« PreviousContinue »
shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Coup sellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," Isa. 9: 6. With respect to the qualification of the human nature, there are several promises. “ Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Ps. 45: 7. What the oil is with which he was to be anointed, the evangelical prophet, in more than one place, informs us: “ The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord," Isa. 11:2, 3. 61:1-3. The human nature of the Messiah being a creature, could not beautify and enrich itself with needful gifts; this promise of the spirit was therefore necessary; his humanity could not else have performed the work it was designed for.
$ 3. 2. The Father next promised to strengthen and uphold him whilst engaged in the work. Hence, in the 89th Psalm there is a precious promise to that purpose : Then thou spakest in vision to thy Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established; mine arm also shall strengthen him." Ps. 89 : 19-21. We read of a similar one by the prophet Isa. 42:6; " I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people.” He promises here, in the loftiest expressions, so to strengthen him that he should not be discouraged, but should see the blessed effects of his undertaking; he would uphold him tenderly, as a father does his son, in his arms, that no hurt might happen to bim. He is said, therefore, to “be made strong" by God, for himself. Ps. 80: 16. “ The Son of man, whom thou hast made strong for thyself." "The King Messiah, whoin thou hast
strengthened for thyself," saith the Targum. The Father also promised,
§ 4. 3. To raise him from the dead. Hence David, in the name of the Messiah, said, " Thou wilt not leave
my soul in hell," or much rather, “ Thou wilt not leave my body in the grave;" " nor," or much rather, “ for thou wilt - not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Ps. 16: 10. An express promise to this purpose we have in Isa. 53, thár he should be taken from prison and from judgment, and should prolong his days. By this the Messiah was to receive a public testimony of his filiation, of his commission, of the perfection and acceptance of his work, and the first fruits of the reward of the travail of his soul.
$ 5. 4. The Father also promised to exalt him at his right hand, as King of Zion. “ Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion." Ps. 2:6. Again saith the prophet, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isa. 9 :7. As the Messiah was to endure the cross, so he was also to enjoy a
The enduring of the cross was an article on his part; the bestowing a crown was an article on the Father's part. All the prophets foretold "the sufferings of the Messiah, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Pet. 1:11. His subjects, which are called his seed, were to be numerous, like the dew that falls at the dawn of the morning in abundance upon the flowers and the plants of the earth. Ps. 110:3. Micah, 5:7. The Father engaged "to bring his seed from the east, and gather them from the west; he would say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Isa. 43:5, 6. It is the Father's engagement to make his people willing, Ps. 110:3. - Thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and nations that knew not
thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God; for he hath glorified thee." Isa. 55:5. Finally, the Father promised him,
$ 6, 5. To be the judge of all. I have sworn by mý. self, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Isa. 45 : 23. Animated by such assurances of assistance, acceptance, and reward, the Messiah is represented as expressing his cordial approbation and unshaken confidence. The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning; he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary ? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me: who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up." Isa. 50 : 4-9.
§ 7. We now proceed to notice the promissory part of the covenant, as it relates to them for whom the Messiah under. took. Had the first Adam fulfilled the condition of the covenant of works, the life promised in it would have been imparted to his posterity, as well as himself. The second Adam, in like manner, by performing the conditionary part of the better covenant, has not only obtained an endless, glorious, mediatorial life for himself, but eternal life for all whoin he represented in it." In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began." Tit. 1.2. “This is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." 1 John, 2:25. This life, purchased by the surety of the covenant, is deposited in him, to be by him communicated to the persons for whom he obtained it; and he faithfully and liberally dispenses it to them accordingly : “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” Col. 1: 19. Hence, when the rich saving communications and supplies with which the church is furnished, lo intimate the plenty and the perpetuity of them, are represented by the expressive image of an overflowing and ever. flowing river, it is said to proceed originally from the throne of God, and to run immediately from the throne of the Lamb; that from it, as a great reservoir, the church may be plenti fully supplied, according as the exigencies do require. Rev. 22:1. Thus the Mediator ever is the medium of gracious communication between God and men. The promises of this covenant are manifold and various, as well as great and precious. An interest in God, a saving relation and conformity to him, the favor and fruition of him, constitute the felicity and the dignity which the surety has purchased for his spiritual seed, and which, communicated to them through the channel of the promissory part of the covenani, they possess for ever and ever.
§ 8. The pious Mr. Boston, in his treatise on the covenant of grace, having divided these promised blessings into three classes, viz. those before their union with Christ, those from their union with Christ until death, and those from death through eternity, he has the following observations: “Of the operation of the promises in the first and last of these periods we know but little; and indeed not much of it in the middle period. For it is like a river issuing from a hidden spring, and running far under ground, then rising above ground, and running on till it falls into the ocean The hidden spring from whence the promise of elernal lifo to the elect issueth forth, is God's free grace, 'which was given us in Christ before the world began.' 2 Tini. 1:9. It runs under ground, undiscernible even to the parties therr
selves, until the moment of their union with Christ in ef fectual calling; then rising, it runs on, as it were, above ground, in visible streams, until death; and then it runs full and perspicuous through the ages of eternity.”.
$ 9. This covenant is well ordered. Every thing necessary during life, at death, and through eternity, is comprehended in it. Before conversion, the elect sinner is already the object of God's peculiar care. Like the apostle, "they are separated from their mother's womb." To whatever length in sin the wretch may be permitted to go, like the prodigal son, yet, like him, he shall be brought back to his father's house with weeping, lamentation, and self-abhor
When I passed by thee,” saith Jehovah, "and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, live; yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, live." Ezek. 16:6. Once and again does he say unto the sinner, live. It has been supposed that the former refers to the preservation of the natural life during the unconverted state; the latter to the infusion of spiritual life at the happy period appointed for the sinner's conversion.
§ 10. Hence we observe that there are many promises relating to their conversion and adoption.
By conversion, I mean their spiritual birth, which is like the new-born babe, born instantaneously, but groivs up from infancy to childhood, and the full stature of a man. It in cludes the whole work of sanctification ; a daily dying unto sin, and daily growing in '
newness of life. Let the follow. ing promises speak for themselves, and may you and I, my dear Benjamin, richly experience their happy influence. Isaiah, 26: 19, “ Thy dead men shall live." 44: 3, 4, “ I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up as among grass, as willows by the water courses.". Again, Ezek. 11: 19, 20, " And I will give them one heart, and I