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promises should fail. (Isa. xlix. 15. with the context, chap. liv. 10. with the context; chap. li. 4—8. chap. xl. 8. with the context.) And therefore it was impossible, that the Messiah should fail, or commit sin.

6. It was impossible that the Messiah should fail of persevering in integrity and holiness, as the first Adam did, because this would have been inconsistent with the promises, which God made to the blessed Virgin, his mother, and to her husband; implying, that he should “save his people from their sins," that God would “ give Him the throne of his Father David," that he should “reign over the house of Jacob for ever;" and that “ of his kingdom there shall be no end." These promises were sure, and it was impossible they should fail. And therefore the Virgin Mary, in trusting fully to them, acted reasonably, having an immoveable foundation of her faith ; as Elizabeth observes, (ver. 45)“ And blessed is she that believeth; for there shall be a performance of those things, which were told her from the Lord.”

7. That it should have been possible that Christ should sin, and so fail in the work of our redemption, does not consist with the eternal purpose and decree of God, revealed in the Scriptures, that He would provide salvation for fallen man in and by Jesus Christ, and that salvation should be offered to sinners through the preaching of the Gospel. Thus much is implied in many Scriptures, (as I Cor. ii. 7.Eph. i. 4. 5. and chap. iii. 9–11.-1 Pet. i. 19, 20.) Such an absolute decree as this, Arminians allow to be signified in many texts ; their election of nations and societies, and general election of the Christian Church, and conditional election of particular persons, imply this. God could not decree before the foundation of the world, to save all that should believe in and obey Christ, unless he had absolutely decreed, that salvation should be provided, and effectually wrought out by Christ. And since (as the Arminians themselves strenuously maintain,) a decree of God infers necessity; hence it became necessary that Christ should persevere and actually work out salvation for us, and that he should not fail by the commission of sin.

8. That it should have been possible for Christ's Holiness to fail, is not consistent with what God promised to his Son, before all ages. For that salvation should be offered to men, through Christ, and bestowed on all his faithful followers, is at least implied in that certain and infallible promise spoken of by the apostle (Tit. i. 2.) “In hope of eternal life; which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” This does not seem to be controverted by Arminians.*

9. That it should be possible for Christ to fail of doing his

See Dr. WRITEY on the five Points, p. 48, 49, 50.

Father's Will, is inconsistent with the promise made to the Father by the Son, the Logos that was with the Father from the beginning, before he took the human nature :

as may be seen in Psa. xl. 6—8, compared with the apostle's interpretation, Heb. x. 5—9.) “ Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire : mine ears hast thou opened, (or bored ;) burntoffering and sin-offering Thou hast not required. Then said I, Lo, I come ; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy Will, O my God, yea, thy law is within my heart." Where is a manifest allusion to the covenant, which the willing servant, who loved his master's service, made with . his master, to be his servant for ever, on the day wherein he had his ear bored ; which covenant was probably inserted in the public records, called the VOLUME OF THE Book, by the judges who were called to take cognizance of the transaction ; (Exod. xxi.) If the Logos, who was with the Father before the world, and who made the world, thus engaged in covenant to do the Will of the Father in the human nature, and the promise was as it were recorded, that it might be made sure, doubtless it was impossible that it should fail; and so it was impossible that Christ should fail of doing the Will of the Father in the human nature.

10. If it was possible for Christ to have failed of doing the Will of his father, and so to have failed of effectually working out redemption for sinners, then the salvation of all the saints who were saved from the beginning of the world to the death of Christ, was not built on a firm foundation. The Messiah, and the redemption which He was to work out by his obedience unto death, was the saving foundation of all that ever were saved. Therefore, if when the Old Testament saints had the pardon of their sins and the favour of God promised them, and salvation bestowed upon them, still it was possible that the Messiah, when he came, might commit sin, then all this was on a foundation that was not firm and stable, but liable to fail ; something which it was possible might never be. God did, as it were, trust to what his Son had engaged and promised to do in future time, and depended so much upon it, that He proceeded actually to save men on the account of it, as though it had been already done. But this trust and dependence of God, on the supposition of Christ's being liable to fail of doing his Will, was leaning on a staff that was weak, and might possibly break. The saints of old trusted on the promises of a future redemption to be wrought out and completed by the Messiah, and built their comfort upon it : Abraham saw Christ's Day, and rejoiced; and he and the other Patriarchs died in the faith of the promise of it. (Heb. xi. 13.) But on this supposition, their faith, their comfort, and their salvation, was built on a fallible foundation ; Christ was not to them "a

tried stone, a sure foundation ;(Isai. xxviii. 16.) David entirely rested on the covenant of God with him, concerning the future glorious dominion and salvation of the Messiah ; and said it was all his salvation, and all his desire, and comforts himself that this covenant was an " everlasting covenant, or. dered in all things and sure,” (2 Sam. xxii. 5.) But if Christ's virtue might fail, he was mistaken: his great comfort was not built so sure,” as he thought it was, being founded entirely on the determinations of the Free-Will of Christ's human soul; which was subject to no necessity, and might be determined either one way or the other. Also the dependence of those who " looked for redemption in Jerusalem, and waited for the consolation of Israel,(Luke ii. 25 and 38.) and the confidence of the disciples of Jesus, who forsook all and followed him, that they might enjoy the benefits of his future kingdom, were built on a sandy foundation.

11. The man Christ Jesus, before he had finished his course of obedience, and while in the midst of temptations and trials, was abundant in positively predicting his own future glory in his kingdom, and the enlargement of his church, the salvation of the Gentiles through him, &c. and in promises of blessings he would bestow on his true disciples in his future kingdom ; on which promises he required the full dependence of his disciples. (John xiv.) But the disciples would have no ground for such dependence, if Christ had been liable to fail in his work : and Christ himself would have been guilty of presumption, in so abounding in peremptory promises of great things, which depended on a mere contingence ; viz. the determinations of his Free Will, consisting in a freedom ad utrumque, to either sin or holiness, standing in indifference, and incident, in thousands of future instances, to go either one way or the other.

Thus it is evident, that it was impossible that the Acts of the Will of the human soul of Christ should be otherwise than holy, and conformed to the Will of the Father; or, in other words, they were necessarily so conformed.

I have been the longer in the proof of this matter, it being a thing denied by some of the greatest Arminians, by Epis. copius in particular; and because I look upon it as a point clearly and absolutely determining the controversy between Calvinists and Arminians, concerning the necessity of such a freedom of will as is insisted on by the latter, in order to moral agency, virtue, command or prohibition, promise or threatening, reward or punishment, praise or dispraise, merit or demerit. I now therefore proceed,

II. To consider whether Christ, in his holy behaviour on earth, was not thus a moral agent, subject to commands, promises, &-c.

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Dr. Whitby very often speaks of what he calls a freedom ad utrumlibet, without necessity, as requisite to law and commands; and speaks of necessity as entirely inconsistent with injunctions and prohibitions. But yet we read of Christ being the subject of his Father's commands. (John X. 18. and xv. 10.) And Christ tells us, that every thing that he said or did, was in compliance with commandments he had received of the Father;" (John xii. 49, 50. and xiv. 31.) And we often read of Christ's obedience to his Father's commands, (Rom. v. 19. Phil. ii. 18. Heb. v. 8.)

The forementioned writer represents promises offered as motives to persons to do their duty, or a being mored and induced by promises, as utterly inconsistent with a state wherein persons have not a liberty ad utrumlibet, but are necessarily determined to one. (See particularly, p. 298, and 311.) But the thing which this writer asserts, is demonstrably false if the Christian religion be true. If there be any truth in Christianity or the holy scriptures, the man Christ Jesus had his Will infallibly and unalterably determined to good, and that alone; but yet he had promises of glorious rewards made to him, on condition of his persevering in, and perfecting the work which God had appointed him; (Isa. lii. 10, 11, 12. Psa. ii. and cx. Isai. xlix. 7, 8, 9.) In Luke xxii. 28, 29, Christ says to his disciples, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations; and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.” The word most properly signifies to appoint by covenant or promise. The plain meaning of Christ's words is this : “ As you have partaken of my temptations and trials, and have been steadfast, and have overcome; I promise to make you partakers of my reward, and to give you a kingdom; as the Father has promised me a kingdom for continuing steadfast and overcoming in those trials." And the words are well explained by those in Rev. iii. 21. “To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me

throne ; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne,” And Christ had not only promises of glorious success and rewards made to his obedience and sufferings, but the scriptures plainly represent him as using these promises for motives and inducements to obey and suffer; and particularly that promise of a kingdom which the

; Father had appointed him, or sitting with the Father on his throne ; (as in Heb, xii. 1, 2.) “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God."

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And how strange would it be to hear any Christian assert that the holy and excellent temper and behaviour of Jesus Christ, and that obedience which he performed under such great trials, was not virtuous or praiseworthy ; because his Will was not free ad utrumque, to either holiness or sin, but was unalterably determined to one ; that upon this account there is no virtue at all in all Christ's humility, meekness, patience, charity, forgiveness of enemies, contempt of the world, heavenly-mindedness, submission to the Will of God, perfect obedience to his commands unto death, even the death of the cross; his great compassion to the afflicted, his unparalleled love to mankind, his faithfulness to God and man under such great trials; his praying for his enemies even when nailing him to the cross ; that virtue, when applied to these things is but an empty name; that there was no merit in any of these things; that is, that Christ was worthy of nothing at all on account of them, worthy of no reward, no praise, no honour or respect from God and man; because his Will was not indifferent, and free either to these things or the contrary; but under such a strong inclination or bias to the things that were excellent, as made it impossible that he should choose the contrary; that upon this account, to use Dr. WHITBY's language, it would be sensibly unreasonable that the human nature should be rewarded for any of these things.

According to this doctrine, that creature who is evidently set forth in scripture as the first-born of every creature, as having in all things the pre-eminence, and as the highest of all creatures in virtue, honour, and worthiness of esteem, praise and glory, on account of his virtue, is less worthy of reward or praise, than the very least of saints ; yea, no more worthy than à clock or mere machine that is purely passive, and moved by natural necessity.

If we judge by scriptural representations of things, we have reason to suppose that Christ took on him our nature, and dwelt with us in this world in a suffering state, not only to satisfy for our sins, but that he being in our nature and circumstances, and under our trials, might be our most fit and proper example, leader and captain, in the exercise of glorious and victorious virtue, and might be a visible instance of the glorious end and reward of it; that we might see in him the beauty, amiableness, and true honour and glory, and exceeding benefit, of that virtue, which it is proper for us human beings to practise ; and might thereby learn, and be animated to seek the like glory and honour, and to obtain the like glorious reward. (See Heb. i. 9, -14, with v. 8, 9. and xii. 1, 2, 3. John xv. 10. Rom. viii. 17. 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12. 1 Pet. ii. 19, 20. and iv. 13.) But if there was nothing of any virtue or merit or worthiness of any reward, glory, praise, or commendation at VOL. 11.

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