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antecedent offering of himself. For he could not die ofter, nor suffer often, nor indeed had any need, or could righteously on the part of God, have so done. It was, therefore, indispensably necessary, that he should be consecrated, dedicated and perfected himself, in and by the sacrifice that he offered for us, and the suffering wherewith it was accompanied. But withal, this was only the external means of his consecration. Concerning which, we may observe two things. 1. That as to the main or substance of his office, he was consecrated by bis sufferings, only in a way of evidence and manifestation. Really he was so, by the acts of God his Father and bimself, before mentioned; only hereby, he was openly declared to be the high Priest of the church. 2. There were some acts and duties of his sacerdotal office, yet remaining to be performed, which he could not orderly engage into, until he had suffered, because they supposed and depended on the efficacy of his suffering. These he was now made meet and fit for, and consequently, unto the complete discharge of the whole course of his office.
Being thus consecrated, syivito, he was made, he became, or he was;' nothing was now wanting unto the great end aimed at in all these things, which is expressed in the nest place.
ACTios owingrees atwiov. Where his consecration is before mentioned, chap. ii. 10. he is said to become, aex*yo tuingias, & • Captain of salvation. And it is affirmed of him, with re. spect unto his actually conducting believers unto salvation, by the plentiful and powerful administration of his word and Spirit, supplying them with all fruits of grace and truth, neediul unto that end. Somewhat more is here intended. Actie is both a cause in general, and he who is in any kind, the cause of another thing. And sometimes an efficient cause, and sometimes a meritorious cause is expressed thereby. In the first sense it is used by Isocrates, ad : Phileb. Jess TWY amount or nuovar τι8ς όντας,
*the gods are the authors or causes of good things unto us;' that is, they bestow them on, or work them in us. And Aristotle useth a phrase of speech, not unlike this; ** ερανω δυναμις, συμπασιν αιτιος γινεται σωτηριας, 'the power that is in heaven, is the cause of safety to all things.' And sometimes it is taken for a meritorious or procuring cause, or him by whom any thing is procured; though most frequently in other authors, he who is guilty or deserves evil, is intended thereby. So he, εκ εγω αιτιος ειμι, αλλα ζευς και μοιρα. So αιτιος is expounded by Eustathius, xorarias atlos; but it is of the same importance with respect unto what is good. The apostle, therefore, hath in this word, respect unto all the ways and means, whereby the Lord Christ either procured salvation for us, or doth actually bestow it
And here, also, it will be necessary, for the farther clearing of the import of this word, to examine the endeavour of the forementioned Expositor, to corrupt the sense of it. · Est vero, saith he, perfectissima sulutis causa, quia perfeclissima ratione salutem affert ; nihil illi deest, nec ad vires, ac facultatem, nec ad studium et voluntatem salutis nostra perficienda. Nam et pænas peccatorum omnes a nobis potentia suâ arcet, et vitam æternam largitur ; spiritus nostros in manus suas suscipit ; succurrit nobis in afflictionibus et opem prompiè fert ne in fide succumbamus, inque pænas peccatis debitas ea ratione incidamus.
This, indeed, is the voice of Jacob, but the hands of this doctrine are the hands of Esau. For whilst by these words, for the most part true, we have a description given us, how and on what account the Lord Jesus Christ, as our high Priest, is the author and cause of our salvation, that which is indeed the principal reason hereof, and without which the other consideration would not be effectual, is omitted and excluded. For in the room of his satisfaction and expiation of sin, by the propitiatory sacrifice of himself, we are supplied with a keeping off or driving from us, the punishment due to our sins. But this kind of deliverance from the punishment of sin, by Christ, is unscriptural, both name and thing. The true way was, that whereby be delivereth us from the curse and penalty of the law, so saving us from the wrath to come. And this was, by his bearing our sins in his own body on the tree; by being made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him, see 2 Cor. v. 21. Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iii. 13. Epb. i. 7. Isa. Tiii. 6—8. The other things mentioned by this au, thor, Christ doth indeed, in carrying on the work of our salvation, and many other things of the like nature, which he mentioneth not, all which are here included; but all with respect unto that foundation which was laid in his satisfactory oblation, which is by bim here excluded.
We may, therefore, consider the Lord Christ as the author of eternal salvation, either with respect unto his own acts and works, whereby he wrought it or procured it; or with respect unto the effects of them, whereby it is actually communicated unto us; or, we may consider him, as the meritorious, procuring, purchasing cause, or, as the efficient cause of our salvation. And in both respects, the Lord Christ is said to be the author of our salvation, as the word doth signify him who is the cause of any thing in either kind. And where he is said to be the author of our salvation, nothing is to be excluded whereby he
First, As the meritorious cause of our salvation, he is the author of it two ways. í. By his oblation. 2. By his intercession. Both these belong unto the means whereby be procures our salvation. And these, in the first place, are respected, because the apostle treats immediately of our salvation, as arising from the priestly office of Christ. And in his oblation, which was the offering of himself as an expiatory sacrifice for our sins, accompanied with the highest acts of obedience, and the supplications mentioned, ver. 7. Two things may be considered unto this end. 1. The satisfaction he made therein for sins, with the expiation of our guilt, which is the foundation of our salvation, without which, it was impossibie we should be par. takers of it. 2. The merit of his obedience therein, by which, according to the tenor of the covenant between God and him, he purchased and procured this salvation for us, Heb. ix. 14. On these two accounts, was he in his oblation, the author or cause of our salvation. 2dly, He is so also, on the account of his intercession; for this is the name of that way, whereby, with respect unto God, he makes effectual unto us, what in his obla. tion, he had purchased and procured, Heb. vii. 25–27. And this he doth, as the meritorious cause hereof. Secondly, He is also the efficient cause of our salvation, in as much as he doch by his Spirit, his grace, and his glorious power, actually communicate it unto us, and collate it upon us. And this he doth in sundry instances, the principal whereof may be named. 1. He teacheth us the way of salvation, and leads us into it; which Socinus fondly imagined to be the only reason why he is called our Saviour. 2. He makes us meet for it, and saves us from the power of sin, quickening, enlightening and sanctifying us, through the administration of his Spirit and grace. 3. He preserves and secures it unto us, in the assistance, deliverance and victory he gives us against all oppositions, temptations, dangers and troubles. 4. He both gives an entrance into it, and assurance of it, in our justification and peace with God. 5. He will actually, by his glorious power, bestow upon us, immortal life and glory, or give us the full possession of this salvation. In all these respects, with those many other streams of grace which flow from them, is the Lord Christ said to be the author of our salvation.
This salvation is said to be eternal, atwie; whereof see our exposition on chap. ii. 2. So the redemption purchased by this offering of Christ is said to be eternal, chap. ix. 12. And it is called so absolutely, comparatively, and emphatically. 1. Absolutely; it is eternal, endless, unchangeable and permanent. We are made for an eternal duration. By sin we had made ourselves obnoxious to eternal damnation. If the salvation procured for us were not eternal, it would not be perfect, nor suited unto our condition. It is also said to be eternal in comparison with, and opposition unto that or those temporal deliverances or salvations, which the people under the law were made partakers of, by the interposition of their legal priests and their sacrifices. For there
were temporary punishments, excisions by death threatened unto divers trangressions of the law, as it was the administration of a temporal covenant unto that people. From these they might be freed by the ministry of their priests and carnal atonements. But those who were delivered from these penalties, and saved from the sentence of the law, were not thereby absolutely secured of deliverance from the curse annexed unto the moral law, as a covenant of works. Their salvation therefore was not eternal. 2. And perhaps also respect may be had unto the deliverance of the people of old out of bondage, with their introduction into the land of Canaan, which was a temporary salvation only. But this is so absolutely. And 3. emphatically. It takes off indeed all temporal punishments as effects of the curse of the law. It gives temporal deliverance from fear and bondage by reason thereof. It supplies us with mercy, grace, and peace with God in this world. But all these things issuing in eternal blessedness, that being the end of them, being all bestowed on us in a tendency thereunto, the whole is emphatically called eternal.
Lastly, There is a limitation of the subject of this salvation, unto whom the Lord Christ is the cause and author of it; it is " to all them that obey him.” Tos izoxx$ou ACUTW #aow. The expression is eniphatical. To all, and every one of them that obey him; not any one of them shall be excepted from a share and interest in this salvation ; nor shall ariy one of any other sort be admitted thereunto. He is the author of eternal salvation only unto them that obey him ; whether there be any other author of salvation to those who neither know him nor obey him, they may do well to inquire, who suppose that such may be saved. A certain number then they are, and not all men universally unto whom he is the author of salvation. And as these elsewhere are described by the antecedent cause hereof, namely, their election, and being given unto Christ by the Father, so here they are so, by the effects of it in themselves, they are such as obey him : exarsw, is to obey upon hearing.' Dicto obedire ; originally it signifies only to hearken or hear, but with a readiness or subjection of mind unto what is heard to do accordingly. Hence, it is faith in the first place that is intended in this obedience. For it is that, which in order unto our participation of Christ, first cometh by hearing; Roni. x. 17. and that partly, because the object of it, which is the promise, is proposed outwardly unto it in the word, where we hear of it, and hear it; and partly because the preaching of the word, which we receive by hearing, is the only ordinary means of ingenerating faith in our souls. Hence to believe is expressed by Únetrery, to hear,' so as to answer the ends of what is proposed untó us. The en, suing subjecting our souls unto Christ in the keeping of his com
mands, is the obedience of faith. We may now draw some ob. servations from the words for our farther instruction; as,
Obs. I. All that befel the Lord Christ, all that he did or suffered, was necessary to this end, that he might be the cause of eternal salvation to believers. Being consecrated or perfected, he became so. Α: what belonged unto that consecration, we have declared. This was that which he was of God designed
And the disposal of all things concerning him to this end, was the fruit of infinite wisdom, goodness, and righteousness. No more was required of him that he might be the author of eternal salvation unto believers, but what was absolutely necessary thereunto; nor was there an abatement made of any thing that was so necessary. Some have said, That one drop of the blood of Christ was sufficient for the salvation of the whole world. And some have made use of that saying, pretending that the overplus of his satisfaction and merit is committed to their disposal, which they manage to their advantage. But the truth is, every drop of his blood, that is, all he did, and all he suffered, for matter and manner, in substance and circumstance, was indispensably necessary unto this end. For God did not afflict his only Son willingly, or without cause in any thing, and his whole obedience was afflictive. He did not die nor suffer dugiar, Gal. ïi. 21. without an antecedent cause and reason. And nothing was wanting that was requisite hereunto. Some suppose that Christ was and is the author of salvation unto us, only by shewing, teaching, declaring the will of God, and the way of faith and obedience whereby we may be saved. But why then was he consecrated in the way before described ? Why did it become God to make him perfect through sufferings? Why was he bruised and put to grief? For what cause was he reduced un. to the state and condition described in the yerse foregoing? Certainly such men bave low thoughts of sin and its guilt, of the law and its curse, of the holiness and righteousuess of God, of his love to Jesus Christ, yea, and of his wisdom, who suppose that the salvation of sinners could be attained without the price and merit of all that he did and suffered; or that God would have so dealt with his only Son, might it any other ways have been attained. I might shew in particular from the Scripture, how every thing that Christ did and suffered, was not only useful, but necessary also to this purpose, allowing the wisdom and righteousness of God, to give the standard and measure of what
But I must not too far digress. And hence it is evident, 1. How great a matter it is to have sinners made partakers of e. ternal redemption. 2. How great, how infinite, was that wisdom, that love and grace, which contrived it, and brought it about. 3. How great and terrible will be the ruin of them by whom