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182 The COVENANT BETWEEN [Book 11.

** XIV. The usefulness of this distinction is considerable, in order to the solving that problem, how the active obedience of &hrist so called, though not so properly, may be imputed to us; seeing as man he it for himself. For, besides that on our account he was made man, it was not barely from his being man that he was under the necessity of meriting eternal life by the legal covenant, nay, and considered as God-man, abstracted from his suretiship-engagement, he might have exempted himself from all indigence, and all necessity of meriting; and consequently might have gloriously exercised all power in heaven and in earth, in, and by the human nature, from the first moment of his inearnation: %. this flows from the union of the humanity with the rson of the Son of God. But his subjecting himself to the aw, as prescribing the condition of happiness, is wholly from his voluntary covenant-engagement which he entered into on our account, which by every right or just title, may, and ought to be imputed to us. The very ingenious and judicious divine, Francis Gomarus, seems to have had this in his view when he thus comments on Phil. ii. 9. “For our sake, he also valled his glory for a time, which he might justly enjoy, and submitted to 3. cursed death of the cross; which, if we consider his o merit and power, he might have declined.” • * XV. Besides, the Son of God was in virtue of the covenant subject to “the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” Gal. iii. 16. For, as the law likewise required punishment to be inflicted on the transgressor, and Christ bound himself by his ment, to fulfil the whole law; it was necessary “he i. come in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin in the flesh,” Rom. viii. 3. Which likeness of sinful flesh consists in this, that Christ, from his birth, was obnoxious to various miseries, both of soul and body, and at last to that death by which he concluded the course of his painful life, and in which the most evident signs of every kind of curse appeared: for it was just that the sinner should thus live and die. Now Christ considered simply as a righteous person, might have been exemptoed from these miseries, and from such a death; but after having once, by a voluntary en nt, submitted himself to the law for us, #. became bound to satisfy also this sanction of the law, * which threatened death to sinners; for all these things arise from the mediatorial covenant, and belong to Christ as Mediator. XVI. But since in Christ, as Mediator, there is an union of the divine and human natures, this difficulty remains to be discussed, whether both natures were in some measure subject to the law. We may easily affirm this of the human, as we have

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o cHAP. III.] The Fathen and "the son. 183 - o: o already so often shewn, but it seems from what we have confirmed, § VI, it must be denied with to the divine. How

ever, as the human nature does not, without the divine, com
the person of the Mediator, it does not appear, that the Mediator
as such, did not o to be subject to the law, without bring-
ing his divine nature likewise to share in that subjection.o.
XVII. In order to remove this difficulty, we are accurately
to distinguish between both natures considered separately, and
the same natures united in the person 9 *:::::::: was
proper that both natures should act suitably to themselves and
their distinct ... Since the divine nature, as subsisti
in the Son, could not truly and really be subject; therefore, by
virtue of the covenant, it did not exert or display all its majesty
in the assumed form of a servant; nor hinder that mature to
which it was united by the hypostatical union, from being truly
subject to the law, both as to the condition of the reward, and
as to the penal sanction, which indeed, was neither a real re-
nunciation, nor degradation of the divine superiority, but only
a certain economical vailing of it for a time. * * * * : *.
§§ The human nature was really and subject
to the law: nay, from the . union there was super-
added, a gro iar obligation upon the human .
Christ, considered in relation to the suretiship undertaken for
us as his brethren. For, as men are bound to love God in such
a manner as above all things to seek his glory, which shines
most illustrious in the iustification and sanctification of the sin-
ner, and so to love their neighbour, as to desire to deliver their
brother from sin and misery, even at their own peril, if possible.
But though no mere man can effect this, yet the man Christ,
who is likewise true God, and so able by his obedience and
suffering, to promote this glory of God and the salvation of his
brethren, was therefore obliged to undertake and undergo all
those things, in which he might shew forth this most intense
love of God and his neighbour: since he only could do this, so
he only was bound to do it. What others were obliged to do
--- as we observe a spark of this love in Moses,
Exod. xxxii. 32. and in Paul, Rom. ix. 3.- was incumbent on
the man Christ absolutely; because being God-man, the could
absolutely perform it. . . . . . . ." ... . . o go to
XIX. We commonly ascribe to the person God-man, the re-
lation of an inferior to a superior, by a constitution or int-
ment: that, both by doing and suffering, those things might be
accomplished according to the condition of each nature, which
were requisite to our salvation: so that the very, obedience
and sufferings themselves, are not only to be appropriated

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184 rhs covenant netween : [sook 11.

to the human nature, but to be considered as truly performed
and suffered by the God-man. If this was not the case, they
would not be of infinite value and dignity, nor sufficient for our
redemption. Hence, he who is in the form of God, is said to
have “made himself of no reputation, and become obedient
unto death,” Phil. ii. 6, 7, 8. And to be “the Lord of glory
who was crucified,”.1 Cor. ii. 8. - * * -
XX. It is here usual to enquire, whether Christ as Medi-
ator, is inferior to the Father, and subordinate to him. But
this controversy, it seems, may be easily settled among the or-
thodox: if the Mediator be considered in the state of humilia-
tion, and the form of a servant, he is certainly inferior to the
Father, and subordinate to him. ... It was not of his human na-
ture only, but of himself in that state, that he himself said,
John xiv. 28. The Father is greater than I., Nay, we may
look upon the very mediatorial office in itself as importing a
certain economicgl inferiority, or subordination; as being to be
laid down, when all things shall be perfectly finished, and God
himself shall be all in all, 1 Cor. xv. 38. Nevertheless this
undertaking and mediation, and the bringing of fallen man to
God, to grace and glory, is not so much beneath the excellency
of the Deity, but we may without the least hesitation affirm,
that this glory of mediation is incommunicable to any creature.
It is the glory of Jehovah to be the righteousness of Israel.
This glory he gives to none who is not God: to be Mediat
does not merely denote a servant of God, but the great G
and Saviour; who as the first and principal cause of saving
grace, equal to the Father, works by his own power, our re-
conciliation with God, by means of the subjection and obedience
of his human nature, without which the co-equal Son could
neither perform his service, nor obey the Father,
XXI. The third thing we promised to enquire into was
this: “Could the Son refuse to undertake, or withdraw him-
self from this covenant?" To which question we are again to
answer distinctly. 1st. If the Son be considered as God, the
whole of this covenant was of his own most free will and plea-
sure. There neither was, nor could be any necessity to bind
the Son of God, as such, }. covenant. Here is nothing
but mere asure, philanthropy unmerited, and alt
ther jo: and #: o, 2dly. If he o:
sidered as man, though he indeed entered into this engagement
of his own accord, without being constrained; yet he could
not, without sin, from which he is at the greatest distance,

withdraw from this agreement: which we prove in the following manner:

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* ~ * cHAP, III.] THE FATHER AND THE SON. 185

XXII. 1st. The human nature of Christ, as we have often said, could not be without law. The law under which it naturally is, is the royal law of love ; which does not indeed formally, as it was made for man in innocence, but yet eminently contain this precept which John inculcates, Eph. iii. 16. That one lay down his lift for the brethren. I say, the law of love, as

ven to man in innocence contains not this precept formally; É. being inconsistent with that state, and perfect obedience, which is all summed up in love, frees man from all necessity of dying, according to the promise, he who doth those things, shall live in them. And therefore we have shewn, that if Christ be considered in himself as a holy person, without respect to the decree of God, and his own engagement for his miserable brethren, he was, by virtue of his perfect holiness, under no necessity of dying and suffering. But the law of love does, supposing the requisite circumstances, eminently contain the command of dying for our brethren. For, it enjoins us to love God above all, and our neighbour as ourselves. And he who loves God above all, does not only delight in God his creator, benefactor, lord, and example; not only studies to please him, but endeavours to promote his glory, and direct all . that are God's to that end. And as he ought to have a tender regard for the glory of God above his own advantage, he also ought to be ready to undergo every thing, by which the glory of God may be most illustrated. And supposing, such a one has brethren in distress, from which he can deliver them by his death, so that God shall in an eminent manner appear glorious in them; the love of our brethren together with the love of God, enjoins him not to decline dying for them; especially if he himself, becoming a conqueror over death, shall thereby obtain a most distinguishing reward at last. Since therefore, Christ as man, could not but be under the law of love, and a holy man, as doubtless it became him to be, he cannot therefore be conceived as destitute of love, much less as having a contrary disposition; it follows, that he could not, in such circumstances, withdraw himself from his agreement to satisfy for men; because the law of love eminently contains such an obligation. - **

XXIII. 2dly. The Son of God had from etermity engaged to satisfy this covenant, by assuming human nature, and obeying in it, as we shewed above, § II. If the human nature, personally united to him, could have withdrawn itself from, and renounced the covenant, it was possible that the Son of God himself might have violated his covenant engagements. And in that case Christ would not be either the true and faithful God, who can

not lie, or not be God omnipotent: because he, who, from eter

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I86 THE COVENANT BETWEEN [book II.

nity, willingly engaged in this undertaking, could not, in time,
induce the human nature to execute that for which it was assu-
med at first. Nor do I see what reply can be made to this ar-
gument, unless one shall venture to say, that it is contrary to
the nature of liberty, that the will should be thus bent, or brought
over, by a superior cause: and that, in such a case, the human
nature declining to stand to that covenant, would be deprived of
the honour of the hy tical union, and another be assumed in
its stead. But besides that this overthrows the inseparabilit
of the hypostatical union, admitted on both sides, the same #
ficulty must recur with respect to the nature newly assumed;
because, equal liberty is to be ascribed to it. -
XXIV.3dly. § had by an eternal and irrevocable decree,
*: promised, and confirmed by oath, the inheritance of
I blessings in Christ, Heb. vi. 13–18. Luke i. 73. But if
Christ could have withdrawn himself from the covenant, then
the decree of God would have become void, his promises been
deceitful, and his oath falsified; and therefore the whole coun-
sel of God concerning the oeconomy of our salvation, so often
inculcated in the prophetical writings, would have become of no
effect; which is indeed blasphemy to imagine. There is no
occasion to suggest, as one has done, that God could, without the
payment of any price, have remitted the debt of sin, and among
some thousand methods have found out another way of saving
mankind, had this method proved unsuccessful. For as this is
very much more than we can readily yield to, so it is nothing
to the purpose. For God did not only in general decree, pro-
mise, and confirm by oath, salvation to his elect; but salvation
to be obtained by Christ and his obedience; which decree, pro-
mise, and oath, could be accomplished no other way; not to say,
how unworthy it is of God to be obliged to make new decrees,
after the former have miscarried. And this is the very bone of
the Remonstrant divinity.
XXV. 4thly. Let us suppose that the human nature of Christ,
to speak plainly, could have withdrawn itself from this covenant;
yet it could not, at least without a horrible sin, after the §.
dination of God, the eternal will of the Son, the promise and oath
had been discovered to him. Nay, it had been a more dreadful
sin than that of the first Adam, for him obstinately to oppose
all these considerations, and prefer his own private advantage to
the glory of God and salvation of the elect; and by this means,
we should be reduced, by this hypothesis we are now contend-
ing against, to the o: blasphemies of some schoolmen,
who affirm that Christ could have sinned, and consequently

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