« PreviousContinue »
and must be stated from the law or broken covenant of works, which they were lying under: for the law, or broken covenant of works, was fo far from being neglected in the new bargain, that whatfoever it had to charge upon, or demand of the parties contracted for in the new covenant, was fummed up, and fet down therein, to be fully cleared by Christ their furety contracting for them. Now, ftating that righteousness from thence, it will be found to confift of three parts, making fo many conditionary articles of the covenant of grace: to wit, holiness of nature, righteousness of life, and fatisfaction for fin.
Of the which in order.
Holiness of nature.
HE law required holiness of nature as a condition of life, inafmuch as condemning original fin, faying, Thou shalt not covet, it concluded all men to be by nature children of wrath. For God being effentially holy, holy by neceffity of nature, nothing can be fo contrary to God as an unholy nature; becaufe, howbeit perfons, or things of a like nature, may be contrary in fome points, yet they can never be fo contrary one to another, as thofe of quite oppofite natures. But the parties contracted for in the covenant of grace, having their nature wholly corrupted, and being incapable to purify it, or make their heart clean, Prov. xx. 9.; it is evident, they could by no means anfwer this demand of the law by themselves. Wherefore, for the fatisfaction of the law in this point, it was fettled as a conditionary article of the covenant of grace, "That Chrift "the fecond Adam, reprefenting them, fhould be a of a perfectly holy, pure, and untainted nature, fully anfwering for them the holiness and perfection of nature required by the law."
fuch an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, feparate from finners, Heb. vii. 26. And this article contains two claufes.
I. "That he, as the second Adam, should be con"ceived and born holy, for and instead of them cor"rupted in their nature, conceived and born in fin." There was a holy nature given to Adam as the root of mankind to be by him kept and tranfmitted to his pofterity, in the way of natural generation. And upon this ground the law requires all men to be born holy, pronouncing them unclean, and children of wrath, in the contrary event, Job xiv. 4. Eph. ii. 3. But how could this demand be answered by finners? They are born in fin: They cannot enter again into their mother's womb, and be born a fecond time, without fin. No, they cannot yet the law will not bate of that demand for life. Wherefore it was provided, hat Chrift as a public perfon, reprefenting his fpritual feed, fhould be born perfectly holy; that, whereas they brought a finful corrupt nature into the world with them, he should bring a holy humannature into the world with him. And fo he was th laft Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 45. holy and undefiled, Heb. ii. 26. that holy thing born, Luke i. 35. And the ect thereof, with refpect to that law demand for e, is, that all believers are, in law-reckoning, bor holy in the fecond Adam, even as they were creed holy in the firft Adam. Hence they are ex pry faid to be circumcifed in him, Gul. ii. 11. weh plainly prefuppofeth their being born in him. Al it is in virtue of their being legally born holy ¡Chrift, when he was born, that, being united him in the time of loves, they are really born ain, and at length perfected; even as in virtue their being legally defiled in Adam, when he fined, they are actually and really defiled in their own erfons, coming into the world: the holy nature being actually communicated to them from Chrift
their spiritual head, in whom they were legally born holy; even as the corruption of nature is actually conveyed to them from Adam their natural head, in whom they finned in law-reckoning.
2. The other claufe is, "That Chrift, as the se"cond Adam, should retain the holiness of nature "inviolate unto the end, for them and in their "name." The law, or covenant of works, required as a condition of life, that the holiness of nature given to mankind in Adam, should be preferved pure and incorrupt. But it was loft: and put the cafe, that it had been reftored, they could not have retained it, in their own perfons, unftained amidst fo ma. ny finares. Wherefore, to fatisfy the law-demand in this point, it was provided, that in the man Chrift, as a public perfon, representative of his feed, their nature fhould be kept perfectly holy uno the end, without the least stain or defilement: Ifa.xlii. 4. He fhall not fail; or, he shall not wax dim, & wrinkle, as the skin doth when the moisture is laufted. Therein the first Adam failed. He fhone in prity of nature, as he came from the Creator's hand: ut he failed, he waxed dim; the holiness of his natu being exhausted by fin, all mankind in him loftheir fpiritual beauty, and wrinkled. But now thathe fecond Adam failed not, but preferved the holefs of human nature in him unftained, not in the f darkened even to the end of his life; the remainf the corruption of nature in believers are not imp ed to them, Rom. iv. 8. ; but as defiled as they in themselves, thro' thofe remains cleaving to ther yet in Chrift their beauty is fresh, and not marred i the leaft, according to that, Cant. iv. 7. Thou art a fair, my love, there is no pot in thee.
Righteoufness of life.
HIS alfo the law infifted upon as a condition of life; and justly: for God gave to Adam, and all mankind in him, a law to be obeyed in all points; not only in virtue of the tie of natural duty, but in virtue of the bond of a covenant for life: but it was never fulfilled by them. The first Adam began indeed the courfe of obedience; but he quickly fell off from it, with all his natural feed in him. Now, it being inconfiftent with the honour of the law, that the prize, to wit, eternal life, fhould be obtained, without the race was run: it ftill infifted saying, If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments, Mat. xix. 17. Howbeit, we were weak, movelefs, without ftrength for running that race. Wherefore it was fettled, as another conditionary article of the covenant, "That Chrift, as a public perfon, repre"fenting those he contracted for, fhould begin and, "perfect the course of obedience to the law, in 66 righteousness of life." and accordingly he became obedient unto death, Philip. ii. 8.
The law which was the rule of this obedience exacted of him, was the fame law of the ten commands, that was given to Adam, and binding on us as under it; for he was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, Gal. iv. 4. 5. It extended to all divine inftitutions which the fecond Adam found in being, whether obliging men as men, or as members of the church of God on earth: even as the rule of the first Adam's obedience, extended to the positive law touching the forbidden fruit, which was in being when he was fet to fulfil his covenant obedience.
That we may the more diftinctly comprehend this article, it may be obferved to bear these three things following.
I. "That he, as the Second Adam, fhould obey "the whole law, in the name of those he reprefent"ed." This was a debt owing by them all; and was acquired of them by the law, as a condition of life: Gal. iii. 10. Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the lay to do them. But the answering of this demand was quite beyond their reach. Man, by the fall, having loft much of his knowledge of the law, had loft fight of many of the duties required therein: howbeit ignorance of the law excufeth no man, His heart was averfe to, enmity against the law; Rom. viii. 7. And he was without ftrength to perform the duties then required of him, chap. v. 6. So that by reafon of ignorance, averfion, and impotency in that matter, the obedience of the whole law was not to be had from them. Wherefore it was, provided, that Chrift, as their reprefentative, fhould give obedience to the whole law for them; that both tables of the law, and each command of each table, fhould have due obedience from him; that the law being laid before him in its spirituality and full extent, he fhould fully anfwer it, internal and external obedience, in his mind, will, and affections, in thought, word, and deed; that he fhould con form himself to the whole natural law, and to all divine inftitutions, ceremonial or political, fo as to be circumcifed, keep the paffover, to be baptized to be a fervant of or fubject to rulers, pay tribute to whom it was due, and the like: In one word, that he fhould perform the whole will of God, fignified in his law; fo that with the fafety of the law's honour, his people might have life. What the first Adam, failed in, the fecond Adam was to do. And this I take to be represented unto us, in the case of the first and fecond king of Ifrael, to wit, Saul and David, Acts xiii. 22. I have found David the fon of Fesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all