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$23. As all these things concur in every equal compact, so there is an especial kind of covenant depending solely on the personal undertakings and services of one party, in order to the common ends of the covenant, or the mutual satisfaction of the covenanters. And such covenants have: A proposal of service, a promise of reward, and an acceptance of the proposal, with a restipulation of obedience out of respect to the reward; and this indispensably introduceth an inequality and subordination in the covenanters, as to the common end of the covenant; however, on other accounts they may be equal. For he who prescribes the duties which are required in the covenant, and giveth the promise of either assistance in them, or a reward upon them, is, in that respect, and so far, superior to him who observeth his prescriptions, and trusteth to his promises. Of this nature is that Divine transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of mankind. There was in it, a prescription of personal services, with a promise of reward; comprehending also the other conditions of a complete covenant before laid down.
§24. The eternal transactions before-mentioned, were federal transactions; this is what the scripture intends, where God, that is, the Father, is called by the Son his God; and where he says, that he will be unto him a God and Father. For this expression of being a God to any one is declarative of a covenant, and is the word whereby God constantly declares his covenant relation to any, Jer. xxxi, 33; and xxxii, 38; Hosea ii, 23. For God declaring that he will be A GOD to any, engageth himself to the exercise of his holy properties, which belong to him as God, for their good. And this is not without an engagement of obedience from them. Now, this declaration the
scripture abounds in, Psal. xvi, 2; "Thou hast said "unto the Lord, thou art my Lord;" these are the words of the Son to the Father, as is evident from ver. 9-11; Psal. xxii, 1; "My God, my God." Psal. xl, 8; "I delight to do thy will, O my God." Psal. xlv, 7; "God, thy God, hath anointed thee." Mich. v, 4; "He shall stand and feed in the strength of the "Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his "God." John xx, 17; "I ascend to my Father, and "your Father; to my God, and to your God." Rev. iii, 12; "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my "God; and I will write upon him the name of my "God, and the name of the city of my God." All which expressions argue both a covenant and a subordination therein. And on this account it is, that our Savior says his "Father is greater than he," John xiv, 28. This place, I confess, the ancients expound of his human nature only, but the inferiority of the human nature to the Father is a thing so unquestionable, as needed no solemn attestation; and the mention of it is no way suited to the design of the place. But our Savior speaks with respect to the covenant engagement that was between the Father and himself, as to the work which he had to do.
$25. Again, the same important truth is proposed, Zech. vi, 13; (DM1JW 11) Dibw nys) the counsel about peace-making between God and man, was between them both; that is, the two persons spoken of, the Lord Jehovah, and He who was to be the (n) branch. And this was not spoken of him absolutely as a man; for so there was not properly (y) a counsel between God and him; "For who hath known the mind of the "Lord, or who hath been his counsellor?" Rom. xi, 34. And besides, the Son, in his human nature, was merely the servant of the Father, to do his will, Isa. xlii, 1..
But God takes this counsel with him, as he was his eternal wisdom, with respect to his future incarnation.
Hereunto regard is also had to his names, wonderful, counsellor, &c. for these titles do not absolutely denote properties of the Divine nature, though they are such Divine titles and attributes, as cannot be ascribed to any, but to him who is God. There is in them a respect to the work which he had to do, as he was to be a child born and given unto us. And on the same account he is called the everlasting Father; a name not proper to the person of the Son, with a mere respect to his personality; there is therefore a regard in it to the work he had to do, which was, to be a father to all the elect of God.
On the same account, God speaking of him, says, "my companion, and the man my fellow," Zech. xiii, 7; with whom he had sweetened, and rejoiced in secret counsel, as Psal. Iv, 14; Prov. viii, 30, 31.
Particularly the will of the Father and Son concurred in this matter, which was necessary, that the covenant might be voluntary, and of choice. The original of the whole is referred to the will of the Father constantly. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ, on all occasions, declared solemnly that he came to do the will of the Father; "Lo I come to do thy will, O God," Psal. xl, 7; Heb. x, 5-10. For in the agreement, the Prescriber and Promiser, whose will, in all things, is to be attended to, is the Father; and his will was naturally at perfect liberty from engaging in that way of salvation, which he accomplished by Christ. He was at liberty to have left all mankind under sin and the curse, as he did all the angels that fell. He was at liberty to have utterly destroyed the race of mankind that sprang from Adam in his fallen state; either in the root of them, or in the branches when
multiplied (as he almost did in the flood) and have created another race of them to his glory. And hence the acting of his will herein is expressed by grace; which is free, or else it is not grace; and it is said to proceed from love, acting by choice, all arguing the highest liberty in the will of the Father, John iii, 16; Ephes. i, 6. Now, he both sent his Son and sealed him, and gave him commands, which are all acts of choice, proceeding from sovereignty. Let none, then once imagine, that this work of entering into covenant about the salvation of mankind was absolutely necessary to God, or that it was required by virtue of any of the essential properties of his nature. God was herein absolutely free, as he was also in his making all things of nothing. And this we maintain in perfect consistency with the necessity of satisfaction, on supposition of this covenant. The will of the Son also is distinctly concerned, to demonstrate that the things he underwent in his human nature, were just and equal; and to manifest that those very acts, which he had in command from his Father, were no less the acts of his own will. Wherefore, as it is said, that the Father loved us, and gave his Son to die for us; so also is said, that the Son loved us, and gave himself for us, and washed us in his blood. And whatever is expressed in scripture, concerning the will of the human nature of Christ, it is but a representation of the will of the Son of God, when he engaged into this work from eternity. Whereas, therefore, he had a sovereign and absolute power over his own human nature when assumed, whatever he submitted to was nɔ injury to him, nor injustice in God to lay it on him.
§26. If it be objected, that the will is a natural property, and therefore in the Divine essence, it is but one; and how, then, can it be said that the will of the
Father, and the will of the Son, did concur distinctly in the making of this covenant? We reply that this difficulty may be solved from what hath been already declared. For, if they subsist distinctly; if such is the distinction of the persons in the unity of the Divine essence, that they act in natural and essential acts reciprocally one towards another, as in understanding, love, and the like; what impropriety to suppose that they act distinctly in those works, which are of external operation? The will of God as to the peculiar actings of the Father in this matter, is the will of the Father; and the will of God, with regard to the peculiar actings of the Son, is the will of the Son; not by a distinction of sundry wills, but by a distinct application of the same will to its distinct acts, in the persons of the Father and Son. And in this respect, the covenant whereof we treat, differeth from a pure decree; and by virtue of it, were all believers saved from the foundation of the world.
$27. Moreover, a covenant must be about the disposal of things in the power of them that enter into it, otherwise it is null or fraudulent. To do good to mankind, to bring them to the enjoyment of himself, was absolutely in the power of the Father. And it was in the power of the Son to assume human nature, which becoming thereby peculiarly his own, he might dispose of it to what end he pleased, still preserving the indissoluble union. Again, some things are made lawful or good, or suited to the honor, or satisfaction and complacency of them that make the covenant, by virtue of somewhat arising from the covenant itself. Such was the penal suffering of the human nature of Christ, under the sentence and curse of the law. This, absolutely considered, without respect to the ends of the covenant, would neither have been