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that sense. In Heb.vii. 22. the only text wherein Christ is expressly called a Surety, it is undeniable that the suretyship respects his priestly office, ver, 20, with 22. and therefore his suretyship for us to God: whereas his surètyship for God to us cannot relate to his priestly office, but to his kingly office, in respect of which all power is given to him in heaven and earth, and consequently a power to see that all the promises be performed to his people. In two other texts only, we read of suretyship relating to the case between God and a soul; and in both the suretyship is not to, but for the soul, viz. Psal. cxix. 122. ‘Be surety for thy servant for good,” Job xvii. 3. “Put me in a surety with thee.” The original expression is the same in the latter text as in the former. Whatever is of this, one thing is plain, that it doth not belong to the condition of the covenant, but to the promises of it; and therefore lies not here before us. But Christ became our Surety to God in the covenant. Thus was he most properly, if not the only, Surety of the Covenant. The covenant of grace was made with the spiritual seed in Christ, as their head and representative, and their Surety taking burden for them upon himself, Psal. boxxix. 19. - 2dly, For what he became surety. This will appear by considering the nature of his suretyship. I spoke before of two kinds of suretyship. It was the first, the heaviest of the two, that our Lord undertook, viz. suretyship in the way of satisfaction for debt contracted, wherein the burden was wholly devolved on himself, and he was to be the sole actor and sufferer. The debt of the elect world was, by God's eternal foreknowledge, stated from the broken covenant of works, in the whole latitude of its demands on them: and Christ became surety for it, and so did strike . with his Father from eternity, to pay it completely. d, (1). He became Surety for their debt of punishment, which they as sinners were liable in payment of, as the original phrase is, 2 Thess. i. 9. That was the debt owing to the divine justice for all and every one of their breaches of the holy law, whether original or actual. The demerit of their sins was an infinite punishment, as being committed against an infinite God. They were liable to bear the pains Wol. I. 3 C
of death in the full latitude of it; to suffer the force of revenging wrath, to the full satisfaction of infinite justice, and reparation of God's honour. This debt of theirs, Christ became Surety for, engaging his life for their life, which was lost in law, where there was not the least hope of escape, Psal. xl. 6, 7. with John x. 18. In this suretyship there was an exchange of persons in law, which sovereign grace did admit, when it might have been insisted, that the souls that sinned should die. And in virtue thereof Christ himself became debtor in law, bound to pay that debt which he contracted not, Psal. lxix. 4. And there was a double translation made on Christ in the covenant, from the elect, with his own consent, as a foundation in law and justice for exacting the elect's debt of him. [1..] Their guilt was transferred on him, Isa. liii. 6. All the sins of all the elect were at once imputed to him, and so became his, as his righteousness became ours, viz. in law-reckoning, 2 Cor. v. 21. So that though he was absolutely without sin inherent, he was not without sin imputed to him, till in his resurrection he got up the discharge, Heb. ix. ult, having done them away, and cleared the debt by his death. [2.] The curse due to them for their sins was transfer. red on him, Gal. iii. 13. The sentence of the law binding them over to bear the revenging wrath of God for all their sins, till justice should be satisfied, was with his own consent laid upon him. And in virtue hereof his blessed body was hanged on a tree, and the sentence of the broken law, Gen. ii. 17, was executed on that body and holy soul, Gal. iii. 13. O heavy, yet happy exchange heavy for Christ the Surety, but happy for poor sinners. Here is what is got on either hand by the exchange of the persons of Christ and his redeemed ones. All the sins of the redeemed are .. on Christ, for the satisfaction of justice by suffer. ing for them: and all Christ's righteousness, for life and salvation, is reckoned on their score, 2 Cor. v. 21. The curse of the law comes on him for their sake: and the blessing of the gospel comes on them for his sake, Gal. iii. 13, 14. (2.) He became Surety for their debt of duty and obedience, Matth. iii. 15. The law as a covenant of works, though it was broken by sinners, who thereby had incurred the penalty, neither lost its right, nor ceased to exact the obedience which at first it required of man, as the condition of life. The sinner was still bound to perfect obedience, and on no less or lower terms could have eternal life, Luke x. 28. The paying of the debt of punishment might satisfy as to the penalty of the bond: but there is yet more be: hind for him who will meddle in the affairs of the broken company. How shall the principal sum contained in the original contract be paid, the debt of obedience to the law for life and salvation? The honour of God could not allow the quitting of it: and they were absolutely unable to pay one mite of it, that was current in heaven, Rom, v, 6. Eph. ii. 1. They were quite as incapable for the doing part, as the suffering part. So Christ became Surety for this debt of theirs too, the debt of obedience to the law as a covenant, which was and is the only obedience for life and salvation to the sons of men. Whatever the law can der mand of them in this kind, holiness of nature or righteousness of life, he strikes hands for the payment of it, Psal. xl. 7, 8. And here also there was an exchange of persons in law, as to Christ and the elect, he sustaining their person in the eye of the law, sisting himself for them to answer for every item of this debt, as their Surety. And in virtue thereof he became the law's debtor for that obedience which was owing to it by the elect ; which debt he owned to be lying upon him by his circumcision, Luke ii. 21, compared with Gal. v. 3 *, (3) Christ became the Priest of the covenant, Heb. vii. 20, 21, 22, 28. He undertook that office, and put on that character, at his Father's call, Heb. v. 4, 5, 6, to the end that he might perform the condition of the covenant. A priest is a public person, who deals with an offended God, in the name of a guilty company, for reconciliation, by sacrifice which he offereth to God upon an altar, Heb. v. 1. being thereto called of God, that he may be accepted. So a priest speaks a relation to an altar, an altar to a sacrifice, and a sacrifice to sin. Here I shall inquire, for whom Christ became a Priest, and what need there was of his be. coming a Priest in this covenant.
1st, For whom he became a Priest. He became a Priest for sinners, Heb. viii. 1. Where there is no sin, there is no need of a priesthood: So Christ's priesthood speaks men to be guilty creatures, needing an atonement and reconciliation. And he became a Priest for those sinners whose names were in the covenant, and them only, that is, for the elect, whose names are written in heaven: for being the Priest of the covenant, he must be their Priest, and theirs only, who were comprehended in the covenant. In a word, he became the Priest of the spiritual Israel in the covenant, that Israel for whose behoof the covenant was made *. 2dly, What need was there of Christ's becoming a Priest in this covenant. The necessity of it will appear in these four things, - (1.) They were sinners, and there could not be a new covenant made without provision for removing of their sin; and that required a priest, and one that was able to remove sin, and repair the injured honour of God. And such a one was Christ. (2.) Sin could not be removed, without a sacrifice of suffi. cient value, which they were not able to afford. The new covenant was a covenant by sacrifice, Psal. 1.5. and it could not be obtained without sacrifice; it behoved necessarily to be written in blood, Heb. ix. 22. Christ becoming a priest, gave himself a sacrifice, for establishing of the cove. nant, Eph. v. 2. and so it is the New Testament in his blood, shed for the remission of the sins of many. (3.) No sacrifice could be accepted, but on such an altar as should sanctify the gift to the effect of the removing of sin. And who could furnish that but the Son of God himself, whose divine nature was the altar, from whence the sacrifice of the human nature derived its value and efficacy, as infinite, Heb. ix. 14. (4.) There behoved to be a priest to offer this sacrifice, this valuable sacrifice unto God upon that altar: else there could have been no sacrifice to be accepted, and so no removal of sin, and so no new covenant. And who could that be but the Son of God only? Since himself was the sacrifice, and himself the altar, he himself alone could be the Priestt. Inf. From all that has been said on the head of the condition of the covenant, ye see the price of sinners salvation, the ransom of souls, the only valuable plea that a sinner can have for mercy, namely, the condition of the covenant performed by the Mediator. , Let it be the great concern of your life, to be interested in it in a saving manner, as reckoned of God to have been performed for you. If it be not reckoned on your account, what will it avail your for life and salvation ? Be concerned then for the imputation of that righteousness unto you. It is offered in the gospel unto you, that the holiness of Christ's nature, the righteousness of his life, and the satisfaction of his death, shall be yours, yours freely, as a free gift of righteousness, believe it, and lay your souls weight on it by faith, and it shall be imputed to you.' ' SECONDLY, We proceed now to consider the second part of the covenant of grace, viz. the promise. This cove. nant is a proper covenant; and in it there is a promissory part, answering to the conditionary part which we have now explained. And it is God’s part of the covenant, as the other was the Mediator's part; and is that which our text, I have made a covenant with my chosen, doth principally and expressly bear; compare ver, 4. ‘Thy seed will I establish for ever.” The promise of the covenant is the bond of promise, whereby God has obliged himself to give the benefits specified in the covenant, and to make them forthcoming, upon the consideration of the performance of the condition. And forasmuch as the condition performed by Christ was strictly meritorious of the benefits promised, the promise is firm and binding, not only in respect of the truth and faithfulness of God, Tit, i. 2.; but also in respect of his justice, 2 Tim. iv. 8, which requires the Mediator’s obedience to be rewarded according to the promise made in the coveIlant. o Of what weight and importance the promissory part of the covenant is, will appear by these considerations, 1. The covenant of grace hath its name from this part of it, Eph. ii. 12. It is called, “covenants of promise.” 2. The covenant itself is by the Holy Ghost described as a chuster of free promises of grace and glory to poor sinners, without any mention of any condition, Heb. viii. 10, 11, 12. 3. The promises of the covenant are the purchase of Christ's blood, the fruit of his fulfilling all righteousness in his birth, life, and death.
* See this clearly proved afterwards in the discourse on Christ's priestly office. t Wide ubi supra, tit. Chris the Prios of the Covenant.