, under the great- 
est burthen laid on him, by the extraordinary assistance of God, 
with whom all things are possible ; nor that God's giving a pro- 
mise that he should not fail, or be discouraged, is such a se- 
curity, as would effectually keep it from sinking ; yet when we 
consider the human nature, as united to the divine, this is an 
additional security, that he should not sink under the infinite 
weight of the wrath of God, that lay upon him ; for then it 
would have been said, that he, who is a divine Person, miscar- 
ried in an important work, which he undertook to perform in 
his human nature, which would have been a dishonour to him : 
so far this argument hath its proper force. But, 

3. There is another reason, which more fully proves the ne- 
cessity of the Mediator's being a Divine Person, v?z. that this 
might give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and 
intercession, that so what he did might have a tendency to an- 
swer the valuable ends designed thereby, namely, the satisfy- 
ing the justice of God, procuring his favour, and purchasing a 
peculiar people to himself. Had he been only man, what he 
did and suffered, might indeed have been sinless, and perfect 
in its kind ; nevertheless, it could not be of infinite value, for 
a finite creature, as such, cannot pay an infinite price, and 
thereby answer the demands of justice. Had nothing been de? 
manded of him but a debt of obedience, which he was obliged 
to perform for himsell\, as a creature, it would not, indeed, have 
Ibcen necessary that it should be of infinite worth and value, 
Uny more than that obedience, that was due from our first pa- 
rents, while in a state of innocency : But when this is consi- 
dered as a price of redemption paid for us, and as designed to 
procure a right to the favour of God, and eternal life, this must 
be of such a value, that the glory of the justice of God might 
be secured, which nothing less than an infinite price could do; 
and the law of God must not only be fulfilled, but magnified, 
and made honourable ; and therefore the obedience, which was 
required, must not gnly JS^e stlil.e§9, but have In it an inftmn- 


M'orth and value, that hereby, when in a way of intercession^ 
it is pkaded before God, it might be eifectual to answer the 
ends designed thereby ; but this it could not have been, had he 
not been an infinite Person, namely, God as well as Man« 

4. Another reason assigned for this, is, that he might give 
his Spirit to his people. It is necessary that redemption should 
be applied, as well as purchased ; and that the same Person, 
as a peculiar branch of glory due to him, should perform the 
one as well as the other ; and, in the application of redemption, 
it was necessary that the Spirit should be glorified, that hereby 
he might appear to be a divine Person; and, as he acts herein, 
in subserviency to the Mediator's glory, as has been before 
observed *, he is said to be sent by him, which he could not 
have been, had not Christ had a divine nature, in which re= 
spect he was equal with him ; nor could he be said to give 
that which the Spirit works, as he promised to do, when he 
told his disciples, Jf I depart^ I will send him unto yoti^ John 
xvi. 7, 

5, It was necessary that Christ should be God, that he might 
conquer all our enemies, and so remove every thing out of the 
way that tends to oppose his name, interest, and glory ; these 
are sin, Satan, the world, and death. Sin, which is opposite to 
the holiness of God, is that which spirits, excites, and gives 
being to all opposition there is against him, either in earth or 
hell, and endeavours to eclipse his glory, controul his sove- 
reignty, and reflect dishonour on all his perfections. This must 
be subdued by Christ, so that it may no longer have dojninion over 
his people, Rom. vi. 14. and, in order hereunto, its condemn- 
ing power must be taken away, by his making satisfaction for 
it, as our great High Priest ; and also its enslaving power sub- 
dued by the efficacy of his grace, in the internal work of sane- 

And, upon his having obtained this victory over sin, Satan 
is also conquered when his prisoners are brought from under 
his power ; and he finds himself for ever disappointed, and npt 
able to detain those, who were, at first, led captive by him, nor 
to defeat the purpose of God relating to the salvation of his 
elect, or to boast as though he had wrested the sceptre out of 
his hand, or robbed him of one branch of his glory. 

Moreover, the world, which is reckoned among the number 
of God's enemies, must be conquered inasmuch as it opposes 
his name and interest in an objective way, from whence cor- 
rupt nature takes occasion either to abuse the various gifts and 
dispensations of providence, or by contracting an intimacy with 
those \vho are enemies to God and religion, to become more 
like them, as the apostle says. The friendship ofths zvorld is 
* See Vol. 1. Page 291, 292- 

Vol. XL H h 


enmity with God, James iv. 4. Now Christ must be God, that 
he may discover its snares, and enable his people to improve 
the good things of providence to his glory, and oVer-rule the 
evil things thereof for their good. 

And as for death, which is reckoned among Christ's and his 
people's enemies, which the apostle calls, The last enemy that 
is to be destroyed, 1 Cor. xv. 26. this is suffered to detain the 
bodies of believers, as its prisoners, till Christ's second coming; 
but it must be destroyed, that so they may be made partakers 
of complete redemption ; and this is also a part of the Media- 
tor's work, as he raises up his people at the last day. And all 
these victories over sin, Satan, the world, and death, as they 
require infinite power, so it is necessary that he, who obtains 
them, should be a divine Person. 

6. It is necessary that the Mediator should be God, that he 
might bring his people to everlasting salvation, that is, first fit 
them for, lead them in the way to Heaven, and then receive 
them to it at last; for this reason, he is styled. The author and 
Finisher of our Faith, Heb. xii. 2. and it is said, that as he be- 
gan the goodxvork,so he performs it, Phil. i. 6. or carries it on 
to perfection. Grace is Christ's gift and work ; as he purchas- 
ed it by his blood, while on earth : it is necessary that he should 
apply it by his power ; even as Zerubbabel, who was a type of 
him, after he had laid the foundation-stone of the temple, at last, 
brought forth the head-stone thereof, with shoutings, crying, 
Grace, grace, unto it, Zech. iv. 7. so Christ works all our 
works for us, and in us, till he brings them to perfection, and 
presents his people unto himself a glorious church, not having 
spot,- or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and 
xvithout blemish, Eph. v. 27. and this is certainly a divine 
work, and consequently he, who performs it, must be a divine 
Person. And to this we may add, 

7. It was necessary that our Mediator should be God, inas- 
much as the everlasting happiness of his people consists in the 
enjoyment of him. He is not only the Author of their com-^ 
plete blessedness, but, as we may express it, the matter of it; 
they are made happy, not only by him, but in him ; accordingly 
heaven is described as a state, in which they behold his glory^ 
John xvii. 24. and see hhn as he is, 1 John iii, 2. therefore, 
since he is the Fountain of blessedness, it is requisite that he 
should be God, as well as Man. 

II. It was requisite that the Mediator should be Man. 
When we speak of the necessity of Christ's incarnation, we are 
not to understand hereby, that this was absolutely necessary, 
without supposing the divine will, or purpose, to redeem man; 
for since our redemption was not in itself necessary, but was 
only so, as the result of God's purpose relating thereunto ; so 


Christ's incarnation was necessary, as a means to accomplish it. 
This is what divines generally call a conditional necessity ^ ; 
so that since Christ was ordained to be a Mediator between 
God and man, it was requisite that he should become Man : 
The reason assigned for it is, that he might perform obedience 
to the law. That obedience to the law was required, in order 
to his making satisfaction for sin, we shall have occasion to con- 
sider, when we speak of his Priestly office ; therefore all that 
need be observed under this head, is, that this obedience could 
not be performed by him in the divine nature, in which respect 
he cannot be under any obligation to perform that which be- 
longs only to those who are creatures, and as such subjects ^ 
therefore, if he be made under the law, he must have a nature 
fitted and disposed to yield obedience. 

Some have enquired, whether it was possible for Christ to 
have answered this end, by taking any other nature into union 
with his divine Person ; or, whether this might have been brought 
about by his taking on him the nature of angels ? I shall not en- 
ter so far into this subject, as to determine whether God might, 
had he pleased, have accepted of obedience in any other nature, 
fitted for that purpose; but we have ground, from scripture, to 
conclude, that this was the only way that God had ordained for 
the redemption of man ; and therefore, though Christ might 
have performed obedience in some other finite nature, or might 
have taken the nature of angels.^ this would not, in all respectSj 
have answered those many great ends, which were designed by 
his incarnation. And therefore, since this was the way in w^hich 
God ordained that man should be redeemed, it was necessary 
that he should take the human nature into union with his di- 
vine; and inasmuch as he was to yield obedience to the same 
law, that we had violated, it was necessary that he should be 
made of a xvoman^ as the apostle expresses it. Gal. iv. 4. God 
had ordained, as an expedient most conducive for his own glo- 
ry, that he, who was to be our Redeemer, should run the same 
race with us ; and also, that he should suffer what was due to 
us, as the consequence of our rebellion against him, that so, as 
the Captain of our salvation^ he should be made perfect through 
-sufferings^ Heb. ii. 10. And inasmuch as sufferings were due 
to us in our bodies, it was necessary, God having so ordained 
it, that he should suffer in his body, as well as in his soul ; and 
as death entered into the world by sin, so God ordained it, that 
we should be redeemed from the power of the grave, by one, 
who died for us ; in which respects, it was necessary that he 
should be man. 

There are also other ends mentioned in this answer, which 
render this necessary, namely, that he might advance our na- 
* It ii othenvise styled, Necessitas consequentia. 


ture. It was a very great honour which that particular nature, 
which he assumed, was advanced unto, in its being taken into 
union with his divine Person, Though it had no intrinsic dig- 
nity, or glory, above what other intelligent, finite, sinless beings 
are capable of ; yet it had a greater relative glory than any 
other creature had, or can have, which may be illustrated by a 
similitude taken from the body of man, how mean soever it is 
in itself, yet, when considered in its relation to the soul, that 
adds a degree of excellency to it, in a relative sense, greater 
than what belongs to any creature, destitute of understanding ; 
so the human nature of Christ, though it had not in itself a glo- 
ry greater than what another finite creature might have been 
advanced to ; yet, when considered as united to the divine na- 
ture, its glory, in a relative sense may be said to be infinite. 

It follows from hence, that since Christ's being truly and 
properly man, was a particular instance, in him, of the advance- 
ment of our nature, to a greater degree of honour, than what 
has been conferred on any other creature, this lays the highest 
obligation on us to admire and adore him; and should be an 
inducement to us, not to debase that nature which God has, in 
this respect, delighted to honour, by the commission of those 
sins, which are the greatest j'eproach unto it. 

Another consequence of Christ's incarnation, whereby it far- 
ther appears that it was requisite that he should be man, is that, 
in our nature, he might make intercession for us. For the un- 
derstanding of which, let it be considered, that the divine na- 
ture cannot properly speaking, be said to make intercession, 
since this includes in it an act of worship, and argues the Per- 
son, who intercedes, to be dependent, and indigent, which is 
inconsistent with the self-sufficiency and independency of the 
Godhead ; therefore, had he been only God, he could not have 
made intercession for us, and consequently this is the necessa- 
ry result of his incarnation. 

Object' 1. It may be objected hereunto, that the Spirit is said 
to 7nake intercessio?i for the Saints, according' to the will of 
God^ Rom. viii. 27. whereas he has no human nature to make 
intercession in ; therefore Christ might have made intercession 
for us, though he had not been incarnate. 

Answ, When the Spirit is said to make intercession for 
us, this is not to be understood of his appearing in the pre- 
sence of God, and so offering prayers, or supplications to 
him in cur behalf; but it only intends his enabling us to pray 
for ourselves, which is an effect of his power, working this 
grace in us ; therefore the apostle, speaking concerning the same 
thing, says, eh&whQYt, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into 
mcr hearts^ crying^ Abba^ Father^ Gal. iv. 6. that is, enabling 
Vs to cry, Abba^ Father : Such an intercession as this, is not 


unbecoming a divine Person ; and this is what is plainly the 
sense of those scriptures, in which the Spirit is said to inter- 
cede for us. As for Christ's intercession, it consists, indeed, 
in his praying for us, * rather than enabling us to pray ; there- 
fore it was requisite that he should be Man, in order there- 

Object, 2. It is generally supposed, that Christ made inces- 
cession for his people before his incarnation : Thus we cannot 
but conclude, that he is intended by the angel of the Lord^ who 
is represented as pleading for Israel ; Lord of hosts, hoxu 
long -wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and upon the cities 
ofjudah, against which thou hast had indignation these three- 
score and ten years P Zech. i. 12. and also as pleading in their 
behalf against the accusations of Satan, The Lord rebuke thee^ 
O Satan ; even the Lord, -which hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke 
thee : Is not this a brand zuhich is plucked out of the f re f chap. 
iii. 2. If therefore he made intercession at that time, when he 
had. no human nature, his incarnation was not necessary there- 

Answ. Though we allow that Christ is often represented, in 
die Old Testament, as interceding for his people ; yet these ex- 
pressions are either proleptical, and do not denote, so much, 
what Christ then did, as what he would do, after he had assum- 
ed our nature ,• or they imply, that the salvation of the church, 
under that dispensation, was owing to the intercession that 
Christ would make after his incarnation, as v/ell as to that sa- 
tisfaction which he would give to the justice of God in our na- 
ture ; so that Christ, in those scriptures, is represented as pro- 
curing those blessings for his people, by what he would, in re- 
ality, do after his incarnation, the virtue whereof is supposed 
to be extended to them at that time : He did not thereforeyor- 
mally, but virtually, intercede for them ; and consequently it 
does not prove that his incarnation was not necessary for his 
making that intercession, which he ever lives to do in the be- 
half of his church. 

It is farther observed, that it was requisite that our Media- 
tor should be Man, that he might have a fellow-feeling of our 
infirmities : Thus the apostle says. He was touched with the 
feeling of our infirinities, having been, i7i all points ; in his hu- 
man nature, tempted like as we are, yet without sin, Heb. iv. 15. 
As God, it is true, he has a perfect, namely, a divine know- 
ledge of our infirmities, but not an experimental knowledge 
thereof; and therefore, in this respect, had he not been Man, 
he could not have been said to sympathize with us herein ; and 
therefore his compassion towards us, has this additional mo- 
tive, taken from his incarnation : It was in this respect that he 
had the passions of the human nature, and thereby is induced, 

■ And in presenting hi«^ g-lorious body with the marks of suffering". 


from what he once experienced, to help our infirmities, as being 
such as he himself condescended to bear. 

And to this it may be added, as a farther consequence of his 
incarnation, that ^ve are made partakers of the adoption of sons, 
and have comfort and access with boldness, to the throne of 
grace. This the apostle also gives us occasion to infer, from his 
being made of a woman, and made under the law, not only that 
he might redeem them that were under the law^ but that we might 
receive the adoption ofsons^ Gal. iv. 5. and encourages us, from 
hence, to come boldly to the throne of grace ^ Heb. iv. 16. As 
Christ's Sonship, as Mediator, includes his incarnation, and was 
the ground and reason of the throne of grace being erected, to 
which we are invited to come ; so, he being, in the same respect, 
constituted Heir of all things, believers who are the sons of God, 
in a lower sense, are notwithstanding, styled, Heirs of God^ and 
joint heirs with Christy Rom. viii. 17. He is the Head and Lord 
of this great family, who purchased an inheritance for them, 
and they the members thereof, who, in the virtue of his pur- 
chase, have a right to it; therefore his incarnation, which was 
necessary hereunto, was the great foundation of our obtaining 
the privilege of God's adopted children, and of our access by 
him to the Father. We first come by faith to him, who, if we 
allude to Elihu's words, was formed out of the clay^ and there- 
fore his terror shall not make us afraid^ neither shall his hand 
be heavy upon us, Job xxxiii. 6. and through him, we come to 
God, as our reconciled Father. 

m. It was requisite that the Mediator should be God and 
man, in one Person. Had his human nature been a distinct 
human Person, the work of our redemption would have been 
brought about by two persons, which would each of them have 
had the character of Mediator, unless two persons could be so 
united, as to constitute but one, which is no better than a con- 
tradiction. And it is farther observed, in the answer under our 
present consideration, that there were works to be performed, 
proper to*each nature : in the human nature he was to perform 
every thmg that implied subjection, obedience, or suffering; and 
though none of these could be performed by him, in his divine 
nature, yet an infinite worth, value, and dignity, was to be added 
thereunto, which was not so much the result of any thing done 
by him in that nature, as of the union of the human nature with 
it ; upon which account, the obedience he performed, had, in a 
relative sense, the same value, as though it had been performed 
in his divine nature ; and, upon this account, it is said, that God 
purclwsed the church with his own blood. Acts xx. 28. 

And to this we may add, tliat as each nature was distinct, 
and their properties not in the least confounded, as was before 
observed ; so we often read, in scripture, of distinct properties 


attributed to the same person, which are opposed to each other, 
namely, mortality and immortality, weakness and omnipotency, 
dependence and independence, &c. which could not be, with any 
propriety of speaking, applied to him, had he not been God and 
man, in the same person. This is generally styled by divines, 
a communication of properties^ concerning which we must ob- 
serve, that the properties of one nature are not predicated of the 
other ; as the Lutherans suppose, when they conclude, that the 
human nature of Christ is omnipresent, upon which their doc- 
trine of consiibstantiation is founded ; but we assert, that the 
properties of one nature are predicated of the same person, to 
whom the other nature also belongs ; so that when we say the 
Person, that was God, obeyed and suffered; or the Person, that 
was man, paid an infinite price to the justice of God, we are far 
from asserting, that the Godhead of Christ obeyed, or the man- 
hood merited ; f and this is the necessary result of his two na- 
tures being united in one Person. There are two things obser- 
ved, in illustrating this matter. 

1. That the works of each nature must be accepted of God 
for us, as the works of the whole Person, or of the same Per- 
son ; therefore, if the nature that obeyed and suffered had been 
an human person, his obedience and sufferings could not have 
been of infinite value, or accepted by God as a sufficient price 
of redemption ; for they could not have had this value reflected 
on them, had they not been the works of a divine Person : and 
those rays of divine glory, that shined forth in his human na- 
ture, could have no immediate relation to it, had it been a dis- 
tinct Person from that of his Godhead. 

2. It is farther observed, that those works, which were per- 
formed by him in each nature, are to be relied on by us, as the 
works of the whole Person : this reliance contains in it an in- 
stance of adoration, and supposes the Person, who performs 
them, to be God, which he was not in his human nature ; there- 
fore we are to adore our Mediator, and rely on the works per- 
formed by him, in his human nature, as he is God and man in 
one Person. As wc have sufficient ground, from scripture to 
conclude, that the Mediator is the Object of divine adoration; 
so we are to depend on him, as a divine Person, for salvation: 
and our worship herein does not terminate on his human na- 
ture, but on his deity : but, if his human nature had been a dis- 
tinct human person we could not be said to adore him that died 
for us, and rose again ; so that, upon all these accounts, it is 
necessary that he should be not only God and man, but that 
these two natures should be united in one Person. 

* See Vol I. page 261. 

f This is genera Ih sfrled, B^ divines, Cominunicatio idiomatum iti concreto.v 
non in abgtr:*cto. 

244 OF THE mediator's NAME AND OTFICES. 

Having considered our Mediator as God and man, in one 
Person, we are now to speak of him as having those glorious 
titles and characters attributed to him, expressive of his media- 
torial work and dignity ; accordingly, he is variously denomi- 
nated as such in scripture : sometimes he is called, Lord^ Phil, 
iv. 5. at other times, Jesus^ Matt. i. 21. and elsewhere, The 
Lord JesuSj Acts ix. 17. and also. The Lord Christy CoL iii. 
24. and, in other places, The Lord Jesus Christy chap. i. 2. He 
is called Lord^ to denote the infinite dignity of his Person, as 
God equal with the Father } v\^hich r ame is gi'» en him in the 
New Testament, in the same sense, in which he is called Je- 
hovah in the Old, a: has bd^n observed under a foregoing an- 
swer,* and to denote his divine sovereignty, as the Governor 
of the world, and the church, and particularly as executing his 
kingly office as Mediator ; and, in the two following answers, 
he is described by his mediatorial characters, JesuSy and Christ, 

Quest. XLI. Whi/ was our Mediator called Jesus ? 

Answ. Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saveth his 
people from their sins. 

Quest. XLII. Why was our Mediator called Christ ? 

Answ. Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anoint- 
ed with the Holy Ghost above measure, and so set apart, and 
fully furnished with all authority and ability, to execute the 
offices of Prophet, Priest, and King of his church, in the es- 
tate both of his humiliation and exaltation. 

I. ^^UR Mediator is very often called Jesus in the New 
\J Testament, which name signifies a Saviour^ as it is par- 
ticularly intimated by the angel, who gave direction, that he 
should be so called, before his birth. Matt. i. 21. and he is not 
only styled our Saviour, but our Salvation^ in the abstract : 
thus the prophet, foretelling his incarnation, says. Behold^ thy 
Salvation cometh ; his reward is with hifn, and his work before 
him, Isa. Ixii. 11. and, when Simeon held him in his arms^ he 
blessed God, and said. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace, according to thy xvord, for mine eyes have seen thy 
salvation, Luke ii. 28 — 30. He is a Saviour, as he brings about 
salvation for us, and we attain it by him ; and he may be styled 
our Salvation, as our eternal blessedness consists in the enjoy- 
ment of him. Salvation contains in it a preserving and deliver- 
ing us from all evil, which some call the negative idea thereof, 
and a conferring on us the greatest good, which is the positive 
♦ See Vol. L pasre 296. CM. 

OF THE mediator's NAME AND OFFICES. 2iS 

idea of it. In saving us from evil, he is sometimes said to de- 
Iher Its from this present eml ivorld^ Gai. i. 4. and elsewhere 
we are said to be saved from xuratli through htm, Rom. v. 9. 
and, as all the deliverance we experience, or hope for, is in^ 
eluded in the word Salvation^ so are all the spiritual blessingr, 
wherewith we are blessed, in this, or a better world j and, upon 
this account, he, v»rho is the purchaser and author thereof, is 
called Jesus. 

1. Since Christ is called Jesus, let us be exhorted to take 
heed that we do not entertain any unworthy thoughts of him, 
er that salvation which he hath procured, by supposing it inde- 
finite, or indeterminate, or that he did not come into the world 
to save a certain number, v/ho shall eventually oljtaln this bless- 
ing; but that he is tlie Redeemer, and consequently the Saviour 
of many that shall finally perish, which is little better than a 
contradiction. And let us not suppose, that it is in the power 
of man to make his salvation of none eftect; for whatever dif* 
ficulties there may be in the way, he v/ill certainly overcome 
them, otherwise he would be called Jesus, or a Saviour to no 
purpose ; and therefore they, who suppose him to be the Saviour 
of all mankind upon this Uncertain condition, that they improve 
their natural powers, or the liberty of their will, so as to ren- 
der his purpose, relating to their salvation, effectual, v/hicli 
otherwise it would not be, do not give him the glory which be- 
longs to him, as called Jesus. 

2. Let us take heed that we do not extenuate his salvation 
to our own discouragement, as though he were not able to save, 
to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, or did not 
come into the world to save the chief of sinners ; or we had 
certain ground to conclude our case to be so deplorable, as that 
we are out of the reach of his salvation. 

3. Let none presume, without ground, that he is their Sa- 
viour, or that they have an interest in him as such, while in an 
unconverted state ; or vainly conclude, that they shall be saved 
by him, without faith in, or subjection to him. 

4. Let this name Jesus tend to excite in us the greatest 
thankfulness, especially if we have experienced the beginning 
of the work of salvation ; and let such encourage themselves to 
hope, that having begun the good work in them, he will finish 
it, when he shall appear, a second time, without sin, unto sal- 

IL Our Mediator is called Christ, or, as it is generally ex- 
pressed in the Old Testament, the Messiah, which signifies a 
person anointed : thus it is said. We have found the Messias.^ 
ivhich is, being- interpreted, the Christ, John i. 41. or, as it is 
in the margin, the anointed. And, as anointing was made use 
of under the ceremoiuftl hvi. in the public inaugiuatioB and iti- 

VoL. H. ' I i 


vestiture of prophets, priests, and kings, in their respective of- 
fices, they are, for that reason, called God'*s anointed: thus it is 
said, concerning the prophets, Touch not mine anointed and do 
my prophets no harniy Psal. cv. 15. Kings are likewise so sty- 
led, as Samuel says. Surely the horde's anointed is before him^ 
1 Sam. xvi. 6. These were often anointed, though not always ; *■ 
hut the priests were always anointed, when they first entered 
on their office ; and the high priest is described by this charac- 
ter, as he upon xvhose head the anointing oil was poured; so we 
read of the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon 
the beard^ even Aaron^s beard^ that went down to the skirts of 
his garments^ Psal. cxxxiii. 2. This was not an insignificant 
ceremony, or merely political, in which respect it is used, in 
our day, in the inauguration of kings ; but it was an ordinance 
to signify God's designation of them, to the office which they 
were to execute, in which they were to expect, and depend upon 
him for those qualifications that were necessary thereunto ; but 
it was more especially designed to typify the solemn inaugura- 
tion and investiture of our Saviour, in the offices of Prophet, 
Priest, and King of his church ; and, in allusion hereunto, he 
is called, the Messiah^ or the Christ, His anointing was not ex- 
ternal, or visible, with material oil ; but, in a spiritual sense, it 
signified his receiving a commission from the Father to execute 
the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King : upon which account^ 
he is styled, God's holy child Jesus^ xvhom he had anointed^ 
Acts iv. 27. And this unction, as it was of a spiritual nature, 
so it was attended with greater circumstances of glory ; and the 
offices he was appointed to execute, were more spiritual, exten- 
sive, and advantageous, than theirs, who were types thereof: 
thus the Psalmist says of him, God^ thy God^ hath anointed thee 
with the oil of gladness^ above thy fellows ^ Psal. xlv. 7. accor- 
dingly he was anointed to execute his prophetical office, to 

* Prophets -were, indeed, oftentimes eet apart for that office, tvithout anointing,' 
but it seems probable, from the command of God to Elijah, to anoint Elisha to be a 
prophet in his room, that rjhen they ivere called, in an extraordinary maimer, to be 
public prophets, and in that respect, ac it is said concerning tlie prophet Jeremiah^ 
[chap. i. 10.] Set over nations and kingdoms, then they ivere not only sanctified and 
ordaiiied hereunto, but the ceremony of aiicinting^ -zvas used, especially ivhen some 
other prophet Tjas appointed to instal them in this office, ^nd as for kings, thongh 
they ivere not ahi^ays anointed, yet this ceremony -zvas generally itsed, as is observed 
by some Jenvish lariters, when the kingdom -was rent out of the hand of one, and ano- 
ther luas, by immediate divine direction, substituted to reign in his stead- thus, tvhen 
the kingdom was taken from Saul, David -ivas anointed; and it was also used in 
other instances^ though the crown ii-as inh'.'rited by lineal descent, -when any other made 
pretensions tu it. 'i'hiis David commanded Solamon to be anointed, because Adonijah 
pretended to it, [\Km%s\.:i^.] ^.'Ind Joash tvas aimnted, though he had a right ta 
the crown, as descended from Ahaziah, liho 7vas king before him, because the cro-u^n 
had, for some time, been usurped by Athaliah, [2 Kings xi. 12.] In these, and such 
like cases, kings ivere installed in their office by unction, though, in oth^r in'fiancf^^ 
it Toas n<^t univc-vsaUij practised. 


preach the gospel to the poor^ Luke iv. 1 8. and his priestly, so 
the prophet Daniel speaks of him, as Jinishing transgression^ 
making an end of sin ^ bringing in an everlasting 7'ighteousnessy 
Dan. ix. 24. which he did as a Priest ; and then he speaks of 
anointing him, who was most holy, as infinitely excelling all 
those who were anointed with holy oiL He is also said to be 
anointed to execute his kingly office ; and, with respect there- 
unto, is called the Lord's anointed ; and God says, concerning 
him, I have set^ or as it is in the margin, anointed^ my king upon 
my holy hill of Sion^ Psal. ii. 2. Now there are three things 
which are more especially intended in this unction, which are 
particularly mentioned in this answer. 

1. His being set apart, or separated from the rest of man- 
kind, as the only Person who was designed to execute the of° 
fices, together with his public investiture therein. For the right 
understanding of which, let it be considered, that there was an 
eternal designation of him by the Father thereunto : thus the 
apostle speaks of him, as one xvho xvas fore-ordained before the 
foundation of the -ivorld^ 1 Pet. i. 20. And some think, that this 
is intended by that expression of the Psalmist, I will declare the 
decree ; the Lord hath said unto me^ Thou art my Son^ this day 
have I begotten thee^ Psal. ii. 7. and that this is also intended 
fey his being set up from everlastings Prov. viii. 23. This we 
may call his eternal inauguration, which was the foundation, 
ground, and reason of his incarnation, or of that inauguration, 
or investiture, which was visible to men in time, which is the 
second thing to be considered, in his being set apart to execute 
these offices. 

When he came into the world, there was a glorious declara- 
tion given, both to angels and men, that he was the Person 
whom God had conferred this honour upon, and accordingly 
he received glory from them, as Mediator, by a divine war- 
rant ; so some understand that scripture. When he briugeth in 
the first-begotten into the worlds he saith, and let all the angels 
of God xuorship him^ Heb. i. 6. And elsewhere we read, Luke 
ii. 10, 11. of the angels being sent as heralds, to make procla- 
mation of this matter to men, at his first coming into the worldc 
And, when he entered on his public ministry, there was a di- 
\''ine declaration given, as a farther visible confirmation hereof, 
immediately after his baptism, when the heavens xuere opened 
unto him^ and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, 
and lighting upon him^ and lo^ a voice from heaven^ sayings This 
is my beloved Son^ in whom I am well pleased^ Matt. iii. 16, 17. 
and John the Baptist was immediately raised up, as a prophet, 
to signify this to the world^ which he did at that time, when 
our Saviour first entered on his public ministry, and speaks of 
him, as preferred before himself not only as having a more ex- 

248 or THE mediator's name and orricEs. 

cellent nature, but as being set apart to an higher office, than 
that which he was called to; and accordingly he styles him. 
The Lamb of God^ intimating, that God had set him apart, as 
the great Sacrifice that was to be offered for sin, John i. 29, 30. 
and, soon after this, he gives another testimony hereunto, to- 
gether with a glorious, yet just, character of the Person, who 
was invested with this authority, when he says, concerning him, 
A man can receive nothings except it be given him from heaven : 
q. d. " I have not received this honour of being the Christ, and 
*' doing the works which he does, but it is given him from hea- 
" ven : I am not the bridegroom of the church, but his friend^ 
" who rejoice greathj^ because of his voice ; xvhat he hath seen 
*' and heard^ that he testified ; and God hath sent him, whose 
" vjord he speaketh ; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure 
*' itnto him ; the Father loveth the Son^ and hath given all things 
" into his hand^ John iii. 27—35. therefore he is set apart, by 
" him, to perform the work of a Mediator, which belongeth 
^' not unto me." 

2. Christ was furnished v» ith authority, or had a commission 
given him, to perform the work he was engaged in, as Media- 
tor. This was absolutely necessary, since, as the apostle says, 
concerning the priesthood in general, that no man taketh this 
honour unto himself but he that is called of God^ and authorized 
by him to perform it, as xuas Aaron; so also Christ glorified not 
himself but he that said unto him^ Thou art 7ny Son^ to-day have 
I begotten thee ; and, Thou art a Priest for ever^ after the order 
t>f Meichtsedec^ Heb. v. 4—6. As it was reckoned an intrusion, 
and no other than an instance of profaneness, for any one to ex- 
Crcise- a sacred office, without a divine wan^nt, it was necessary 
that our Saviour should be furnished therewith : the work he 
was to perform was glorious, the consequences thereof of the 
highest importance, and his services would not have been ac- 
cepted, or availed to answer the great ends thereof, had he not 
received a commission from the Father. And that he came into 
the world with this commission and authority, derived from 
"him, he constantly asserts and proves, he asserts it, when speak- 
ing concerning himself, that God the Father had sealed him ^ John 
vi. 27, and elsewhere says, I have power to lay down my life^ 
and to take it again; this commandment have I received of my 
Father^ John x. 18. and he not only asserts, but proves it; every 
miracle that he wrought being a connrmation thereof, in which 
respect a divine testimony was affixed to his commission : thus 
he says. The works that I do^ in my Father"* s name^ they bear 
witness ofme^ ver. 25. and elsewhere, when he asserts his au- 
thority, and proves, that the 'words which he spake., he spake not 
cf himself ; he adds, the Father that dwelleth in me^ he doth the 
wori^, John xiv. 10, 11. He appeals to those miraculous works. 

OF TKt mediator's NAME AND OFFICES. 249 

which were performed either by himself, or by the Father, 
which he might well do, because the Father and he had the 
same divine power, and thereby intimates, that the commission, 
which he received from the Father, was attested in this extra-* 
ordinary manner. 

3. Our Saviour's unction included in it an ability to execute 
those offices, which he was engaged in, as Mediator. We have 
before observed, that when persons, under" the ceremonial law, 
were anointed to execute the offices either of prophet, priest, or 
king; this was not only an ordinance, to signify that they had 
a divine warrant to execute them, but they were hereby given 
to expect those qualifications that were necessary to the dis- 
charge thereof. God never calls to an office, but he qualifies 
for it : thus our Saviour was furnished with ability, as well as 
authority; this was more especially applicable to his human 
nature, in which he was to obey and suffer ; as to his divine 
nature, that could not be the subject of a derived power, or 
qualifications conferred upon it. Now this ability, with which 
our Saviour was furnished, as man, was that which rendered 
bim fit to perform the work which he came into the world 
about. As a Prophet, he was qualified to preach the gospel 
with greater wisdom and authority than all others, who were 
ever engaged in this work : his very enemies confessed, that 
never man spake like him^ John vii. 46. and he had continual 
assistance from God, which preserved him from all mistakes ; 
so that what he delivered was infallibly true, and, as such to be 
depended on : he was also furnished with zea) for the glory of 
God, yet such as was tempered with sympathy, meekness, and 
compassion towards his people ; and an holy courage, resolu- 
tion, and fortitude, which preserved him from fainting, or be- 
ing discouraged under all his sufferings ; and a constant dis- 
position and inclination to refer all to the glory of the Father, 
and not to assume any branch of divine honour to his human 
nature ; and, by this means, the whole discharge of his minis- 
try was acceptable, both to God and man. 

Thus concerning the reasons why our Saviour is called 
Christ. And this leads us to consider the offices which he was 
anointed to execute, upon the account whereof he is styled, the 
Prophet, Priest, and King of his church. Here we shall pre- 
mise some things in general concerning these three offices; 
and then speak to each of them, as contained in the following 

1. Concerning the number of the offices, which he executes; 
thev are three. Some have enquired, whether there are not 
more than three executed by him, inasmuch as there are seve- 
ral characters and relations, which Christ is described by, and 
is said to stand in, to his people, besides those of Prophet, 


Priest, and King: thus he is styled, The Head of the hody^ the 
churchy Col. i. 18. and an Husband^ to it, Isa. liv. 5. and a 
Bridegroom^ John iii. 29. and elsewhere he is said to perform 
the office of a Shepherd: thus he styles himself, The good 
Shepherd^ John x. 14. and he is called. The Captain of our sal- 
vation^ Htb. ii. 10. and many other characters of the like na- 
ture are given him, from whence some have taken occasion to 
think, that several of them contain ideas, distinct from those of 
a Prophet, Priest, and King, and therefore that there are more 
offices than these executed by him : but all that need be said to 
this, is, that these, and other characters and relations, which 
are ascribed to Christ in scripture, are all included in, or redu- 
cible to one or other of these three offices ; therefore we have 
no reason to conclude, that he executes any other offices, dis- 
tinct from them, as Mediator. 

2. The condition of fallen man, and the way in which God 
designed to bring him to salvation, which was adapted there- 
unto, renders it necessary that Christ should execute these three 
offices. Accordingly, we are all of us, by nature, ignorant of, 
and prejudiced against divine truth, as the apostle observes. 
The natural 7nan receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God^ 
for they are foolishness unto him ,• neither can he knoxv them^ 
because they are spiritually discerned^ 1 Cor. ii. 14. therefore it 
js necessary that Christ should execute the office of a Prophet, 
to lead us into all truth, and give this spiritual discerning 

Moreover, w-e are all guilty before God^ Rom. iii. 19. and can 
by no means make atonement, give satisfaction to his justice, 
or procure a pardon ; nor can we plead any thing done by us, 
as a ground thereof; therefore we need that Christ should exe- 
cute the office of a Priest, and so first make atonement, and 
then intercession, for us. 

And as to the way in which God brings his people to salva- 
tion, this requires Christ's executing his threefold office. Sal- 
vation must be purchased, proclaimed, and applied ; the first 
of these respects Christ's Priestly office ; the second, his Pro- 
phetical ; and the third, his Kingl) ; accordingly he is said to be 
made of God unto tcs wisdom^ righteousness^ sanctificaiion^ and 
redemption^ 1 Cor. i. 30. and elsewhere he styles himself. The 
Way^ the Truth^ and the Life^ John xiv. 6. 

Moreover, in the execution of these offices^ and bringing us 
thereby to salvation, he deals with God and man in different 
respects ; with God, more especially, as a Priest, in satisfying 
his justice, and procuring his favour : thus the high priest un- 
der the law, who was a type of Christ's Priestly office, is said 
to be ordained for men in things pertaining to God^ that he ?nay 
ofer both gifts and sacrifices for sins, Heb. v. 1. even so Christ. 

OF THE mediator's NAME AND OfFICES. 251 

our great High Priest, by offering himself a sacrifice, perform- 
ed that part of his ministry which pertained to God, in the be- 
half of men; and he also deals with God, by appearing in his 
presence, continually making intercession for them ; and, on the 
other hand, he deals with men, as designing to bring them to 
God, which he does more especially as a Prophet and King. 

3. These three offices, which Christ executes, are distinct, 
and therefore not to be confounded. This we maintain against 
Socinus, and his followers : they speak, indeed, of Christ, as a 
Prophet, Priest, and King, which they are obliged to do, be- 
cause the words are so frequently mentioned in scripture ; yet 
the sense they give of them, amounts to little more than an ac- 
knowledgment of his Prophetical office : and even this, as they 
explain it, contains in it nothing more than what other prophets, 
that went before him, either were, or might have been, qualified 
to perform ; for any one, who is under divine inspiration, may 
infallibly declare the will of God, and give forth those laws, by 
which God has ordained that his church should be governed ; 
and our Saviour, according to them, does little more than this* 
They speak of him, indeed, as a Priest, but not as making satis- 
faction for our sins to the justice of God, nor by interceding in 
the virtue thereof, but only by putting up prayers and sup- 
plications to him on our behalf; which differs very little from 
those prayers and supplications that were put up by other pro- 
phets in behalf of the people. 

Again, they speak of him as a King, but not as subduing our 
wills, or conquering our enemies, by almighty power ; or, if 
they allow that he subdues us to himself, as a King, yet, in their 
farther explaining thereof, they mean nothing else by it, but 
his gaining us over to his side by arguments, freeing us from 
our ignorance, and over-coming our prejudices against truth, 
by a clear revelation of it ; or, if they speak of his conquering 
our enemies, they intend nothing else by it, but his guarding 
and defending his people, by furnishing them with arguments 
to resist their subtle attempts against them, all which things are 
reducible to his Prophetical office ; so that, though they speak 
of him as executing three offices, it is no more than if they 
should assert, that he executes but one ; and the most they in- 
tend by all this, is, that he is a teacher, sent from God, and 
consequently not much superior in excellency to Moses, who 
was a prophet, raised up from among his brethren, and had the 
honourable character given him, that he w:xs fait /if u I in all his 
house; whereas, the apostle proves, by what he says of our 
Lord Jesus, that he v/as counted -worthy of more glory ^ as he 
■who hath builded the house^ hath more honour than the house; 
and farther styles him a divine Person, when he Sfiys, he that 
built all things is Cody Heb. iiu 2, 3, 


4. These three offices, which Christ executes, are not to be 
divided, especially when they are executed in such a way, as is 
eiFectual to the salvation of those who are concerned herein^ 
He may, indeed, in an objective way, reveal the will of God, 
or give laws to his church, as a Prophet, without working sa- 
vingly upon the understanding : he may also execute his kingly 
office, as a judge, in pouring the vials of his wrath on his ene- 
jnies, without subduing the stubbornness of their wills, or bring- 
ing them to the obedience of faith : nevertheless, we must con- 
clude, that, wheresoever he executes one of these offices in a 
saving way, he executes them all. In this respect, though the 
offices be distinguished, yet in the execution of them, they are 
not divided : thus whosoever is so taught by him, as a Prophet, 
as to be made wise to salvation, is redeemed by his blood, as a 
Priest, overcome by his power as a King, and brought into sub- 
jection to his will in all things ,* so all for whom, as a priest, he 
has purchased peace, to them he will, in his own time, proclaim 
it, as a Prophet, and enable them to believe in him, by making 
them willing in the day of his power. 

5. He executes these offices in a twofold state ; first, of hu- 
miliation, and then of exaltation, with different circumstances 
agreeable thereunto ,* which twofold state will be considered in 
some following answers. What we shall observe, at present, 
concerning it is, that that part of Christ's priestly office, in 
which he made atonement for sin, was executed on earth in his 
state of humiliation ; whereas the other part thereof, consisting 
in his intercession, together with some branches of his propheti- 
cal and kingly office, were executed both in earth and heaven, 
though in a different manner, agreeable to those circumstances 
of glory in which he was, and is. 

Quest. XLIII. Hoxv doth Christ execute the ofice of a Pro^ 

Answ. Christ executeth the office of a Prophet, in his reveal- 
ing to the church, in all ages, by his Spirit and w^rd, in di- 
vers ways of administration, the whole will of God, in ail 
things concerning their edification and salvation. 

THAT which may be first observed, before we consider the 
parts of Christ's prophetical office, and the manner of his 
executing it, is the order in which it is mentioned, as set before 
his priestly and kingly offices, which may give us occasion to 
enquire whether it be executed before them. 

1, If we consider the natural order of his executing his three 
offices, or the dependence of the execution of them; one on the 

OF Christ's prophetical office. 25^ 

other, then it must be observed, that he first executes his priest- 
ly office, and, pursuant hereunto, his prophetical and kingly 5 
for sinners must first be redeemed by his blood, before they can 
be brought to a saving knowledge of him, or an entire subjec- 
tion to him ; therefore he first deals with God as a Priest, in 
our behalf, and thereby prepares the way of salvation, and lays 
the foundation thereof, in his oblation and intercession, and then, 
as a Prophet and King, he deals with men, and thereby brings 
them to God. In this respect, therefore, if these three offices 
were to be laid down in their natural order, we must say, that 
Christ executes the office of a Priest, Prophet, and King. 

2. If we consider the order in which our Saviour executed 
these offices, in the exercise of his public ministry, we may say, 
he first produced his commission, or proclaimed the end of his 
coming into the world, and proved himself to be the Messiah, 
and so discovered himself to his people, as the great Prophet of 
his church ; and, after that, he laid down his lite, as a sacrifice 
for sin, as a Priest, and then he conquered his enemies, spoiled 
principalities and powers, and exerted the exceeding greatness 
of his power, in the application of redemption, as a King. It 
is in this respect that tlie offices of Christ are generally treated 
of, in the same method in which they are- here laid down ; so 
that his prophetical office is first mentioned, which is what we 
are now to consider. And, 

I. We shall shew how Christ is described, in scripture, as 
the Prophet of his church. There are many expressions where- 
by his prophetical office is set forth : Thus he is styled, a Teach- 
er come from God^ John iii. 2. and he calls himself our Master, 
Matt, xxiii. 8. or the Lord of our faith, and, as such, is distin- 
guished from all other teachers, some of which aflfected very 
much to be called Rabbi, and would persuade the world, by an 
implicit faith, to believe whatever they said : But our Saviour 
advises his disciples to refuse that title ; for, says he, Oiie is 
your master^ even Christ, 

Again, he is called, a law-giver^ Mat. xxxiii. 22. or, the one 
and only lawgiver; and, it is added, that he differs from all 
other law-givers, in that he is able to save^ and to destroy^ James 
iv. 12. he is also called, The Angel^ or Messenger of the cove- 
nant, who reveals the covenant of grace to us ; and brings these 
glad tidings, that is, in him, reconciling the world to himself. 

He is also called, The apostle, as well as the high Priest, of 
Gur profession, Heb. iii. 1. as he was first sent of God to pub- 
lish peace, before he appointed others, who are called apostles, 
or inferior ministers to him, to pursue the same design. He is 
also styled, A witness to the people, their leader and commander^ 
Isa. ,lv. 4. and he is farther described, as a faithful witness] 
Rev. i. 5. 
Vol. IL K k 

254 OF Christ's PROFHETicAL OFncE. 

And he is set forth by several metaphorical expressions, which 
denote the execution of this office, viz. The light which shineth 
in darkness^ John i. 5. Thiis the prophet Isaiah describes him, 
when he says, Arise^ shine ^ for thy light is come^ and the glory 
of the Lord is risen upon thee^ Isa. Ix. 1. He is likewise com- 
pared to the sun, the fountain of light, and so called. The Sun 
of righteousness^ that was to arise with healing in his xvings^ 
Mai. iv. 2, and, The bright and morning star^ Rev. xxii. 16, 
by which ,and many other expressions to the same purpose, this 
prophetical office of Christ is set forth in scripture. 

II. We shall now consider what Christ does in the execution 
of his prophetical office, as he is said to reveal the will of God 
to his church. And, 

1. How he was qualified for this work, which supposes him 
to have a perfect knowledge of the divine will. We have be- 
fore observed, that the Socinians, agreeably to the low thoughts 
they have of him, as a mere creature, suppose, that he was un- 
acquainted with the will of God till he entered on his public 
ministry; and, in order to his being instructed therein, that he 
was, soon after his baptism, taken into heaven, and there learn- 
ed, from the Father, what he was to impart to mankind, which 
they suppose to be the meaning of those scriptures, that speak 
of him, as coming doivnfrom heaven, or corni?ig forth from the 
JPcMer, into the world, John vi. 38. compared with chap. xvi. 
28. and his speaking as the Father had taught him, or what he 
had seen with his Father, chap. viii. 28, 38. But, since we have 
shewn the absurdity of this opinion elsewhere, when speaking 
in defence of our Saviour's deity *, and have considered that 
those scriptures, which mention his coming down from heaven, 
plainly refer to his incarnation, and that the mode of expression 
is the same, as when God is said, in other scriptures, to. come 
down into this lov/er world, by his manifestative presence here, 
which is not inconsistent with his omnipresence ; therefore I 
shall only add, at present, that those scriptures, which speak of 
Christ's being taught the things which he was to impart to the 
•ohurch, as they do not overthrow the omniscience of his divine 
nature ; so they give no countenance to this supposition, that his 
human nature was taken up into heaven to be taught the will 
of God. In this nature, indeed, he needed instruction, and had 
no knowledge but what he received by communication; and it 
is plainly said of him, that he increased in xvisdom, as he advan- 
ced in age : But the knowledge which he had, as man, which 
was sufficient to furnish him for the execution of this office, pro- 
ceeded from a two-fold cause, namely, the union of that nature 
with his divine Person, the result whereof was, his having all 
those perfections that belong to it, of which the knowledge of 
» See Vol. 1. Page 347—350. 

divine things is one ; for it would have been a dishonour to him, 
as God, to be united to a nature that had the least blemish or 
defect, or was unqualified to perform the Vv ork which he was 
therein to engage in. And, besides this, our Saviour had an 
unction from the Holy Ghost, which, as has been already ob- 
served, implies not only his receiving a commission, but, to- 
gether therewith, all necessary qualiiications to discharge the 
Work he was engaged in, which include in them his knowing 
the whole will of God; as it is said, God gave not the Spirit by 
measure unto him^ John iii. 34. that is, he gave it in a greater 
measure to him, than he ever did to any other, as the work, that 
he was to engage in, required it. 

2. Let us now consider what is the will of God, which Christ 
reveals. Tliis includes in it every thing that relates to our sal- 
vation, or that is necessary to be known and believed by us, in 
order thereunto, viz, that God had an eternal design to glorify 
his grace, in the recovery of a part of mankind from that guilt 
and misery, in which they were involved, and putting them in- 
to the possession of compleat blessedness ; and that, in order 
hereunto, each of the Persons in the Godhead designed to de- 
monstrate their distinct Personal glory, that, in this respect, 
they might receive adoration and praise from men ; the Father, 
as sending our Saviour, to be a Redeemer ; the Son, as taking 
that character and work upon him ; and the Spirit, as applying 
the redemption purchased by him. 

Moreover, he was to make a public proclamation that salva- 
tion was attainable ; and that the way to attain it, was by sin- 
ners coming to him as a Mediator, by whom they might have 
access to the Father ; and to invite them to come to him by 
faith, as he often does in the gospel. He v/as also to let them 
know, that this faith is the gift of God, and in what way they 
may expect to attain it, to wit, in a constant attendance on the 
ordinances of his own appointment; and, to encourage them here- 
unto, that there are many great and precious promises, which 
are all put into his hand, to apply and make good to his peopk. 
These, and many other things, which contain in them the sum 
and substance of the gospel, are what we understand by the 
will of God, which Christ communicates, as a Prophet, to his 
church* As it may be observed, that these doctrines are such 
as are matter of pure revelation, which could not have been 
known without it, as well as of the highest importance, and there- 
fore worthy to be made known by so excellent a Person. And 
this leads us to consider, 

III. The persons to whom Christ reveals the v/ill of God, 
namely, the church; to them the lively oracles of God are com- 
mitted ; and they are built on the foundations of the apostles 
and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner-stoneo 

3-56 or eHRisx's prophetical offige. 

As for the world, which is sometimes opposed to the church, k 
is said, that, bi/ xvisdom it kneiv not God^ 1 Cor. i. 21. that is, 
not in such a way as he is revealed in the gospel ; but the church, 
which Christ loved, and for which he gave himself, is said to 
be sanctified by the word^ Eph. v. 26. and to them it is give?i, 
to knoxv the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; but to others it is 
not given, Matt. xiii. 11. so diat the church is the seat, and 
the object of the execution of Christ's prophetical, as well as of 
his other offices ; They are taught by him as the truth is in Je- 
sus, Eph. iv. 21. 

IV. We are now to consider the way and means by which 
Christ reveals the will of God to the church ; there are two ways 
by which this is done. 

1. Objectively, which is an external method of instruction, 
the effect and consequence whereof is our hearing of him by the 
hearmg of the ear, or as the apostle calls it, our having the form 
of knowledge, and of the truth in the laii\ Rom. ii. 20. This in- 
struction Christ is said to give by the word : And this he did ; 
first, by publishing the glad tidings of salvation in his own Per- 
son, which he mentions, as one great end for Vv'hich he was sent 
into the world, as he says, I must preach the kingdom of God, for 
therefore am I se7it, Luke iv. 43. and accordingly he styles 
himself. The Light of the zvorld, John viii. 12. and it is said, 
that he xvas anointed to preach good things unto the meek, sent 
to bind, up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, 
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, Isa. Ixi. 
1. and when he is represented, as complying with the call of 
God, p.nd delighting to do his -will, he adds, I have preached, 
righteousness in the great congregation ; lo, I have not refrained 
my lips,, Lord^ thou knoxvest, I have not hid thy righteousness 
zuithin my heart, I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salva- 
tion ; I have not concealed thy loving-kindness, and thy truth, 
from the great congregation, Psal. xl. 9, 10. And as Christ 
preached the gospel in his own Person, so, when he left the 
world, he gave commission to others to preach it, and his Spi- 
rit to instruct them what they should deliver, by whose inspira- 
tion his word was committed to writing, which is the fountain 
of all truth ; and, by this means, the church attains, as at this 
day, the knowledge thereof. 

2. Our Saviour reveals the will of God to his people, in a' 
subjective way, which is internal, whereby he deals with their 
hearts, which he disposes and fits to receive the truth : Here- 
by he opens the eyes of the understanding, to see a beauty and 
glory in the gospel, and inclines all the powers and faculties of 
the soul to be conformed to it ; and this he does more especially 
in those in whom he executes his prophetical office effectually, 
unto salvation. This is styled, in this answer, Christ's execu- 


.ting his prophetical office by his Spirit, as distinguished from 
the execution thereof by his word. We read sometimes of die 
Spirit's teaching us, in scripture as our Saviour tells his disci- 
pies, that He, viz. the Spirit, xvould guide them into all truth^ 
John xvi. 13. and of believers having their souls purified^ in 
obeying the truths through the Spirit^ 1 Pet. i. 22. and at other 
times of Christ's teaching by his Spirit. Now there is no es- 
sential difference between Christ^s teaching as God, and the 
Spirit's teaching, since the divine glory of the Son and Spirit, 
to which this effect is attributed, is the same : But Christ's teach- 
ing by his Spirit, only denotes, as was before observed under a 
foregoing answer, the subserviency of the Spirit's acting here- 
in, to Christ's executing this branch of his prophetical office, 
whereby he demonstrates his personal glory *. 

V. We are now to consider the various ages in which Christ 
is said to execute this office. That he did this after his incar- 
nation ; first, in his own Person, and then, by taking care that 
his gospel should be preached in all succeeding ages, until his 
second coming, has been already considered. We may also ob- 
serve, that Christ executed his prophetical office before his in- 
carnation :* Thus it is said, that, by his Spirit^ he preached un- 
to the spirits in prison^ that is, to the world before the flood, 
who are represented in the words immediately following, as di^- 
obedient^ -when once the long-suffering ofGodxvaitedin the days 
of Noah y while the ark was preparing^ 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. so 
that Noah who was a prophet, was his inferior minister, raised 
up, and spirited by him, to preach to the world, which upon that 
account, is called Christ's preaching, and accordingly herein he 
executed his prophetical office. And he is also said to have 
given the law from mount Sinai, as the apostle's words seem to 
intimate, when he says. Whose .voice shook the earthy Heb. xii. 
26. to wit, mount Sinai, which trembled when he gave the law 
from thence ; and that this refers to our Saviour, appears from 
the words immediately foregoing, wherein it is said. See that 
ye refuse not him that speaketh^ namely, Christ; /or if they es- 
caped not who refused him that spake on earthy to wit, from 
mount Sinai, or when he spake on earth, much ?nore shall not 
we escape if we turn away from hhn^ that speakethfrom heaven : 
whose voice then shook the earthy &c. ver. 25. 

Moreover, that he executed his prophetical office before his 
incarnation, and thereby led his church into the knowledge of 
divine truth, is evident, from the account we have, in scripture, 
of his appearing to them in the form of a man, or an angel, 
which^ he more frequently did, before the word of God was 
committed to writing, and afterwards occasionally in follov/ing 
ages : Thus he appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and 
* See YoL l.P^s^ 291,'?92. 


sent him into Egypt to demand liberty for Israel, and afterwards 
he led them through the red sea, as appearing in the pillar of 
the cloud and fire ; and he is described, as the angel which was 
with Moses in the church in the wilderness which spake to him 
in mount Sinai^ and with our fathers^ who received the lively ora- 
cles^ Acts vii. 38. which is a farther proof of what was before 
mentioned, that he gave the law from thence ; and while they 
travelled through the wilderness, he led them about^ or went be- 
fore them, in the pillar of cloud, and instructed them^ Deut. 
xxxii. 10. so that all the knowledge of divine things, which 
they attained to, was the result of the execution of his prophet- 
ical office unto them. And when at any time they opposed 
Moses, his under-minister, he appeared in Person and vindica- 
ted him ; as in that particular instance, occasioned by Aaron's 
and Miriam's speaking against him, wherein it is said. The 
Lord came dozvn in a pillar of a cloudy and stood in the door of 
the tabernacle^ and said ^ If there be a prophet among you ^ /, the 
Lord^ zvill make myself known unto him in a vision^ and will speak 
unto him in a dream ; my servant Moses is not so^ who is faith- 
ful in all mine house^ Numb. xii. 5 — 7. "which is a farther inti- 
mation, that Christ then executed his prophetical office, by in- 
spiring the prophets, who were raised up at that time.* 

To conclude this head, we may observe the difference be- 
tween Christ's executing his Prophetical office, before and af- 
ter his incarnation. In the former of these, as v/as but now 
hinted, he occasionally assumed the likeness of the human na- 
ture, that he might the better converse with man, but was not 
really incarnate ; in the latter, he delivered the mind and will 
of God, as dwelling in our nature. Before this, he discovered 
what was necessary to be knov/n by the church at that time, 
and gave them those promises which related to the work of our 
redemption, to be performed by him : but, in the present exe- 
cution of his Prophetical office, he opens a more glorious scene, 
and represents all those promises, as having their accomplish- 
ment in him, and displays the divine perfections, in bringing 
about our salvation, in their greatest beauty and lustre. 

Quest. XLIV. How doth Christ execute the ojflce of a Priest f 

Answ. Christ executeth the office of a Priest, in his once of-- 
fering himself a sacrifice, without spot, to God, to be a re^ 

* The force of this argument^ and the application of these and several other scrip- 
tures to Christ, depend upon this supposition, ivliich, -we take for granted, and, -were 
it needful, might easily be proved, that rjhenever a divine perso?i is said, in scripture, 
to appear in the form of an angel, or to appear in a cloud as a symbol, or emblem of 
his presence, this is always meant of our Saviour. But compare Wa.tts's VVork*-:. 
5 vol. o81, and Edwards's Works, 4 vol. 491. 


conciliation for the sins of his people, and in making conti- 
nual intercession for them. 

IN considering Christ's Priestly office, as described in this 
answer, we may observe the two great branches thereof, 
namely, the offering himself a sacrifice ; and making interces- 
sion. There are several scriptures Vv'hich expressly mention both 
of them : thus he is said, through the eternal Spirit^ to have of- 
fered himsef^ without spot^ to God^ Heb. ix. 14. and then de- 
scribed, as having entered into heaven^ noiv to appear in the pre- 
sence of God for us^ ver. 24. and elsewhere the apostle speaks 
of hmi, as having an unchangeable priesthood^ and being able to 
save them to the uttermost that come imto God by him^ and that 
this is founded on his offering up himself, and making inter- 
cession for them, chap. vii. 24, 25, 27. In considering this, we 
may observe, 

I. The reason of his being styled a Priest, which denomina- 
tion was taken from those who exercised the priestly office un- 
der the ceremonial law, who were types of him, as such ; ac- 
cordingly we may consider; that the office of the priesthood was 
executed by sundry persons, appointed to this service. A priest 
was a public minister, who was to serve at the altar, to offer 
both gifts and sacrifices for sins^ Heb. v. 1. That these were 
offered in all the ages of the church, after the fall of man, ap- 
pears, from the sacrifice that Abel offered, which the apostle 
calls an excellent one, and, upon this occasion, says, that he 
obtained witness that he xvas righteous^ God testifying of his 
gifts, Heb. xi. 4. and therefore it follows, that it was instituted 
by him : yet it does not appear that there was, in that early age 
of the church, a set of men solemnly and publickly invested in 
this office ; but the heads of families are generally supposed to 
have been the public ministers in holy things, and particularly 
priests, though they do no" appear to have been then so styled ; 
and thus it continued till about the time that God brought Is- 
rael out of Egypt, when, by his appointment, all the first-bora 
of the children of Israel were consecrated to him ; and these 
officiated as priests, during that small interval of time, till the 
priesthood was settled in the tribe of Levi, upon which occa- 
sion God says, I have taken the Levites from amotig the children 
of Lrael, instead of all the first-born, because all the frst-born 
are ?nine ; for on the day that I smote all the frst-born, in the 
land of Egypt, I hallowed unto me all the frst-born in Israel^ 
Numb. iii. 12, 13. And, when God gave the ceremonial law 
from mount Sinai, he appointed that tribe to minister as priests 
in holy things. Of these some had one part of the ministry of 
the sanctuary committed to them, and others another ; particu- 
larly the priesthood, or the charge of offering gifts and sacrifi 

260 6F Christ's priestly office. 

ces, was more, especially committed to the family of Aaron, of 
which the eldest son, in their respective generations, was gene- 
rally advanced to the high priesthood, and other descendants 
from him were common priests, who acted under, or were as- 
sistants to him in all the parts of his ministry, excepting that 
which respected his entering into the holy of holies. These 
were invested in their respective offices by unction, though the 
high priest's office and unction had some things peculiar in it, 
m which it exceeded theirs ; and they were all types of Christ's 
priesthood, though the high priest was so in an eminent de- 
gree ; which leads us to consider, 

II. The Priesthood of Christ, as typified under the ceremo- 
nial law, and that either by the service which was commonly 
performed by the high priest, and other priests under him, or 
as it was typified by Melchizedec, who is occasionally men- 
tioned in scripture, as shadowing forth Christ's Priesthood in 
r>ome particular instances, which were not contained in other 
types thereof. 

1. We shall speak concerning the priests under the law, as 
types of Christ's Priesthood, and particularly shew wherein 
their priesthood agrees with, or differs from his. 

(1.) Wherein they agree. 

1^^, Every high priest was taken from among men^ as the 
apostle observes, Heb. v. 1. andrvas ordained for men in things 
pertaining to God, And, to this we may add, that he was taken 
froin among his brethren, and so must be a inember of that 
church, in whose name he administered, and of which he was 
the head, by the dignity of his office. In this, he was a lively 
type of Christ, who, in order to his being an High Priest, be- 
came man, that he might perform this ministry for men in 
things pertaining to God. It is true, the validity of his office, 
or the efficacy thereof to answer its designed end, arose from 
the dignity of his Person, as God; yet the matter thereof, or 
the ministry he performed, required that he should be taken 
from among men, and have all the essential properties of the 
human nature ; so that, as the high priest was taken out of the 
church, or from among his brethren, and, by office, was the 
head thereof, Christ was a member of the church, and, as such, 
complied with those ordinances which God had instituted there- 
in, and from the dignity of his Person and office, was the Head 
thereof: as a Meniiber of it, he was exposed to the same temp- 
tations and miseries as they arc, and so is able to sympathize 
with, and succour them under all their temptations, Heb. iv. 15. 
compared with chap. v. 2. and as the Head thereof, he manages 
all affairs relating to it, and expects that all his people should 
be entirely subjected to him. 

2dlif^ The matter of the priest's office, or the things that were 


oiFered by him, were, as was before observed, gifts and sacri- 
fices offered for the remission of sins ; which blessing could not 
be attained without shedding of blood, as the apostle observes, 
•without sfiedding of blood there is no reynission^ chap. ix. 22. 
Thus Christ was to redeem his people, and procure forgiveness 
of sins, and make atonement for them by sacrifice, or by the 
shedding of blood. 

3^/z/, After the high priest had offered sacrifices, there was 
another part of that ministry, which was peculiar to himself, in 
%vhich he was an eminent type of Christ, which he performed 
but once a year, to wit, on the great day of expiation, when he 
went into the holiest of all within the vail, with blood and in- 
cense j the blood he sprinkled on the mercy-seat over the ark, 
and caused the smoke of the incense to ascend and cover the 
mercy-seat, and from thence he received an intimation from 
God, that the sacrifices, which he had offered for the people, 
were accepted, after which he went out, and blessed them, in 
the name of the Lord ; in all which, he was a lively type of 
Christ's executing his Priestly office, chap. ix. 3, f. compared 
with Lev. xvi. 14. who first offered an acceptable sacrifice for 
us on earth, and then entered into heaven, (which was typified 
by the priest's entering into the holy of holies) to present his 
sacrifice before God, and to make intercession for us ; and, as 
the consequence hereof, he blesses his people, in turning them 
from all their iniquities, and in conferring all the other fruits 
and effects of his sacrifice upon them. Thus Christ's Priest- 
hood was shadowed forth by that ministry, which was perform- 
ed by the priests under the ceremonial law ; nevertheless, 

(2.) There were many things in which they differed ; as, 

1.9^, The priests under the law were mere men ; but Christ, 
though truly man, was more than a man. Though he was made, 
in all the essential properties of the human nature, like unto 
us ; yet he had a divine nature, in which he was equal with 
God ; and therefore his ministry could not but be infinitely 
more valuable, than that of any others, who were types of him. 

2dly^ The priests under the law were of the tribe of Levi, 
and therefore theirs is called, by the apostle. The Levitical 
priesthood^ Heb. vii. 11. But our Saviour, as Mun, was of the 
tribe of Judah, and therefore did not derive his priesthood 
from them by descent, as they did from one another, chap. vii.. 
^^, 14. 

Sdly^ The sacrifices which were offered by the priests under 
the law, were no other than the blood of beasts, appointed for 
that purpose; but Christ offered his own blood, chap. ix. 12, 14. 

4^/i/z/, The priests under the law were sinners ; accordingly 
Aaron was obliged j^r^? to offer up sacrifce for his own sins^ 
and then for the peoples\ chap. vii. 27. but Christ needed not 

Vol. II. LI 


to do this, for he xvas holy^ hannlessy undejiled^ and separate 
from sinners^ ver. 26. 

5thhj^ The sacrifices offered by the priests under the law, 
could not expiate, or take azvay. sins^ chap. x. 4. but Christ, by 
the oflfering that he has made, has ybr ever perfected them that 
are sanctified^ or made a full atonement for all sin. Now since 
it is said, that it was impossible for sin to be expiated by the 
sacrifices under the law, we are to enquire in what sense atone- 
ment was, or could not be made thereby : if the sin was of such 
a nature, or that it was punishable by human judicature, the 
making atonement by sacrifice, in many instances, put a stop to 
the prosecution, and took away the guilt, which the person had 
contracted, as to any farther proceedings of men against him ; 
for this was an ordinance appointed by God, in which the of- 
fender had an external and visible recourse to the blood of Je- 
sus, signified by the blood which he offered ,• and this is sup- 
posed to have been accompanied with repentance for the sin 
committed, which gave satisfaction to the church, as to what 
concerned this matter, as offensive to them ; and they could de- 
mand no more of the oflPender, in order to their declaring, that^ 
so far as they were judges, his guilt was expiated, by that which 
was signified by the sacrifice which he brought, which was of- 
fered for him, and therefore the crime that he committed was 

It is true, there were some crimes that were to be punished 
%vith death ; and, in this case, the church was not to receive sa- 
tisfaction by sacrifice, nor were proceedings against the guilty 
person to be stopped by this means : and, among other crimes, 
that of wilful murder was one which admitted of no sacrifice; 
so, I think, the meaning of v/hat the Psalmist says, is to be un- 
derstood, Thou desirest not sacrifice^ else xvould I give it^ Psal. 
li. 16. as implying, that the guilt of blood was such, that he 
had hereby forfeited his life, which, though no subject had 
power enough to take away, yet God might, for this, have set 
his face against him, and have cut him off, in a visible manner, 
from among his people, as he often did, when crimes were not 
punished in a legal way. This punishment God graciously re- 
mitted, when he told him, by Nathan, that he had put awair 
his sin, he shoidd not die, 2 Sam. xii. 13. and David, when he 
testifies his repentance, in this Psalm, would have offered sa-, 
crifice, but he finds that none was ordained for the sin he had 
committed. In other cases, indeed, the church was satisfied, 
excommunication, or some other punishment, prevented, and 
the offender taken into favour, by his offering sacrifice, in which 
respect, this service is called making atonement for him : but^ 
in other respects, it was impossible to expiate sin thereby, so 
as to procure justification in the sight of God ; for they could 

OF Christ's pfvIestly opriCE. 263 

not expiate it, as to what concerns the conscience, as it is said, 
that the sacrifices could not make h'lm^ that did the service^ per- 
fect^ as pertaining to the conscience^ Heb. ix. 9. so that, that 
guih of sin, which burdens the consciences of men, as having 
more immediately to do vv ith God, was taken away only by 
Christ's sacrifice ; in which respect, the efficacy hereof far ex- 
ceeds all the ends and designs of the sacrifices, which were of- 
fered under the law. And this farther appears, inasmuch as 
these sacrifices were to be repeated, there being a continual re- 
membrance of sin ; for this supposes, that sin was not hereby 
wholly expiated in the sight of God : and, in this, they also 
differ from the sacrifice Christ offered, inasmuch as that, being- 
effectual to take away sin, was offered but once, chap. x. 10, 14. 

6M/e/, The priests under the law were mortal, and therefore 
the priesthood was successive ; but Christ, as he was not from 
them by a lineal descent so he had no successor in his priest- 
hood. In this, the apostle opposes him to them, when he says. 
They truly zvere 7nany^ because they were not suffered to con- 
tinue^ by reason of death ; but this man^ because he continueth 
ever^ hath an unchangeable priesthood^ chap. vii. 23. 

Again, as the priesthood ceased, in particular persons, by 
death, so the high priesthood was sometimes taken away from 
those that were advanced unto it, fo^' . some instances of mal- 
administration : thus the high priesthood, for some time, de- 
scended in the line of Eleazar, the elder branch of Aaron's fa- 
mily ; and afterwards, during the reign of the judges, it waf^ 
transferred to the younger branch of his family, namely, the 
descendants from Ithamar, in which line it was when Eli was 
high priest ; ^ and afterwards, when his sons, by their vile be- 
haviour, forfeited their right to the high priesthood, and God 
threatened that he would take it away from his family, 1 Sam. 
ii. 30. compared with ver. 2.5, and 1 Kings ii. Z5. (which was 
accomplished when Abiathar, in the beginning of Solomon's 
reign, was thrust from the priesthood) it again descended in 
Zadock, to the elder branch of Aaron's family^ 

* It is -very hai^d to determine the reason of the translation of the high pnesthood 
from Eleazar to Ithamar' s fatmli/, or the exact time ivJieyi this loas done. The learn- 
ed Dr. Lightfoot {See his Works y Vol. I. page 51.] gi-ces a very probable cccou?it 
hereof, or the best conjecture that, I think, can be made relating to it, -u-hich is this . 
He supposes, that Jepthah offered his daughter, not as devoting her to perpetual vir^ 
giniiy, but by putting her to death, -avhich -j;.. v one of the most vile and inhuman ac- 
tions that we read of in scripture : it zvus, in Jepthah, a sin of ignorance, arising 
frojn the disadvantage of his education, and the ill example of those from rjhom he 
took it, before he luas raised up to be a Judge : but the high priest ought to have re- 
strained him from it, by tellijig him, that it was a sin ; '^vhereas, instead thereof, it is 
^lore than probable that he ~i;as active herein, or the person by n-hom this sacrifice was 
performed ; and consequently this -was such an instance of male-administration, that,, 
for it, the high priesthood was take7ifroTn ihtlt bmnch «tA(irtHi^? family., in 7vhich it 
ihen icas, and transferred to another. 


Again the priesthood itself was not designed to continue for 
ever, but only during that dispensation ; after which, there was 
to be no altar, priests nor, sacrifice : But Christ's priesthood^ 
as it was unalienable, so it could never be forfeited by male- 
administration, or descend to any other ; therefore he is said to 
be a Priest for ever, which seems to be the meaning of that 
scripture, in which his priesthood is considered, ?s different 
from the Levitical priesthood, as those priests xvere made with- 
out an oath ; hut this ivith an oath^ by him that said unto him. 
The Lord sware, a?idzvill not repent^ Thou art a priest for every 
chap. vii. 21. which oath not only signifies the establishing of 
him in his priesthood, but it secured to him that he should ne- 
ver fall from it. 

There are other things in which Christ's priesthood differs 
from that of the priests under the law, in that they entered in- 
to the holy places 7nade with hands^ but Christ into heaven it self 
chap. ix. 7» compared with ver. 24. and then it was only the 
high priest that was to enter into the holy of holies : But, as the 
apostle observes, that under the gospel, in the virtue of Christ's 
sacrifice, all believer's are admitted into the holiest of all, that 
3S, they have access through faith, into the presence of God, by 
the blood of jesus. 

And lastly, under the law, there was a certain order of men 
that were priests, and yet all the people were not so ; but, under 
the gospel-dispensation, believers are styled, an holy and a roy- 
al priesthood^ and the sacrifices they offer iip^ are spiritual sac- 
rifices^ acceptable to God^ by Jesus Christy 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9. And 
this leads us, 

2. To consider Christ'^s priesthood, as typified by Melchize- 
dek, concerning whom it is said, in Gen. xiv. 18, 19, 20. that 
Melchizedek, king of Salem^ brought forth bread and wine 
to Abraham^ returning from the slaughter of the Aifigs ; and he 
luas priest of the ??iost high God, and he blessed /mn, &c. And 
this is referred to, as tending to set forth Christ's priesthood, in 
Psal. ex. 4. The Lord hath sworn and zvill not repent ; thou 
art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek ; and the 
apostle, in Heb. vii., refers to these scriptures, which are the 
only places of the Old Testament where this is mentioned, and 
applies them to Christ^s priesthood as containing many things 
which were not typified by the Aaronical priesthood. And it 
may be observed, that when rhe apostle enters on this subject, 
he premises this concerning it, that it contained a very great 
difficulty, as he says, Ofxvhom [i. e. Melchizedek'] we have ma- 
ny things to say^ and hard to be uttered^ Heb. v. 11. that is, 
hard to be explained, so as to be fully understood ; it will be 
no strange thing therefore if we cannot fulh^ explain it, or as- 
3<:rt some things concerning it, which are only probable; an<;! 

certainly this observation of the apostle should induce us to 
treat on this subject with the greatest humility and modesty- 
As to what we have to say concerning it, I hope we shall ad" 
vance nothing contrary to the analogy of faith, how difficult so- 
ever some phrases, used in scripture, relating thereunto, may 
seem to be : And the method in which we shall proceed, shall 
be ; Jirst^ to enquire who this Melchizedek was ; and, secondly^ 
how we have herein an eminent type of Christ's priesthood in 
some things, in which it was not shadowed forth by the Aaron- 
ical priesthood. 

We shall now enquire who this Melchizedek probably was ; 
and here we pass by the conjecture of some who lived in an 
early age of Christianity, whom Epiphanius mentions *, who 
supposed that he was the Holy Ghost ', which appears to be a 
very absurd notion, inasmuch as we never read in scripture, of 
the Holy Ghost's appearing in the form of a man, nor of his 
performing any of those offices which belong to the Mediator ; 
and therefore it is equally contrary, to the tenor of scripture, to 
call him the priest of the most high God, as it is to call the 
Father so ; and thus Melchizedek is styled, in the scripture we 
are explaining. I shall add no more, as to this ungrounded 
opinion ; but proceed to consider that which is more common- 
ly acquiesced in, namely. 

Firsts That he was a man : But when it is farther enquired, 
what man ? there are three diflPerent opinions relating hereunto. 

(1.) The Jews generally conclude that he was Shem, the son 
of Noah, as also do many other ancient and modern writers, 
who pay a deference to their authority and reasoning f . The 
principal thing that induces them to be of this opinion, is, because 
it appears, from scripture-chronology, that Shem was living at 
that time, when Abraham returned from the slaughter of the 
kings |:. And they farther add, that Shem, having received 
the patriarchal benediction from his father, might tg|&r be 
reckoned the great^t man in the church, and that b^n as a 
priest and a king, as Melchizedek is described to be. But 

* Vid. Ephiph. Hxr. Page 67. § 7. f .imong the latter, is the learned Br, 

Lightfoot. See his Works, Vol. I. Page 12. and Vol. 11. Page 327. ? We have 
no account of the year ivhen this battle ivas fought; but it is evident thatitivas 
before Isaac ivas born, and consequently before Abraham had lived 25 years in the 
land of Canaan. And that Sheyn -was then living, appears from hence, that from 
the flood to Abraham's coming into the land of Canaan, luas 427 years, as appears 
by considering the sum total of the years of tlie lives of the patriarchs, tnentioned 
in Gen. xi. 10. & seq. a7id also that Terah xvas 130 years old ivJien Abraham was 
born, as appears, by comparing Gen. xi. o'2. xvith Acts vii.4. and Gen. xii.4. ami 
by considering Abraham as 75 years old, as it is there said he ivas, when 
he left liaran. JVow Shem was born 98 or 100 years before the food, as appears by 
comparing Gen. v. 32. with chap. xi. 10. and vii. 11. Therefore, when Abraham 
went out of his country into the land of Canaan, Shem was 525 or 527 years old ; 
and, wJien Sliem died, he was 600 years old. Gen. xi. 10, 11. tlierefore Shem lived 
mors than half a hundred years after this battle wasfoitght. 


there are two very considerable objections against this opinion, 
which have weight enough in them, if not to overthrow it, at 
least to make it very doubtful : namely, 

1*^, That Shem's father, mother, and descent, together with 
the beginning of his life, and afterwards the end thereof, were 
well known, the year when he was born, and the time that he 
lived, being particularly mentioned in scripture ; and therefore 
the apostle could not say concerning him, as he does concern- 
ing Melchizedek, that he was without father^ without mother^ 
without descent having neither beginning of days ^nor end of life; 
meaning, as most expositors suppose, that he was so, because 
these were not known, or mentioned in scripture. 

2^/z/, It is very plain from scripture, that Shem's place of 
abode was not in the land of Canaan, and therefore he could 
not be said to be king of Salem, that is as it is understood by the 
greatest number of expositors, of Jerusalem ; since this was the 
seat of the posterity of Ham, one of Shem's brethren ; accord- 
ingly from Canaan, his son, that land took its name. This evi- 
dently appears from what is said in Gen. x. 6 — 20. where the Je- 
busite, Emorite, Hivite, and other inhabitants of the land of 
Canaan, are said to be the descendants of Ham. For these 
reasons, Melchizedek does not appear to have been Shem. 

(2.) There is one learned writer, who conjectures that this 
Melchizedek was Ham *, which, indeed, agrees very well with 
the place of his residence : But there are other things which 
render this opinion not in the least probable ; not only because 
the same thing may be observed of Ham, as was before of 
Shem, that he could not be said to be without father, without 
mother, without beginning of years, and end of life : But it 
may farther be said concerning him, that he had not received 
the patriarchal benediction from Noah, his posterity having 
had a curse entailed upon them, as it is said, in Gen. ix. 25. 
Curs^be Canaan. Therefore some question, whether Ham 
mightbe reckoned a member of die churchf(fl) much more whe- 
ther he deserved to be called a priest of the most high God, and 
king of righteousness ; though it is true, this author f supposes, 
that Ham was not cursed by Noah, but only Canaan his son^ 
and his posterity ; therefore he might have been an excellent 
person, and deserved the character given of Melchizedek. But 
there are very few who will be convinced by this method of 
reasoning ; and therefore we pass it over, and proceed to con- 

(3.) That the greatest part of divines suppose, that it is not 
only the safest, but most probable way of solving this difficulty, 
to confess, that it is impossible to determine who he was, and 
* SeeJurieu*s critical history, vol. I. chap. 11. f See critical history, vol. I, page 110. 

(c?) As yet there avjts no church. 


that the Holy Ghost has purposely concealed this matter, from 
us, that he might be a more eminent type of Christ ; and 
therefore they suppose him to have been a certain unknown 
king and priest residing at Jerusalem, at that time when Abra- 
ham was met by him, and that this ought to put a full stop to 
all farther enquiries about him : upon which account, it may 
well be said, concerning him, that he was without father, with- 
out mother, £sPc. that is, these were not known ; and what does 
not appear to be, is sometimes said, in scripture, not to be. 
Thus concerning their opinion, who suppose that he was a 

Secotidhj, There is another opinion concerning him, which 
though not so commonly received as the first and third above 
mentioned, which though probably it may not be without some 
difficulties attending it, yet it very much deserves our conside- 
ration, namely, that Melchizedek was our Lord Jesus Christ 
himself, assuming, at that time, the form of a man, and per- 
sonating a priest and a king, as he did on several occasions, 
designing thereby to prefigure his future incarnation ^(<7) And 
it is argued in defence of this opinion, 

Ist^ That when the apostle describes him as king of Salem, he 
does not hereby intend Jerusalem, or that at that time, he resided 

* This opinion is viaintained by CunauSy [Vid. ejusd. Repub. Hebr. Lib. III. 
cap. 3.] and some oifiers after him. 

(a) " Some insist that he is none other than the So7i of God himself, who, as- 
suming' the appearance^ or reality^ of humanity, exhibited to Abraham an early 
picture of his tuture priesthood. 

" Thb is all over contemptible. — 1. Because every high priest is t^ken from 
among' men ; the appearance of humanity is not enough. — 2. Because if he was at 
that time a priest, and discharged the duties of his office, he must have " suffered 
often," (twice) " from the beginning of the world;'* and not " by the once of- 
fering up of himself have for ever perfected tliem who are sanctified :" then, 
moreover, Abraham would have received the promised blessing, contrary to the 
scriptures : and, in fine, the appearance of the Son of God, as the Son of Mary, 
was superfluous. If, to avoid those absurdities, it be alleged that though he ap- 
peared as a priest, he did not discharge the duties of his office : then, in the first 
place, he is degraded into a mere pageant, an officer without functions : and, in 
the second place, he is stripped of all typical character : for the priest who nei- 
tiier sacrifices, nor intercedes, can never be a type of one who docs both. — 3. Be- 
cause, if Melchisedec was the Son of God, v.'hether in real humaniiy, or only ia 
its appearance, he must have been a type of himself; the ideas of identity and si- 
milarity are confounded ; and Paul instead of saying, et<f^'jefxoiui/j.tvoi; lu vm % Qea, 
that lie was "made like to the Son of God," should have said, uv o umc laQm, that 
he was the Son of God. — 4. Because it would be unworthy the manly sense of 
Paul, to :.-ay nothing of inspiration, to labour througii a long dissertation to prove 
a mere truism, which it v.^ould disgrace an ideot to utter, and insult a child to 
ofier for information ; namely, that Messiah's priesthood was very like itself.-^ 
6. Because it v.-ould be extremely irreverent to suppose, that the adorable God 
lifted up his hand and swore, that his Son's priesthood, should be like his Son's 
^ri'iesthood. An identical proposition does not require such a solemn confir- 

Gray oy PuiesTnooB. 


there : But, as he explains it, in the words immediately follow- 
ing, it implies, that he was king of peace ^ as this word Salem 
signifies ; and accordingly he is set forth by two of those glo- 
rious titles, which are given him elsewhere in scripture, name- 
ly, king of righteousness, as it is said concerning him, that a 
king shall rise and prosper^ who is called^ The Lord our righ- 
teousness^ Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. and likewise, The Fri?ice of Peace^ 
Isa. ix. 6. And that which makes this opinion more probable, 
is, that it doth not appear that Jerusalem was called Salem, 
which is supposed to be a contraction of the word Jerusalem, 
till some ages after this ; for, till David conquered it, it was 
commonly known by the name of Jebus, 1 Chron. xi. 4. 

2dly^ The apostle's description of him, as being without fa- 
ther^ zvithout mother^ without descent^ having neither beginning 
of days ^ nor end of life ^ is rather applicable to a divine Person 
than a mere man. And as for the sense, which is generally 
given of these words, namely, that he was without father, £ifc. 
because no mention is made thereof in scripture, viz, in those 
two scriptures in the Old Testament, in which he is spoken of; 
this seems more strained and forced, than to understand them 
according to the proper sens* of the words; and, if, indeed, 
this imports nothing else, but the silence of scripture, with re- 
lation thereunto, there are many other persons who have a's 
^reat a right to this character as Melchizedek ; as Job, Elijah, 
£ffc. whereas Melchizedek is thus described, as distinguished 
from all others. 

To this we may add, (which will farther strengthen this ar- 
gument) what the apostle says, that in this res|>ect, he was 7nade 
like the Son ofGod^ that is, as is generally supposed, a type of 
him. Now, if his being vfithowt father^ mother^ descent^ &c. in 
the common acceptation of the words, be inconsistent with his 
being a type of Christ to the church, in Abraham's time, then 
certainly that cannot be the sense thereof; for he was, without 
doubt, a type of his priestly, and kingly office to him, and the 
church, in his davs, as v/ell as to those who lived in following 
ages. Now, that he could not be a type thereof to many, who 
lived in that age, is evident ; for they, who lived in the place 
where he was born and died, knew his father, mother, descent, 
beginning, or end of life ; therefore he was no type of Christ's 
eternal priesthood to them. And as for Abraham, though he 
might not know his father, mother, or descent, or the exact 
time when he was born, and so, in that respect he might, in 
part, be made like to the Son of God, to him, as signifying, 
that his priestly office was not derived by descent, as the Aa- 
ronical priesthood descended from parents to children : yet he 
could not be a type of the everlasting duration of Christ's 
priestly office since he was then no mpre without end of days^ 


in the common sense in which that expression was taken, than 
Abraham, or any other who lived with him, who could not be 
supposed to know the time, or place, of their death. And, if, 
according to the common opinion, Melchizedek is said to be 
without father, mother, descent, (^c. because there is no men- 
tion thereof in scripture, this could not be a type to Abraham, 
or any other, before the word of God was committed to v/ri- 

od/if^ There is another thing, which may be observed in the 
apostle's description of him, Heb. viii. 8. when he says, that 
he Uveih^{ci) and accordmgly is opposed to those priests that ^if, 
by which he seems to be described as immortal, and so oppos- 
ed to mortal men. It is not said, that he once lived, and that we 
have no mention made of the time of his death, but he liveth^ 
which sbme conclude to be an ascription of that divine perfec- 
tion to him, whereby he is styled the living God, or, as it is 
said in one of the following verses. He ever iiveth, ver. 25. to 
denote his eternal priesthood; or, as he says concerning him- 
self elsewhere, J am he that liveth^ and was deady and behold I 
am alive for evermore^ Rev. i. 8. 

Afthly^ That which still makes this opinion more probable, is 
the consideration of the place, where they, who defend the 
other side of the question, suppose he lived, and the people to 
whom he ministered as a priest, which seems not agreeable to 
the character given him, as the greatest priest on earth. The 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, at that time, were idolaters, or at 
least, they had no relation to the church of God, which was 
then seated in Abraham's family ; for, when Abraham sojourn- 
ed in Gerar, not many miles distant from it, in the south-west 
border of the land of Canaan, he gives this description of it, 
that he thought surely the fear of God was not in this place ; 
and it can hardly be supposed that Jebus, or Jerusalem, was 
much better. If the Canaanites had been members of the true 
church, Abraham would not have lived as a stranger and so- 
journer amongst them, not desirous to converse with them. 
Since therefore Jerusalem, or Salem, was inhabited by those 
who were not worshippers of the true God, how could Melchize- 
dek be said to be their priest, or a minister in holy things to them t 
for, though an holy man may be a king over a wicked people, 
such an one cannot v/ell be said to be a priest to tliose, who de- 
sire not to be found in the exercise of God's true worship. 

Sthhjy It seems farther probable, that Melchisedek was not 
a priest, or king, whose usual place of residence v/as Jerusalem, 
where he administered and reigned, inasmuch as we do not read 
that Abraham, at any other time, conversed, or joined with him 
hi worship, though the place where he sojourned was but a fevv 
faj fie liveth fur auv thing to the contrary shewn in his histor\'. 

Vol. II. 'Mm 

270 or CHRIST s priestly office. 

miles distant from it, which we can hardly suppose that he. 
would have neglected to do, or that we should have had no ac- 
count of any intercourse between these two men, (who must be 
reckoned the greatest and best that lived on earth) besides that 
mentioned in the scripture we are now considering, 

Qthh/j This may be farther argued, from what the apostle 
says, that Melchisedek blessed Abraham, and infers, from 
thence, that he was superior to him, inasmuch as the less is bles- 
sed of the better^ Heb. vii. 7. There are but two senses in which 
a person is said to bless another ; the one is, by praying for a 
blessing on him, or as God's messenger, signifying, that he 
would bless him ; and the other is, by conferring blessedness 
upon him, or making him blessed. Now, if Melchisedek had 
only blessed Abraham, in the former of these senses, which he 
might have done, had he been a mere man, the apostle could 
not have inferred from hence, his superiority to Abraham ; for 
the lowest of men may in this sense, bless the greatest, that is, 
pray for a blessing on them, and God might employ such to de- 
clare to others that they are blessed; yet it would not follow, 
from hence, that they are, in this respect, greater than them. 
Melchisedek blessed Abraham, and therefore, as the apostle in- 
fers, was greater than him, and consequently he blessed him, 
by making him blessed, or conferring some of those blessings, 
which he has to bestow, as a divine Person, the Fountain of 

These are the most material arguments which are brought 
in defence of this opinion ; from whence it seems probable, that 
our Saviour on this occasion assumed the form of a Man, as he 
often did, and appeared to Abraham with the mien and likeness 
of a King and Priest ; as he is said elsewhere to appear to Joshua. 
in the form of a v/arrior, with his sword drawn in his hand, and 
soon>discovered to him who he was; so we may suppose, that 
at this time, he appeared to Abraham as a King, and a Priest, 
and discovered to him who he was, and the right he had to the 
spoils he had gained, of which he accepted the tithes, partly, to 
signify that this was to be the way in which the priesthood was 
to be supported in future ages ; but principally to give herein a 
type of that divine homage, which we owe to him, as the Priest 
and King of his people. I will not be too tenacious of this side 
of the question, but, to me, it seems the more probable, especi- 
ally if what is objected against it does not weaken the force of 
the arguments brought to support it ; which is now to be con- 

Object. 1 . The place of Melchisedek's residence is said to be 
Salem, or Jerusalem, in the land of Canaan, where he was a king 
and priest. Now this could not be said of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ; for, as his kingdom was not of this world, so he never 
Tesided, or fixed his abode in any part of it before his incama- 

OF Christ's priestly office. 271 

tion. It is true, he sometimes appeared then in the form of a 
Man, or an Angel, that he might occasionally converse with 
his people ; yet he never continued long, or dwelt amongst them, 
till he was made flesh; whereas, Melchizedek seems to be de- 
scribed as an inhabitant of the land of Canaan, dwelling in Sa- 
lem, therefore it cannot be meant of him. 

Answ, This objection takes some things for granted, that 
will not readily be allowed, by those who entertain the contra- 
ry way of thinking, viz. that Salem is the name of a place, and 
that there he resided ; whereas it may be replied to this, that it 
is rather a character of his person ; for, if Tzedek be a charac- 
ter of his person, as signifying righteousness, why should it be 
denied that Salem, from the Hebrew word Shalom, is also a 
glorious character, belonging to his person t especially consid- 
ering the apostle explains both of them in this sense, when he 
says, that these words, by interpretation, are. King of righteous^ 
ness^ and King- of peace ^ Heb. vii. 2. and, if this be true, there 
is no force in the other part of the objection, taken from his re- 
siding in any particular place before his incarnation. 

Object, 2. It is farther objected, that our Saviour is said to 
be a Priest, after the order of Melchuedek^ chap. vii. 17. and it 
is also added, that after the similitude of Melchisedek there 
ariseth another Priest^ ver. 15. meaning our Saviour; there- 
fore he cannot be the same person with Melchisedek. 

Answ, This objection is much more material than any other, 
which is brought against this opinion, which, I am apt to think, 
determines the sentiments of many, who give into the common- 
ly received opinion concerning him : But, as it ought to be con- 
sidered, whether the arguments, in defence of the other side of 
the question, be conclusive ; so it may be replied to it ; that 
Christ might be called a Priest, after the order of Melchisedek, 
though he were the person intended by him, if we take the 
words in this sense ; viz. that, by his appearing in the form of 
a Priest and a King to Abraham, he afforded a type, or figure, 
of what he would really be, and do, after his incarnation, and 
herein gave a specimen of his Priestly and Kingly office, which 
he would afterwards execute. And this might as well be said 
to be a type hereof, as any of his appearances, in the form of 
a man, were typical of his incarnation, which divines generally 
call a prelibation thereof, which differs very little from the sense 
of the word type. 

As to what is said concerning another Priest, arising after 
the similitude of Melchisedek^ though it may be reckoned a strong 
objection against our argument; yet let it be considered, that 
after the similitude of Melchisedek, imports the same thing as 
after the order of Melchisedek ; and so it signifies, that there 
is a similitude, or likeness, between what he then appeared to 


be, and what he really was, after his incarnation. And as for 
his being called another Priest., that does not imply that he was 
a Priest different from Melchisedek, but from the priests under 
tlie law ; for the apostle, as appears by the context, is com- 
paring Christ's Priesthood with the Aaronical ; and therefore, 
when he executed his Priestly office, after his incarnation, he 
might well be styled another Priest., that is, a Priest not de- 
scending from Aaron, but the anti-type of Melchisedek, as pre- 
figured by this remarkable occurrence. 

Thus concerning that difficult question, who Melchisedek 
was ? All that I shall add is, whether it were Christ himself, 
or some other person, yet it is evident that there was herein a 
very eminent type of Christ's Kingly and Priestly office ; and 
more especially of his Priestly, as containing in it several things 
that were not shadowed forth by the Aaronical priesthood ; par- 
ticularly, though the Aaronical priesthood contained a type of 
Christ's making atonement, by shedding his blood ,* yet there 
was nothing in it that typified the glory of his Person, his im- 
mortality and sinless perfection, the eternal duration of his 
Priesthood, or his being immediately raised up by God, for that 
end ; nor was there herein a type of the Kingly and Priestly of- 
fice of Christ, as belonging to the same Person, since the priests 
under the law were not kings, nor the kings priests. 

Moreover, Melchisedek's being represented as without fa- 
Uher., without mother., -without descent., haviiig^ neither beginyiing' 
of days., nor end of life., plainly signifies, that the execution of 
his priestly office depended immediately on God, who raised 
him up, as an extraordinary Person, for this end, as well as that 
he remains a Priest for ever ; so that, if we take both these types 
together, we have a very plain and clear representation of Christ's 
Priestly office. And this leads us lo consider, 

III. The necessity of Christ's executing this part of his 
Priestly office, which consists in his making satisfaction to di- 
vine justice. This is generally denied by those who oppose his 
divinity ; and particularly the Socinians, who maintain, that God 
pardons sin without satisfaction. CaJ And others, who do not 

raj "That f/ca^A is a punishment for shi, and that all mankind are by death of- 
fered a:i Asacrijice^ov sin, is not only a dvoctrJne of revealed Relit^ion, hut theplahi 
dictate of Reason. For, though it is Revelation alone that can teach us, how 
God threatened death as the punishment or a particular sin, yet Reason must be 
c^bliged to acknowledge, that men die, because they ai-e sinners. But if mc!i die, 
because they are sinners, and Reason itself must receive this, as the mo^t justi- 
fiable cause of Death ; then Reason must allow, that the death of all mankind is 
appointed by the true God, as a sacrifice for sin, l>ut, if Reason must acknow- 
ledge the deatii of all mankind as a sacrifice for sin, tlun it can have no just ob- 
iection against the sacrifice of Christ, because it was Jnnnan. 

Revelation, therefore, teaclies nothing more hard to be believed on this point, 
than Reason teaches. For, if it be just and fit in God, to appoint and tkvole all 


altogether deny the satisfaction of Christ, suppose, that God 
might have pardoned sin without it ; but that it was more ex- 
pedient to make a demand of it, than not, inasmuch as his lion- 
our, as the Governor of the world, is secured thereby, and there- 
fore that his demanding satisfaction, is the result of his will ; 
and accordingly, that he might have required and accepted of a 
satisfaction, less valuable than vfhat was gi\ en him by our Sa- 
viour : This opinion is equally to be opposed v/ith the former, 
as derogatory to the glory of the divine perfections. 

Now, when we assert the necessity of satisfaction, we mean, 
that God could not, in consistency with his holiness and justice, 
pardon sin without it ; and that no satisfaction, short of that 
which Christ gave, is sufficient to answer the end designed there- 
by, or worthy to be accepted by God, as a price of redemption. 

And, when we assert that satisfaction was necessary, we 
would be understood as intending it in the same sense, as for- 
giveness of sin, or salvation is so ; the necessity hereof being 
conditional, or founded on this supposition, that God dtisigned 
to save sinners. This, indeed, he might have refused to have 
done, and then there would have been no room for satisfaction 
to be given to his justice : But, since God designed to be recon- 
ciled to his people, and to bring them to glory, we cannot but 
assert the necessity of satisfaction in order thereunto ; and, to 
prove this, let it be considered, 

1. That the necessity hereof appears from the holiness of 
God ; and accordingly, 

(1.) Inasmuch as he is infinitely perfect, he cannot but will 
and love that which is most agreeable to his nature, and which 
contains the brightest display of his image, which consists in 
righteousness and true holiness, as it is said, The righteom 
Lord loveth ri^^hteoumess^ Psal. xi. 7. And it follows, from 

(2.) That he cannot but hate, and have an infinite aversion 
to, whatever is contrary hereunto ,* for, if his love of holiness be 
founded in the perfection of his nature, then his hatred of sin, 
which is opposite to it, must be founded therein : Thus it is said. 
Thou art of purer eijes than to behold ev'il^ and canst not look on 
iniquitij^ Hab, i. 13. and elsewhere. Thou hatest all workers of 
iniquity^ Psal. v. 5. Nov/ God's hating sin, consists in his in- 
finite opposition to it, and so it is natural to him, or in his will, 
to punish it ; and consequent thereunto, in his actual punishing 
of it.' If the first of these be necessary, the others must be so 
likevv^ise; or, if he be an holy God, he cnxmot but determine to 
punish sin, and afterwards put his determination in execution. 

men to death, as the \ivo\-itv piinishmsnt of their sms ; liow can it be proved to b.- 
unjust .aiidiuilit. in God, to receive the deatii of Jesus Christ, for the same ends ?" 

274 OF Christ's priestly ofpick. 

(3.) It is fit he should manifest his hatred of sin, other^ 
wise he could not be glorified by his creatures, as an holy God ; 
for he cannot have the glory of any attribute ascribed to him, 
unless there be a visible display thereof; therefore it is neces- 
sary to demonstrate his hatred of sin, by punishing it; and, hence 
an obligation arises from a necessity of nature, and not bare- 
ly from an act of his will, to bring to condign punishment 
all sin, even that which he designs to pardon : But this could 
not have been done without a demand of satisfaction to be giv- 
en, by a surety, in the sinner's behalf, which plainly evinces the 
necessity of satisfaction, which was the thing to be proved. 

2. This farther appears, from the punishment threatened by 
the law of God, which is also necessary. For the understand- 
ing of which, let it be considered, 

(1.) That God cannot but give a law to intelligent creatures, 
who, as such, are the subjects of moral government, and there- 
fore under a natural obligation to yield obedience to him : But 
this they could not do, if the law were not given and promul- 

(2.) It was necessary for God to annex a threatning to his 
law, in which respect punishment would be due to those who 
violate it, whereby obedience might be enforced, and that fear, 
which is excited by it, would be an additional motive hereunto ; 
otherwise the sinner would be ready to conclude, that he might 
go on in his rebellion against God with impunity. 

(3.) If this law be violated, as it is by sin, the truth of God, 
as the result of the threatning annexed to it, obliges him to 
punish it, either in our own persons, or in the person of our 
Surety, that so the honour of his law might be secured, which 
he is obliged to vindicate, as it contains a bright display of the 
glory of his perfections. 

3. If God could, consistently with his own perfections, par- 
don sin without satisfaction, he would not have sent his well- 
beloved Son to suffer for it. This plainly appears from his wis^ 
dom and goodness. It is not consistent with the glory of his 
wisdom, for him to bring about a thing with so much difficulty, 
and with such displays of his vindictive justice, in punishing 
one who never offended him, if he could have answered the 
great end hereof on easier terms or have brought about the 
work of our salvation without it ; neither does it consist with 
his goodness to inflict puishment, where it is not absolutely ne- 
cessary, since, agreeably to this perfection, he delights rather 
to extend compassion, than to display his vindictive justice, if 
it might be avoided. Accordingly he is described, in scripture, 
(speaking after the manner of men) as punishing sin with a kind 
of regret, or reluctancy, Hosea. xi. 8. Thus it is said to be his 
strange work, Isa. xxviii. 2t. and that he doth not afflict wil- 
■ingly^ nor grieve the children ofmcn^ Lam. iii. 33. but on the 

OP Christ's priestly office. 275 

other hand, delighteth in mercy ^ Micah vii. 18. Therefore if he 
could, consistently with his perfections, have pardoned sin with- 
out satisfaction, he could not have commanded the sword of his 
vindictive justice to awake against the man that is his fellow^ 
Zech. xiii. 7. as an expedient to bring about an end, that might 
have been attained without it. 

Moreover, if God could have pardoned sin without satisfac- 
tion, then his giving his own Son to perform it for us, would 
not have been such a wonderful instance of divine grace, as it 
is represented to be in scripture ; for it could not have been the 
only expedient to bring about our salvation, if satisfaction were 
not absolutely necessary thereunto, faj 

IV. We are now to consider what kind of satisfaction God 
demanded, for the expiating of sin. There are many who do 
not pretend, in all respects, to deny the necessity of satisfaction ; 
but, when they explain what they mean by it, it amounts to little 
more than a denial thereof: Thus the heathen, who had learn- 
ed, by tradition that sacrifices were to be offered, to make atone- 
ment for sin, concluded that these were sufficient to satisfy for 
it, and thereby to deliver from the guilt thereof. And some of 
the Jews, in a degenerate age of the church, seemed to have no- 
thing else in view, and to have no regard to the spiritual mean- 
ing thereof, or their reference to Christ's satisfaction, as types 
of it, when they rested in them, as supposing, that the multi- 
tude of their sacrifices were sufficient to satisfy for those vile 
abominations, which they were guilty of; upon which occasion, 
God expresses the greatest dislike thereof, when he says. To 
rvhat purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? I am 
full of the burnt-offerings of rams ^ and the fat of fed beasts^ and 
J delight not in the blood of bullocks or of lambs or of he-goats ^ 
Isa. i. 11. And elsewhere he tells them, I spake not to your fa- 
thers^ nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of 
the land of Egypt ^ concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices^ Jen 
vii. 22. He does not mean that these were not instituted by 
him ; but it is as though he had said, I did not hereby intend 
that they should be reckoned a sufficient price to satisfy my jus* 
tice for sin. And, to fence against this supposition, the apos- 
tle says, that it is not possible that the blood of hulls and of goats 
should take arvay sins^ Heb. x. 4. for they were far from being 
a sufficient price to satisfy God. 

Moreover, the Papists speak much of human satisfactions, 
consisting in various penances, fastings, leading a mortified 
life, parting with their estates, and submitting to voluntary po- 
verty, with a design to make atonement for sin. The main 
foundation of this opinion, is their supposing, that, whatever 
satisfaction God demands for sin, it is the result of his will, and 

CaJ All the reasons upon which pardons are granted in human governraents 
fail in the Divine. 

2T(j 01- CHRIST S i'RlESTLV Oii'lCi;; 

tlicrtrore be migl^t accept of the smallest instance of obedience 
and suftering, as sullicient to compensate for it, because he has 
cleeracd it so ; and therefore they distinguish between giving 
satisfaction to God and to his justiccc God, say they, may ac- 
cept of, or be satisfied with the smallest price, instead of that 
■\vhich is most valuable ; whereas nothing can, properly speak- 
ing", be said to satisfy justice, but that which has in it a value 
in proportion to what is purchased thereby. As to the former 
bnmch of this distinction, we deny that God can accept of any 
thing as a price of redemption, but what has a tendency to se- 
cure the gioiy of his perfections, and that, nothing less than an 
infinite price, can do, and therefore the distinction is vain, and 
nothing to their purpose ; or, if they suppose that God can be 
satisfied with what justice does not conclude sufficient, then it 
is blasphemous, and derogatory to the divine perfections. There- 
fore we can allow of no satisfaction, but what tends to set forth 
the glorv, and fulfil the demands of divine justice ; (a) accord- 

(a) •* Tlie scripture insists on full stonement, and yet every where holds up 
the deliverance of sinners as an actof ptire grace. This is a g'ordian knot in divi- 
nity. I.ci us not by violence cut it asunder, but attempt fairly to untie it. 

Before v.e proceed, it may not be improper to observe, that the greatest dif- 
Jicuity with which ihh ppo-t of the subject is embarrassed, appears to have ori- 
«"lnated. in the want of an accurate definition of justice and g-race. Theolog-iansj 
have said i-nuch about these, yet few have defined them with sufficient accuracy 
to render them intelligible, or make them appear consistent. I shall dierefore, 

Firvf, explain tlie meaning- of the word grace. 

Secomihiy the meaning' of the word justice. 

TIdrcVy, apply these explanations to this p.rl of tbe subject, with a view to 
solve tile difficulty with v/hith it is embarrassed. 

Firai. What are v/e to understand by the word grace ? 

We are to understand by it the exercise of favour, and consequently the be- 
stowrccnt of g'ood where ei il is deserved, and may injustice be inflicted. Where 
there is no exposure to evil, there is no room for the exercise of grace. He who 
is not guilty is not a subject of pardon. He wlio does not deserve punishment 
cannot be said to be freed from it by an act of favour. Grace therefore always 
implies, that tlie subject of it is unwo'rtliy, and would have no reason to complain, 
ii'ail the evil to which lie is exposed were inflicted on him. Grace will appear 
great accoi'dmg to the view which the sinner lias of his own ill desert, and the 
consciousness he possesses of th.e punishment or evil from which he is delivered. 
Grace and justice are opposite in their nature. Grace gives; justice demands. 
Their provinces aj-e entitely separate. Though they are united, yet they are not 
Mended in man's salvation. Hence tliat remarkable passage in Rom. xi. 6; "If 
by grace, then it is no more of works, ot'nerv.'ise grace is no more grac€. But if 
"it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no more work." 

Secnudhi. What are we to understand by the word justice ? It assumes three 
denoT-iiiriations ; — commutative, distributive, and public. 

1. Commutative justice respects property oriiy.* " It consists in an equal ex- 
change of benefits," or in restoring to every man iiis own. 

2. Distributive justice respects the moral character of men. It respects them 
as accountable creatures, obedient or disobedient. It consists in ascertaining 
their virtue and sin, and in bestowing just rewards, or inflicting just punish- 

S. Public or general justice, re.spects wliat is fit or right, as to the character 

• S?e Dndilridge's Lectures, p. 190; and aI<^o Dr. Ed-.vrirds" tbird sermon, preached at N'w 
Haven, 173^. 


mgly, we are to consider, that the satisfaction which was de- 
manded by the justice of God, for the expiation of sin, must 
contain in it two things ; namely, 

of God, and the good of" the universe. Jn tius sense, justice comprises ali moral 
goodness, and properly means the righteousness or rectitude of God, by which 
all his actions are guided, with a supreme regard lo the greatest good. Justice^ 
considered in this view, forbids that any thing should take place in the great 
plan of God, which would tarnish his glory, or subvert the authority of his law. 

Thirdly. Let us now apply these explanations to the solution of the difficulty 
LUider consideration. 

1. Did Christ satisfy commutative justice ? Certainly not. Commutative jus- 
tice had no concern in his sufferings. Men had taken no' property from God, and 
consequently were under no obligation to restore any. But do not the scriptures 
represent Christ as giving himself a ransom, and as buying his people with a 
price .'' They do. They also represent men, while under the influence of sin, as 
prisoners, slaves, captives. Tliese expressions are ail figurative, borrowed'from 
sensible to express moral or spiritual tilings, and therefore are not to be explain- 
ed as if literally true. If we say tliut Christ hath redeemed us, that he has bought 
ti.s, that lie has paid the debt and discliarged us — if we have any consistent mean- 
ing, it must be this : That in consequence of what Christ has done, we are de- 
livered from sin, in as great a consistency with justice, as a debtor is delivered 
from his obligation, or the demands of law, when his debt is paid. That is, God 
extends pardon in such a way, through Clu-ist, tiiat he does not injure tlie autho- 
rity of his law, but supports it as e"ftectually as if he inflicted punishment. 

2. Did Christ satisfy distributive justice.' Certainly not. Distributive justice 
respects personal character only. It condemns men because they are smneis, and 
rewards them because they are righteous. I'heir good or ill desert arc the only 
ground on which distributive or moral justice respects them. But good and ill 
desert are personal. They imply consciousness of praise or blame, and cannot be 
transferred or altered so as to rcndei* the sulyects (^f them more or less worthy. 
What Christ did, therefore, did not take ill desert from men, nor did it place them 
in such a situation tliat God would act unjustly to punish them according to their 
deeds. If a man has sinned, it will always remain a truth that he has sinned, and 
that according to distributive ju.stice he deserves punishment. In this sense jus- 
tice admits the condemnation of Paul as much as it does of Jtidas. The salvation 

^ of the former is secured, and his condemnation rendered impossible by another 

3: Did Christ satisfy public justice ? Undoubtedly he did. This is evident 
from what has already been advanced respecting the necessity of atonement, in 
order to a consistent exercise of mercy. Christ's sufferings rendered it right and 
fit, with respect to God's character and the good of the universe, to forgive sin. 
The atonement made by Christ presented tlie law, the nature of sin, and the dis- 
pleasure of God against it, in such a liglit, that no injury would accrue to the 
moral system, no imputation would be against the righteousness of the great Le- 
gislator, though he should forgive the sinner, and instate him in eternal felicity. 
Perfect justice therefore is done to the universe, though all transgressors be not 
punished according to their personal demerit. The death of Christ therefore is 
to be considered as a great, important, and public transaction, respecting God 
and the whole system of rational beings. Public justice requires, that neither any 
of these be injured, nor the character and government of the great Legislator dis- 
respected, by the pardon of any. In these respects public justice is perfectly sa- 
tisfied by the death of Christ. This is evident from the following passages of 
scripture. Rom. iii. 21; " But now the righteousness (rectitude or justice) of 
God is manifested without the law, being* w^itnessed by the law." Before the in- 
troduction of these words, the apostle had demonstrated, that the whole world, 
Jews and Gentiles, were all under sin and condemnation. " Now," says he, " we 
know that whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them that are under the 
law, that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world become guilty be- 

VoL. IL N n 

«78 or christ'^s priestly 6ffioe* 

1, It must be of infinite value, otherwise it would not be suf- 
ficient to compensate fcr the injuries offered to the divine name 
by sin, \vhich is objectively infinite, and therefore deserves a 

fore God." All, if treated according to distributive justice, must be found guilty 
and condemned. " Therefore," says Paul, *' by the deeds of the law shall no flesh 
be justified." How, then, it might be inquired, can any be justified, and yet God 
not give up his law, but appear perfectly righteous and just? The answer fol- 
lows. " By the righteousness of God, which is manifested without the law, being 
witnessed by the law," Rom. iii. 21. That is, the righteousness or justice of God, 
•with respect to himself and the universe, is clearly manifested, though he do not 
execute the law, as to distributive justice, on transgressors, but pardon and sav» 
them. This is so far from being contrary to the law, that it is witnessed by the 
law. For the sufferings of Christ demonstrate, that God no more gives up the 
penalty of the law, than if he should inflict it on the original transgressor. The 
righteousness or justice manifested in this way is through Christ; " whom," says 
Paul, « God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood." For 
what end ? " To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins." *' To de- 
clare at this time his righteousness (for this purpose) that he might be just, and 
the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus," Rom. iii. 25, 26. Hence it is said^ 
** Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," 
Rom. X. 4. That is, the end o{ the law is as fully answered in the salvation of 
men by Christ, as it would have been if they had never transgressed, but had ob- 
tained life by perfect obedience. It is said, " If we confess o\ir sins, he is just to 
forgive us our sins," 1 John i. 9. He is just to himself, to his law, to the uni- 
verse. God styles himself" a just God, and a Saviour." Is. xlv. 21. Hence jus- 
tice and mercy harmonize in man's salvation. 

From the preceding statement of the nature of grace and justice, it appears. 

First, That atonement, and consequently the pardon of sin, have no respect to 
<^ommutative justice. 

Secondly, That the sufferings of Christ did not satisfy distributive justice, 
since that respects personal character only ; and therefore, with respect to dis- 
tributive justice, salvation is an act of perfect grace. 

Thirdly, That Christ's sufferings satisfied public justice; and therefore, with 
respect to public justice, salvation is an act of perfect justice. 

Thus the seeniing inconsistency between full atonement for sin, and pure 
^race in salvation, vanishes and disappears. The system of redemption rises in- 
to view like a magnificent edifice, displaying tlie greatest order, proportion and 
beauty." Dit. Maxct. 

" To reconcile grace with justice in the salvation of the sinner, is the Gordlan 
'" knot, wliich divines generally have h^^n unable to untie. Upon the principle 
*' of an indefinite atonement, the difficulty vanishes. It all the sins of a certain 
'* individual have been atoned for by the Redeemer, free grace will not appear in 
" his pardon ; because justice would, in that case, require his salvation. But jus- 
** tice is ihTQdioXa, commutaiix^e, dist ridiitive, Siud pvblic. Commutative justice has 
■*' no concern in this case. Public justice is satisfied by the atonement, because 
'* the governor of the universe displays his di.spleasure at sin in jeneixil'm the 
« sufferings of Christ. The exercise of distributive justice is entil-ely set aside, 
« and herein is grace exhibited, the sinner is pardoned at the expence of distri- 
** butive justice." 

*• Although we have stated this argument with all the precision of which we 
are capable, we must observe, that notwithstanding the show of minute discus- 
sion v/hich it makes, its whole force consists in its obscurit}', and the confusion 
of ideas which it produces. The indistinctness of vision which it causes, is the 
only reason for any man's offering Ills hand to those who, by proposing it, pro- 
mise to be his guide to the temple of truth. 

We object to this division of a divine attribute~we object to the use which 
k made of it— we object to the argument, because it multiplies, instead of solving 

OF Christ's priestly office. '2^9 

punishment proportioned to it, and consequently the price de- 
manded to satisfy for it, must be of equal value. The justice of 
God would cast the utmost contempt on any thing that falls 

difficulties — and it takes for granted, what does not exist, a difficulty in recon- 
ciling- justice with grace. 

We object to this division of a divine attribute. It is not correct, even as it ap- 
plies to man. We are perfectly aware that the Schoolmen, following' the steps of 
heatlien philosophers, adopted this division. Suarez builds upon it the doctrine 
of merit, in order to supply the traffic of indu5gencies with works of supereroga- 
tion.* But, however variously divine justice may be exercised about its several 
objects, we have no reason to believe, that there are tlu-ee dilTerent attributes of 
;iustice, or even that the principle in m;ui, which induces him to act honestly in 
commercial transactions, and to give to every man his due, is any way different 
from the principle which influences a good magistrate to conduct with equity 
3iis public administration. It is one principle exercised upon various objects. 
The Scriptures, which uniformly ascribe righteousness to Jehovah, and afford in- 
stances of its exercise in thnce three various ways, never intimate that there ai'& 
three distinct attributes of divine justice.f 

We object to the use that is made of this division. There is no reason for ex- 
eluding commj/^a^i^-e justice any move than distributive, as distinct from pitblic 
justice, from having any reference to the case of the sinner's pardon. We can 
readily conceive of a civil ruler, having, independently of his ofHcial duties, cer- 
tain private and personal duties to discharge towards those, wno, in such case, 
are upon terms of equality with himself But no equality exists between the crea- 
ture and Creator, I'he pardon of sin most asburedly approaches as near to the 
forgiveness of a debt as the remission of a />er.9o?;a/q^e;zce, which has no reference 
to the divine authority. Sin is a -wcmt of confortnitij unto, or a transgression o/*the 
XAW.t Besides, the Scriptures frequently re])resent Jehovah condescending to 
act towards men upon the footing of a previously existing contract or covenant, 
but never upon the footing of private relation, setting aside his authority. He 
hath taught us to pray, *' Forgive us our debts ;" but never to sa)-, " pardon pri- 
vate offences which are no transgression of thy law." We cannot even conceive 
of the exercise of distributive justice by the Lord, separate from his authority as 
our king, oui- lawgiver, and our judge. We cannot conceive, that it is matter of 
indifference whether God does or does not exercise distributive justice towards 
his creatures ; and much less can we admit that even, for tl^e sake of mercy, he 
is ever guilty of one act of distributive injustice. W^e, therefore, object to the use 
which is made of this threefold division of the attribute of justice. And we also. 

Object to the whole argument wliich it involves, because it multiplies instead 
©f solving difficulties around the doctrine of the sinner's justification. 

It requires us to believe that God has violated, or set aside the demands of 
distributive justice in the salvation of his chosen — that the sufferings of our Re^ 
deemer were the punishment, not of transgressions which are, in fact, commit- 
ted, but of sin in the abstract — and that public justice requires only an exhibitiori 
of the divine displeasure at sin. 

Sin, in the abstract, is only a word. Like an algebraical character, it repre-' 
gents all the transgressions of individiuil persons. These particular sins are reali- 
ties ; but sin in general, or in tlie abstract, is only the sign, the word, which we 
femploy in reasoning.§ It is not for the sign, but the thing that Jesus suffered, 

* See Owen on Jus. chap. ii. 

t " Were this the proper places it wouid be easy to show, by a criticism on the best writers 
upon this subject, that their detiaitions of commutative, distributive, und jjublic justice, inter* 
fere, and are otherwise essentially incorrect.'* 

I Shorter Carechism. 

§ " Did we deern it eli«;ible to introduce metapliysics into this discupsion, we could more effcc^ 
utally expose the idea of punishing a nonetitity— "sin in the abstract." We are no conceptual, 
ists; and the controversy between thf Xoniinalists and Realists is row at an end. It prevailed 
long enough. It agitated the European universities, interested thrones, und shed much preciou» 
blood. No philosopher will now defend the opinions of the Realists. Abslrjict terusa have n* 
CQunterpiirt rn jiruure:, f tevf. Phil. Mind. ch. iv, ^ ?, Ri S.-** 

2S0 OF Christ's priestly office. 

short hereof: thus the prophet represents one, as making a very 
large overture, which one would thuik sufficient, if a finite price 
were so, when he speaks, in a beautiful climax, or gradation, 
of coming before the Lord zvith hurnt'offermgs^ and these well 

The -word sin, too, represents the transgressions of angels. If the Redeemer suf- 
fered lor sin \\\ general, he made atonement for devils, although he took not on 
him ilie nature of angels. And if public justice demanded no more than the dis« 
play oi' Jehov^ii's hatred of sin, then Christ is dead in vain, for such display is 
made in the everlasting punishments of Hell. But justice demanded more. It de- 
manded the punishment of the sinner; and could not be satisfied with any thing 
short of this, unless Messiah should so unite himself to smners, not only by assu- 
ming their nature, but by becoming in law their representative, as to bear all the 
sins of all the persons for whom his sufferings were intended to atone. We ob- 
ject also to this argument in defence of indefinite atonement. 

Because it takes for gi*anted, what does not exist, that if all the demands of 
divine justice are satisfied to the full by the atonement, then grace is excludecL 
from our pardon. This is not the case. Justice is indeed satisfied. It does not 
oppose, but demand the salvation of all for vhom Christ died. Here is no diffi- 
culty — no Gordian knot. Grace reigns through righteousness. We refer our 
readers to what is said on this subject, page 37?, and conclude our examination 
of this argument in the words of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. ** Al- 
••' tliough Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full 
*^ satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justified ; yet, inas- 
*' much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, whicli he might have 
** demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only son, imputing his 
" righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification, but 
** faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace." 

Chuistian's MA&A5:iifE, vol. irr. 

Atonement imports reconciliation, a being at one. The Hebrew signifies to 
cover. The Gre^^k A'ord denotes a commutation, as of enmity for friendship. But 
we use atonement for ransom, ov price, and we never pray for it. Redemption 
imports a deliverance. To say that the ransom was paid indefnitely, that iS, not 
more for one than another, is plainly contrary to his views, who spoke of those 
who v<eve given to him, and of his l-aying dorm ftis life for his sheep His sacrifice 
was real, and its object could not be si7i in gejieral, a mere itbstract term ; a sacri- 
fice of which Satan might avail iiiraself, as \vell as man. If the atonement, 
and redemption be indefinite, so were the decrees or purposes, the suretyship of 
ehnst, the foreknov.iedge of God, and the promotion of the glory of God in the 

On the other hand, to represent these transactions, so strictly as matters of 
debt, and credit, as that the quantum of price v. as exactly commensurate to the 
guilt of the saved, and neither more nor less, is not warranted by the word of 
kk)d. Tins is to impute the cavtse of damnation to Christ's not having died for 
those who perisli ; and not to tlieir guilt. Both these conclusions are erroneous. 
Christ died for all men, n.nd everri man, not in the sense of the universa lists, not 
in the same sense as he died for his sheep ; but that his sacrifice is sufficient for 
all ; and God the Father, whose mercy can reacii no fallen creature, but m Christ, 
has authorized the offer of covenant mercy to all ; and desires the destruction of 
none. Thus men perish only by their sins. The Sacrifice of Clirist is of infinite 
value, far he is a Divine person; and the sins of all men can be no more than in» 

The truth seems to be, tliat tlie sacrifice is infinite ; that the offer is to be gene- 
ral ; that man perishes by his own fault only ; and all this is according to the eter- 
nal purposes of God. Nevertheless the salvation of the saints \v;.s certiun ; the 
price particularly paid with a view to them ; who are eventually efiectually call-. 
sd, justified, sanctified^ and brought to glory. 

or Christ's priestly office. 281 

chosen, calves of a year old^ and a multitude of them ; Will the 
Lord be pleased with thousands of rams ^ a price which very tew 
were able to give, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil P in 
which he offers more than it was possible to give ; then he as- 
cends yet higher, and, if it were sufficient, would part with his 
first-born for his transgression^ the fruit of his body^ for the 
sin of his soul ; all which is reckoned an inconsiderable price, 
not sufficient to procure the thing designed thereby ; and there- 
fore he that offers it, is advised instead of pretending to satisfy 
divine justice by a finite price, to walk humbly with his Gody 
Micah vi. 7, 8. and, whatever obedience he is obliged to per- 
form, not to have the vanity to think that this is a sufficient 
price to answer that end. 

2. Satisiacdon must bear some similitude, or resemblance, as 
to the matter of it, to that debt which was due from those for 
whom It was to be given. Here we must consider what was 
the' debt due from us, for which a demand of satisfaction was 
made ; this was twofold. 

1*^, A debt of perfect and sinless obedience, whereby the 
glory of God's sovereignty might be secured, and the honour 
of his law maintained. This debt it was morally impossible for 
man to pay, after his fall ; for it implies a contradiction to say 
that a fallen creature can yield sinless obedience ; nevertheless, 
it was demanded of us, though fallen ; for the obligation could 
not be disannulled by our disability to perform it. 

2fi^/y, There was a debt of punishment, which we were liable 
to, in proportion to the demerit of sin, as the result of the con- 
demning sentence of the law, which threatened death for every 
transgression and disobedience. Now, to be satisfaction to the 
. justice of God, it must have these ingredients in it. 

As to the infinite value of the price that was given, this is 
contested by none, but those who deny the divinity of Christ ; 
and these arguments that have been brought in defence of that 
doctrine ; and others, by which we have proved the necessity 
that our Mediator should be God, render it less needful for us.^ 
at present, to enlarge on this subject.'^ But there are many, who 
do not deny the necessity of an infinite satisfaction, who will 
not allow that it is necessary that there should be a resemblance 
between the debt contracted, and satisfaction given; and, by 
these, it is objected. 

Object, 1. That the least instance of obedience, or one drop^ 
of Christ's blood, was a sufficient price to satisfy divine jus» 
tice ; in defence of which they argue, that these must be sup-- 
posed to have had in them an infinite value; but nothing can 
be greater than what is infinite, and therefore that one single 
act of obedience was sufficient to redeem the whole world of 

58^- ©F Christ's priestly officii. 

fallen men, or the whole number of fallen angels, if God had 
pleased to order it so. 

Answ, Though we do not deny that the least instance of 
obedience, or sufferings performed by our Saviour, would have 
been of infinite value, inasmuch as we do not conclude the in- 
finity of obedience to consist in a multitude of acts, or in its 
being perfectly sinless ; nor do we deem his sufferings infinite, 
merelv because they were exquisite, or greater ^han what man- 
kind are generally liable to in this World, but because they were 
the obedience and sufferings of a divine Person ; neither do we 
deny, that, according to the same method of reasoning, the least 
act of obedience and suffering, performed by him, would have 
been infinite. Nevertheless, it does not follow from hence, that 
this would have been a sufficient price of redemption ; for the 
sufficiency of the price does not only rise from the infinite va- 
lue thereof, but from God's will to accept of it ; and he could 
not be willing to accept of any price, but what had a tendency 
to illustrate and set forth the glory of his holiness, as a sin- 
hating God, and of his sovereignty in the government of the 
world, in such a way, that the most fit means might be used 
to prevent the commission of it, and of his truth, in fulfilling 
the threatnings denounced, which man was exposed to, by his 
violating the law. Now these ends could not be answered by 
one single instance of obedience, or suffering, and therefore 
God could not deem them sufficient ; and it is plain that he did 
not, for, if he had, he would not have delivered our Saviour to 
suffer all that he did ; concerning whom it is said, Ife spared 
not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, Rom. viii. 32. 

Moreover, it was necessary that redemption should be 
brought about in such a way, as would lay the sinner under the 
highest obligation to admire the love, both of the Father and 
the Son. Now, if Christ had performed only one act of obe- 
dience, or suffered in the least degree, this instance of conde- 
scension, though infinite, would not have had so great a ten- 
dency to answer this end ; nor could it have been said, as it is, 
with a great emphasis of expression, that God commendeth his 
love towards us, in that zvhile zve were yet sinners, Christ died 
for us, Rom. v. 8. 

Object, 2. It is objected, by others, that Christ's active obe- 
dience was no part of the satisfaction which he gave for us, 
inasmuch as this was a debt due from him for himself, his hu- 
man nature (in which alone he could yield obedience) being 
under a natural obligation to perform it ; therefore he could not 
be said to pay that debt for us, which was due for himself. As 
for his passive obedience, that, indeed, might be performed for 
us, because, being an innocent person, he was not under any 
obligation to suffer, but by his own consent; but this cannot be. 


said of liis active obedience. And it is farther objected, that if 
he had performed active obedience for us, this would have 
exempted us from an obligation to yield obedience ourselves, 
and consequently this doctrine leads to licentiousness. 

Anszv, We aliov/ that Christ as Man, was obliged to per- 
form obedience, as a debt due from him, as a creature, and con- 
sequently, now he is in heaven, he is under the same obliga- 
tion ; though this has no reference to the work of our redemp- 
tion, which was finished before he went thither : nevertheless, 
the obedience he performed before his death, might be deemed 
a part of that satisfaction which he gave to the justice of (iod 
for us ; for, 

(1.) His being under the law. was the result of his own vo- 
iutitary consent, inasmuch as his incarnation, which was ne- 
cessary, to his becoming a subject, was the result of the con- 
sent of his divine will. Now, if he came into the world, and 
thereb}' put himself into a capacity of yielding obedience by his 
own consent, which no other person ever did, then his obe- 
dience, which v/as the consequence hereof, might be said to be 
voluntary, and so deemed a part of the satisfaction which he 
gave to the justice of God in our behalf. 

(2.) Though we do not deny that Christ's active obedience 
was a debt due to God for himself, yet it does not follow, from 
hence, that it may not be imputed to us, nor accepted for us ; 
even as that perfect obedience which was to have been per- 
formed by Adam, according to the tenor of the first covenant, 
though it were to have been imputed to all his posterity, was, 
nevertheless, primarily due from him for himself. 

(3.) As to that part of the objection, in which it is supposed, 
. that Christ's obedience for us, would exempt us from an obli- 
gation to yield obedience, this is generally brought, by those 
who desire to render this doctrine odious, and take no notice 
of what we say in explaining our sense thereof. Therefore, in 
answer to it, let it be considered, that, when we say Christ 
obeyed for us, we do not suppose, that he designed hereby to 
exempt us from any obligation to yield obedience to God's 
commanding will, but only to exempt us from performing it 
with the same view that he did. We are not hereby excused 
from yielding obedience to God, as a Sovereign, but from do- 
ing it with a view of meriting hereby, or making atonement for 
our defect of.obedience, which was the result of our fallen state ; 
and therefore we are to say. When we have done all^ we arc 
unprojitable servants ; we have done that vjhich was our duty to 
do^ Luke xvii. 10. without considering it as that righteousness, 
i>y which we are to be justified in the sight of God. We un- 
derstand our obligation to yield active obedience, in the same 
jsense, as we are obliged patiently to suffer whatever afflictions 

284 OF Christ's priestly office. 

God is pleased to lay on us, from which we are not exempted 
by Christ's sufferings : the only diflference between theai is, that 
his sufferings were penal and satisfactory ; he suffered for us, 
that hereby he might purchase for us eternal life, which is not 
the end of a believer's suffering ; therefore, why may it not be 
allow^cd, that Christ might perform obedience for us, and we, 
at the same time, not be excused from it r 

Object. 3. As to what concerns the sufferings of Christ, it is 
objected, by others, that the whole of his passive obedience was 
not demanded as a price of redemption for us but only what 
he endured upon the cross, which was the greatest and most 
formidable part of his sufferings ; and particularly those which 
he endured from the sixth to the ninth hour., while there v/as 
darkness over all the land^ in which his soul was afflicted in an 
extraordiimry manner, which occasioned him to cry, (Matt, 
xxvii. 45, 46.) My God., my God., -why hast thou forsaken me P^ 
As for his other sufferings, endured in the whole course of his 
life, these are allowed to have been a convincing evidence of 
his love to us, and designed, as an example, to induce us to 
bear afflictions with patience ; but that it was only his sufferings 
upon the cross that were satisfactory, and that v/as the altar on 
which he offered himself for us; which appears from those 
scriptures which speak of our redemption and justification, as 
the effect of his crucifixion and death, rather than of his suf- 
ferings in life. 

Answ, To this it may be replied, that, though redemption 
and salvation be often attributed, in scripture, to Christ's death, 
or to his shedding his blood upon the cross for us, yet there is, 
in all of them, a figurative way of speaking, in which, by a Sy- 
necdoche, a part is taken for the whole ; therefore his suffer- 
ings in his life, though not particularly mentioned therein, are 
not excluded. There is one scripture, in which, by the same figu- 
rative way of speaking, our justification is ascribed to Christ's 
active obedience, when it is said, By the obedience of one shall 
many be made righteous, Rom. v. 19. in which, though his pas- 
sive obedience be not mentioned, it is not excluded ; therefore, 
when we read of Christ's sufferings on the cross, as being a 
part of his satisfaction, we are not to suppose that his sufferings 
in life arc excluded. The apostle plainly intimates as much, 
when he says, life humbled himself., and became obedient unto 
death^ even the death of the cross, Phil. ii. 8. he humbled him- 
self not only in his death, but in all the sufferings he endured 
unto it, in the whole course of his life ; therefore wc must con- 
clude, that what he endured in his infancy, and that poverty, 
temptation, reproach, and contradiction of sinners against him- 

* Thescy -which are styled^ Passiones trihoriae, ultimae, are generally calledj Vxn^c 
satisfactoriae ; and all Us suffenngs before them, Vttnx convhicentes. 


$elf, and all the other miseries which he underwent, during the 
whole course of his life, which were a part of that curse which 
was due to us for sin, were submitted to by him to expiate it^ 
and consequently were a part of that satisfaction. 

As for the cross's being styled, as it is by some ancient and 
modern writers, the altar, on which Christ offered himself, we 
think that little more than a strain of rhetoric ; or, if it be de- 
signed to illustrate the opinion we are now opposing, we deny 
that it ought to be called the altar ; ibr it is no where so styled 
in scripture, neither have we ground to conclude, that the altar, 
upon which the sacrifices under the law were offered, was a type 
of Christ's cross in particular ; and, indeed, we have a better 
explication of the spiritual meaning thereof, given by Christ 
him.self, when he speaks of the altar, as sanctifying- the gifty 
Matt, xxiii. 19. alluding to w^hat is said concerning its being 
most holy^ and xvhatsoever touched it, shall be holy, Exod. xxix» 
2>7. from whence it is inferred, that the altar was more holy 
than the gift, which was laid upon it, and it signifies, that the 
altar, on which Christ was offered, added an excellency to his 
offering; whereas nothing could be said to do so, but his di- 
vine nature's being personally united to his human, which ren- 
dered it infinitely valuable. This is therefore, the altar on 
which Christ was offered ; or, at least this is that which sanc- 
tified the offering, and not the cross on which he suffered *. 

V. We shall now prove, that what Christ did and suffered, 
was with a design to give satisfaction to the justice of God ; 
and, that what he offered, was a true and proper sacrifice for 
sin. All allow, that Christ obeyed and suffered ; and even the 
Socinians themselves will not deny that Christ suffered for us, 
since this is so plainly contained in scripture : But the main 
stress of the contoversy lies in this ; whether Christ died mere- 
ly for our good, namely, that we might be hereby induced to 
believe the truth of the doctrines he delivered, as he confirmed 
them, by shedding his blood, or that he might give us an ex- 
ample of patience and holy fortitude under the various evils we 
are exposed to, either in life or death ? This is the sense in 
which they understand Christ's dying for us : But there is a 
great deal more intended hereby, to wit, that he died in our 
room and stead, or that he bore that for us, which the justice 
of God demanded as a debt first due from us, as an expedient 
for his taking away the guilt of sin, and delivering us from his 
wrath, which we were liable to. This will appear, if we consi- 

1. That he is, for this reason, styled our Redeemer, as hav- 

* It is an abominable strain of bhisphemy, ivhich some Popish -writers make use 
of, -when they say that not only the cross -was the altar, but that it was sacred, and 
had a virtue to sanctifif the gift offered thereon, rjhich is thefoundatio-n of that ifkl- 
olrous adoration tvhich (hen ^iv3 t,o-iit 

Vol. II. Q q 


ing purchased us hereby, or delivered, us, in a judieial wax ., 
out ot the hand of vindictive justice, which is the most proper, 
if not the only sense of the word redemption. The Socinians, 
indeed, speak of Christ as a redeemer ; but they understand the 
word in a metaphorical sense, as importing his delivering us 
from some evils, that we were exposed to ; not by paying a 
price of redemption for us, but by revealing those laws, or doc- 
trines, which had a tendency to reform the world, or laying 
down some rules to direct the conversation of mankind, and re- 
move some prejudices they had entertained ; whereas we as- 
;>ert, that herein he dealt with the justice of God, as oiBfering 
himself a sacrifice for sin. 

This appears from those scriptures that speak of his soul^ as 
made an offering for sin, Isa. liii. 10. or his being set forth to be 
a propitiation, to declare the righteousness of God for the re}nis' 
^non of sins, Rom. iii. 25. in which respect, he answeredthe types 
thereof under the law, in which atonement is said to be made 
by sacrifice, which, being an act of worship, was performed to 
God alone, whereby sin was typically expiated, and the sinner 
discharged from the guilt, which he was liable to ; and, in this 
respect Christ is said, as the Anti-type thereof, to have offered 
himsef xvithout spot to God, when he shed his blood for us, or 
to have put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, Heb. ix, 26* 
and to have given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to 
God, for a sweet smelling savour* 

Moreover, what he did and suffered^ is styled a ransom, or 
price of redemption ; and accordingly they, who were concern- 
ed therein, are said to be bought with a price, 1 Cor. vi. 20* 
and he saith, concerning himself, that he came not to be minis- 
tered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for ma- 
ny. Matt. XX. 28. We read, in scripture, of a person's paying 
a sum of money, as a ransom for his life, when it was forfeited, 
by his having been the culpable occasion of the death af ano- 
ther, Exod. xxi, 29, 30, and if such a consideration, when ex- 
acted as a price of redemption, be styled a ransom, a person^s 
laying down his life for another, may, with equal propriety, be 
so called. And this Christ is said, in many scriptures, to have 
4one for us ; upon which account he is styled our Redeemer. 

Object, We oftentimes read, in scripture, of redemption, 
where there is no price paid : Thus Israel is said to be redeem- 
fd out of Egypt, Deuto vii. 8. and Babylon, Micah iv. 10. And 
elsewhere, speaking of their deliverance out of captivity, God 
.saith, I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible, Jer. xv. 
l\. whereaS' there was no price of redemption paid for their 
deliverance, either out of Egypt or Babylon, but it was by the 
immediate power of God- So Jacob, when he speaks of his de- 
liverance from evil by the angel^ styles this, his redemption fro^r. 


^i eviiy Gen. xlviii* 16. Now, though we allow that the angel 
he there speaks of, %vas our Lord Jesus Christ ; yet the delive- 
rance he wrought for Jacob was not by paying a price for him, 
but by exerting his divine power in order thereto. 

Moreover, others are called redeemers, who have been God'.s 
ministers in delivering his people : Thus Moses is called a rn- 
ler and deliverer by the hands of the angel^ ivhich appeared to 
him in the bush^ Acts vii. S5* so our translators rendered it*: 
but it ought to be rendered a Redeemer ; therefore there may 
be redemption without satisfaction. 

Answ, This objection, how plausible soever it may seem to be, 
is not unanswerable ; and the reply which may be given to it, 
is, that though deliverance from evil m^y be styled redemption^ 
as it is oftentimes in scripture : the reason of its being so call- 
ed, is, because of the reference which it has to that ransom that 
Christ v/as, after his incarnation, t-o pay for his people. This 
was the foundation of all that discriminating grace that God, 
in former ages, extended to his people. It was on the account 
hereof that he did not suffer them to perish in Egypt, or Ba- 
bylon, and accordingly their deliverance is called a redemption^ 
from thence ; whereas, we never find that any deliverance, 
which God vv^rought for his enemies, who have no concern in 
Christ's redemption, is so called. 

And whereas Moses is styled, in that scripture but now re- 
ferred to, a Redeemer^ the deliverance he wrought for them, as 
an instrument made use of by the angel that appeared to him, 
may, without any impropriety of expression, be called a re- 
demption, and he a redeemer, inasmuch as that deliverance 
that Christ wrought by him, was founded on the purchase 
which he designed to pay, otherwise Moses, would not have 
])een so styled. 

2. There are many scriptures that speak of Christ's obedi- 
ence and sufferings, as being in our room and stead, whereby 
he performed what was due from us to the justice of God which 
is the proper notion of satisfaction. Thus we are to under- 
stand those expressions, in which he is said to die for us^ as 
tlie apostle says % In due time Christ died for the ungodly^ and 
Tuhile 7ve were yet sinners, Christ died for lis, Rom. v. 6, 8» 
by which we are to understand, that he endured those suffer- 
ings in life and death which we are liable to, with a design to 
procure for us justification, reconciliation to God, and eternal 
salvation, and herein he was substitued in our room and stead, 
as well as died for our good. f« 

f There are several propositions used, in the JVexv Testament, in explaining this 
doctrine, vamely^ Siu., Tnptf vTrtp^ and a./li j S^ix and Tn^i refer to the occasion and cavsa 
>.f Christ's death, to ivit, our sins: Thus it is said, in Bom. iv. 25. Who was de- 
i, vered for ouf offences^ Oc 7r:tf^(!i% Sm ia iriPtirloeuali ^ijnei ■-, and, in 1 Fet. iii. 18. 


That Christ died, in this sense, for his people, farther ap- 
pears, from his being therein said to bear their sins, as the a* 
postle expresses it, IPlio his oxvti self bare our sins in his own 
bodij on the tree^ 1 Pet. ii. 24. and elsewhere it is said, He 
xvas -wounded for our transgressions^ he was bruised for our ini- 
quities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him^ and with 
his stripes we are healed; and the Lord hath laid on him the 
hiiquity of us all; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter^ he 
ivas cut off' out of the land of the living ; for the transgressions 
cf my people -ams he stricken., Isa. liii. 5 — 8. all which expres- 
sions plainly denote that he suffered that which was due to 
them, or that he died in their room and stead. 

And this he is farther said to do, in a sense, in which none 
but he ever died for any other, and therefore much more must 
be understood by it, than his dying for the good of mankind. 
The apostle speaking of this matter, opposes Christ's sufferings 
to his own, with respect to the end and design thereof, when 
he saith ; Was Paul crucified for you., 1 Cor. i. 13. which is a^ 
though he shoidd say, it is true, I have suffered many things 
for the church's advantage : yet it would be a vile thing for 
you to entertain the least surmise, as though my suffering were 
endured with the same view that Christ suffered ; for he died 
as a sacrifice for sin, that he might give a price of redemption 
to the justice of God, which no one else ever did. 

Object, 1. It is objected, to what hath been said in defence 
of Christ's dying in our room and stead, inasmuch as he bare 
our iniquities, that these expressions denote nothing else but 
his taking them away, vvdiich he might do, if he had not died in 
our room and stead. Thus we have an explication of that scrip- 
ture before mentioned, which speaks of Christ's bearing our 
iniquities, wherein it appears that nothing is intended thereby 
but his taking av»^ay some afflictions we were liable to ; as it 

Christ also bath once sufllered for sins, TTe/)< ctfji^^Tim iTroBi ; «;?</, in this casCy his 
substitution in our room and stead is principally argued, from its being for our sins, 
for ivhich death loas due. ..Hs for wits -whenever it refers to ChHst's sufferings, if 
plainly signifies his being substituted in our room and stead; as in Rom. v. 6. Christ 
died vTif eta^i'^m^ for the ungodly ; and, in Tit. ii. 14. "Who gave himself for us, 
Oc sJ^a'KSV nvV.v uTTip nuxv. And this is not only used in the J\'e7v Testainent to signi- 
fy the substitution of the person dying in the room cf another, or, in other instances, 
beting in ids stead; as in 2 Coi*. v. 20. Phil. ver. 13. but it is taken in the same 
sense -ohemised in other -writers. Vid. Kuripid in Alcest, /u» dviia-^ vTrepmS'' avJ^posy 
and Demosth. in Coron. i-yoi Tis6' vTtip va Troiyicco :, and the Latin xvord, that answers to 
it, is sometimes used in the same sense. Vid. Ter. in An dr. Eg"o pro te molam. As 
for the preposition <tvlt, that is seldom or never used, but it signifies a substitution of 
one thing, or person, in the mom of another : Thus ivlien Christ is said to ,e;ive his 
life a ransom, uvlt Ttowm for many, in M:itt. xx. C'8. Miirk x. 46. this plainly im- 
ports his being substituted in their room, as appears by the frequent use thereof in 
other scriptures. See MuXt. ii. 22. chap. v. 38. and chap, xvii, 27; Luke xi. 11. 
■and in severni other places, Vid. Grot, de Satisfact. Christ, cap. $. 

OF Christ's priestly office* 28.9 

is said, upon the occasion of his casting out devils^ a?7d healing- 
all that xverc sick^ tiiat this was done that it might be fulfilled,, 
which was spoken by Esaias the prophet^ sayings Himself took 
our injirmi'iies^andbare our sicknesses^yidX* viii. 16, 17. which 
he might be said to do, without his dying to satisfy the justice 
of Goa ior us in our room and stead. 

Anszv. There are two things to be considered in the death 
of Christ, which, though distinct, are not to be separated ; one 
is, his bearing those griefs, sorrows, or punishments, that were 
due to us for sin ; the other is, his taking them away, as the 
effect and consequence of his having born or answered for 
them ; and the design of the prophet Isaiah, in his liii. chap- 
ter, is to shew that Christ did both these, as appears by seve- 
ral expressions therein; accordingly when he is said, in ver. 4. 
To have borne our griefs^ and carried our sorrorus^ both these 
senses are to be applied to it ; one of which is explained by the 
apostle, in 1 Pet. ii. 24. M^ho his oivn self bare our sins in his 
own body on the tree; and the evangelist, in the text under out- 
present consideration explains these words of the prophet in 
both senses, when he saith, Hiinself took our infirmities,, and 
bare our sicknesses,, that is, he submitted to give satisfaction for 
them, and, as the consequence thereof, healed those diseases 
which we were liable to, as the fruit of sin. The objection 
therefore taken from this scripture, against the doctrine we are 
maintaining, is of no force ; for though Christ took away those 
miseries, which were the effects and consequences of sin, it doth 
not follow that he did not do this, by making satisfaction for it. 

Object, 2. There are other ends of Christ's dying for us, 
mentioned in scripture, where though the same mode of speak- 
•ing be used, different ends are said to be attained thereby, from 
that of his giving satisfaction to the justice of God : Thus it is 
said, that he gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us 
from this present evil worldj Gal. i. 4. that he might purify un^ 
to himself a peculiar people,, zealous of good works,, Tit, ii. 14. 
and that he might hereby leave us an example that we should fol- 
loxv his steps,, 1. Pet ii. 21. and that he might acquire to him- 
self some additional circumstances of glory, thus it is said. He 
died,, and rose and revived,, that he might be Lord,, both of the 
dead and living,, Rom. xiv. 9. These, and such-like ends, are 
said to be attained by Christ's death, which do not argue that 
he died in our stead, but only for our advantage. 

And to this it may be added, that others are represented as 
suflfering for the church, as well as Christ, namely, for their 
good, where there is no difference, in the mode of speaking, 
from that other scripture, in which Christ is said to die for us. 
Thus the apostle saith, / rejoice in my sufferings for you,, Col. 
i. 24. and this he explains elsewhere, when he speaks of his 

2iS0 Ol CUIUS is PKlLSTLi" Uf ilCir, 

being afPiictcd for the church's consolation and salvation, 'J 
Cor. i. 6. 

Ans-tv. VVe do not deny but that there are other ends designed 
?>y Christ's sufrcrings and death, besides his giving satisfaction 
lo divine justice, which are the resuk and consequence thereof; 
therefore %ve must consider him as dying in our stead, and then 
Hu- fiuirs ixwd elT^cts, which redound to our advantage; one is 
oo fur from l;eing inconsistent with the other, that it is neces- 
sary to it ; and, in some of the scriptures but now mentioned, 
both these ends are expressed, the former being the ground and 
reason of the latter; as when it is said, He gave himself for 
our .v?/?.9, ihat be 7n2ght deliver us from this present evil xvorld-, 
the meaning is, he first made satisfaction for sin, and then, as 
the consequence thereof, in the application of redemption, he 
designed to deliver us from die evils we are exposed to in this 
%Yorkl ; and when, in another scripture before-mentioned, the 
•apostle speaks of Chrisf s puri fifing unto himself a peculiar peo- 
i?/e, zecdous of good xvorksy he mentions this not as the chief, 
much less as the only design of his giving himself for his peo- 
ple ; but it is said, he did this lirst, that he ?night redeem 
i hem from all iniquity^ namely, by giving a satisfaction to jus- 
tice for them, and then, that having redeemed, he might purify 
tbem to himself; and wdien it is said, that he died, that he 
might he Lord, both of the dead and living, the meaning is, that 
he might purchase that dominion which he hath over them as 
Mediator ; or that having satisfied divine justice for them, as 
a Priest, he might, have dominion over them as a King ; so 
i.hat these two ends are not inconsistent with each other, and 
therefore the latter doth not destroy the former. 

And as for that scripture, in v/hich the apostle speaks of his 
sufferings for the church, or for their consolation and salvation, 
v/e may observe, that he doth not say that he suffered for them, 
much less, in their room and stead, or as a propitiation to 
make reconciliation, that hereby he might promote their con- 
isolation and salvation, as Christ did; much less is it said of 
any besides him, that he gave his life a ransom for them, which 
is an expression peculiar to himself, wherein his death is re- 
presented as a price of redemption for them *. 

3, That Christ died in our room and stead, and consequent- 
ly designed hereby to give satisfaction to the justice of God 
■for our sin, appears from his death's being typified by the sacri- 
fices under the ceremonial law, which, it is plain, were substi- 
tuted in the room of the offender, for whom they were offered. 
'We read of the priesfs laying his ha?id on the head of the sa- 
i'rzfcc, and confessing over it the iniquities of those for whom it 
was offered, upon w^hich occasion it is said to have born them. 


Lev. xvi. 21, 22. And the consequence thereof was their being 
discharged from the guih which tiiey had contracted, ^v•hicla is 
called, making atonement for sin. Now that this was a type of 
Christ's making satisfaction for our sins, by liis death, is evi- 
dent, inasmuch as the apostle having spoken coiicerning this 
ceremonial ordinance, applies it to him, v/hen he saith, tliat 
Christ zvas once offered to bear the sins of many ^ Hcb. ix. 28* 
And elsewhere, when referring to the sacr'ipce of the LorcPs 
passover^ as the paschal lamb was styled, Kxod. xii. 27. He 
says that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us^ 1 Cor« v. 7. 
And, as such, he is said to be made sin for ns^ who knerv no siiiy 
that ive ?night be made the righteousness of God in hi?]:, 2 Cor^ 
V. 21. And as they who were ordained to perform this service, 
are called priests, Christ, as typified thereby, is so styled. 

I am sensible it will be objected, tha-. the sacrifices under the 
ceremonial law were not instituted with a design to typify 
Christ's death ; v/hich would hardly have been asserted by any, 
as being so contrary to the sense of many scriptures, had it not 
been thought necessary to support the cause they maintain. 
But, having said something concerning this before, in consider- 
ing the origin of the ceremonial law *, I shall only add, that 
it is very absurtl to supix)se that God appointed sacrifices not 
as types of Christ, but to prevent their following the custom of 
the Heathen, in sacrificing to their gods, and that they did not 
take their rites of sacrificing from the Jews, but the Jews from 
them ; and God, foreseeing that they would be inclined to ibl- 
low their example herein, indulged them as to the matter, and 
only made a change with respect to the object thereof, in ordain- 
ing, that, instead of offering sacrifice to idols, they should offer 
it to him. But this runs counter to all the methods of provi- 
dence in the government of the church, which have been so far 
from giving occasion to it to symbolize with the religion of the 
Heathen, in their external rites of worship, that God strictl}* 
forbade all commerce with them. Thus Abraham was called 
out of Ur of the Chaldees, an idolatrous country, to live in the 
land of Canaan, and there he was to be no other than a stran- 
ger, or sojourner, that he might not, by too great familiaritv 
with the inhabitants thereof learn their ways. And afterwards 
the Jews were prohibited from having any dealings with the E- 
gyptians ; not because civil commerce was unlawful, but lest 
this should give occasion to them to imitate them in their rites 
of w^orship ,• to prevent which, the muitiplyi7ig horses was for- 
bidden, Deut. xvii. 16. upon which occasion the church saith, 
in Hos. xiv. 3. We will not ride upon horses^ neither will we say 
am/ more to the work of our hands^ Te are our gods, that is, we 
will not do any thing that may be a temptation to us to joii-r 
* SeePag>; 2^1— 2^o ant fr 

with the Egyptians, or other Heathen nations, in their idolatry ; 
therefore certainly God did not ordain sacrifices in compliance 
with the Heathen, but to typify Christ's death. 

Thus we have endeavoured to prove that Christ gave satis- 
faction to the justice of God for sin, as he was a true and pro- 
per sacrifice for it. I might, for the farther strengthening- of 
this argument, have proved, that the end of Christ's death, as- 
signed by the Socinians, namely, that he might make atonement 
for sin, can hardly be reckoned an expedient to confirm any doc- 
trine ; for there are many instances of persons having laid down 
their lives to confirm doctrines that have been false, and nothing 
more is proved hereby, but that the person believes the doctrine 
himself, or else is under the power of delusion or distraction ; 
whereas a person's believing the doctrine he advances is no evi- 
dence of the truth thereof: and as for our Saviour's confirming 
his doctrines, that was sufficiently done by the miracles which 
he wrought for that end. And indeed, were this the only end 
of Christ's dying, I cannot see how it differs from the death of 
the apostles, and other martyrs, for the sake of the gospel ; 
whereas Christ laid down his life with other views, and for 
higher ends, than any other person ever suffered. 

And to this we may add, that if Christ died only to confirm 
his doctrine, or, as it is farther alleged, by those whom we op- 
pose, that herein he might give us an example of submission to 
the divine will and patience in suffering, this would have been 
no manner of advantage to the Old Testament saints; for Christ 
could not be an example to them, nor were the doctrines, which 
they pretend he suffered to confirm, such as took place in cheir 
time.- Therefore Christ was no Saviour to them, neither could 
they reap any advantage by what he was to do and saff r ; nor 
could they have been represented as desiring and hoping for 
his coming, or, as it is said of Abraham, rejoicing- to see hit daify 
John viii. 56. and if we suppose that they were saved, ir, must 
have been without faith in him. According to this method of 
reasoning, they not only militate against Christ's being a pro- 
per sacrifice ; but render his cross of none effect, at least to them 
that lived before his incarnation ,* and his death, vv^hich was the 
greatest instance of love that could be expressed to the children 
of men, not absolutely necessary to their salvation, (a) 

(a) " The judicious, whether Trinitarians, or Unitarians, have always acknow- 
ledged an intimate connexion between the doctrine of Clirist's true Godhead, and 
that of his satisfaction for sins; as both must be at once confessed, or denied. li" 
he by his sufferings could satisfy the avenging justice of God for the sins of ali 
believers ; then he behoved to be more than any creature. If on the contrary, such 
a thing was not necessary, then no other end could be so hiiportant, that for i; 
God should empty himself, and " assuming the form of a servant, become obe-. 
dicnt to t!ie death of the cross." 

Jiut tjic truth of Chri9t'.s satisfaction is confirmed in the word of G^d by so 

OF Christ's priestly office. 29S 

Object. Before we close this head, we shall consider an ob- 
jection generally brought against the doctrine of Christ's satis- 
faction, namely, that he did not undergo the punishment due 

many testimonies, and these of tlie clearest kind, that those of another opinioft, 
find themselves under a necessity to give every where to these passages an arbi- 
trary sense ; so feeble, improper, and far-fetched, tliat by such a strain of inter- 
pretation, people are in danger of turning from ail the doctrmes of the Bible and 
of pronouncing it the most uncertain of all doctrinal books, and the most ready 
to mislead. On this subject much has been written. We shall only observe the 
foUowmg things as suitable to our purpose. 

In the course of Christ's prophetic teaching upon earth, we find evident proofs, 
that he had appeared not only for that end, but chiefly for a very different pur- 
pose, namely, to suffer and to die ; that being a saving work, and of the utmost 
necessity. lie declared that he came to minister, and to .cjr/e his lile a ransom for 
many. More than once he informed his disciples, tliat by a bitter and a most' 
humbling" kind of suffering, which hung over his head, that which was written 
concerning him, behoved to be accomplished. 

His circumstances and man'.ier of acting were whoHj- directed to that end. 
The joyful solemnizing of his birth, by a retinue of spirits immortal and enthro- 
ned, was heard by good witnesses indeed, but of low degree, and few in number; 
and witii some express testimonies on earth, daring his quiet education in a re- 
mote and contemptible town, they W'ere ahnost gone (Uit of mind. His heavenly con- 
secration was shown to John only; hif glorification on the mount, only to three of 
his followers, of which he forbade tliem to speak till after his resurrection, or to 
make him known every where as Christ. Several times he commanded not to 
propagate the cures he had wrought. Often his preaching was involved and figu- 
rative, more adapted to inflame the great against him, than to unite the many in 
his favours. Yet Iiis greatness could not be wholly unknown, and when men 
would have exalted him, he shimned it. By all these things, the judgment and 
the confidence of the people concerning him, was much more vague and unsta- 
ble, than even concerning liis austere forerunner. — In one word, his ministry was 
so conducted as might best serve, not to prevent, but to pave the way for his far- 
ther suffering and death, while the clearer and more extensive spread of his doC" 
trine, and tliereby at the same time, the publication of his death and his glory, 
behoved to be the work of the apostles in his name. 

That Christ suffered and died for the good of his church, is without contro- 
versy ; so also did the apostles. But was any of them crucified for us, as was 
Christ ? To say this, would in Paul's judgment be the utmost absurdity. What 
then hath the Saviour done, which no other did i" — " He was delivered for our of- 
fences." " He suffered for our sin, the just for the umust ; that he might bring 
us to God." He " died for our sins." " The blood of*^ Jesus Christ cleanseth us 
from all sin." — And so indeed, that he delivered us from sin, by taking it upon 
himself For he who neither had nor knew sin, was of God made to be sin fiir us, 
that we might be tlie righteousness of God in him. He " bare our sins in his own 
body upon the tree." " Behold, said John, the Lamb of God, which taketh away 
the sin of the world." And how does he take it away? By his death. For to sa^ 
a lamb takes away sin, is not sense, if tiiere be not an allusion to the Paschal 
Lamb, or to other sacrificed iambs, which were to be slain according to the law, 
""' Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." " Ye are redeemed by the precious 
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot." — He put him- 
self in our place, fulfilled for us the demands of God's holy law, and for us satis- 
fied his inflexible justice. Why, pray, of all men, of all the saints, of ail the most 
excellent teachers, was Christ only free from all moral impurity .? As a Propliet, 
this was not absolutely necessary for him ; but necess^iry it was that he, beuig to 
fulfil the law for others, should have no need to satisfy for his own sm. " God 
sending' his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and that for sin, condemned sin In 
the flesh ; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." God sent; 
forth his Son made under tiie law, to redeem them who were under the law,"-- 

Vol. IL P P 


for our sins, because he did not suffer eternally ; nor were his 
suit rings attended with that despair, and some othvtr circum- 
stances of punishment, which sinners are liable to in the other 

The apostle confirms this in the clearest manner, giving- us at the s<Uiic f/nio, a 
norablc sig-n of the remarkable curse in the death of Christ. It is written, " Cur- 
sed IS every one, who con'tinueth not in all things which are written in the book 
of the law to do them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being- 
made a curse for us : for it is written. Cursed is every one who hangeth on a tree." 
This important doctrine is inculcated on us m many places, under the notions 
O^ a purchase, a ransom, a propitiatioji. and a testament ; by .which the virtue and 
the efficacy, of Christ's death are elucidated. Let it not be objected, that these 
phrases are borrowed from other things, and therefore to be understood in an 
improper and figurative sense. A figurative sense is not however, no sense at all, 
or witliout sense ; but serves to make profound subjects more comprehensible to 
acomnjon understanding. 

1. .? PurcJiase. Believers in their soul and their body are God's, " because 
they file bought wjth a price;" they are the church of the Lord God, which he 
hath purchased wnth his own blood. The song unto the Lamb runs, " Thou wast 
slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood ;" which strongly indicates, 
that their salvation is to be ascribed to the merits of his bloody death. 

2. A Ransom. In the New Testament, the word deliverance is often used in 
translating one, which properly signifies a redemption, or ransom. Thus it is writ- 
ten, ** ye were redeemed from your vain conversation, not by corruptible things, 
as silver or gold, but by the pi-ecious blood of Christ." This redemption is ex- 
plained by the forgiveness of sins. It is, therefore, his blood and death, where- 
with he made payment, in order to procure our discharge from the debt of sin. 
He came " to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." — xurpov. Matt, xs. 
28. and rtvr/xvT/iay. 1 Tim. ii. 6. 

3. A Propitiation. Sometimes this in the Greek is called awoxatTatxxct^w, (con- 
eiliatio) tiiat is, a reconciliation. Accordingly, believers are now reconciled to 
God by the death of his Son ; by his cross ; by the blood of his cross, and in the 
body of his fiesh through death. " God was in Christ reconciling the world to 
himself:", which is farther explained, " not imputing their trespasses to them." 
— But It is also called a propitiation, in the translation of M<t^a&?, (expiatio) used 
concerning the victims which were anciently slain, as a typical propitiation in 
place of the guilty. So now Jesus Christ the righteous is the propitiation for our 
sins. For God " sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins." God hath set him 
forth to be a propitiation through faith in liis blood, for a demonstration of his 
righteousness, by (or rather because of J the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, "the 
Lamb oi God hath so taken away the sins of the world," that he took them upon 
himself, that he bare them, that he died in the place of his people. 

4. A Testament. According to his last institution, the assignation of the ever- 
lasting inheritance, is called *' the New Testament in his blood, which was shed . 
for many, for the remission of sins." This signifies to us, not only that Christ had 
a perfect right to the honour of settling the inheritance, not only that his death 
as a testator was necessary to put his people in ]X)ssession of it ; but, that that 
inheritance had its foundation precisely in the shedding of his blood, in his deep- 
est humiliation, and his violent deatli ; as thereby their sins, which otherwise 
stood in the way of salvation, could be forgiven. If, instead of the JVeio Testa- 
97ientf we rather choose to translate it the »A'ew Covenarit ,> the allusion will be 
somevv'hat different, but the matter the same. 

This leads us to the epistle to the Hebrews, in which all these doctrines are 
ascertained to us at great length, and with invincible arguments. That epistle 
was intended to demonstrate indeed, tlie authority of Christ's instruction above 
all the prophets, and even iVIoses himself: but also, under propositions borrowed 
from die ancient religion, and fitted to the Hebrews, to reconcile Ins priestly of- 
f\r^ wixU the intention of the Levitic?.! sacrificep, and to exalt it infiuitelv above 


Answ, To this it may be answered, that the infinite value of 
Christ's sufferings did compensate for their not being eternal* 
And, indeed, the eternity of sufferings is the result of their not 

Aaron's priesthood. Christ being a Hig-ht Priest of unchangeable power, needed 
not to offer up sacrifices for his ou ri sins, but having offered himself up once to 
God, he thereby made reconciliation for sin, made an end of it, opened a sure way 
to heiven, and " can save unto the uttermost all who come unto the Father by 
bira" Read the 5th and the 10th chapters. Would you, on account of the doc- 
trine so full of consolation, su.spect this epistle, and erase it from the volume of 
holy scripture ? In it, however, no doctrine occurs, which is not also mentioned 
else vhere ; and this apostolic epistle is surpassed by none of the rest, in' sCibiim- 
ity of matter, in weight of evidence, in glorifying the grace of God in Christ, in 
ijtrong consolation, hi encom-aging to the spiritual warfare, and in the most ani- 
mating motives to holiness and perseverance. 

Besides, m tlie Saviour's satisfaction only lies the reason, why his sufiering to- 
getFier with his resurrection, are every where represented to us as the sum and 
substance of the gospel. No other part of his history and ministration are so ful. 
ly propounded, and that by all the Fvangelists. — We have already seen, that the 
Apoctles pi-eached, not only the doctrine of evangelic morality, but chiefly Christ 
iiimself, that is, his person, work, and two-fold state. Paul would know nothing 
among the Corinthians, " but Jesus Christ and him crucihed." The cross of 
Christ was that alone in which he gloried. He reduces the knowledge of Christy 
for the excellency of which he counted all thinj^s but loss and dung, to the know- 
ledge of the power of his resurrection, and of the fellov/ship of his sufferings.-^ 
In that most important conversation on the holy mount, between our Lord, and 
two of thf celestial inhabitants, the two great teachers and reformers under the 
old dispensation, we find i:o more mentioned, but that it turned upon that de- 
cease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. — In the cross, and the other hu- 
miliations and sufferings of the Saviour comprehended under it, the love of God 
towards men, in not sparmg his own Son, as also his wisdom and power unto sal« 
vation are displayed in a peculiar and a most conspi«uous manner. In tlie cross, 
is the abolishing of the power and the fear of death. Deliverance from the 
dominion of sin, as also the glory to come, are its pleasant fruits. The plain, 
but most consolatory symbols of the grace of Jesus, in Baptism, and the Holy 
Supper, point us in like manner to his atoning death, with a charge to shew it 
forth in particular. 

The medium of our acceptance and justification before God, is every where in 
tlie gospel said to he faith in Chtnst.- and that indeed in opposition to, and with 
warning against the law, or the seeking of our justification by the works of the 
law. Now if beliering in Christ signify only, to receive and to obey his doctrine 
concerning the rational grounds and duties of religion ; how then is the doctrine 
and the righteousness of faith quite another thing than the demand and i-jgh- 
teousness of the law whether we consider the moral law naturally, or as written 
by Moses ? Nay, Moses had also taught the capital doctrines of rational religion, 
God's existence, unity, providence, the duties of man, &c. and that the love of 
God, and of our neighbour, is more than all sacrifices, was often inculcated under 
the old economy, and not unknown to the Jews. — Or does the prohibition of seek- 
ing righteousness by the law, only mean the omitting of the ^Josaic rights } But 
in the places quoted, and in others, the laxo cannot possibly be understood in 
such a limited sense. Besides the righteousness of faith, in contradistinction to 
that of the law, had place even under the old dispensation. Further, these exter^ 
nal solemnities could indeed be abolished ; but they were instituted by God him- 
self, and hence the observing of them did not so militate against a rational reli- 
gion, that it in itself could make a man condemaable. — Paul constantly teaches, 
that the opposition between faith and the law, in respect of our seeking righteous- 
ness by them, consists in this, that God's inflexible law condemns all sinners, 
Jews and Gentiles t that by the works of the law, no flesh shall be Justified; that 


beiiig satisfactory, which cannot be applicable to those tiiat 
Christ endured ; and as for that despair, attended with impa- 
tience, and other sins cominitled b)^ those that suffer eternal 

through sin, the law is become weak to give life : but that faith ackno^v ledges 
and embraces Christ, as he who fulfilled the righteousness of the law, was made 
a curse for us, and set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, not only ir. hlf 
doctrine, but in his blood, for a demonstration of the righteousness of God. 

And ivhy else w us " Christ crucified imto the Jews a stumbling-block, and to 
the Greeks fouUsliaess ?" Sur^^ly, not so much on account of the- capital truths of 
rational religion taught by him". Tlic Jewish doctors, and the best philosophers 
among the Heathens, who had acknowledged them were honoured' on that ac- 
count. Nor was it because Christ, continuing a worthy and faithful, but an un- 
successful teacher of ills doctrine, was unjustjy accused, and shamefully put to 
death. The memory of a condemned Socrates was not held in contempt The 
reason was purely this, that the Saviour's suftering was proclaimed as the only 
ground and cause of our reconciliation and salvation : while tr.e Jews and Hea- 
thens thouglit to be saved by the value of their own virtue : and to them it was 
exceeding strai^ge, and most mortifying to tlieir pride, that penitently acknow- • 
ledging their guilt, they behoved to seek life in the deep abasement of a cruci- 
Sed Mediator, and in his justifying resurrection. 

All our reasoning thus far makes it evident, that we must not understand the 
fnifferings of Christ for sin, merely as if God, being about to announce by the gos- 
jpel, grace and life to the nations, would previously manifest his aversion to sin, 
by a striking example of his vengeance ; and for that purpose, deliver up an am- 
bassador vested with extraordinary privileges, to so much sorrow and shame. 
Siu-ely all preceding ages had already exhibited awful instances of God's fearful 
displeasure with the sins of individuals and communities, without deliverance 
from sin being ever ascribed to them. That a mean man among the people, that 
Q teacher w^andering about in poverty, should be shamefully put to death by a 
civil judge, was much less calculated to exhibit a signal and extraordinary exam- 
ple of divine wrath, than the immediate intei-position of Providence, which had 
often, in foniier times inflicted, and still could inflict miraculous punishments on 
Ihe most eminent persons, or on w hole nations. At any rate, to manifest a righ- 
teous abhorrence of sin, vengeance behoved not to fall upon one perfectly inno- 
cent. This last would be quite absurd ; unless the innocent person, (as holy 
scripture has already taught us) shoUld with God's a})probation, as spontaneous- 
ly, as generously, substitute himself in our place, by bearing our sin.— Accord- 
ingly, sacred scripture represents the sufferings of Christ, not only as a proof 
and confirmation, but as the cause of our reconciliation. 

We by no means exclude other advantages ascribed by Socinus to the Sa- 
viour's death. Beyond all doubt, he thereby confirmed his integrity and the truth 
of his mission. But, pray, was it ever heard, that a false prophet, in the found- 
ang of a new society, mentioned his own, his certain, his fast approaching, and 
anost offensive punishment of death, as the intention of his ministry ; and made 
It an article of his doctrine ? — In confirmation of his doctrine and mission, Jesus 
g-enerally appealed to his miracles ; and yet, where are the forgiveness of our sins 
and a title to life ascribed to his miracles, as they often are to his bloody death?— 
Por what doctririe was Jesus condemned ? Not for the truths and prescriptions 
of natural reason ; but because he declared himself to be higher far than any hu- 
man prophet. (See Section IX.) If tlie celestial chorus at his'bu-th, if the Father's 
voice at l\;s inauguration, if his gloi^- on the mount, had been openly perceived 
iby the Jewish council and att the ]jeople : if llie lightnings darted forth in con- 
iirmation of Moses and Elias, had caused him to be honoured ; especially if he 
iiad satisfied their prejudices concerning the Messias ; if, with legions of his 
Father's angels, he had destroyed the Roman g-overnment, broken that yoke, re- 
covering and extending David's mighty kingdom ; their infidelity would hava 
been confuiered. and eagerly Wk>uld they have confided in him. They would have 

OF Christ's priestly office. 297 

punishments, that arises from the eternal duration of them, as 
well as from the corruption of nature, which refuses to subscribe 
to the justice of God therein, while complaining of the severity 
of his dispensations. 

Thus we have considered Christ's death, as a true and proper 
sacrifice for sin. We might now take notice of an expression 
that is used in this answer, which is taken from the words of 
the apostle, that once offered himself^ Heb. ix. 28. and that 
without spot to God^ ver. 14. This offering being sufficient to 
answer the end designed, there was no need of repeating ic, or 
of his doing any thing else with the same view ; the justice of 

been more easily diaw n by giving bread, or causing manna to rain, than by pro- 
mising them his flesh ajid blood. — A steady martyrdom was more necessary to 
the preaching of the apostles ; because their doctrine in a great measure referred 
to and was built upon the truth of the all-important events of tlie Saviour's death 
and exaltation. In relation to which, as they could not be deceived, so likewise 
their sincerity behoved to be put beyond suspicion. But the Lord Jesus Christ 
had abundance of glorious means to confirm his doctrine; and if nothing else had 
been to be effectuated by it, he behoved not to liave undergone a cursed death 
upon the hill of infan^.y ; and that under the pretence of a legal procedure, which 
caused tlie multitude to revolt from him, his friends to be offended at him, and 
plunged his best followers in deep distress. 

We also res}Dect the design of exhibiiiiig in his sufferings, an example of love, 
submission to, and confidence in God. But such an extremity of shajne was not 
necessary for that purpose ; and his sufferings were accompanied with so much 
perturbation, vehement distress, cries and tears, that quite other ends were ever 
to be obtained by them ; else he would not have exceeded many valiant martyrs. 
Besides, could any apostle, courageously foreseeing, and alluding to his own 
martyrdom in confirmation of the truth, and for an example to others, be able to 
say, as did Christ, " whoso eateth my flesh and drmketh my blood, hath eternal 
life ; for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed, &c. ?" 2 Tim. 
iv. 6. compared with John vi. 51 — 57 

Do men in spite of the divine testimony, find reasons and scruples against a 
I'lcarious satisfaction ; if we are not much mistaken, they are easy to solve. But 
far stronger reasons combat the persuasion, that the Holy Supreme Being can 
show himself favourable, or indifferent, to the voluntaiy violation of those laws 
and moral duties from which he himself cannot absolve a rational creature; or to 
speak in a plain and familiar manner, that God can, and also will suffer sin to 
escape with impunity. 

If then, (to conclude in the language of the apostle, when enlarging on the 
jjlory of Chj^-ist,) the Son of God, by himself purged our sins ; hov/ narrowly and 
how perversely would we limit his saving work to his preachingi How incon- 
sistent is it with this, that men, according to the usual phrase among Christians, 
ascribe efficacious jHen7.9 to Christ; but in an unusual sense under,SLand them 
only of his doctrine and his excellent character ? against which sentiment, too, 
much could be objected. How evidently then is that confirmed, which we as- 
serted, that Christ himself in his person and performances, is the cause and 
ground of our salvation ? If the suffering and death of Christ alone have merit-. 
ed salvation foi* the innumerable multitude of all them who ever believed in 
him, or shall believe ; if his suffering, though short in duration, was the satis- 
factory ransom, to deliver all those sinners from tlie fear of death, and from the 
wrath to come ; then the infinite worth of his person and work, must surpass 
all understanding; then from that most gracious deliverance we deduce an im- 
portant proof of his more than human, his dirine excellency.'* 

Dk. WxjrrERssj:, 

298 OF Christ's priestly office. 

God having declared itself fully satisfied when he was raised 
from the dead. But having before considered the infinite 
value of what he did and suffered, and its efficacy to bring 
about the work of our redemption, whereby it appears to be 
more excellent than all the sacrifices that were offered under 
the ceremonial law, I need not say any more on that subject; 
and as we have also considered Christ as being sinless, and 
therefore offering himself as a Lamb, without spot and bkm- 
ish, and how this was the necessary result of the extraordinary 
formation and union of the human nature with his divine Per- 
son, and the unction which he received from the Holy Ghost ; 
I shall only observe, at present, what is said concerning his of- 
fering himself to God. This he is said to have done, in the 
scripture but now referred to, through the eternal Spirit; which 
words are commonly understood of his eternal Godhead, which 
added an infinite value to his sacrifice, or, like the altar, sanc- 
tified the gift, which is certainly a great truth : But it seems 
more agreeable, to the most knowm sense of the w^ord Spirit^ 
to understand it concerning his presenting, or making a tender 
of the service he performed by the hand of the eternal Spirit 
unto God, as an acceptable sacrifice. 

But the main difficulty to be accounted for, in this scripture, 
is, what is objected by the Socinians, and others, who deny 
his deity, namely, how he could be said to offer himself to God, 
since that is the same as to say, that he offered himself to him- 
self, he being, as we have before proved, God equal with the 
Father. But there is no absurdity in this assertion, if it be un- 
derstood concerning the service performed by him in his hu- 
man nature, which, though it was rendered worthy to be offer- 
ed, by virtue of its union with his divine Person, this act of 
worship terminated on the Godhead, or tended to the securing 
the glor\^ of the perfections of that divine nature, w^hich is com- 
mon to ail the divine Persons ; and it is in this sense that some 
ancient writers are to be understood, when they say, that Christ 
may be said to offer up himself to himself, that is, the service 
performed in the human nature was the thing offered, and the 
object hereof, to which all acts of worship are referred, was 
the divine nature, which belongs to himself as well as the Fa- 
ther, {a) 

(a) " In the consideration of this subject, which every Christian must deem 
most highly deserving- the closet examination, our attention should be directed 
to two different classes of objectors : those who deny the necessity of scny me- 
diation whatever ; and those who question the particular nature of that media- 
tion, which has been appointed. Whilst the deist on the one hand ridicules the 
*'ery notion of a Mediator: and the philosophizing Christian on the other, fash- 
ions it to his own hypothesis ; we are called on to vindicate the word of truth 
from the iivjurious attacks of both; and carefuUy to secure it, not only against 


VI. We shall now consider the persons for whom, as a 
Priest, Christ offered himself, and so enter on that subject, that 
is so much controverted in this present age, namely, whether 

the cpen assaults of its avowed enemies, but against the more dangerous misi'e- 
prebentatiuiis of its false or mistaken friends. 

The objections which are peculiar to the former, are upon this subject, of the 
same description with those which they advance against every other part of reve- 
lation i bearing with equal force against the system of natural religion, which 
they support, as against the , doctrines of revealed religion, which they op- 
pose. And indeed, this single circumstance, if weighed with candour and 
reflection ; that is, if the deist were truly the philosopher he pretends to be ; 
might suffice to convince him of his error. For the closeness of the analo- 
gy between the works of nature, and the word of the gospel, being found to be 
such, that every blow which is aimed at the one, rebounds with undiminished 
force against the other: the conviction of their common origin must be the infe- 
rence of unbiassed understanding. 

Thus, when in the outset of his argument, the deist tells us, that as obedience 
must be the object of God*s approbation, and disobedience the ground of his dis- 
pleasure, it must follow by natural consequence, that when men have transgress- 
ed the divine commands, repentance and amendment of life will place them in 
the same situation as if they had never offended : — he does not recollect, that ac- 
tual experience of the course of nature directly contradicts the assertion ; and 
that, in the common occurrences of life, the man who by intemperance and vo- 
luptuousness, has injured his character, his fortune, and his health, does not find 
himself instantly restored to the full enjoyment of these blessings on repenting 
of his past misconduct, and determining on future amendment Now, if the at- 
tributes of the Deity demand, that the punishment should not outlive the crime, 
on what ground shall we justify this temporal dispensation? The difference in 
flegree, cannot affect the question in the least. It matters not, whetlier the pun- 
ishment be of long or short duration ; whether in this world, or in the next, if 
the justice or the goodness of God, require that punishment should not be in- 
flicted when repentance has taken place ; it must be a violation of those attri- 
butes to permit any punishment whatever, the most slight, or the most transient. 
Xor will it avail to say, that the evils of this life attendant upon vice, are the ef- 
fects of an established constitution, and follow in the way of natural conse- 
quence. Is not thatestablishedcpnstitution itself, the effect of the divine decree ? 
And are not its several operatjjps as much the appointment of its Almighty fra- 
mer, as if they had individually flowed from his immediate direction ? But be- 
sides, what reason have we to suppose that God's treatment of us in a future 
state, will not be of the same nature as we find it in this ; according to establish- 
ed rules, and in the way of natural consequence ? Many circumstances might be 
urged on the contrary, to evince the likelihood that it will. But this is not ne- 
cessary to our present purpose. It is suflicient, that the deist cannot prove that 
it will 710^. Our experience of the present state of things evinces, that indemnity 
is not the consequence of repentance here : can he adduce a counter-experience 
to show, that it will hereafter ? The justice and goodness of God are not then 
necessarily concerned, in virtue of the sinner's repentance, to remove all evil con- 
sequences upon sin in the next life, or else the arrangement of events in this, has 
not been regulated by the dictates of justice and goodness. If the deist admits 
the latter, what becomes of his natural religion ? 

Now let us inquire, whether the conclusions of abstract reasoning will coin- 
cide with the deductions of experience. If obedience be at all times our dutyv 
in what way can present repentance release us from the punishment of fonner 
transgressions .«■ Can repentance annihilate what is past .? Or can we do more 
by present obedience, than acquit ourselves of present obligation ? Or, does the 
contrition we experience, added to the positive duties we discharge, constitute 
a surplusage of merit, which may be transferred to the reduction of our former 
'Tsmerit. ? And is the justificatiQp of th© philosophefj who is too enlightened to 

■3.6D or CHRIST s priestly office. 

Christ died for all men, or only for the elect, whom he design- 
ed hereby to redeem, and bring to salvation ; and here let it 
be premised. 

be a Christian, to be built, after all, upon the absurdities of supererogation ? 
*' We may as well affirm," says a learned Divine, " that our former obedience- 
atones for our present sins, as that our present obedience makes amends for an- 
tecedent transgressions." And it is surely with a peculiar ill grace, that this 
sufficiency of repentance is urged by those, who deny the possible efficacy of 
Christ's mediation; since the ground on which they deny the latter, equally 
serves for the rejection of the former : the riecessart/ connexion between the me- 
rits of one bemg, and the acquittal of another, not being less conceivable, than 
that which is conceived to subsist between t)bedience at one time, and the for- 
giveness of disobedience at another. 

Since theji, upon the whole, experience (as far as it extends) goes to prove the 
natural inefficacy of repentance to remove the effects of past transgressions ; and 
the abstract reason of the thing, can furnish no link, whereby to connect present 
obedience with forgiveness of former sins : it follows, that however the contem- 
plation of God's infinite goodness and love, might excite some faint hoix>, that 
mercy would be extended to the sincerely penitent ; the animating certnivty of 
this momentous truth, without vi^hich the religious sense can have no place, can 
be derived from the express communication of the Deity alone. 

But it is yet urgi-d by those, who would measure the proceedings of divine 
wisdom by the standard of their own reason ; that, admitting the necessity of a 
Revelation on this subject, it had been sufficient for the Deity to have made 
known to man his benevolent intention ; and that the circuitous apparatus of tlie 
scheme of redemption must have been superfluous, for the purpose of rescuing 
the world from the terrors and dominion of sin; when this might have been ef^ 
fected in a way infinitely more simple and intelligible, and better calculated to 
excite our gratitude and love, merely by proclaiming to mankind a free pardon, 
and perfect indemnity, on condition of repentance and amendment. 

To the disputer, who would thus prescribe to God the mode by which he may 
best conduct his creatures to happiness, we might as before reply, by the appli^, 
cation of his own argument to the course of ordinary events : and we might de- 
mand of him to inform us, wherefore the Deity should have left the sustenance 
of life, depending on the tedious process of human labour and contrivance, in 
rearing from a small seed, and conducting to thejjerfection fitting it for the use 
of man, the necessary article of nourishment ; '^U^ the end might have been at 
once accomplished by its instantaneous production. And will he contend that 
bread has not been ordained for the support of man ; because that, instead of thrr 
present circuitous mode of its production, it might have been rained down from 
heaven, like the manna in the wilderness ? On grounds such as these, the philo- 
sopher (as he wishes to be called) may be safely allowed to object to the notion 
of forgiveness by a Mediator. 

With respect to every such objection as this, it may be v/ell, once for all, 
to make this general observation. We find, from the whole course of nature^ 
that God governs the world, not by independent acts, but by connected sys- 
tem. The instruments which he employs in the ordinar}' works of his Providence, 
are not physically necessary to his operations. He might have acted without 
them, if lie pleased. "He might, for instance,have createdall men, without th^^ in. 
tervention of parents : but where then had been the beneficial connexion betweea 
parents and children; and tlie numerous advantages resulting to human society 
fVom such connexion ?" The difficulty lies here : the xtses arising from the con- 
nexions of God's acts may be various; and such are the pregnancies oi h\^ works, 
that a single act may answer a prodigious variety of purposes. Of the several piir- 
poses we are, for the most pai't, ignorant : and from this ignorance are derived 
most of our weak objections against the ways of his Providence ; whilst we fool- 
ishly presume, that, like human agents, he has but one end in view. 

This observation v/e shall find of material us« in Qur examination of the Fe- 


I. That it is generally taken for granted, by those who 
maintain either side of the question, that the saving effects of 
Christ's death do not redound to all men, or that Christ did 

mainuig- arguments adduced by the deist '^n the present subject. And there is 
none to which it more forcibly applies than to that by which he endeavours to 
prove the notion of a Mediator to be inconsistent with tlie divine imnvit ability. 
It is either, he affirms, agreeable to the will of God to grant salvation ^)\^ repen- 
tance, and then he loill grant it without a Mediator: or it is not agreeable to his 
will, and then a Mediator can be of no avail, unless we admit the mutability of 
the divine decrees. 

But the objector is not, perhaps, a^vare how far this reasoning will extend. 
Let us trv' it in the case of prayer. Ail such things as are agreeable to the will 
cf God must be accomplished, whether we pray or not ; and therefore our pray- 
ers are useless, unless they be sujjposed to have a power of altering his wilL 
And indeed, witli equal conclusiveness it might be proved tliat repentance itself 
must be unnecessary. For if it be fit that our snis should be forgiven, God will 
forgive us without repentance : and if it be unfit, repentance can be of no avail. 

The error in all these conclusions is the same. It consists in mistaking 
a conditional for an absolute decree ; and in supposing God to ordain an end 
unalterably, without any concern as to the intermediate steps, whereby that 
end is to be accomplished. Whereas the manner is sometimes as necessary as 
the act proposed : so that if not done in that particular way, it would not have 
been done at all. Of this observation, abundant illustration may be derived, as 
well from natural as from revealed religion. " Thus we know from natural re- 
ligion, that it is agreeable to the will of God, that the distresses of mankind 
should be relieved : and yet we see the destitute, from a wise constitution of 
Providence, left to the precarious benevolence of their fellow-men ; and if not re- 
lie\ed by them^ they are not relieved at all. In like manner, in lievelation, in the 
case of Naaman the Syrian, we find that God was willing he should be healed of 
bis leprosy; but yet he was not willing that it should be done, except in one par- 
ticular manner. Abana and Pharpar were as famous as any of the rivers of Isra- 
el. Could he not wash in them, and be clean ? Certainly he might, if the design 
of God had been no more than to heal him. Or it might have been done with- 
out any washing at all. But the healing was not the only design of God, nor the 
most important. The manner of the cure was of more consequence in the moral 
design of God, than the c?^re itself : the effect being produced, for the sake of 
• manifesting to the whole kingdom of Syria, the great power of the God of Israel, 
by which the cure was performed." And in like manner, though God willed that 
the penitent sinner should receive forgiveness; we may see good reason wh)', 
agreeably to his usual proceeding, he might will it to be granted i\\ one particu- 
lar m.anner only, through the intervention of a Mediator. 

Although in the present stage of the subject, in which we are concerned with 
the objections of the deist, the argument sJiould be confined to the deductions 
of natural reason ; yet 1 have added this instance I'rom Revelation, because, strange 
to say, some who assume the name of Christians, and profess not altogether to 
discard the written word of Revelation, adopt the very principle which we have 
just examined. For what are the doctrines of that description of Christians, in 
the sister kingdom, * who glory in having brought down the high things of God 
to the level of man's understanding .'* ThatChrist was aperson sent into the world 
to promulgate the will of God : to communicate new lights on the subject of re- 
ligious duties : by his life to set an example of perfect obedience ; by his death 
to manifest his sincerity : and by his resurrection to convince us of the great 
truth which he had been commissioned to teach, our rising again to future life. 
This, say they, is the sum and substance of Christianity. It furnishes a purer 
morality, and a more operative enforcement : its morality more ptire, as built on 
juster notions of the divme nature : audits enforcement more operative, as found- 
ed on a certainty of a state of retribution. And is then Cm-istianity nothing but 

Eng a.'d. 

Vol. II. Qq 


not die, in this respect, for all the world, since to assert this 
would be to argue that all men shall be saved, which every 
one supposes contrary to the whole tenor of scripture. 

a new and more formal promulg-ation of the religion of nature ? Is the deaih of 
Christ but an attestation of his trutli ? And are we, after »11, left to our own me- 
rit for acceptance : and obliged to trust for our salvation to the perfection of our 
obedience ? Then indeed, has the great Author of our religion in vain submitted 
to the agonies of the cross ; if after having given to mankind a law, which leaves 
them less excusable in their transgressions, he has left them to be judged by the 
rigour of that law, and to stand or fall by their own personal deserts. 

It is said, indeed, that as by this new dispensation, the certainty of pardon on 
repentance has been made known, mankind has been informed of all that is es- 
sential in the doctrine of mediation. But gran', ing that no more was intended to 
be conv-eyed, than the sufficiency of repentance ; 3^et it remains to be considered 
in ivhat ivuy that repentance was likely to be brought about. Was the bare de- 
claration that God would forgive the repentant sinner, sufficient to ensure his 
amendment? Or was it not rather calculated to render him easy under guilt, 
from the facility of reconciliation ? VViiat was there to alarm, to rouse the siniver 
from the apathy of habitual tnuisgression r" What was there to make that im- 
pression which the nature of God's moral government demands ? Shall we say- 
that the grateful sense of divine niercy v.ould be sufBcient; and that the gene- 
rous feelings of our nature, awakened b}' the supreme goodness, Avould have se- 
cured our obedience ? that is, shall we say, that the love of virtue and of right 
would have maintaiued man in his allegiance ? And have we not then had abim- 
dant experience of what man can do, when left to his own exertions, to be cured 
of such vain and idle fancies ? What is the history of man, from the creation to 
the time of Christ, but a continued trial of liis natural strength ? And v.hat has 
been the moral of that history, but that man is strong, only as he feels himself 
weak ? strong", only as he feels that his nature is corrupt, and from a consciotis- 
ness of that corruption, is led to place his whole reliance upon God? What is the 
description which the apostle of the Gentiles has left us, of the state of the woi-ld, 
at the coming of our Saviour ? — bein^ jtUedivUh all mirighteovsjiess, fornication^ 
loickeclness, covetonsness, maliciGiis?ress ,• full of envy, nmrder, debate, deceit, ma' 
lignity ; ivhisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boaster.", itivevtors 
of evil things, disobedient to parents, tvithout inuler standing, covenant breakers, 
•zvitliout natural affection, implacable, wtmerciful — who, knotving the judgment of 
God, that they ivhich commit such things are rjorthy of death, not otdy do the same, 
but have pleasure in them that do them. 

Here were the fruits of that natural goodness of the human heart, which is the 
favorite theme and fundamental principle with that class of Christians, with 
whom we are at present concerned. And have M'e not then had full experiment 
•of our natural powers? And shall we 3et have the madness to fly back to our 
own sufficiency, and our own merits, and to turn away from that gracious support, 
".vliicli is offered to us through the mediation of Christ ? No : lost as men were, 
4t the time Christ appeared, to all sense of true religion : lost as they must be to 
it, at all times, when left to a proud confidence in their own sirfficiency : nothing 
short of a strong and salutary terror could awaken thern to virtue. Without 
some striking expression of God's abhorrence of sin, which nnght work power- 
fully on the imagination and the heart, what could prove a sufficient counterac- 
tion to the violent impulse of natural passions ? what, to the entailed deprava- 
tion, which the history of man, no less than the voice of Revelation, pronoun. 
€es to have infected the whole human race ? Besides, without a full and ade- 
fjuate sense of guilt, the very notion of forgiveness, as it relates to us, is unin- 
•felhgible. We can have no idea of forgiveness, unless conscious of something to 
en. Ignorant of our forgiveness, we remain ignorant of tliat goodness 

oe ior<riv 

which confers it. And thus, without some proof of God's hatred for sin, we re- 
main unacquainted with the greatness of his love. 

The simple promidgationthen, of forgiveness on repentance, could not answer 
''he purpose. Merely to know tiie condition^ could avail nothing. An inducement 

OF Christ's priestly office. 303 

U, It is allowed, by those v/ho deny the extent of Christ^s 
death to all men, as to what concerns their salvation, that it 
may truly be said, that there are some blessings redounding 

of sufficient force to ensure its fulfilment was essejitial. Tlie system of sufficiency 
liad been fully tried, to satisfy mankind of its folly. It was now time to intro- 
duce a new system, the system of hiimilitij. And for this purpose, what expe- 
dient could have been deviled more suitable than that which has been adopted ? 
— the sacrifice of the Son of God for the sins of men : proclaiming- to the world, 
by the greatness of the ransom, the immensity of the guilt: and thence, at the 
same tune evjucing-, in the most fearful mamier, God's utter abhorrence of sin, 
in requiring such expiation; and the Infinity of his love, in appointing it. 

To this expedient for man's salvation, though it be the clear and express lan- 
guage of Scripture, 1 have as yet sought no support from the authority of Scrip- 
ture itself. Having hitherto had to contend with the deist, who denies all Reve- 
lation ; and the pretended Christian, who rationalizing away its substance, finds 
it a mere moral system, and can discover in it no trace of a Redeemer : to urge 
the declarations of Scripture, as to the pi.rlicular nature of redemption, would 
be to no purpose. Its authority disclaimed by the one, and evaded by the other, 
each becomes unassailable on any ground^ but that which he has chosen for 
himself, the ground of general reason. 

But, we come now to consider the objections of a class of Christians who, as 
they profess to derive their arguments from the hmguage and meaning of Scrip- 
ture, will enable us to try the subject of our discussion by the only true stan- 
dard, the word of Revelation. And indeed, it were most sincerely to be v/ished, 
that the doctrines of Scripture were at ail times ci)llected pm-ely from the Scrip- 
ture itself: and that preconceived notions and arbitrary theories were not first 
to be formed, and then the Scripture pressed into the service of each fanciful, 
^ogma. If God has vouchsafed a Revelation, has he not thereby imposed a duty 
of submitting our understandings to its perfect wisdom ? Shall Vv'cak, short- 
sighted man presume to say, " If 1 find the discoveries of Revelation correspond 
to my notions of what is right and fit, I wdl admit them : but if they do not, I 
am sure they cannot be the genuine sense of Scripture : and I am sure of it, on 
this principle, that the wisdom of God cannot disagree with itself i"' That is, to 
express it truly, that the wisdom of God cannot but agree with what this judge 
of the actions of the Almighty deems it wise for him to do. The language of 
. Scripture must then, by every possible refinement, be made to surrender its fair, 
and natural meaning, to this predetermiiiation of its necessary import. But tlie 
xvord of revelation being thus pared down to the puny dimensions of human rea- 
son, how differs the Christian from the deist ? The only difference is this : that 
whilst the one denies tiiat God hath given us a Revelation ; the other, compelled 
by evidence to receive it, endeavours to render it of no effect. But in both there 
is the same self-sufficiency, the same pride of understanding that would erect 
itself on the ground of human reason, and that disdains to accept the divine fa- 
vour on any conditions but its own. In both, in short, the very characteristic of 
a Christian spirit is wanting — Humility. For in what consists the entire of 
Christianity, but in this ; that feeling an utter incapticity to work out our own 
salvation, we submit our whole-selves, our hearts, and our understandings, to 
the divine disposal; and relying on God's gracious assistance, ensured to our 
honest endeavours to obtain it, through the Mediation of Christ Jesus, we look 
up to him, and to him alone, for safety ? Nay, what is the very notion of religion, 
but this humble reliance upon God ^ Take this away, and we become a race of 
independent beings, claiming as a debt the reward of our good works ; a sort of 
contracting party witli the Almighty, contributing nought to his gloiy, but 
anxious to maintain our own independence, and our own rights. And is it not to 
subdue this rebellious spirit, which is necessarily at war with virtue and with 
God, that Christianity has been introduced .^ Does not every page of revelation, 
peremptorily pronounce this ; and yet shall we exercise this spirit, even upon 
Christianity itself? Assuredly if we do ; if, on the contrary, our pride of under 

304 OF Christ's priestly office. 

to the whole woild, and more especially to those who sit un- 
der the sound of the gospel, as the consequence of Christ's 
death ; inasmuch as it is owing hereurto, that the da) of God's 

3 = ■ " ■■ =:= ' ■■ ~ . ■• , . . , . ' ■■ ' 

stuDcling-, and seli-sufticieiicy of i-eusoti, are not niiule to prostrate themselves 
be'r.re the awfully inyslenous truths of revelation ; if we do not bring down the 
rebeliioMs spirit of our nature, to confess that the -ivisdom of man is but foolish- 
ness tvith dod { we may bear the name of Christians, but we want the essence of 

These observations, though they apply in their full extent, only to those who 
reduce Christianity to a system purely rational ; yet are, in a certain degree ap- 
plicable to the description of Christians, whose notion of redemption \ve now 
come to consider. For w^hat b<it a preconceived theory, to wluch Scripture had 
been compelled to j'ltvd its obvious and genuine signification, could ever have 
led to the opinion, tli.st in the death of Christ there was no expiation for sin; 
thai the word sacrifice has been used by the writers of the New Testament 
merely in a figurative sense ; and that tiie whole doctrine of the redemption 
amounts but to this, " that God, willing to purd(;n repentant sinners, and at the 
same time willing to do it, only in that way, which would best promote the 
cause of virtue, appointed that Jesus Christ should come into the world; and 
that he, huvnig taught the ])ure doctrines of the gospel , having passed a life of 
exemplary virtue; having endured many sufferings, and finally death itseli', to 
prove his truth, and perfect his obedience; and having risen again, to manifest 
the certainty of a future state; has not only, by his example pi-oposed to man- 
kind a pattern for imitation ; but has, by the merits of his obedience, obtained, 
through his intercession, as a reward, a kingdom or government over the world, 
whereby he is enabled to bestow pardon and final happiness, upon all who will 
accept iJiem on the terms of sincere repentance." Tiiat is, in other words, we' 
receive salvation through a Mediator: the mediation conducted through inter- 
cession : and that intercession successful in recompense of the meritorious obe- 
dience of our Redeem.er. 

Here, indeed, we find the notion of redemption admitted : but in setting up, 
for this purpose, the doctrine o^ pure intercession, in opposiuon to tha<^ o^ atone- 
ment, we shall perhaps discover, when properly examined, some small tincture 
of that mode of reasoning, which, as vve have bceii, has led the modern Soclman 
to contend against the idea of redemption at large ; and the deist, against thut 
of revelation itself 

For the ]5reseni, let us confine our attention to the objections which the patrons 
of this new system bring against the principle of atonement, as set forth in the 
doctrines of that church to which we more immediately belong. As for tliose 
which are founded in views of general reason, a little reflection will convince 
us, that there is not any, which can be alleged against the latter, that may not 
be urged with equal force, against the former: not a single difficulty with which 
it is attempted to encumber the one, that does not equally embarrass the other. 
This havmg been evinced, we shall then see how little reason there was for re- 
linquishing the plain and natural meaning of scripture ; and for opening the door 
to a latitude of interpretation, in which, it is but too much the fashion to in- 
dulge at the present day, and which if persevered in, must render the word of 
Gotl a nullity. 

The first,*:uid most important of the objections we have now to consider, is 
that which represents the doctrine of atonement, as founded on the divine im- 
placability — inasmuch as it supposes, th:tt to appease the rigid justice of God, 
it was requisite that punishment should be inflicted ; and that consequently the 
sinner coidd not by any means have been released, had not Christ suffered in 
his stead. Were this a faitliful statement of the doctrine of atonement, there 
had indeed been just ground for the objection. But that this is not the fair re- 
presentation of candid truth; let the objector feel, by the application of the same 
mode of reasoning, to the s)stem wli.ci. iie upholds. I- it was necessary to the 
forgivencBs of mun, that Christ should suffer ; aiid through the merits of his obe- 


patience is lengthened out, and the preaching of the gospel 
continued to those who are favoured with it ; and that this is 
attended, in many, wath restraining grace, and -some instances 

dience, and as the fruit of his intercession, obtain the power of granting- tliat 
forgiveness ; does it not follow, that liad not Chnsl tluis suflered and interceded, 
we could not have been forgiven ? And has he not then, as it were, taken us out 
of the hands of a severe and strict judge ; and is it not to him alone that we owe 
our pardon ? Here the argument is exactly parallel, and the objection of impla- 
cability equally applies. Now what is the answer ? " That although it is through 
the merits and intercession of Christ tliat we are forgiven ; yet these were not 
the proniring cmise, but the means, by which God originally disposed to forgive, 
tliought it right to bestow his pardon." Let then the word intercession be chan- 
ged for sacrifice, and see whether the answer be not cqi-ally conclusive. 

The sacrifice of Christ was never deemed by any wlio did not Vv'ish to calum- 
niate the doctrine of atonement, to have made God placable, but merely viewed 
as the means appointed by divine wisdom, by v\'hich to bestow forgiveness. And 
ag-reeably to tiiis, do we not find this sacrifice every where spoken of, as ordained 
by God iiimself ? — God so loved t/'ie world, that he gave his only begotten So?}, that 
rvhosoever believeth in him shonld 7iot perish, but have everlasting life — imd herein 
is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, a7id se7it his Son to be the propi- 
tiaiion for our sins — and again we are told,. that ive are redeemed with the precious 
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot — wlio verily was fore- 
ordained before the foundation of the world — and again, that Chi'ist is the Lamlt 
slain from the foundation of the world. Since then, tiie notion of the efficiency of 
the sacrifice of Christ, contained in the doctrine of atonement, stands precisely 
on the same foundation with that of pure intercession — merely as the means 
whereby God has thought fit to grant his favour and gracious aid to repentant 
sinners, and to fulfil that merciful intention, which he had at all times entertain- 
ed towards his fallen creatures : and since by the same sort of representation, 
the chai-ge of implacability in the Divine Being, is as applicable to the one scheme 
as to the other ; that is, since it is a calumny most foully cast upon both : we 
may estimate, with what candour this has been made by those who hold the one 
doctrine the fundamental ground of their objections against the other. For, on 
the ground of the expression of God's unbounded love to his creatures every 
where through Scripture, and of his several declarations that he forgave them 
freely, it is, that they principally contend, that the notion of expiation by the 
sacrifice of Christ cannot be the genuine doctrine of the New Testament. 

But still it is demanded, " in 'what way can the death of Christ, considered as 
a sacrifice of expiation, be conceived to operate to the remission of sins, unless 
by the appeasing :.'. Being, who otiierwise would not have forgiven us ?" — To 
this the answer of the Christian is, " 1 know not, nor does it concern me to know 
in what manner the sacrifice of Christ is connected with the forgiveness of sins : 
it is enough, that this is declared by God to be the medium thro'agh which my 
salvation is effected. I pretend not to dive into the counsels of the Almighty, I 
submit to his wisdom : and I will not reject his grace, because his mode of vouch* 
safijig it is not withm my comprehension." But now let us try the doctrine of 
pure intercession by this same objection. It has been asked, how can the suffer- 
ings of one Being be conceived to have any connexion with the forgiveness of 
anotiier. Let us likewise hiquire, how the meritorious obedience of one Being-, 
can be conceived to have any connexion with the pardon of the transgressions oi" 
another: or whether the prayers of a righteous Being in behalf of a wicked per- 
son, can be imagined to have more weight in obtaining forgiveness for the trans- 
gressoi*, than the same supplication, seconded by the offering up of life itself j to 
procure tliat forgiveness ? I'he fact is, the want of discoverable connexion has 
nothing to do with either. Neither the sacrifice nor the intercession has, as far 
as we can comprehend, any efficacy whatever. All that \\ e know, or can know of 
tlie one or of the other is, that it has been appointed as the means, by which God 
has d.^tei'miued to act wit.U resn^c-t to man. So that to object to the one„^ because 

S06 OF Christ's priestly office. 

of external reibrmation, which (though it may not issue in tliejr 
salvation) has a tendency to prevent a multitude of sins, and 
a greater degree condemnation, that would otherwise ensue. 

the mode of operation is unknown, is not only giving !ip the other, but tlie very 
notion of" a Mediator ; and if followed on, cannot fail to lead to pure deism, and 
perhaps may not stop even there. 

Tiius we have seen, to what the general objections against tl)e doctrine of 
atonement amtAint, The charges of divine implacability, and of inefficacious means, 
we have found to bear with as little force against this, as agamst the doctrine 
whirli is attempted to be substituted in its room. 

We come now to the objections which are drawn from the immediate language 
of scripture, in those passages in which the nature of our redemption is descri- 
bed. A.nd first, it is asserted, that it is no where said in scripture, that God is 
reo inciled to tis by Christ's death, but that we are every where said to be recon^ 
ciied to God. Now, in^his objection, which clearly lays the whole stress upon 
our obedience, we discover the secret spring of this entire system, which is set 
up in opposition to the scheme of atonement : we see that reluctance to part with 
the proud feeling of merit, with which the principle of redem.ption by the sacri- 
fice of Christ is openly ai war : and consequently we see the essential difference 
there is between the two doctrines at present under consideration ; and the ne- 
cessity there exists for separating them by the clearest marks of distinction. But 
to return to tlie objection that has been made, it very fortunately happens, that 
we have the meanmg of the words in their scripture use, defined by no less an 
authority thun that of ojr Saviour himself — Jfthoit. bring thy gift to the altar, and 
there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift be- 
fore the altar, and go thy rvay—fi^st be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and 
offer thy gift. Now, from this plain instance, in which the person offending is ex- 
pressly described, as the party to be reconciled to him who ii:Ld been offended, by 
agreeing to his terms of accommodation, and tiiereby making his peace with 
him ; it manifestly apj^ears, in what sense this expression is to be understood in 
the language of the New Testament. The very words then produced for the pur- 
pose of showir-g that there was no displeasure on ttie part of God, which it vvas 
necessary by some means to avert, prove the direct contrary : anci our being re- 
conciled to God, evidentl}' does not mean, our givmg up our sins, and thereby lay- 
ing aside our enmity to God, (in which sense the objection supposes it to be ta- 
ken) but tlie turning away his displeasure, whereby we are enabled to regain liis 
favour. And indeed it were strange, had it not meant this. What ! are we to 
suppose the God of the Christian, like the deity of the Epicurean, to look on 
with indifference upon the actions of this life, and not to be offended at the sir^- 
ner .? The displeasure of God, it is to be remembered, is not like man's displea- 
sure, a resentment or passion, but a judicial disapprobation : whicli if we absti'act 
from our notion of God, v.^e must cease to viev.' him as the moral g'ovei-nor of the 
world. \nd it is from the want of this distinction, which is so highly necessar\- ; 
and the consequent fear of degrading the Deity, by attributing to hnn what. 
might appear to be the weakiiess ot passion ; that they, v» ho trust to reason Hiore 
than to scripture, have been withheld from admitting a!iy ]>rinciple that implied 
displeasure on the part of God. Had tliey attended but a little to the plain Ian*- 
guagc of scripture, they might h:ive rectified their mistake. They v/ould. there 
have found the wrath of God against the disobedient, spoken of in alaiost every 
page. They would have found also a case which is exactly in point to the maiu 
argument before us ; in which there is described, not only the wrath of God, but 
the turning av.ay of liis displeasure by the mode of sacrifice. The ease is that 
of the three friends of Job, — in which God expressly says, that his -:vrath is kin- 
dled agninM the. friends of Job, because they had not spohtn of Mm the thing that 
was right; and at the same time directs them to offer up a sacrifice, as the way 
of averting his anger. 

But then it is urged, that God is every where r.poken of as a being of infinite 
tove. True ; and the whole difficuliy arise? from building on partial t-ext.^j. VVhcn 


These may be called the remote, or secondary ends of Christ's 
death, which was principally and immediately designed to re- 
deem the elect, and to purchase all saving blessings for them, 

men perpetually talk of God's justice, as being- necessarily modified by his good* 
ness, they seem to forget that it is no less the language of scripture/and of rea- 
son, that his goodness should be raodified by his justice. Our error on this sub- 
ject proceeds from our own narrow views, which compel us to consider the at- 
tributes of the Supreme Being, as so many distinct qualities, when we should 
conceive of them as inseparably blended together ; and his -whole naUtre ^ OTie 
great impulse to what is best. 

As to God's displeasure against sinners, there can be then upon the whole no 
reasonable ground of doubt. And against the doctrine of atonement, no difficul- 
ty can arise from the scripture plirase of men being reconciled to God: since, as 
we have seen, that dii-ectly implies the turning away the displeasure of God, so 
as to be again restored to his favour and protection. 

But, though all this must be admitted by those who will not shut their eyes 
against reason and scripture ; yet still it is contended, tliat the death of Christ 
cannot be considered as a propitiatory sacrifice. Now, when we find him descri- 
bed as tJie Ziamb of God -which taketh axoay the sins of the world; when we are told, 
that Christ hath given himself for iis, mi offering and a sacrifice to God; and that 
he needed not, like the high-priests under the knv, to offer vp sacrifice daily, first for 
his onvn sins, and then for the people's ; for that this he did once, ivhen he offered np 
himaef; when he is expressly asserted to be Xha propitiation for onrsivs ; and God 
is said to have loved ns. and to have sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins; 
when Isaiah describes his soul as made a7i offering for ?;;; ,• when it is said that God 
.spared not his oivn Son, but delivered him vp for 21s all; and that by him we have 
received the atonement ; v\hen these, and many other such passages are to be 
found; when every expression referring to the'death of Christ, evidently indi- 
cates tlie notion of a sacrifice of atonement and propitiation; wben this sacrifice 
is particularly represented, as of the nature of a sin-offering ; which was a spe- 
cies of sacrifice " prescribed to be offered upon the commission of an offence, af- 
ter which the offending person was considered as if he had never sinned :" it may 
well appear surprising on what ground it can be questioned, that the death of 
Christ is pronounced in scripture to have been a sacrifice of atonement and ex- 
piation for the sins of men, 

. It is asserted, that the several passages which seem to speak this language, 
contain nothing more than figurative allusions: that all that is intended is, that 
Christ laid down his life /or, that is, on account y/mankind : and that there be- 
ing circumstances of resemblance between this event and the sacrifices of the 
law, terms were borrowed from the litter, to express the former in a manner 
more lively and impressive. And as a proof that the application of these terms 
is but figurative, it is contended, 1st. That the death of Christ did not corres- 
pond literally and exactly, to the ceremonies of the Mosaic sacrifice : 2diy. That 
being in difierent places compared to different kiifds of sacrifices, to all of which 
it could not possibly correspond, it cannot be considered as exactly of the na- 
ture of any : and lastly, that there was no such thing as a sacrifice of propitiation 
or expiation of sin under the Mosaic dispensation at ail ; this notion having been 
entirely of Heathen origin. 

As to the two first arguments, they deserve but little consideration. The want 
of an exact similitude to the precise form of the Mosaic sacrifice, is but a slen- 
der objection. It might as well be said, that because Christ was not of the spe- 
cies of animal, which had usually been offered up ; or because he was not slain in 
the same manner ; or because he was not offered by the high-priest, there could 
have been no sacrifice. But this is manifest trifling. If the formal notion of a sa- 
crifice for sin, that is, a life offered up in expiation be adhered to, nothing more 
can be required to constitute it a sacrifice, except by those who mean to cavil, 
not to discover truth. 

Again, as to the second argument, which from the comparison of Christ's 
t^atli, to the different kinds of sacrifices^ would infer that it was not of the na- 

30^ or Christ's priestly OFPicg. 

which shall be applied in his own time and way : Nevertheless 
others, as a consequence hereof, are made partaktrs of some 
blessings of common providence, so far as they are subservient 
to the salvation of those, for whom he gave himself a ransom. 

ture o? any, it may be replied, tiiat it will more reasonably follow, that it was of 
the nature of all. Resembling' that of the Passover, inasmuch as by it vve were 
delivered from an evil yet greater than that of Egv-ptian bondage ; partaking- the 
nature of the sin offering, as being accepted in expiation of transgression ; and 
similar to the institution of the scape-g-out, as bearing the accumulated sins of 
all : may we not reasonably suppose that this one great sacrifice contained the 
full import and completion of the whole sacrificial sysrem ? \ud that so fir from 
being spoken of in figure, as bearing some resemblance to the sacrifices of the 
law, they were on the contrary, as the apostle expressly tells us, but figures, or 
faint and partial representations of this stupendous sacrifice which had been or- 
dained from the beginning? And besides, it is to be remarked in general, with 
respect to the figurative application of the sacrificial terms to tlie death ot 
Christ : that the striking resemblance between that and the sacrifices of the law, 
which is assigned as the reason of such application, would have produced just 
tlie contrary eiTect upon the sacred writers ; since they must have been aware 
that the constant use of such expressions, aided by the strengtji of the resem- 
blance, must have laid a foundation for error, in that which constitutes the mam 
doctrine of the Christian faith. Liemg addressed to a peopie whose religion was 
entirely sacrificial, in wliat but the obvious and literal sense, could the sacrificial 
representation of the death of Christ have been understood? 

We come now to the third and principal objection, which is built upon the 
assertion, that no sacrifices of atonement (in the sense in which we apply this 
term to the death of Christ) hivd exisience under the Mosaic law : such as were 
called by that name having liad an entirely different import. Now that certain 
offerings under this denomination, related to things, and v/ere employed for the 
purpose of purification, so as to render them fit instruments of the ceremonial 
worship, must undoubtedly be admitted. That others were again appointed to 
3'elieve /persons from ceremonial iticapacities, so as to restore them to the privi- 
lege of joining in the services of the temple, is equally true. But that there were 
others of a nature strictly propitiatory, and ordained to avert the displeasure of 
God "from the transgressor, not only of the ceremonial, but, in some cases, even 
of the moral law, will appear manifest upon a very slight examination. Thus we 
find it decreed, that if a soul sin and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie 
vnto his neighboxir in that which -was delivered to him to keep — or have found that 
"which tvas lost, and lieth coucer?iing it, and sweabeth falsely, then, because /le 
hath sinned in this, he shall not only make restitution to his neighbour — but he shall 
bring his trespass-offering unto the Lord, a ram tvithout blemish out of tlie fock ; a7id 
the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord, and it shall be for- 
given HIM. And again in a case of criminal connexion with a bond-maid who 
was betrothed, the offender is ordered to bririg his trespass-offering, and the priest 
is to make atonement for him tvith the trespass-offering, for the sin tvhich he hath 
done ; and the sin -which he hath done shall be fougiten him. And in the case of 
all offences which fell not under the description of presumptuous, it is manifest 
from the slightest inspection of the book of Leviticus, that the atonement pre- 
scribed, was appointed as the means whereby God might he propitiated, ox recon- 
ciled to the offender. 

Again, as to the vicarious import of the Mosaic sacrifice ; or, in other words, 
its expressing an acknowledgment of what the sinner had deserved; this not 
only seems directly set forth in the account of the first offei-ing in Leviticus, 
where it is said of the person who brought a free-will ofliering, he shall lay his 
hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be accepted Fon him to make 
atonement for him: but the ceremony of the scape-goat on the day of expiation, 
appears to place this matter beyond doubt. On this head, however, as not being 
necessary to my argument, I shall not at present enlarge. 


o. It is allowed on both sides, and especiaiiy by all diat own 
the divinity and satisfaction of Christ, that his death was suf- 
ficient to redeem the whole world, had God designed that it 

That expiatory saci.fice (m the stnct and proper sense of tlie word) was a 
part of the Mosaic institution, liiere remains then, I trust, no sufficient reason to 
deny. That it existed in hke manner among-st the Arabians, in the time of Job, 
we have already seen. And that its universal prevjjence in the Heathen worlds 
though corrupted and disfigured by idolatro\is practices, was the result of an 
original divine appointment, every candid inquirer will find little reason to doubt. 
But be this as it may, it must be admitted, that propitiatory sucrifces not only 
existed through the whole Gentile world, but had place under the law of Moses. 
The argument then, v/hich from the non-existence of such sacrifices amongst the 
Jews, would deny the term when applied to the death of Christ, to indicate such 
sacrifice, necessarily falls to the ground. 

But, in f:ict, they wlio deny the sacrifice of Christ to be a real and proper sa- 
crifice for sin, must, if they are consistent, deny that cmj such sacrifice ever did 
exist, by divine appointment. For on Vv'hat principle do tliey deny the former, 
but this ? — that the sufTenngs and death of Christ, for the sins and salvation of 
men, can make no change in God : cannot render him more readA to forgive, 
more benevolent tlian he is in his own nature; and consequentl-y'can have no 
])Ower to avert from the offender the punioiiment of his transgression. Now, on 
the same principle, e^oerij sacrifice for the expiation of sin, must be impossible. 
And this explains the true cause why these persons will not admit the langtiage 
of the New I'estament, clear and express as it is, to signify a real and proper sa- 
crifice for sin : and v.'hy tliey feel it necessai'y to explain away the equally clear 
and express description of that species of sacrifice m the old. Setting out w ith a 
preconceived erroneous notion of its nature, ajid one which involves a manifest 
comradiction, they hold themselves justified in rejecting every acceptation of 
scripture which supports it. But, had they more accurately examined the true 
import of the term \w scripture use, they would have perceived no such contra- 
diction, nor would they have found themseh'es compelled to refine away by- 
strained and unnatiu'al interpretations, the clear and obvious meaning- of the sa^ 
cred text. They would have seen, that a sacrifice for sin, in scriptiire language, 
implies solely this, " a sacrifice wisely jmd gi'aciously appointed h\ God, the mo- 
ral governor of the world, to expiate the ^jiili of sin in such a manner as to avert 
* the punishment of it from the offender." 'i'o ask xvhy God should have appointed 
this particular mode, or in wluit way it can avert tise punishment ofsin, is to take 
us back to the general point at issue with the deist, which has been already dis- 
cussed. With the Christian, who admits redemption under f^?;z/ modification, 
such matters cannot be subjects of inquiry. 

But even to our imj^erfect apprehension, some circumstances of natural con- 
nexion and fitness may be pointed out. The whole may be considered as a sensi- 
ble and striking representation of a punisliment, which the sinner v/as conscious 
he deserved from God's justice : and then, on the part of God, it becomes a pub- 
lic declaration of his holy displeasure against sin, and of his mercifid compassion 
for the sinner; and on the part of the offender, M'hen offeied by or for him, it 
implies a sincere confession of guilt, and a hearty desire oi' oht-ihv.v.g pardon : and 
upon the due performance of this service, the sinner is pardoned, and escapes tlie 
penalty of his transgression. 

This we shall fiiid agreeable to the nature of a sacrifice for sin, as laid down 
in the Old Testament. Now is there any thing in this degrading to tlie honoui* 
of God ; or in the smallest degree inconsistent v ith the dictates of natural rea- 
son ^ And in this view, what is there in the death of Christ, as a siici'ifice for the 
sins of mankind, that inay not in a certain degree, be embraced by our natural 
notions ? For according to the explaiiation just given, is it not a declaration to 
the whole world, of the gi-eatness of their sins; arid of the proportionate mercy 
and compassion of God, who had ordained this method, wherel'}, iu a mianner 
con^istf^nt with his attributes, his fallen creatures might be again taken into his 

Vol. IL R r 


should be a price for them, which is the result of the infinite 
value of it ; therefore, 

4. The main question before us is, whether God designed 

favour, on their making- themselves parties in this great sacrifice : tliat is, on 
their complying- with tliose conditions, which, on the received notion of sacrifice, 
would render them parlies ai this; namely, an adequate conviction of guilt, a 
proportionate sense of God's love, and a firm determination, with an humlilc 
faitli in the suinciencv of this sacrifice, to endeavour after a life of amendmc^nt 
aixl obedience ? Tluis much falls within the reach of our comprehension on this 
mysterious subject. Whether in tlie expanded rav!g'e o-" God's moral govern- 
ment, some otiier end may not be held in view, in the death of his only bfgotien 
Son, It is not for ns to enquire ; nor does it in any degree concern us : wliat God 
has been pleased to reveal, it is alone our duty to believe. 

One remarkable circumstance indeed there is, in which the sacrifice of Christ 
differs from ad those sacr-iic^s wiuch were offered under the law. Our blessed 
Lord WAS not C'nly the Subject of the offejiiig, but the Priest who offered it. 
Therefore he has beconie nf)t only a sacrifice, but an intercessor ; his mterces- 
sioM being fovn kd upon this voluntary act of benevolence, by which he offered 
himieJf -iiut/iojit spot to God We are not only tlien in virtue of the saoyf^cc, for- 
given : b;>t in v.! ue of the intercession admitted to fiivour and grace. And thus 
the scripture notion of the sacrifice of Christ, includes e\ery advantag-e, which 
the adv(;cL.te.s for the pure intercession, .'^eek from their scheme of redemption. 
But it also ci.ntains others, which they necessarily lose by the rejection of that 
notion. It contains the great advi.uiage of impressing mankind with a due sense 
of their guii'c, b^ compelling a comparison wiih Ihe immensity of the sacrifice 
made to redeeni them from its effecs. It contains that, in short, which is the 
soul and substance of all Christian virtue — Humility. And the fiict is plainly 
this, that ;n every attempt to get rid of the scripture doctrine of atonement, we 
find feelings of n desci ipt lOn opposite to this evangelic quality, more or less to pre- 
vail : we find a fi)ndness for the opinion of man's own sufficiency, and an unwil- 
lingness to submit v.'ith devout and inrjjlict reverence^ to the sacred word of 

III the mode of iuquii-y which has been usually adopted on this subject, one 
prevairmg error deserves to be noticed. The nature of sacrifice, as generally 
practised and understood, antecedent to the time of Christ, has been first exami- 
ned; and from that, as a ground of explanation, the notion of Christ's sacrifice 
has been derived : m hei eas, in fact by this, all former sacrifices are to be inter- 
preted ; and in reference to // only, can they be understood. From an error so 
fundamental, it is not wonderful that the greatest perplexities sliould have arisen 
concerning the nature of sacrifice in general; and that they should ultimately 
fall witli cumulative confusion on the nature ot that particular sacrifice, to the 
investigation of which fanciful and mistaken theories liad been assumed as 
guides. Thus, whilst some have, presumptuously attributed the etxrly and uni- 
versal practice of sacrifice, to an irr.ational and superstitious fear of an imag'ined 
sanguinary divinit}- ; and liave been led in defiance of the express language or 
revelation, to reject and ridicule the notion of sacrifice, as originating only in 
the grossness of superstition : others, not equally destitute of reverence for the 
sacred word, and consequently not treating this solemn rite with ^equal disre- 
spect, have yet a.'icrihed its origin to human invention ; and have tliereby been 
compelled to account for the divine institution of the Jewish sacrifices as a mere 
accommodation to pi*evailing practice; and consequently to admit, even the sa- 
crifice of Christ itself to have grown out of, and been adapted to, this creature 
of human excogitation. 

Of this latter class, the theories, as might be expected, are various. In one, 
sacrifices are represented in the light of^/fts, intended to sooth and appease the 
Supreme Being, in like manner as tliey are found tc conciliate the favour of men: 
in another, they are considered i\.s federal rites, a kind of eating- and drinking with 
God, as it were at his table, and thereby implying the being restored to a state 

OF Christ's priestly office, Sll 

the salvation of all mankind by the death of Christ, or whether 
he accepted it as a price of redemption for all, so ihat it might 
be said that he redeemed some who shall not be saved by him ? 

of triendslnp witli him, by repentance and confession of sins . in a third, ihey are 
described as but symbolical actions, or a more expressive iang-iiKge, denotiiit^ the 
gratitude of the oMerer, in such as are eucharistical ; and m tiioac that are expia- 
tory, the acknowlcdg-inent of, and contrition for sm strong-ly expressed by tlie 
death of the animal, representing that death which the offerer contessed to be 
his own desert. 

To these d liferent hypotheses, which in the order of their enumeration, claim 
respectively the names of Spencer, Sykes, and Warbnrto7i, it niiiy generally be re- 
plied, that the/ac/ of Abel's sacrifice seeins iiwonsistent with them uii : witli the 
first, inasmuch as it must have been antecedent to those distinctions oT property, 
on which alone experience of the effects of gifts upon men could have lieen found- 
ed : with the second, inabmuch as it took place several ages prior to thai, period, 
at whicii both the words of scripture, and the opinions of the wisest commenta- 
tors have fixed the permission uf annual food to man : with the third, inasmuch 
as the lanj^uage, which scripture expressly states to have been derived to our 
first parents from divine instruction, cannot be supposed so defective in those 
terms tliat related to the worship of (iod, as to have rentlercd it necessary for 
Abel to cull in the aid of ac:;ions, to express the sentiment of gratitude or sor- 
row ; and still less likely is it that he would have resorted to that species of ac- 
tion, which in the eye of reason, must have appeared displeasing to God, the 
slaughter of an unoffending animal. 

To urge these topics of objection in their fidl force, against the several theo? 
ries I have mentioned, would lead to a discussion far exceeding the due limits of 
a discourse from this pkxe. 1 therefore dismiss them for the present. Xor shall 
1, in refutation o'i tht^ geiieral idea of the human invenxion of sacrifice, enlarge 
upon the universality o^ \\\c practice; the samsiiess of the notion of its efficacy, 
pervading nations and ages the most remote; and ihe unreasonbleness of suppo- 
sing any natural connexion between the slaying of an animal, and the receiving 
pardon for the violation of God's laws, — all of which appear decisive against 
that idea. But, as both the general idea and the particular theories which have 
endeavoured to reconcile to it the nature and origin of sacrifice, have been caused 
by a departure from the true and only source of knowledge ; let us return to that 
sacred fountain, and whilst we endeavour to establish the genuine scripture 
notion of sacrifice, at the same time provide the best refutation of every otlier. 

It requires but little acquaintance with scripture to know that the lesson 
which It every where inculcates, is, that man by disobedience had fallen under 
the displeasure of his Maker; that to be reconciled to his favour, and restored 
to the means of acceptable obedience, a Redeemer was appointed, and that this 
Redeemer laid down his life to procure for repentant sinners forgiveness and ac- 
ceptance. This surrender of life has been called bv the sacred writers a sacri- 
fice; and the end attained by it, expiation or atonement. With such as have beea 
desirous to reduce Christianity to a mere moral system, it has been a favourite 
object to represent this sacrifice as entirely figurative founded only in allusion 
and similitude to the sacrifices of the law'; wiiereas, that this is spoken of by 
the sacred writers, as a real and proper sacrifice, to which tliose ujider the law 
bore respect but as types or shadows, is evident from various passages of holy 
writ, but more particularly from the epistle to the Hebrews ; in u'hich it is ex- 
pressly said, that the law having a shado~v of good things to co7ne, can never ivith 
those sacrifices 'ivhich they offered year by year continually, make the coivers there- 
unto perfect ; — bnt this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat 
do~on on the right hand of God. And again, when the writer of this epiiitle speaks 
of the high-pnest entering into the holy of holies with the blood of the sacrifice, 
he. asserts, that this was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered 
both gifts and sacrifices, that coidd not make him that did the service perfect ; bnt 
Chiist being c^ime, an high priest of good thi?ig& to GQrn,&; t;?? % th^ hhod ofgont^ 


This is affirmed by man}', who maintain universal redemplioR, 
which we must take leave to deny. And they farther add, as 
an explication hereof, that Christ died that he might put all 

<ind calves, if nt bij his own blood, he entered once into the holy place, having obtained 
eternal redemption for lis ; for, he adds, if the blood of bulls and of goats sanctifieth 
to the purifymg of the fesh, hoxo much more shall the blood of Christ, who through 
the eternal Spirit, offered hunsef -withorU 9pot to God, purge your conscience from 
dead works to sern^e the liviiig God? It must be unnecessary to detail more of 
the numerous passages which go to prove that the sacrifice of Christ was a true 
and effective sacrifice, whast those of the law were but famt representations, 
and inadequate copies, intended fc^r its introduction. 

Now, it" the sacrifices of tlxe Law appear to have been but preparations for this 
one great saci-lfice, we are naturally led to consider whether the same may not 
be asserted of sacrifice from the beginning : and whether we are not m' arranted 
by scripture, in pronouncing the entire rite to have been ordained by God, as a 
type of that one sacrifice, m wiiich all others were to have their consummation. 
Tliat the institution was of divine ordinmce, may, m the first instance, be rea- 
sonably inferred from the strong and sensible attestation of the divme acceptance 
of sacrifice in the case of Abel, again in that of Noah, afterwards in that of Abra- 
ham, and also from the systematic establishment of it by the same divine autho- 
rity, in the dispensation of Moses. And whether we consider the book of Job as 
the production of Moses ; or of that pious wor.^hipper <A' the true God, among 
the descendants of Abraham, whose name it be<rs ; or of si>me otlier person who 
lived a short time after, and composed it from the materials left by Job himself; 
the repveseniation there made of God, as prescribing sacrifices to the friends of 
Job, in every supposition exhibits a strong authority, and of high antiquity, upon 
this question. 

These few facts, which I have stated, unaided by any comment, and abstract- 
ing altogether ftom the arguments which embarrass the contrary hypothesis, 
and to which I liave already alluded, might perhaps be sufficient to satisfy an in- 
quii^ng and candid mind, that sacrifice must have had its origin in divine ijt- 
STiTUTioN. But if in addition, this rite, as practised in the earliest ages, shall 
be found connected with the sacrifice of Christ, confessedly of divine appoint- 
ment ; little doubt can reasonably remain on this head. Let us then examine 
more particularly the circiunstance of the first sacr-.fice offered up by Abel. 

It IS clear from tjie words of scripture, that both Cain and Abel made obla- 
tions to the Lord It is clear also, notwit! islanding the well known fanciful inter- 
piTtation of an eminent commentator, ihut Abel's was an animal sacrifice. It is 
no l<;ss clear, that Abel's was accepted, whilst that of Cain was rejecied. Now 
what could have occasioned the distinction ? The acknowledgment of the Su- 
preme Being and of his universid dominion, was no less strong in the oftenng of 
tlie fruits of the earth by Cain, than in that of the firstlings of the flock by Abel: 
the intrinsic efficacy of the gift must have been the same in each, each giving of 
the best that he possessed; tlie expression of gratitude, equally sig-iificant and 
forcible in both. How tlien is the difference to be explained r If we look to the 
writer to the Hebrews, he infoi'ms us, that the ground on winch Abel's oblation 
was preferred to that of Cain, was, that Abel onered his m faith,- and the crite- 
rion of this faith also appears to have been, in the opinion of this writer, the ani- 
mal sacrifice. The words are remarkable — Bij faith Abel offered unto God a mora 
excellent sacrifice than Cain, by w!dch he obinined Tvitness that he was righteoits, 
God testifying of his gifts. The words here translated, a more excellent sacrifice^ 
are in an early versif)n rendered a much mere sacrifice, which phrase, though un- 
couth in form, adequately conveys the original. The meaning then is, that by 
faith Abel offered that which was much more of the true nature of sacrifice than 
what had been offered by Cain. Abel consequently was directed by faith, and 
this faith was manifested in the nature of his offering. What then are we to in- 
fer i* — Without some revelation granted, some assurance held out as the object 
offaith, Abti could not liave exercised this virtue: and without some peculiar 


OP Christ's priestly opfici;. sra 

men into k salvable state, or procure a possibility of salvation 
for fchem ; so that many might obtain it, by a right improve- 
ment of his death, who shall fail short of it ; and also that it 

mode of sacrifice enjoined, he could not have exemplified his faith by an appro- 
priate offerm.^. Tiie ofienng made, we have already seen, was that of an animal, 
Let us consider whether this could have a connexion with any divine assurance 
communicaLed at that early day. 

It is obviOus tint the promise made to our first parents, conveVed an intima- 
tion of some future <ieliverer, who should overcome the tempter that had drawn 
mull from his innoc(-:nce, and rel^ove those evils which had been occasioned by 
the full. This assurance, without which, or some odier ground of hope, it seems 
difficult to conceive how the principle of rciig-ion could have had place among 
men, becam;; to our first parents tiie g and object of fiuth. 'i'o perpetuate this 
fundamentAl article of i-eiigious belief among the descendants of Ailam, some 
striking memorial of the fail of man, and of the promised deliverance, wirald 
naturtiily be appointed And if we admit that the scheme of redemption by die 
death of the only begotten Sua of God, was determined from the beginning;' that 
is, if we admit that when God had orda.ned the deliverance of man, he h..d or- 
dained ihe means : if we admit that Christ was the Lamb slain from the founda- 
tion of the world; what memorial could be devised more apposue than that of 
anmal sac .fice ? — exemplifying, by the slaying of the victim, the death which 
had been denounced against man's disobedience : — thus exlubitmg the awful 
lesson of that death which was the wages of sm, and at the same time represent- 
ing that deatli which was actually to be undergone by the Redeemer of man- 
kind : — and hereby connecting in one view, the t\\ o great cardinal events in the 
history of man, the fall, and the H£covERr : the death denounced against sin, 
and the death appointed for that Holy One wlio w^as to lay down his life to deli- 
ver man from the consequences of sin. The institution of animal sacrifice seems 
then to have been peculiarly significant, as containing all the elements of reli- 
gious knowledge : and the adoption of this rite, with sincere and pious feelings, 
would at the same time imply an humble sense of the unworthiness of the offer- 
er; a confession that death which was inflicted on the victim, was the desert of 
of those sins which had arisen from man's transgression ; and a full reliance 
upon the promises of deliverance, joined to an acquiescence in the means ap- 
pointed for its accomplishment. 

If this view of the matter hi. just, there is nothing improbable even in the sup- 
position that that part of the signification of the rite which related to the sacri- 
fice of Christ, might have been m some degree made known from the beginning. 
But not to contend for this, (scripture having furnished no express foundation 
for the assumption,) room for the exercise of faith is equally preserved, on the 
idea that animal sacrifice was enjoined in the general as the religious sign of 
faith in the promise of redemption, witliout any intimation of the way in which it 
became a sign. Agreeably to these principles, we shall find but little difficulty 
in determining on what ground it was that Abel's offering was accepted, whilst 
that of Cain v>^as rejected. Abel, in firm reliance on the promise of God, and in 
obedience to his command, offered that sacrifice which had been enjoined as the 
religious expression of his faith; whilst Cain, disregarding the gracious assuran* 
ces that had been vouchsafed, or at least disdaining to adopt the prescribed 
mode of manifesting his belief, possibly as not appearing* to his reason to possess 
any efficacy or natural fitness, thouglit he had sufficiently acquitted himself of 
his duty in acknowledging the general superintendance of God, and expressing 
his gratitude to the Supreme Benefactor, by presenting some of those good 
things which he thereby confessed to have been derived from his bounty. In 
short, Cain, the first-born of the fall, exhibits the first fruits of his parents' dis- 
obedience, in the arrogance and self-sufficiency of reason, rejecting the aids of 
revelation, because they fell not within its apprehension of right. He takes the 
ffrfjt place in the. Jtnmfe of tkisiflj mi display.^, in hi» proud rejection of the or • 


is in their power to frustrate the ends thereof, and so render 
it ineffectual. This we judge not only to be an error, but such as 
is highly derogatory to the glor}' of God ; which we shall en- 

dinaiice of sacrifice, the same spirit, whicli, in luter cLivs, has actua.tetl iiib en- 
lightened followers, in rejecting the sac.-ifice of Christ. 

This view of the subject receives strength, from the terms of expostulation in 
which God addresses Cam, on his expressing resentment at the rejection of his 
offering", and the acceptance of Abel's. The words xn the pret^ent version are, 
if thou doest ivell^ shalt thou not be accepied P^uiid if thou doest not ivell, sin lieth 
at the door — which words, as they stund c ^anected in theconiext, supply no very- 
satisfactory meaning, and have long served to exercise the ingenuity of commen- 
tators to but little purpose. But if the word, which is here translated si^y, be 
j'cndered, as we find it in a great variety of passages in the Old Testament, a six 
OFFERING, the reading of the passage then becomes, if thou doest xuell, shalt thou 
7iot be accepted P and if thou doest not Tvell, a sin offering litth even at the door. 
The connexion is thus rendered evident. God rebukes Cam fur not conforming 
to that species of sacrifice which had been offered by Abel. He refers to it as 
a matter of kno\yn injunction ; and hereby points out the ground of distinction 
in his treatment of liim, and his brother: and thus, in direct terms, enforces the 
observance of animal saciince. 

As thai part of my general ])osition, which pronounces saci-ifice to have beer* 
of divine institution, receives bupport from liie passisge just recited ; so to tliat 
part of it whicn maintains tliat ihis rite bore an aspect to the sacrifice of Christ, 
additional evidence may be derived fi-om the language of the writer to the He- 
brews, inasmuch as he places tlie blood of Abel's sacrifice m dii-ect comparison 
with the blood of Christ, which he style?' pr^-enunentiy the blood of sprinkling : 
and represents both as speaking good (hi.-gs, m d-^ercut degiees. What tutn is 
the result of the foregoing reflections ? — L lie sacrifice of Abel was an animal sa- 
crifice. This sacrifice was accepted. The ground of this acceptance was the 
faith in which it was offered. Scripture assigns no other object of this faith but 
the promise of a Redeemer: and of this faith, the offering of an animal in sacri- 
fice, appears to have been the legitmiate, and consequently the instituted, ex- 
pression. Tne institution of animal sacrifice then, wus coe%'al with the fall, ixnd 
had a -reference to the sacrifice of our redei"iiption. But as it had also an imme- 
diate and most apposite application to that important event in iiie condition of 
•man, which, as being the occasion of, was essentially connected with the work 
of redemption, that likewise we have reason to think was included in its signifi- 
cation. And thus, upon the whole, sacrificiv appears to iiavc betrn ordained as a 
standing memorial of the death introduced by sin, and of that death ~vhich ivas to be 
suffered by the Redeemer. 

We accordingly find this institution of animal sacrifice continue until the giv- 
ing of the law. No other offering than that of an amniai being recorded in scrip- 
ture down to this period, except in the case of Cain, and that we have seen was 
rejected. The sacrifices of Noah and of Abraham are stated to have been burnt - 
offerings. Of the same kind also were the sin-offenngs presented by Job, he be- 
ing said to have offered burnt-offerings according to the number of his sons, lest 
some of them might have sinned in their hearts. But when we come to tlie pro- 
mulgation of the law, we find the connexion between animal sacrifice and atone- 
ment, or reconciliation with God, clearly and distinctly announced. It is here 
declared that sacrifices for sin should, on conforming to certain i>rescri!ied modes 
of oblation, be accepted as the means of deliverance tVoni the penal consequences 
of transgression. And with respect to the /jec»/ir/r efficacy of animal sacrifice, 
we find this remarkable declaration, — the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have 
given it to you %ipon tite altar, to make atonement for the soul: in reference to which 
w ord-s, the sacred writer formally pronounces, that without shedding of blood there 
ii no remission. Now in what conceivable light can we view this Institution, but 
m relation to that great sacrifice which wc/s to make atonement for sins : to that 
b^ood of sprinkling, which was to speak better things than that of Abel, or tha* 


deavour to make appear, and to establish the contrary doctrine, 
namely, that Christ died to purchase salvation for none but 
those who shall obtain it. This may be prov-d, 

of the la sv. Tht laiv itseiri^ said to iiave hud respect solely unto him. To what 
else can the principal insiitution of the law refer? — an institution too, which un- 
less so referred appeal's utterly ur<i-neaning\ The offering- up an aninnal cannot be 
imagmtd to have iiad an} mtnns.c efficacy in procuring- pardon for the trans- 
gression of the offerer. The blood of bulls and of goats could have possessed 
no virtue, whereby to cleanse him fiom his off-nces. Still less intellig-ible is the 
application of the blood of the v.ctim to the parlt\ jng- of the parts of the tabernacle, 
and the apparatus of the ceremonial Vv'orship. All this can clearly have had no 
other than an instituted meaning ; and can be understood only as in reference to 
some blood-shedding, which in an eminent degree possessed the power of puri- 
fying from pollution. In short, admit the sacrifice of Christ to be lield in view in 
the institutions of the law, and every part is plain and intelligible; reject that 
notion, and every theory devised by the ingenuity of man, to explain the nature 
ef the ceremonial worship, becomes trifling and inconsistent. 

Granting then the case of tlie Mosaic sacrifice and that of Abel's to be the 
same ; neither of them in itself eflficacious ; both instituted by God; and both in- 
stituted in )-eference to that true and eflScient sacrifice, which was one day to be 
offered : tiie rite, as practised before the time of Christ, may justly be considered 
as a SACRAMrxTAt memokial, shounng forth the Lord's death until he came; and 
when accompanied with a due faitli .n the promises made to the early believers, 
may reasonable be judged to have been equally acceptable with th^it sacramental 
memorial, v.lnch has been enjoined l)y our Lord hiin«*elf to his followers, for the 
ftJiovjing fortli his death until his comijig again And it deserves to be noticed that 
this very analogy seenr^ to be inUmated Ijv our Lord, in the language used by 
him at the institution of that solemn Christian i-ite. For in speaking of his own 
bloody he calls it, in direct reference to the blood wherewith Moses estabhshed 
and sanctified the first covenant, the blood of the new covefiaiit, which xcas shed for 
the reinission of sins : thus plainly marking out the similitude in the nature and 
objects of the two covenants, at the moment that he was prescribing the great 
sacramental commemoration of his own sacrifice. 

From this view of the subject, the liistory of scripture sacrifice becomes con- 
sistent throughout. The sacrifice of Abel, and the patriarchal sacrifices down to 
the giving of the law, record and exemplify those momentous events in the his- 
tory of man, — the death incurred by sin, and that inflicted on our Redeemer. 
"Wlien length of time, and mistaken notions of religion leading to idolatry and 
every perversion of the religious principle, had so fiir clouded and obscured this 
expressive act, of primeval worship, that it had ceased to be considered by the 
nations of the world in that re/e?^e72ce in which its true value consisted : when 
the mere rite remained, without any remembrance of the promises, and conse- 
quently unaccompanied by that faith in their fulfilment, which was to render it 
an acceptable service : when the nations, deifjing every passion of the human 
heart, and erecting altars to every vice, poured forth the blood of the victim, 
but to deprecate the wrath, or satiate the vengeance of each offended deity .- 
when with the recollection of the true God, all knowledge of the ti-ue worship 
was effaced from the minds of men : and when joined to the absurdity of the sa- 
crificial rites, their cruelty, devoting to the malignity of innumerable sanguhiary 
gods endless multitudes of human victims, deniand'ed the divine interference'; 
then we see a people peculiarly selected, to whom, by express revelation, the 
knowledge of the one God is restored, and the species of worship ordained by 
him from the beginning, particidarly enjoined. The principal part of the Jewish 
service, \r^ accordingly find to consist of sacrifice ; to which the virtue of expia- 
tion and atonement is expressly annexed : and in the manner of it, the particulars 
appear so minutely set forth, that when tlie object of the whole law should be 
brought to light, no doubt could remain as to its intended application. The 
..'ewish- sacrifices tlicrefore seem to have been designed, as those from the begm- 

316 OP Christ's priestly offise* 

I. From those distinguishing characters that accompany sal- 
vation, which are given to those for whom he died. 

1. They are called his sheep^ in John x. 11. / cim the good 

ning had been, to prefig-ure that one, \vhlch was to make Htonement for ail man- 
kind. And as in this all were to receive their consummation, so -with this.tliey all 
conclude : and the institution closes with tlie completion of its object. But, as. 
the gross perversions, which had pervaded the Gaitile -.vorld, had reached like- 
wise to the chosen people; and as the temptations to idolatry, which suriouncled 
them on all sides, were so powerful as perpetually to endanger their adherence 
to the God of their fathers, we find the ceremonial service adajited to their car- 
nal habits. And since the law itself, with its acconipc.nviug sanctions, seems to 
have been principally temporal; so the worship it enjoins is found to have been 
for the most part, rather a public and solemn declaration of allegia.nce to the true 
God in opposition to the Gentile idolatries, than a pure and spiritual obedience 
in moral and rel'.g-imis matters, which was reserved for that more perfect system, 
appointed to succeed in due time, when the state of mankind would permit. 

That the sacrifices of the law should therefore have chiefly (^-peruted to the 
cleansing- from external impurities, and to the rendering persons or things fit to 
approach God in the exercises of the cereniouial worship; whilst at the s;.me 
time they were designed to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, which was purely 
spiritual, and possessed the ti-anscendant virtue of atoning for all moral pollu- 
tion, involves in it no inconsistency whatever, since in this the true proportion of 
the entire dispensations is preserved. And to this point, it is particularly neces- 
sarv that our attention should be directed, in the examinatio:i of the present sub- 
ject ; as upon the apparent difspropurtion m the objects and effects of sacrifice in 
the Mosaic and Chrjstian schemes, the principal objections against their inten- 
ded correspondence have been founded. 

The sacrifices of the law tlier. being preparatoiy to that of Christ; the law it- 
self being but a schoolmaster to bnng us to Christ ,• tiie sacred writers in the J\'t?w 
Testament, naturally adopt the sacrificial terms of the ceremonial service, and by 
their reference to the use of them as employed under the law, clearly point out 
the sense in which they are to be understood in their application under the gos- 
pel. In examining, then, the meaning of such terms, when they occur in the 
.Vety Testament, we are clearly directed to the explanation that is circumstan- 
tially given of them in the Old. Thus, when we find the virtue of atonement at- 
tributed to the sacrifice of Christ, in like manner as it had been to those under 
the law ; by attending to the representation so minutely given of it in the latter, 
we are enabled to comprehend its true import in the former. 

Of the several sacrifices under the law, that one which seems most exactly to 
illustrate the sacrifice of Christ, and which is expressly compared with it by the 
writer to the Hebrews, is that which was offered for the whole assembly on the 
solemn anniversary of expiation. The circumstances of this ceremony, whereby 
atonement was to be made for the sins of the whole Jewish people, seem so stri- 
kingly significant, that they deserve a particular detail. On the day appointed 
for'tliis general expiation, the priest is commanded to offer a bullock and a goat 
as sin-offerings, the one for himself, and the other for the people : and having 
sprinkled the blood of these in due form before the mercy-seat, to lead forth a 
second goat, denominated the scape-goat ; and after laying both his hands upon 
the heatl of the scape-goat, and confessing over him all the iniquities of the peo- 
ple, to put them upon the head of the goat, and to send the animal, thus bearing 
the sins of the people, away into the v.^ilderness : in this manner expressing by an 
action, v/hich cannot be misunderstood, that the atonement, which it is directly 
affirmed was to be effected by the sacrifice of the sin-offering, consisted in re- 
moving from the people their iniquities by this symbolical translation to the ani- 
mal. For it is to be remarked, that the ceremony of the scape-goat is not a dis- 
tinct one : it is a continuation of the process, and is evidently the concluding part 
find symbolical consummation of the sin-offering. So tliat the transfer of the ini- 
quities of the people upon the head of the scape-goat, and the bearing them 

o? Christ's PRiESTLt office. 3157 

^hepherd^ the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. This 
metaphor must certainly impl}-, that they, for whom Christ 
died, are distinguished from the world, as the objects of his 
immediate care, and special gracious providence : But, besides 
this, there are several things in the context, which contain a 
farther description of these sheep^ for whom he laid down his 
life, which cannot be applied to the whole world : Thus it is 
said, in ver. 14. I knoiv my sheep^ and am known of them ^ that 
is, with a knowledge of affection, as the word knowledge is of- 
ten used in scripture, when applied- to Christ, or his people. 
Again, these sheep are farther described, as those who shall 
certainly obtain salvation ; as our Saviour says concerning them, 
in ver. 27, 28. My sheep hear my voice^ and I know them^and 
they follow me; and I give unto them eternal If e^ and theu 

away to the wilclerjiess, manifestly imply that tiie atonement effected by the sa- 
crifice of the siti-nffei-ing-, consisted in the transfer and consequent removal of 
those iniquities. What then are we taught to infer ftom this ceremony ? — That 
as the atonement under the law, or expiation of the legal transgressions, was re- 
presented as a translation of tiiose transgressions, in the act of sacrifice in which 
the animal was slain, and the people thereby cleansed from their legal impuri- 
ties, and released from the penalties which lia'd been incurred ; so the great atone- 
ment for the sins of mankind was to be effected by the sacrifice of Christ, under- 
going for the restoration of men to the favour of God, that death which had been 
denounced against sin ; and which he suffered in like manner as if tlie sins of 
men had been actually transferred to him, as those of the congregation had been 
symbolically transferred to the sin-offering of tlie people. 

That this is the true meaning of the atonement eilected by Christ's sacriiice, 
receives the fullest confirmation from every part of both the Old and the New- 
Testament : and that thus far the death of Christ is vicarious, cannot be denied 
witiiout a total desregard of the sacred writings. 

It has indeed been asserted, by those who oppose the doctrine of atonement aS 
thus explained, that nothing vicario7i3 appears in the Mosaic sacrifices. With 
what justice this assertion has been made, may be judged from the instance of 
the sin-offering tliat has been adduced. I'he transfer to the animal of the iniqui* 
ties of tlie people, (which must necessarily mean the trawsfer of their penal ef- 
fects, or the subjecting the animal to suffer on account of those iniquities) — this 
accompanied with the death of the victim ; and the consequence of the whole be- 
ing the removal of the punishment of those iniquities from the oflerers, and the 
ablution of all legal offensiveness in the sight of God :™thus much of the natuix; 
of vicarious, the language of the Old I'estament justifies ns in attaching to the 
notion of atonement. Less than this we are clearly not at liberty to attach to it. 
And what the law thus sets forth a.s its express meaning, directly determines 
that which we must attribute to the great atonement of which the Mosaic cere- 
mony was but a type : always remembering cai-efuUy to distinguish between the 
figure and the substance ; duly adjusting their relative value and extent; esti- 
mailn*- the efficacy of the one as real, intrinsic, ond universal ; whilst that of the 
other IS to be viewed as limited, derived, and emblematic. 

It must be confessed, that to the principles on which the doctrine of the Chris* 
tlan atonement has been explained in this, representation of it, several objec- 
tions, in addition to those already noticed, have been advanced. These, however, 
cannot now be examined in this place. The m<ost important have been discus- 
sed ; and as for such as remain, 1 trust that to a candid mind, the general view 
of the subject which has been given, will prove sufficient for their lefutation," 

Dja. Maqjej;, 

Vol. II.. S s 


S7iall never perish; neither shall any phick them out of my hand: 
but this privilege, without doubt, belongs not to the whole 

They are also considered as believers, inasmuch as faith is 
the necessary consequence of Christ's redemption, and accord- 
ingly are distinguished from the world, or that part thereof, 
wnich is left in unbelief and impenitency : Thus Christ says, 
concerning those who rejected his Person and gospel, in ver. 
26. I'e believe not^ because ye are not of my sheep, 

2. They for whom Christ died are called his friends^ and, 
as such, the objects of his highest love, in John xv. 13. Greater 
love hath no ?nan than this, that a 7nan lay doivn his life for his 
friends, and they are farther described, in the following words, 
as expressing their love to him, by doing whatsoever he com- 
mandeth them; and, he calls them friends, so they are distin- 
guished from servants, or slaves, who, though they may be 
made partakers of common favours, yet he imparts not his se- 
cre;ts to them; but, with respect to these, he says, in ver. 15, 
16. All things that I have heard of my Father, I have made 
knoxvn unto you; And they are farther distinguished from the 
world, inasmuch as they are chosen by Christ, and ordained 
that they should go and bring forth fruit ; and there are seve- 
ral other privileges which accompany salvation, that are said 
to belong to these friends of Christ, for whom he died. 

Object, It is objected, that what Christ here says, concern- 
ing his friends, is particularly directed to his disciples, with 
whom at that time he conversed and these he considers as per- 
sons who had made a right improvement of his redeeming love; 
and therefore, that redemption which the whole world might 
be made partakers of, if they would, these were like to reap the 
happy fruits and effects of. 

Answ, To this it may be replied, that whatever promises, or 
privileges, Christ's disciples were made partakers of, if these 
do not immediately respect their character as ministers, but as 
Christians, they are equally to be applied to all believers. Now, 
that w4iat Christ says to them, whom he calls his friends, is appli- 
cable to all believers, appears from their being described as abid- 
ing 271. him^^nd bringing forth much fruit, under the powerful in- 
ftuence of his grace, xvithoutuuhom theij can do nothing; and, when 
he speaks, in ver. 19, 26. of the ivorld''s hating them, because they 
are 7iot of the world, and of the Comforter^ s beiiig sent to testify of 
him, in order to the confirmation of their faith, this belongs to 
all believers, as such; therefore they are as much described as 
Christ's friends, for whom he laid down his life, as his disci- 
•ples, to \\ horn he more immediately directed his discourse. 

And as for the other part of the objection, namely, that these 
had made a right improvemeut of Christ's redemption : the 

OF Christ's priestly office. 319 

reply that may be given to it, is, that none but Christ^s friends 
can be said to have made a right improvement of redemption, 
and therefore none but such have any ground to conclude that 
Christ died for them : but this is not the temper and charac- 
ter of the greater part of mankind, therefore Christ did not die 
for the whole world: and it is very evident, from this charac- 
ter which Christ gives of them, for whom he died, that either 
they are, or shall be, of enemies, made friends to him. 

3. They are called, The Children of God that rvere scattered 
abroad, v>'ho should be gathered together in one, as the conse^ 
quence of his death, in John xi. 52. This gathering together 
in one, seems to import the same thing, with what the apostle 
speaks of, as a display of the grace of the gospel, and calls it, 
their being gathered together in Christ their Head, in Eph. i. 
10. and one part of them he considers, as being already in hea- 
ven, and the other part of them on arth, in their way to it ; and he 
speaks such things concerning them, in the foregoing and fol- 
lowing verses, as cannot be said of any but those that shall be 
saved. Now, if Christ designed, by his death, to purchase 
this special privilege for his children, certainly it cannot be 
8upposed that he died for the whole world ; and elsewhere the 
apostle speaking, in Heb. ii. 10. concerning the Captain of cur 
salvation's being made perfect through sufferings considers this 
£is a means iov bringing many sons to glorij, which is a pecu- 
]iar privilege belonging to the heirs of salvation, and not to the 
whole world. 

Object, 1. It will be objected to this, that nothing can be 
proved from the words of so vile a person as Caiphas, who re- 
lates this matter; and. therefore, though it be contained in scrip- 
ture, it does not prove the truth of the doctrine, which is pre- 
tended to be established thereby. 

Answ, Though Caiaphas was one of the vilest men on earth, 
and he either did not believe this prophecy himself, or, if he 
did, he made a very bad use of it, yet this does not invalidate 
the prediction : for though wicked men may occasionlly have 
some prophetic intimation concerning future events, as Ba- 
laam had, the instrument, which the Spirit of God makes use 
of in discovering them to mankind, does not render them less 
certain, for the worst of men may be employed to impart the 
greatest truths : therefore it is sufficient to our purpose, that it 
is said, in the words immediately foregoing, that being high 
priest that year, he prophesied, as it was no uncommon thing 
for the high priest to have prophetic intimations from God, to 
deliver to his people, w^hatever his personal character might be; 
so that we must consider this as a divine oracle, and therefore 
infallibly true. 

Object, 2. If it be allowed, that wfeat is here predicted was 


true, yet the subject-matter thereof respects the nation of the 
Jews, concerning whom it cannot be said, that every individual 
was in a state of salvation, and therefore it rather militates 
against, than proves the doctrine of particular redemption. 

Ansxv. It is evident, that when it is said that Christ should 
die for that 7iation^ the meaning is,, the children of God in that 
nation ; for the children of God, that dwelt there, are opposed 
to his children that were scattered abroad ; and so the meaning 
is, Christ died that they should not perish, who have the tem- 
per, and disposition of his children, wherever the place of their 
i-esidence be. 

4. They for whom Christ died are called his churchy where- 
of he is the Head; and the Body^ of whom he is the Saviour, 
in Eph. V. 23. and these he is said to have loved^ and given 
himself for y in ver. 25. Now the church is distinguished from 
the world, as it is gathered out of it; and the word churchy in 
this place, is taken in a very different sense, from that in v/hich 
it is understood in many other scriptures. The apostle does 
not mean barely a number of professing people, of which some 
are sincere, and others may be hypocrites, or of which some shall 
be saved, and others not ; nor does he speak of those who arc- 
apparently in the way of salvation, as making a visible profes- 
sion of the Christian religion : But it is taken for that church, 
which is elsewhere called the spouse of Christy and is united'to him 
by faith, and that shall, in the end, be eternally saved by him ; 
this is very evident, for he speaks of them, as sanctified 
and cleansed xvith the washing of xvater by the xvord^ in ver. 26. 
And, as to what concerns their future state, they are such as 
shall he presented to himself a glorious churchy not having spot 
or wrinkle, or any such thing, in ver. 27. Now, since it vv^as 
for these that Christ died, it cannot be reasonably concluded 
that he died equally and alike for all mankind. 

And to this we may. add, that they are called his people, 
whom he designed to save from their sins, in Matt. i. 21. ancl 
also a peculiar people, who are described by this character, by 
which they are known, as being zealous of good works, in Tit. 
ii. 14. and, by his death, they are said not only to be r deem- 
ed, so as to be put into the possession of the external privileges 
of the gospel, but redeemed from all iniquity, and purified unto 
himself; all which expressions certainly denote those distin- 
guishing blessings which Christ, by his death, designed to pur- 
chase for those who are the objects thereof. 

II. That Christ did not die equally, and alike for all man- 
kind, appears from his death's being an instance of the highest 
love, and they, who are concerned herein, are in. a peculiar 
2>^aRner, obliged to bless him for it a^ such. Thus the apostla 


joins both these together, when he says in Gal. ii. 20. He lov- 
ed 7nt\ and gave himself for me ; and elsewhere it is said, in 
Rev. i. 5. He loved vs^ and washed us from our sins in his own 
blood; and herein it is said, that God coramendeth his love to- 
wards zis, in Rom. v. 8. as that which is without a parallel. 
And besides, when he speaks of this love of Christ expressed 
herein, he seems to distinguish it from that common love which 
is extended to all, when he says, Christ died for us ; and, that 
we may understand what he means thereby, we must consider 
to.whom it was that this epistle was directed, namely, to such 
as were beloved ofGod^ called to be saints^ in chap. i. 7. They 
are also described as such, who zvere justified by Chrisfs bloody 
and xvho should be saved from wrath through him ; reconciled 
to God by the death of his Son^ and who should be saved by 
his life ; and, as such, \\ho joyed iii God through our Lord Je- 
sus Christy and by him had received the ato?ieme?it^ in chap. 9 — 
11. therefore surely they, who were thus beloved by Christ, to 
whom he expressed his love by dying for them, must be dis- 
tinguished from the world. And our Saviour speaks of this, as 
far exceeding all thnt love, which is in the breasts of men, to 
one another, in John xv. 13. Greater love hath ?io ?nan than 
fhis, that a man should lay down his life for his friends. There- 
fore we have no reason to suppose that he died equally and 
alike for all, for then there would be an equal instance of love 
herein to the best and worst of men ; Judas would have been as 
much beloved as Peter ; the Scribes and Pharisees, Christ's avow- 
ed enemies and persecutors, as much beloved as his disciples and 
faithful followers, if there be nothing discriminating in his dying- 
love. Therefore we must conclude that he died to procure some 
distinguishing blessings for a part of mantmd, which all are not 
partakers of. 

And, as this love Is so great and discriminating, it is the subject- 
matter of the eternal praise of glorified saints : The new song i^^^t 
is sung to him, in Rev. v. 9. contains in it a celebrating of his 
glory, as having redeemed them to God by his bloody out of eve- 
ry kindred^ and tongue^ and people^ and nation^ who were ad- 
mitted into his immediate presence, as the objects of his distin- 
guishing love. And certainly all this implies more than his 
purchasing the gospel-dispensation, or the discovery of the way 
of salvation to mankind, of whom the greatest part neglect, de- 
spise, and reap no saving advantage thereby. 

III. There are some circumstances attending the death of 
Christ, which argue, that it was not designed for all the world : 
particularly, he died as a Surety, or as one who undertook to 
pay that debt, which the justice of God might have exacted of 
men in their own persons. This has already been proved ; and 
that which may be inferred from hence, is, that if Christ, by 
dying, paid this debt, and when he rose from the dead, receiv- 

a discharge from the hand of justice, then God will not exatx 
the debt twice, so as to bring them under the condemning sen- 
tence of the law, whom Christ, b}- his death, has dehvered 
from it : this is certainly a privilege that dots not belong to the 
whole world, but to the sanctified. 

Moreover, some are not justified or discharged for the sake 
of a ransom paid, and never shall be : therefore it may be con* 
eluded, that it was not given for them. 

IV. It farther appears, that Christ did not die equally and 
alike for all men, in that he designed to purchase that dominion 
aver, or propriety in them, for whom he died, which v/ould be 
the necessary result hereof. As they are his trust and charge, 
given into his hand, to be redeemed by his blood ; (and, in 
that respect, he undertook to satisfy the justice of CTod for 
them, w^hich he has done hereby) so, as the result hereof, he 
acquired a right to them, as Mediator, by redemption ; pursu- 
ant to the eternal covenant between the Father and him, he 
obtained a right to bestow eternal life on all that were given to, 
and purchased by him. This tends to set forth the Father's 
glory, as he designed hereby to recover and bring back fallen 
creatures to himself; and it redounds to Christ's gloiy, as 
Mediator : as herein he not only discovers the infinite value 
of his obedience and sufferings, but all his redeemed ones are 

^rendered the monuments of his love and grace, and shall for 
ever be employed in celebrating his praise : But certainly this 
is inconsistent with his death's being ineffectUcil to ansv»a^r this 
end, and consequently he died for none but those whom he will 
bring to glory, which he could not be said to have done, had 
he laid down his life for the whole world. 

V. That Christ did not die, or pay a price of redemption 
for all the world, farther appears, in that, salvation, whether 
begun, carried on, or perfected, is represented, in scripture, as 
the application tliereof; and all those graces, which are wrought 
by the Spirit in believers, are the necessary result and conse- 
quence thereof. This will appear, if we consider, that when 
Christ speaks of his Spirtt^ as sent to convince ofsin^ righteous- 
ness^ and judgment y and to guide his people into all truth he 
says, He shall glorify me ^ for he shall receive of mine,, and shall 
sheiv it unto you^ John xvi. 14. the meaning of which is, that 
he should apply v/hat he had purchased, whereby his glory, as 
our Redeemer, would be eminently illustrated ; and elsewhere, 
when the apostle speaks of the Spirit's work of regeneration 
and sanctifi cation, he considers it as the result of Christ's death, 
and accordingly it is said to be shed on us abundantly,^ through 
Jesus Christ our Saviour,, Tit. iii. 6, And when we read of 
his redeeming them that xvere under the law,, their receiving the 
adoption of sons ^ Gal. iv. 5. and all the privileges cpntained i^ 


Jt, these are considered as the necessary consequences thereof; 
and Christ's being not spared^ but delivered up unto death for 
those who are described as chosen, called, justified, and .such 
as shall be hereafter. glorified, is assigned, as a convincing evi- 
dence, that God zvUl'reith him freely give them all things^ Rom-» 
viii. 32. Now this cannot, with the least shadow of reason, be 
applied to the whole v/orld ; therefore Christ did not die for, 
or redeem, all mankind. 

That the application of redemption may farther appear to be 
of equal extent with the purchase thereof, we shall endeavour 
to prove, that all those graces, which believers are made parta- 
kers of here, as well as complete salvation, which is the con- 
summation thereof hereafter, are the purchase of Christ's death. 
And herein we principally oppose those who defend the doc- 
trine of universal redemption, in that open and self-consistent 
way, which the Pelagians generally take, who suppose, that 
faith and repentance, and all other graces, are entirely in our 
own power ; otherwise the conditionality of the gospel-covenant, 
as they rightly observe, could never be defended, and they, for 
whom Christ died, namel}', all mankind, must necessarily re- 
pent and believe. Thus a late writer * argues, in consistency 
with his own scheme ; whereas some others, who maintain the 
doctrine of universal redemption, and, at the same time, that 
of efficacious grace, pluck down with one hand, what they 
build up with the other. It is the former of these that we are 
now principally to consider, when we speak of the graces of 
the Spirit, as what are purchased by Christ's blood; and, that 
this may appear, let it be observed, 

1. That complete salvation is styled, The purchased posses- 
iiio?iy Eph. i. 14. and our deliverance from the wrath to come^ 
is not only inseparably connected with, but contained in it, and 
both these are considered as purchased by the death of Christ, 
1 Thess. i. 10. Rom. v. 9, 10. and the apostle elsewhere, 
speaking concerning the church, as arrived to its state of per- 
fection in heaven, and its being rvithout spot or wrinkle or any 
such things and xvithoiit blemish^ that is, when its sanctihcation 
is brought to perfection, considers this, as the accomplishment 
of that great end of Christ's giving himself for it^ or laying 
down his life to purchase it, Eph, v. 25, 27. 

2 It follows, from hence, that all that grace, whereby be.* 
lievers are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
saints in light, which is the beginning of this ^.-alvation, is the- 
purchase of Christ's blood. Accordingly God is said to h^ve 
blessed us with aU spiritual blessings i7i heavenly places^ (or, as 
it m«y be better rendered, in what coiicerns heavenly things J 
m C'hrist^ Eph. i. 3. that is, for the sake of Christ's death, 
* Se'c JTHtbfffi disconrsf, &;c. pasre 1 10—11?. 


which was the purchase thereof; therefore it follows, that faith 
and repentance, and all other graces, which are wrought in us 
in this world, are purchased thereby : Thus it is said, Unto 
ijou it is given in behalf of Christ to believe^ as well as to ex- 
ercise those graces, which are necessary in those who are called 
to suffer for his sake^ Phil. i. 29. and elsewhere God is said to 
have exalted Christ to be a Prince arid a Saviour^ to give re- 
pentance^ as well 2iS forgiveness of sins y Acts v. 31. And, since his 
exaltation includes in it his resurrection from the dead, it plainly 
argues, that he died to give repentance, and consequently that this 
grace was purchased by him ; and when our Saviour speaks of 
sending the Spirit, the Comforter to convince the world of sin^ 
of righteousness y and of judgment ^ which comprizes in it that 
internal work of grace that is wrought by him, he considers 
this as the consequence of his leaving the world, after he had 
finished the work of redemption by his death, and so purchased 
this privilege for them, John xvi. 7, 8. 

VI. That Christ did not die for all mankind, appears from 
his not interceding for them, as he saith, I pray not for the 
7juorldy but for them which thou hast given me^for they are thine; 
and not for his disciples alone, but for them also which should 
believe on him through their xvord^ John xvii. 9, 20. This far- 
ther appears from a believer's freedom from condemnation be- 
ing founded on Christ's intercession^ as well as his death and 
resurrection^ Rom. viii. 34. and his being, at the same time, 
styled an Advocate with the Father^ and a propitiation for our 
sinsy 1 John ii. 1, 2. 

And this may be farther argued froin the nature of Christ's 
intercession, which (as v/ill be considered in its proper place *) 
is his presenting himself, in the merit of his death, in the be- 
half of those for whom he suffered ; as also from his being al- 
ways heard in that which he pleads for, John xi. 42. which ar- 
gues that they shall be saved, otherwise it could not be sup- 
posed that he intercedes for their salvation : but this he cannot 
be said to do for all mankind, as appears by the event, in that 
all shall not be saved. 

Object, To this it is objected that Christ prayed for his ene- 
mies, as it was foretold concerning him, by the prophet, wh» 
saith, He made intercession for the ira?isgresso,rSy Isa. liii. 12.. 
and this was accomplished at his crucifixion, when he saith, 
Father, forgive fhe?ny for they know not what they do, Luke 
xxiii. 34. That which Christ here prayed for, was forgiveness, 
which is a privilege connected with salvation ; and this he did 
in the behalf of the multitude that crucified him : but it cannot 
reasonably be supposed, that all these Vv'ere saved.; theiefore if 
■■■■• Ser Qnr^r, 7,r. 


Christ's death and intercession respects the same persons, and 
necessarily infers their salvation, then it would follow, that this 
rude and inhuman multitude were all saved, which they, who 
deny universal redemption do not suppose. 

Answ, Some, in answ^er to this objec:ion, suppose, that there 
is a foundation for a distinction between thos^ supplications, 
which Christ, in his human nature, put up to God, as being 
bound, by the moral law, in common with all mankind, to pray 
for his enemies; and his Mediatorial prayer or intercession. 
In the former of these respects, he prayed for them ; which 
prayer, though it argued the greatness of his affection for them, 
yet it did not necessarily inter their salvation ; in like manner, 
as Stephen, when dying, is represented as praying for those 
who stoned him, when he saith, Lord^ lay not this sin to their 
charge, Acts vii. 80. or, as our Saviour prays for himself in 
the garden, O^ my Father^ if it be possible^ let this cup pass from 
me^ Matt. xxvi. 39. whereby he sig-nifies the formidabieness of 
the death he was to undergo, and that his human nature could 
not but dread such a degree of suffering : this thev suppose to 
be different from his Mediatorial intercession for his people, in 
which he represents the merit of his death, as what would ef- 
fectually procure the blessings purchased thereby ; in this lat- 
ter sense, he could not be said to pray for any of those who 
crucified him, who are excluded from salvation. 

But, since this reply to the objection hath some difficulties 
attending it, which render it less satisfactory, especially because 
it supposes that he was not heard in that which he prayed for^ 
when he desired that God \yo\j\(\ forgive them^ I would rather 
chuse to take another method in answering it ; namely, that 
when Christ prays that God wovXd forgive them^ he means that 
God would not immediately pour forth the vials of his wrath 
upon that wicked generation, as their crime deserved, but that 
they might still continue to be a people favoured with the 
means of grace; this he prays for, and herein was answered; 
and his intercession for them, though it had not an immediate 
respect to the salvation of all of them, had, notwithstanding, a 
subserviency to the gathering in of his elect amongst them, 
whose salvation w^as principally intended by this intercession, 
as it was for them that he shed his blood; and accordingly I 
apprehend, that this desire that God w^ould forgive ihem^ im- 
plies the same thing as Moses's request, in the behalf of Israel^ 
did, when he saith, Pardon^ I beseech thee^ the ijiiquity of thi^ 
people^ as thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt^ until nouK 
Numb. xiv. 19. where to pardon intends nothing else but God's 
not punishing them as their sin deserved, in an immediate, and 
exemplaiy way and manner. 

VII. The doctrine of universal redemption hath soraG-ai»**- 
Vol.. IK T t 

326 OF Christ's priestly omcEv 

surd consequences attending it, not consistent with the divine 
periectioPiS ; as, 

1. It A\ ouid give occasion for Christ to be called the Saviour 
of those who shall not be eventually saved by him, the Redeem- 
er of many, who are held in chains by the justice of God, and 
receive no saving benefit by his redemption, or for him to be 
said to express the highest instance of love, in dying for those 
who shall for ever be the objects of his hatred, which implies a 
contradiction ,* and what is this but to say, that he delivers those 
from the wrath to come^ 1 Thess. i. 10. who are, and shall be 
for ever, children of wrath i therefore wt must either assert 
universal salvation, or deny universal redemption. 

2. It will also follow from hence, that he satisfied the justice 
of God for all the sins of all men ; for to lay down a price of 
redemption, is to discharge the whole debt, otherwise it would 
be to no purpose. Now, if he satisfied for all the sins of every 
man, he did this that no sin should be their ruin, and conse- 
quently he died to take away the guilt of final impenitency in 
those who shall perish ; and therefore they have, by virtue here- 
of, a right to salvation, which they shall not obtain : it follows 
then, that since he did not die for all the sins of all men, he did 
not, by his death, redeem all men. 

3. If Christ died for all men, he intended hereby their sal- 
vation, or that they should live : but it is certain he did not in- 
tend the salvation of all men ; for then his design must be frus- 
trated with respect to a part of them, for whom he died, which 
contains a reflection on his wisdom, as not adapting the means 
to the end. Moreover, this supposes that Christ's attaining the 
end he designed by his death, depends on the will of man, and 
consequently it subjects him to disappointment, and renders 
God's eternal purpose dependent on man's conduct. 

4. Since God designed, by the death of Christ, to bring to 
himself a revenue of glor}^ in proportion to the infinite value 
thereof, and Christ, our great Mediator, was, as the prophet 
saith, to have a portion zuith the grcat^ and to divide the spoil 
with the strongs as the consequence of his pouring out his soul 
unto deaths Isa. liii. 12. it follows from thence, that if all are 
not saved, for whom Christ died, then the Father and the Son 
Avould lose that glory which they designed to attain hereby, as 
the work would be left incomplete ; and a great part of man- 
kind cannot take occasion from Christ's redeeming them, to 
adore and magnify that grace, wliich is displayed therein, since 
it is not eventually conducive to their salvation. 

Having endeavoured to prove the doctrine of particular re- 
demption ; we shall now consider the arguments generally 
brought by those who defend the contrary scheme, who sup- 
pose, that God designed, as the consequence of Christ's deaths 


to save all mankind, upon condition of their repenting and be- 
lieving, according to the tenor of the gospei-covenant, which is 
substituted in the room of that which v/as violated by man's 
apostacy from God, whereby sincere obedience comes in the 
room of that perfect obedience, which was the condition of the 
first covenant. This they call man's being brought into a sai- 
vable state by Christ's death ; so that Christ rendered salvation 
possible ; whereas faith, repentance, and sincere obedience, ren- 
der it certain. And, so far as this concerns the design of God, 
in sending Christ to redeem the world, they suppose that God 
determined hereby to put man into such a state, that all may 
be saved, if they will. 

And, as to what concerns the event, to wit, man's comply- 
ing with the condition, they that defend universal redemption 
are divided in their sentiments about it ; some supposing that 
Christ purchased faith and. repentance for a certain number of 
mankind, namely, those who shall repent and believe, and pur- 
suant thereunto, will work those graces in them ; whereas 
others, who had not these giaces purchased for them, shall 
perish, though Christ has redeemed them. These suppose, that 
redemption is both universal and particular, in different re- 
spects ; univer&al, in that all who sit under the sound of the* 
gospel, have a conditional grant of grace contained therein, 
Avhereby they are put into a salvable state, or possibility of at- 
taining salvation; and particular, wiih respect to those who 
shall repent and believe, and so attain salvation; in which 
sense they apply that scripture, in which God is said to be the 
Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe, 1 Tim. iv. 10. 
This some call a middle way, between the Pelagian and Cal- 
vinistic methods of reasoning about this subject; but it appears 
to be inconsistent with itself, inasmuch as they, who give into 
this hypothesis, are forced sometimes to decline what they have 
been contending for on one side, when pressed with some ar- 
guments brought in defence of the uther ; therefore we shall 
pass this over, and consider the self-consistent scheme, in which 
universal redemption is maintained. 

The sum of all their arguments, who defend it in the Pela- 
gian way, amounts to this, viz* that Christ died not to purchase 
salvation absolutely for any, but to make way for God's enter- 
ing into a new or gospel covenant with men, in which salva- 
tion is promised, on condition of faith, repentance, and sincere 
obedience, which they suppose to be in the power of those who 
have the gospel. And, that the heathen may not be excluded, 
though it cannot be styled a gospel-covenant to them, there are 
abatements made, as to what concerns faith, founded on divine 
revelation, and the only condition that entitles them to salvation 


is their yielding sincere obedience to the law of nature, in pro* 
portion to their light. 

They farther aad, that this gospel-covenant must be condi- 
tional, otherv/ise it could not be called a covenant, ^s wanting 
an essential ingredient contained in every covenant ; and these 
conditions must be in our own power, otherwise the overture 
of salvation, depending on the performance thereof, would be 
illusory ; and it could not be called a covenant of grace, inas- 
much as there can be no grace, or favour, in promising a bless- 
ing upon impossible conditions ; neither could this gospel-cove- 
nant be styled a better covenant than that which God entered 
into with our first parents, in which the conditions were in their 
own power ; nor could it be an expedient to repair the ruins of 
the fail, or bring man, in any sense, into a salvable state. So 
that, according to this representation of the doctrine of parti- 
cular redemption, there are not only many absurd consequen- 
ces attending it, which detract from the glory of the gospel, but 
it is contrary to the holiness, v;isdom, justice, and goodness of 
God, and so derogates as much from the divine perfections, as 
any thing that is argued in defence of universal redemption can 
be pretended to do. And, to sum up the whole argument, 
there is an appeal to scripture, ^s that which gives countenance 
to it in a multitude of instances. This is the substance of all 
that is said in defence of this doctrine ; and, in opposition to it, 
we shall take leave to observe, 

(1.) That it is taken for granted, but not sufficiently proved, 
that Christ died to purchase the covenant of grace; whereas, if 
the diiference betv/een the covenant of redemption, and the co- 
venant of grace, be only circumstantial, as has been before ob- 
served,* then the death of Christ is included among the con- 
ditions of this covenant ; and if so, the covenant itself could not 
be the purchase thereof: but, if by Christ's purchasing the 
covenant of grace, they only meant his purchasing the graces 
given in the covenant, we are far from denying it, though they 
generally do. That therefore which we are principally to op- 
pose, is their sense of the conditionality of the covenant of 
grace, and its being essential to a covenant to be conditional, 
namely, to depend on uncertain conditions, in our power to 
perform, it being as they suppose, left to the freedom of our 
own will to comply with or reject them, and thereby to esta- 
blish or (disannul this covenant : but having elsewhere proved 
that the word covenant is often used in scripture, without the 
idea of a condition annexed to it,f and also considered in what 
respects those ideas, contained in a conditional covenant be- 
tween man and man, are to be excluded, when we speak of a 

♦ See Page 178, 179, ante. f See Page 169, 170, ante^ 


covenant between God and ma'n ; * and having also, in main- 
taining the doctrine of election, endeavoured to defend the ab- 
soluteness oi God's will, and shewed in what sense we are to 
understand those scriptures that are laid down in a conditional 
form, f which may, with a little variation, be applied to our 
present argument ; we shall, to avoid the repetition of things 
before insisted on, add nothing farther in answer to this part 
of the argument, we are now considering, but only that it im- 
plies God to be, in many respects, like ourselves, and suppo- 
ses that it is in our power to frustrate, and render the death of 
Christ, which was the highest display of divine grace, ineffec- 
tual, and so prevent his having that glory, which he designed 
to bring to his own name thereby. 

(2.) As to what is farther argued, concerning the covenant 
of grace being a better covenant than that which God made 
with man in innocency, and therefore that the conditions there- 
of must be in our own power, otherwise God, by insisting on 
the performance of what is impossible, subverts the design of 
the gospel, and the covenant hereupon ceases to be a covenant 
of grace ; it may be replied that though we freely own that 
the covenant of grace is, in many respects, better than that 
which God entered into with man in innocency, and that it 
v/ouid not be so were it impossible for those, who are con- 
cerned therein, to attain the blessings promised to the heirs of 
salvation ; yet we cannot allow that it must necessarily be con- 
ditional, in the sense in which some understand the word, much 
less that the conditions thereof are in our own power, or else 
the design of the gospel must be concluded to be subverted. 

Therefore we may take leave to obsers^e, that when God is 
said to require faith, and all other graces in this covenant-dis- 
pensation, and has connected them with salvation, this does not 
overthrow the grace of the covenant, but rather establish it; 
for grace and salvation are not only purchased for, but promi- 
sed and secured to all who are redeemed, by the faithfulness 
of God, and the intercession of Christ and shall certainly be 
applied to them ; and whereas, the graces of the Spirit are not 
in our own power, this is so far from overthrowing the design 
of the gospel, that it tends to advance the glory thereof, as God 
hereby takes occasion to set forth the exceeding riches of his 
grace, in making his people meet for, and bringing them, at 
last, to glory. And, though it be not possible for all to attain 
salvation, this should be no discouragement to any one to at- 
tend on those means of grace, under which we are to hope for 
the saving effects of Christ's death, whereby we may conclude 
that eternal life is purchased for us, and we shall at last be 
brought to it. 

* Se9 Page 190, rt«fe. f See Vol. I Poge 477, 480. 


(3.) As to what is farther alleged, concerning the covenant 
of grace, as designed to repair the ruins of the fail, or Gocl'a 
intending hereby to bring man into a salvable state ; we are 
never told, in scripture, that what was lost by our first apostasy 
from God, is to be compensated by the extent of grace and sal- 
vation to all mankind ; and it is not the design of the gospel to 
discover this to the world, but that the exceeding riches of di- 
vine grace should be made known to the vessels of mercy ^ before 
prepared unto glory ^ Rom. ix. 23. This is, as some express it, 
the plank that remains after the ship-wreck,* or the great foun- 
dation of our hope, and possibility of escaping everlasting de- 
struction ; and it is a much better ground of security, than to 
lay the whole stress of our salvation on the best improvements 
of corrupt nature, or those endeavours which we are to use, to 
improve the liberty of our will, in order to our escapmg ruin, 
without dependance on the divine assistance ; which is the me- 
thod that they take to attain salvation, who thus defend the 
doctrine of universal redemption. 

(4.) As foi our being brought into a salvable state by the 
death of Christ; the gospel no where gives all mankind ground 
to expect salvation, but only those who have the marks and 
characters of Christ's redeemed ones ; and these are not brought 
by his death unto a mere possibility of attaining it, but the scrip- 
ture represents them as having the earnest^ or frst fruits there- 
of, and speaks of Christ in them^ as the hope of glorij^ Eph. i. 
14. Rom. viii. 23. They are also said to be reconciled to God 
by the death of his Son, chap. v. 10. which is more than their 
having a bare possibility of salvation, as the result and conse- 
quence thereof. 

(5.) That which is next to be considered, is, what concerns 
the doctrine of particular redemption, as being derogatory to 
the divine perfections, together with many absurd consequen- 
ces, which are supposed to attend it. It is very common, hi all 
methods of reasoning, and particularly in defending or opposing 
the doctrine of universal redemption, for persons to endeavour 
to make it appear, that the contrary scheme of doctrine is 
chargeable with absurdities ; and, as we have taken the same 
method in opposing universal redemption, it may reasonably be 
expected, that the doctrine of particular redemption should 
have many absurd consequences charged upon it ; to which we 
shall endeavour to reply, that thereby it may be discerned 
whether the charge be just or no. And, 

1. The doctrine of particular redemption is supposed to be 
inconsistent with the goodness of God, as it renders salvation 
iinpossible to the greatest part of mankind, and their state irre- 

♦ Tabula post naufrar^ium..