« PreviousContinue »
in the beginning of his way-Ma:k, here are his goings forth from everlasting, called the beginning of his way-before his works of old. I was set 2P from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forih; when there were no fountains abounding with water : before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. Prov. viii. 22 -25. Thus it appears that Christ was elected, appointed, pre-ordained, and set up from everlasting to be future man and mediator; and was delivered to death for his elect by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God. Thus God the Father makes known his electing and everlasting love to his chosen people, in appointing and giving Christ to them before the world was.
When he set up Christ for our living head he gave us eternal life in him; as it is written in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie promised before the world began. Titus i. 1. Chrift is the quickening Spirit, that quickens all his redeemed; for he is our life, who has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In another passage he himself faith-Because I live gre mall live also. And it must be fo; For, as in Adam ell (his natural seed) die, even so in Christ Mall all (his spiritual seed) be made alive. But I proceed.
When Christ was set up he was appointed to be the husband of God's chosen daughter. And as man and wife they were viewed one in union
from everlafting; for the covenant of grace is a covenant of eternal wedlock; as it is written-A certain king made a marriage for bis fon. Matth. xxii. 2.
And thus likewise runs the tenor of the covenant of wedlock, as God the Father speaks to his elect_Thou jbalt no more be termed Forsaken ; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hepbzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy lauid fall be married, Fcr as a young man marrietb a virgin, so spall thy fons marry thee : and as the bridegroom rejoicetb over the bride, so sball thy God rejoice over thee, Ifa. lxii. 4, 5. Thus the elect were chosen as the king's daughter-in-law from eternity. Psal. cxxxii. 13. They are espoused in time (2 Cor. xi. 2.); and the marriage shall be confummated in bliss, when the mystery of God is finished; as it is written-Let us be glad and rejoice, and give bonour to him ; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife bath made berself ready. Rev. xix. 7. And then she shall be clad in gold of Ophir, and be brought with joy and rejoicing to enter into the king's palace. Pfal.
This mystery was exhibited by Eve's existing in Adam before she was extracted from him; fo our life was hid with Christ in God. And when Eve was taken out of Adam, she was a help-meet formed for him; fo the elect are created anew in Christ Jesus. When Eve was formed God brought her to Adam; so no man can come to Christ ex
cept the Father draw him. When she came to Adam he received her as God's gift ; so the elect are given to Christ. Adam and Eve are said to be one ; so also are they that are joined to the Lord one spirit. Adam said-Man mall leave bis father and his mother, and fall cleave to his wife; so Christ came forth from the Father, leaping upon the mountains. And, when some of the Saviour's followers said-Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, defiring to speak with thee ; be answered, Who is my mother and my brethren? And be stretched out his band towards his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren. Matt. xii. 41, 48. Thus Christ left his father and mother, and clave to his wife, Adam had one wife brought to him and no more ; fo Christ fays—There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number ; my undefiled is but one. Song vi. 8, 9. When Eve fell Adam was in the transgression, though he was not deceived; so when the elected spouse fell Christ was not deceived, yet he was -made sin, and was numbered with the transgressors. jfa. liii. 12.
When Adam and Eve fell their marriage was not made void ; so the fall of the elect did not break the bond of God's everlasting covenant, but rather paved the way to display eternal love towards the miserable. It appears that both Adam and Eve were chosen vessels ; and, when they fell by eating the apples, they fell into soul travail, and were shortly after born again. Eternal B 4
love raised them up under the same tree where they fell; as it is written-1 raised thee up
under the apple tree : there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee. Song viii. 5. This mother according to Paul (Gal. iv. 24.) is the heavenly Jerusalem; and the heavenly Jerusalem is the covenant of grace and God's elect in it; both typified by Sarah and her son Isaac. To Adam and Eve was the first promise of the covenant of grace revealed; and by the application of the promise were they brought forth from black despair to hope in God's mercy through Chrift.
I shall conclude this head with the apostle's mystery-For no man ever yet bated his own flesh; þut nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the churcb. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and hall be joined unto bis wife; and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mysiery ; but I speak concerning Cbrist and the church. Eph. V. 29-32. This therefore is another blessed effect of God's everlasting love. But
As a surety Christ was set up from everlasting; as it is written—But Christ was made with an oath; by bim that said unto him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. By so much was Jesus made a surety, of a better teftament. Heb. vii. 21, 22, First, Christ, as a surety, was to pay the debt of perfect obedience to the preceptive part of the law for his elect; as it is written-He will magnify the law,
and make it honourable (Isa. xlii. 21.); so by the obedie ence of one (Jesus Christ) shall many be made righteous. Rom. v. 19. As a furety, he was to pay the penal fum of suffering for his elect, by dying in their room and stead; as it is written-1 will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. Hofea xiii. 24, And thus it behoved Christ to suffer these things, because he had undertaken our cause. And by his precious blood he blotted out our transgressions as a thick cloud from the book of God's remembrance, agreeable to the following text, I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. Zech.iii. 9. Who then shall lay any thing to the charge of God's eleet ? Rom. viii. 33. This is another blessed effect of everlasting love. But Christ was set
from everlasting to be a mediator between God and the elect; as it is written But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfeet, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of Sprinkling that Speaketh better things than that of Abel. Heb. xii. 22-24
Christ as our mediator, appeased the wrath of God, removed the curse of the law from us by his death, made reconciliation for iniquity, and