Sivut kuvina

have given grace in time? Did God purpose to call with a holy calling, those whom he has not called, and never will call? I can well believe that the delights of the Son of God were with you, ye glorious saints of his, before the foundation of the world; but, can I believe that his delights were then with those abandoned rebels, whom he abhors and dooms to everlasting burnings? But, although it is impossible not to spare a passing glance to these trains of argumentation, it is not our intention to forsake our present purpose, which is merely to establish elements for a system: and the reader is forewarned to keep the rein on his impatience, as a great deal remains still to be done, before we shall be prepared for systematizing. The hewers are in the mountains, and the quarrymen are in the quarries; every beam must be squared, every joint and tenon must be fitted; every stone must be chiselled to its exact form and dimensions; and, should we succeed in all this, according to the draft and plan which the Divine Architect has furnished us, you shall soon see stone come to its stone, and beam to its beam, till the temple of the Lord shall tower towards the heavens, without the sound of a hammer.

The next passage I produce, is found Isa. liii. 10th, &c.-"When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied and by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he shall pour out his soul unto death: and he

was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgres


The only critical remark which it is necessary to make on this passage is, that I have changed his knowledge into the knowledge of himself, and for this reason; the phrase his knowledge, according to the usual English idiom, means the knowledge of which he is the subject, or the knowledge which he possesses. Now, the knowledge which Jesus Christ possesses cannot justify any person; or, if it did justify any, it must justify all. But the knowledge of which Jesus is the object, or the knowledge which men have of him as the mediator between God and man, is the justification of all who are justified, according to the Scriptures. "This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." But to cut off all possibility of mistake, I would remark, that the knowledge of Christ in question is not a naked, metaphysical, speculative knowledge-for even a devil could say, "I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God ;"* but it is that knowledge which the Holy Ghost giveth when he taketh of the things that are Christ's and sheweth them unto us-it is a knowledge which issues in faith, love, and obedience.


[ocr errors]

The points which I wish to establish by the above passage, are the following:

1. That the Son of God engaged to make his soul an offering for sin, and to bear the sins of many; and that this engagement took place when he was anointed a covenant head; that is, "from everlasting," or "ever the earth was."

* Mark i. 24.

[ocr errors]

2. That his Heavenly Father engaged, that, in consequence of his making his soul an offering for the sins of many, he should have them as his reward,—he should justify many, he should travail in sore travail, but not without effect, he should see his offspring: and the pleasure of the Lord, the salvation of sinners, should prosper in his hand.

3. From the two foregoing principles I deduce a third, that, so sure as the faithful Son of God should fulfil his part of the covenant, by bearing the sins of many, and making his soul an offering for sin,—so surely would his Heavenly Father give him the travail of his soul; and that, of consequence, some men must be saved by the mediation of Jesus, in order to vindicate the faithfulness of God the Father. But who? How many? Was the number definite or indefinite?

Two or three passages more from the sacred page, and I am done on this subject. John xvii. 1, &c."These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify thy son that thy son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." John vi. 37. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

As I established from the 53d of Isaiah, that a seed was pledged to Messiah as the travail of his soul, and of consequence, that some men must be saved, in order to preserve inviolate the fidelity of the eternal Father; so I infer from these passages, that the number was fixed and definite; that Jesus Christ received power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him; that all who


were the Father's by electing love, were Christ's by the covenant bond, and that they shall come to him; and that he that cometh, shall in no wise be cast out.

We are now ready for the summation of this series, I hope the reader has been sufficiently attentive to render an enumeration of the principles which have been established superfluous, I trust that matter to himself.

But now 1 must ask, had Christ Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, the same relation in the eternal covenant to those who shall be saved, and to those who shall not? Let this question be well considered; and, that it may be well considered, let us turn it around, and survey it in every position. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, was anointed a covenant head from all eternity; was it to head to everlasting glory those whom he will head in the judgment day, or those whom he shall not head? Was he a covenant head for those whom the Father gave him, or for those whom he did not give him? Did he travail, as in birth, for the children whom God gave him, or for those whom God gave him not? But enough, surely. That the Eternal Father, and his Eternal Son, in that covenant, which was from everlasting, knew every individual who ever should be saved by Jesus Christ, - and had a respect to, each one of them by name, is an indubitable fact it is the high prerogative of infinite wisdom to be incapable of ignorance; it is the glorious prerogative of God never to do any thing in the end, which he did not propose to do from the beginning.


In the above questions I have used the phraseology, Had Christ Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, any relation to those whom the Father gave him in the everlasting covenant-different from his relation to those

who were not given him. I did not use the word representation; that spectre shall be put down on another field. But if the Son of God, when he was from everlasting anointed a covenant head, bore a relation to those whom the Father gave him-which relation he did not bear to those who were not given him-where is the use of disputing about words? It is that relation, whatever it is, that is intended to be expressed by those who assert, that, in the eternal covenant, the Son of God was the representative of the elect, of those whom the Father gave him.

1 am not one of those, God forbid I ever should, who ascribe every defect in a publication, to a cunning artifice of the author to conceal the truth. But I confess, I have been astonished not to find in any of Mr. M'C.'s publications, a single glance at the eternal covenant between the Father and the Son. And yet, this is precisely the subject in dispute. It has been customary with all divines, who admit a covenant of grace at all, to make, in one way or other, a distinction between the transaction of the Father and Son in Heaven from all eternity, and the effects of that transaction in time. Some have called the former the covenant of redemption, and the latter the covenant of grace; making them two covenants. Some again, who insist that there is but one covenant, make a distinction between that covenant and its execution. Now Mr. M'C. confines himself entirely to what the latter call the execution of the covenant. In this view his first publication (The Body of Christ,) has its merit; I mean the merit of being perfectly sound. It is an absolute truth, as he states, that the Holy Spirit is the bond of union between Jesus Christ and believers; and that this same work of that spirit, produces on their

« EdellinenJatka »