Imágenes de páginas

the Sacraments which Christ used, let us briefly take a view of each. And the first is his CIRCUMCISION, intimated, Luke ü. 21. Which signified and sealed to Christ, ist, That he was ac, knowledged by the Father as the promised seed of Abraham, in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed. 2dly,. That his death and cutting off out of the land of the living, Isa. lui. 8. should be the means of the preservation and life of his whole mystical body, as the cutting off of the foreskin, in the Jews, was a meau: for the preservation of the whole person. For they who neglected this were threatened to be cut off from among their people, Gen. xvii. 14. 3dly, That his people were to de rive from him the circumcision made without hands, consisting of putting off the body of the sins of the Aesh, to be begun in regeneration, carried on in sanctification, and consummated in the . glorification both of body and soul, Col. ii. ii.

.? XXIII, On the other hand, Christ promised in circumcision, Ist, that he would in general perform all righteousness, see Gal. v. 3. And on his coming into the world he proclaimed this by this solemn token,“ lo! I come to do thy will, O God," Psal. xl. 8, 9. 2dly, More especially, that he was ready and prepared to shed his blood, and undergo those sufferings by which he was under obligations to satisfy the justice of God.. For he entered upon life by undergoing pain and shedding bis blood on the eight day. And, 3dly, Most of all, that being now made flesh of our flesh, Eph. v. 30. he would willingly, at the appointed time give himself up to death, and to be cut off out of the land of the living, in order thereby to be the Saviour of his mystical body, Eph. v. 13. .1..

XXIV. Of a like nature is the consideration of the BAPTISM of Christ. In which ist, The father openly declared, that he acknowledged the Lord Jesus for his Son, whose person and of fices were most acceptable to him.' 2dly, That Christ should be filled with the gifts of the Spirit, not only to be furnished with them, in the fullest manner for the executing his office, but for believers to derive abundantly from his fulness. This was signified both by the water of Baptism, Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 27, and by the symbol of the descending dove. " 3dly, That in the appointed time Christ should by a glorious resurrection, come out of the waters of tribulation, and lift up his head, Psal. cx. 7. and Psal. xl. 3. as the baptized persons ascends out of the water. 4thly, On the other hand Jesus declared his readiness to plunge into the torrents of hell, yet with an assured faith and hope of a deliverance.

XXV. In the PASSOVER was signified to the Lord Jesus, ist,

his being acknowledged by the Father the Lamb without spot or blemish, and separate from sinners. 2dly, That by his blood, he was certainly to obtain for believers deliverance from the destroying angel, as the Israelites in Egypt, by the blood of the passover. On the other hand, Jesus made a declaration of his readiness to undergo the most bitter things for his people, prefigured by the bitter herbs of the passover, and to shed his blood and be slain and scorched in the fire of the divine anger burning against our sins; in a word, to give himself wholly for us, as the Gospel Lamb was all of it to be consumed.

XXVI. Here I cannot omit, what the celebrated Buxtorf has observed in the dissertation above quoted, sect. 54. that the circumcision of Christ and his death on the cross, were very elegantly and exactly prefigured, by the manner of slaying the paschal lamb, as described in the Talmud on the passover, chap. v. in Mischna, in these words : “ How do they hang up and excoriate, or flea off the skin of the lamb to be slain? Iron hooks or nails, were fixed in the walls and pillars ; on which nails they hanged up and excoriated, or flead the lamb. If, on account of the number of the slayers, there was not room enough on the nails, they had recourse to slender smooth sticks, upon one of these a person took up the lamb and laid it on his own and his weighbour's shoulders, thus they hung up and excoriated the lamb.” And much to the same purpose is what Bochart has remarked in his Hierozoicon, lib. ii. c. v. from Maimonides in his book de Paschate, c. viii. sect. 13. " When they roast the pas. chal lamb, they transfix it from the middle of the mouth to the pudenda, with a wooden spit or broach, and placing fire underneath suspend it in the middle of the oven." In order therefore to roast it, they did not turn it on an iron spit, in the manner used by us, but suspended it transfixed with one made of wood, which, in some measure, represented Christ hanging on the cross. Especially, if what Justin Martyr mentions is true in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew. “ The roasted lamb was made into the figure of a cross, by empaling, or spitting, it from head to tail, and then from one shoulder to the other with a skewer, on which last were extended the fore feet, and thus it was roasted." And why may we not give credit to this relation of a man noc only pious, but also well skilled in the jewish customs, having been born at Sichem, and the son of a S maritan? Since their the passover presented such a clear resemblance of the crucifixion ; Christ, when he partook of it, promised an obedience even unto the cross.

X.XVII. The signification of thie Holy Supper is much the same:

by by it was sealed to Christ, ist, That he should be to the elect the sweetest food, meat and drink, for their spiritual and eternal life. 2 dly, That the virtue of his merits should be celebrated by believers till his return again to judgment. 3dly, That, together with believers, he should enjoy a heavenly feast, never to have an end. But then again, Christ promised the breaking of his body and the shedding of his blood. And thus in all, and each of the Sacraments, which Christ made use of, there was a solemn repetition and a sealing of the covenant entered into between him and the Father.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. I. Of the Covenant of God with the Elect. 1. THE plan of this work, formerly laid down, has now

brought us to treat of God's CoVENANT WITH THE ELECT, founded on the compact between the Father and the Son. The nature of which we shall first unfold in general, and then more particularly explain it in the following order, as first to speak of the ContRACTING PARTIES: then enquire into the PROMISES of the Covenant, and moreover, examine whether, and what, and how far, any thing may be required of the elect, by way of a CONDITION in the Covenant: in fine, to debate whether this covenant has its peculiar THREATENINGS.

II. The ContRACTING PARTIES are, on the one part, God; on the other, the ELECT. And God is to be considered, I. As truly all-sufficient, for all manner of happiness, not only to himself, nay, nor only to the innocent creature, but also to guilty and sinful man. He himself impressed this upon Abraham at the renewal of the covenant, when God emphati. cally called himself the Almighty God, or God all-sufficient, Gen. xvii. 1. denotes powerful, and sometimes too in the Vol. I. Nn


abstract, power, as Prov. iii. 27. 70'ye bw, power of thine band. It therefore denotes him who is endowed with such power, as “ that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask, or think," Eph. iii. 20. Without whom we can do nothing, and in whoin we can do all things : "TV signifies sufficient ; whether we suppose it compounded of the relative w, and so as to denote one who is sufficient ; or whether derived from 70, signifying both a pap or breast, and desolution or ravage. · If we join each of these together and say, that God is so powerful and so sufficient, as that himself is in want of nothing, and from his plentiful breast all things derive their being, their life, and their motion : which breast being once withdrawn, all things relapse into desolation. This is what he declares himself to be, to his chosen people, in the covenant of grace, for whose benefit he is possessed of this most powerful all-sufficiency. That name therefore is often repeated to the patriarchs, as the fountain of every blessing, Gen. xxviii. 3. xxxv. 11. and xliii. 14. 2dly, As most merciful and gracious, rejoicing to communicate himself to the sinful creature, Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. 3dly, And at the same time as most just, not entering into a state of friendship with the sinner, but in a way consistent with his holiness, and after having obtained full satisfaction to his justice : for he will by no means clear the guilty. 4thly, and lastly, As most wise, having found out an admirable mixture of his mercy and justice, without infringing the rights of either. For by this means, “ unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, is made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God," Eph. iii. 10.

III. But here men are considered, ist, As sinners, miser-' able and lost in themselves, who could not be restored by their own, or by any other created power ; in a word, possessed of nothing, on account of which they can please God, Ezek. xvi. 1-6. Tit. iii. 3, 4. 2dly, As chosen by God to grace and glory, according to his most absolute good pleasure, and so appointed heirs of eternal life, and are that “ little flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdoin,” Luke xii. 32. 3dly, As those for whom Christ engaged or made satisfaction: for this ought to be considered as necessary, before ever it could be worthy of God to make inention of his grace to sinful man.

IV. The economy of the persons of the Trinity in the covenant of grace, claims also our attention. The FATHER is held forth as the principal author of it, “ who was in Christ . reconciling the world to himself;" 2 Cor. v. 19. and appoint


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »