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fests the satisfaction he had in him, and in his work, even while he was about it upon the earth, "when there came such a voice from the excellent glory, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 2 Pet. 1: 17.
4. He engaged to reward him highly for his work, by exalting him to singular and super-eminent glory and honor, when he should have despatched and finished it. So you read, "I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." Psa. 2:7. It is spoken of the day of his resurrection, when he had just finished his sufferings. And so the apostle expounds and applies it. Acts, 13: 32, 33. For then did the Lord wipe away the reproach of his cross. As if the Father had said, Now thou hast again recovered thy glory, and this day is to thee as a new birth-day.
These are the encouragements and rewards proposed and promised to him by the Father. This was the joy set before him, as the apostle expresses it in Heb. 12: 2, which made him so patiently "endure the cross, and despise the shame."
And in like manner Jesus Christ gives his engagement to the Father; that, upon these terms, he is to be made flesh, to divest, as it were, himself of his glory, to come under the obedience and malediction of the law, and not to refuse any, the hardest sufferings it should please his Father to inflict on him. So much is implied in Isa. 50:5-7. "The Lord hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my 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 I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." And the sense of this place is well delivered to us in
other terms, "Then said I, Lo, I come; I delight to do thy will, O God, thy law is within my heart." Psa. 40: 6-10. Oh see with what a full consent the heart of Christ closeth with the Father's offers and proposals! like some echo that answers your voice twice or thrice over. So doth Christ here answer his Father's call, "I come; I delight to do thy will; yea, thy law is in my heart."
V. I will briefly show how these articles and agreements were on the part of both performed, and that precisely and punctually.
1. The Son having thus consented, accordingly he applies himself to the discharge of his work. He took a body, and in it fulfilled all righteousness, even to a tittle. Matt. 3:15. And, at last, his soul was made an offering for sin, so that he could say, "Father, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." John, 17:4. He went through all the parts of his active and passive obedience, cheerfully and faithfully.
2. The Father made good his engagements to Christ, all along, with no less faithfulness than Christ did his. He promised to assist, and hold his hand, Isa. 42: 5, and so he did; "there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him." Luke, 22:43. In his agony in the garden, this was seasonable aid and succor. He promised to accept him in his work, and that he should be glorious in his eyes: so he did; for he not only declared it by a voice from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Luke, 3: 22; but it was fully declared in his resurrection and ascension, which were a full discharge and justification of him. He promised him that "He should see his seed," Isa. 53 10, and so he did; for his very birth-dew was as the dew of the morning; and ever since his blood has been fruitful in the world. He promised gloriously to
reward and exalt him; and so he hath, and that highly and super-eminently, "giving him a name above every name in heaven and earth." Phil. 2: 9-11. Thus were the articles performed.
VI. When was this compact made between the Father and the Son? I answer, it bears date from eternity. Before this world was, then were his delights in us, while as yet we had no existence, but only in the infinite mind and purpose of God, who had decreed this for us in Christ Jesus, as the apostle speaks, 2 Tim. 1:9. What grace was that which was given us in Christ before the world began, but this grace of redemption, which was from everlasting thus contrived and designed for us, in the way which has been here opened? Then was the counsel, or consultation of peace between them both, as some understand Zech. 6: 13.
INFERENCE 1. We see the abundant security God has given his people for their salvation, and that not only in respect of the covenant of grace made with them, but also of this covenant of redemption made with Christ for them; which is indeed the foundation of the covenant of grace. God's single promise is security enough to our faith, but his covenant of grace adds further se curity; both these, viewed as the effects and fruits of this covenant of redemption, make all fast and sure. Happy were it, if Christians, in perplexity and distress, would turn their eyes from the defects in their obedience, to the fulness of Christ, and see themselves complete in him.
2. Moreover, hence we infer the validity and unquestionable success of Christ's intercession in heaven for believers. You read, "that he ever liveth to make intercession," Heb. 7:25, and, that his blood speaks good things for them. Heb. 12:24. Now, that his blood shall obtain what it pleads for in heaven, is undoubted, and that from the consideration of this covenant of redemp
tion. For here you see that the things he now asks of his Father, are the very same which his Father pro mised him, and covenanted to give him, before this world was. So that, besides the interest of the person, the very equity of the matter speaks its success, and requires performance. Whatever he asks for us, is as due to him as the wages of the hireling, when the work is ended. If the work be done, and done faithfully, as the Father hath acknowledged it is, then the reward is due, and due immediately; and no doubt but he shall receive it from the hands of a righteous God.
3. Hence, in like manner, you may be informed of the consistency of grace with full satisfaction to the justice of God. The apostle tells us, we are saved "according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the world began," 2 Tim. 1:9, that is, according to the gracious terms of this covenant of redemption; and yet you see, notwithstanding, how strictly God claims satisfaction from Christ. So then, grace to us, and satisfaction to justice, are not so inconsistent as some adversaries of the truth would make them: what was debt to Christ, is grace to us. "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Rom. 3:24.
4. Hence judge of the antiquity of the love of God to believers; what an ancient Friend he hath been to us; who loved us, provided for us, and contrived all our happiness, before we were, yea, before the world was. We reap the fruits of this covenant now, the seed whereof was sown from eternity; yea, it is not only ancient, but also most free: no excellences of ours could engage the love of God; for as yet we were not.
5. Hence judge how reasonable it is that believers should embrace the hardest terms of obedience unto Christ, who complied with such hard terms for their salvation. They were hard and difficult terms indeed,
on which Christ received you from the Father's hand; it was, as you have heard, to pour out his soul unto death; "Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor." 2 Cor. 8:9. Blush, ungrateful believers; oh, let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, hath Christ deserved that you should hesitate at trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is severe? Oh, if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not
6. How greatly are we all concerned to make it sure to ourselves, that we are of this number which the Father and the Son agreed for before the world was; that we were comprehended in Christ's engagement and compact with the Father! But some one will say, who can know that? I answer, you may know, without ascending into heaven, or prying into unrevealed secrets, that your names were in that covenant, if, (1.) You are believers indeed; for all such the Father then gave to Christ: "The men that thou gavest me, (for of them he spake immediately before,) they have believed that thou didst send me." John, 17: 6, 8. (2.) If you savingly know God in Jesus Christ. Such were given him by the Father: "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me." Verse 6. By this they are discriminated from the rest: "The world hath not known thee, but these have known." Verse 25. (3.) If you are men of another world: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Verse 16. May it be said of you, as of dying men, that you are not men for this world, that you are crucified and dead to it, Gal. 6: 14, that you are strangers in it! Heb. 11:13, 14. (4.) If you keep Christ's word: "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." John, 17:6. By keeping his word, understand the re