Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 3.
( ...continued from File 2)
Sermon 3. Opens the Covenant of Redemption betwixt the Father and 
the Redeemer. 
Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall 
divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his 
soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he 
bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 
    In this chapter, the gospel seems to be epitomised; the 
subjectmatter of it is the death of Christ, and the glorious issue 
thereof: by reading of it, the Eunuch of old, and many Jews since, 
have been converted to Christ. Christ is here considered absolutely, 
and relatively; Absolutely, and so his innocence is industriously 
vindicated, ver. 9. Though he suffered grievous things, yet not for 
his own sins, "for he had done no violence, neither was any deceit 
in his mouth;" but relatively considered in the capacity of a surety 
for us: so the justice of God is so fully vindicated in his 
sufferings; ver. 6. "The Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us 
all." How he came to sustain this capacity and relation of a surety 
for us, is in these verses plainly asserted to be by his compact and 
agreement with his Father, before the worlds were made, verse 10, 
    In this verse we have, 1. His work. 2. His reward. 3. The 
respect or relation of each to the other. (1.) His work, which was 
indeed a hard work, to pour out his soul unto death, aggravated by 
the companions, with whom, being numbered with transgressors; the 
capacity in which, bearing all the sins of the elect, "he bare the 
sins of many in and by the manner of his bearing it, viz. meekly, 
and forgivingly, "he made intercession for the transgressors;" This 
was his work. (2.) The reward or fruit which is promised him for 
this work, "therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, 
and he will divide the spoil with the strong;" wherein is a plain 
allusion to conquerors in war, for whom are reserved the richest 
garments, and most honourable captives to follow the conqueror, as 
an addition to his magnificence and triumph; these were wont to come 
after them in chains, Isa. 45: 14. see Judges 5: 3 (3.) The respect 
or relation betwixt that work and this triumph: some will have this 
work to have no other relation to that glory, than a mere antecedent 
to a consequent: others give it the respect and relation of a 
meritorious cause to a reward. It is well observed by Dr. Featly, 
that the Hebrew particle "lachen", which we render therefore, noting 
order, is not worth so much contention about it, whether it be the 
order of casualty, or mere antecedence; neither do I foresee any 
absurdity in calling Christ's exaltation the reward and fruit of his 
humiliation: however, it is plain, whether one or other, it is that 
the Father here agrees and promises to give him, if he will 
undertake the redemption of the elect, by pouring out his soul unto 
death; of all which this is the plain result: 
    Doct. That the business of man's salvation was transacted upon 
    covenant terms, betwixt the Father and the Son, from all 
    I would not here be mistaken, as though I were now to treat of 
the covenant of grace, made in Christ betwixt God and us; it is not 
the covenant of grace, but of redemption, I am now to speak to, 
which differs from the covenant of grace, in regard of the federates 
in this, it is God the Father, and Jesus Christ, that mutually 
covenant; in that, it is God and man: they differ, also in the 
receptive part, in this it is required of Christ that he should shed 
his blood, in that it is required of us that we believe. They also 
differ in their promises; in this, God promises to Christ a name 
above every name, ample dominion from sea to sea; in that, to us, 
grace and glory: so that these are two distinct covenants. 
    The substance of this covenant of redemption is, dialogue-wise, 
expressed to us in Isa. 49, where, (as divines have well observed) 
Christ begins, at the first and second verses, and shows his 
commission, telling his Father, how he had both called, and prepared 
him for the work of redemption; "The Lord has called me from the 
womb - he has made my mouth like a sharp sword, and made me a 
polished shaft", &c. q. d. by reason of that superabundant measure 
of the spirit of wisdom and power wherewith I am anointed and 
filled; my doctrine shall, as a sword, pierce the hearts of sinners; 
yea, like an arrow, drawn to the head, strike deep into souls 
standing at a great distance from God and godliness. 
    Having told God how ready, and fit he was for his service, he 
will know of him what reward he shall have for his work, for he 
resolves his blood shall not be undervalued; hereupon, verse 3, the 
Father offers him the elect of Israel for his reward, bidding low at 
first (as they that make bargains use to do) and only offers him 
that small remnant, still intending to bid higher: But Christ will 
not be satisfied with these, he values his blood higher than so: 
therefore, in verse 4 he is brought in complaining, "I have laboured 
in vain, and spent my strength for nought," q. d. This is but a 
small reward for so great a suffering, as I must undergo; my blood 
is much more worth than this comes to, and will be sufficient to 
redeem all the elect dispersed among the isles of the Gentiles, as 
well as the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Hereupon the Father 
comes up higher, and tells him, he intends to reward him better than 
so; and therefore, verse 6 says, "It is a light thing that thou 
shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to 
restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light 
to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the 
earth." Thus is the treaty carried on betwixt them, transacting it 
after the manner of men. 
    Now, to open this great point, we will here consider, (1.) The 
persons transacting one with another. (2.) The business transacted. 
(3.) The quality and manner of the transaction, which is federal. 
(4.) The articles to which they agree. (5.) How each person performs 
his engagement to the other. And, Lastly, The antiquity or eternity 
of this covenant transaction. 
    (1.) The persons transacting and dealing with each other in 
this covenant; and indeed they are great persons, God the Father, 
and God the Son, the former as a Creditor, and the latter as a 
Surety. The Father stands upon satisfaction, the Son engages to give 
it. If it be demanded, why the Father and the Spirit might not as 
well have treated upon our redemption, as the Father and Son! It is 
answered, Christ is the natural Son of God, and therefore fittest to 
make us the adopted sons of God. Christ also is the middle person in 
the Trinity, and therefore fittest to be the mediator and middle 
person betwixt us and God. The Spirit has another office assigned 
him, even to apply, as Christ's vicegerent, the redemption designed 
by the Father, and purchased by the Son for us. 
    (2.) The business transacted betwixt them; and that was the 
redemption and recovery of all God's elect: our eternal happiness 
lay now before them, our dearest and everlasting concerns were now 
in their hands: the elect (though not yet in being) are here 
considered as existent, yea, and as fallen, miserable, forlorn 
creatures: How these may again be restored to happiness (salva 
justitia Dei) without prejudice to the honour, justice and truth of 
God; this, this is the business that lay before them. 
     (3.) For the manner, or quality of the transaction, it was 
federal, or of the nature of a covenant; it was by mutual 
engagements and stipulations, each person undertaking to perform his 
part in order to our recovery. 
    We find each person undertaking for himself by solemn promise; 
the Father promiseth that he will "hold his hand, and keep him," 
Isa. 42: 6. The Son promiseth, he will obey his Father's call to 
suffering, and not "be rebellious," Isa. 50: 5. And, having 
promised, each holds the other to his engagement. The father stands 
upon the satisfaction promised him; and, when the payment was 
making, he will not abate him one earthing, Rom. 8: 32. "God spared 
not his own Son," i. e. he abated nothing of the full price he was 
to have at his hands for us. 
    And as the Father stood strictly upon the terms of the 
covenant, so did Christ also; John 17: 45. "I have glorified thee on 
earth, (saith he to the Father) I have finished the work thou gavest 
me to do; and now, Father, glorify me with thine own self." As if he 
had said, Father, the work is done, now where is the wages I was 
promised? I call for glory as my due, as much my due as the hire of 
the labourer is his due, when his work is done. 
    4. More particularly; we will next consider the articles to 
which they do both agree; or, what it is that each person does for 
himself promise to the other. And, to let us see how much the 
Father's heart is engaged in the salvation of poor sinners, there 
are five things which he promiseth to do for Christ, if he will 
undertake that work. 
    First, He promiseth to invest him, and anoint him to a 
threefold office, answerable to the misery that lay upon the elect 
as so many bars to all communion with, and enjoyment of God; for, if 
ever man be restored to that happiness, the blindness of his mind 
must be cured, the guilt of sin expiated, and his captivity to sin 
led captive: answerably, Christ must, "of God, be made unto us, 
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption," 1 Cor. 1: 30. 
And he is made so to us as our Prophet, Priest, and King; but he 
could not put himself into either of these; for if so, he had acted 
without commissions and consequently all he did had been invalid; 
Heb. 5: 5. "Christ glorified not himself to be made an High-Priest, 
but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son". A commission therefore 
to act authoritatively, in these offices, being necessary to our 
recovery, the Father engages to him to seal him such a threefold 
    He promiseth to invest him with an eternal and royal 
Priesthood, Psal. 110: 4. "The Lord has sworn, and will not repent; 
Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec." This 
Melchisedec being King of Righteousness, and king of Salem, that is, 
Peace, had a royal priesthood; and his descent not being reckoned, 
it had an adumbration of eternity in it, and so was more apt to type 
and shadow forth the priesthood of Christ than Aaron's was, Heb. 7: 
16, 17, 24, 25, as the apostle accommodates them there. 
    He promiseth moreover to make him a Prophet, and that an 
extraordinary one, even the Prince of prophets; the chief Shepherd, 
as much superior to all others, as the sun is to the lesser stars; 
so you have it, Isa. 42: 6, 7. "I will give thee for a light to the 
Gentiles, to open the blind eyes," &c. 
    And not only so, but to make him king also, and that of the 
whole empire of the world; so Psal. 2: 6, 7, 8. "Ask of me, and I 
will give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the utmost 
ends of the earth for thy possession." Thus he promiseth to qualify 
and furnish him completely for the work, by his investiture with 
this threefold office. 
    Secondly, And forasmuch as he knew it was a hard and difficult 
work his Son was to undertake, a work that would have broken the 
backs of all the angels in heaven, and men on earth, had they 
engaged in it; therefore he promiseth to stand by him, and assist 
and strengthen him for it: so, Isa. 42: 5, 6, 7. "I will hold thy 
hand," or take hold of thee with my hands, for so it may be 
rendered, i. e. I will underprop and support thy humanity, when it 
is even overweighted with the burden that is to come upon it, and 
ready to sink down under it; for so you know the case stood with 
him, Mark 14: 34, and so it was foretold of him, Isa. 53: 7. "He was 
oppressed," &c. and indeed the humanity needed a prop of no less 
strength than the infinite power of the Godhead: the same promise 
you have in the first verse also, "Behold my servant whom I uphold." 
    Thirdly, He promiseth to crown his work with success, and bring 
it to an happy issue, Isa. 53: 10. "He shall see his seed, he shall 
prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his 
hand." He shall not begin, and not finish; he shall not shed his 
invaluable blood upon hazardous terms; but shall see and reap the 
sweet fruits thereof; as the joyful mother forgets her pangs, when 
she delightfully embraces and kisses her living child. 
    Fourthly, The Father promiseth to accept him in his work, 
though millions should certainly perish, Isa. 49: 4. "Surely (saith 
he) my work is with the Lord." And, verse 5. "I shall be glorious in 
the eyes of the Lord." His faith has therein respect to this compact 
and promise. Accordingly the Father manifests 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." 
    Fifthly, As he engaged to reward him highly for his work, by 
exalting him to singular and super-eminent glory and honour, when he 
should have dispatched and finished it. So you read, Psal. 2: 7. "I 
will declare the decree; the Lord has said unto me, Thou art my Son, 
this day have I begotten thee." 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, and invested him with such 
glory, that he looked like himself again. 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 phraseth it in Heb. 12: 2.) which made him so patiently to 
"endure the cross, and despise the shame." 
    And in like manner Jesus Christ restipulates, and gives his 
engagement to the Father; that, upon these terms, he is content 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, 6, 7. "The Lord has opened 
mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back; I gave 
my back to the smilers, and my cheeks to them that pulled 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; I have set my 
face as a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." When he 
saith, I was not rebellious, "mariti", he meaneth, I was most 
heartily willing, and content to accept the terms; for there is a 
Meiosis in the words, and much more is intended than expressed. And 
the sense of this place is well delivered to us in other terms, 
Psal. 40: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. "Then said I, Lo I come, I delight to do 
thy will, O God, thy law is within my heart." O 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 does Christ here answer his Father's call, "I come, I 
delight to do thy will; yea, thy law is in my heart." And thus you 
see the articles to which they both subscribed, or the terms they 
agreed on. 
    (5.) I will briefly show how these articles, and agreements 
were on both parts, performed, and that precisely and punctually. 
For, (1.) The Son having thus consented, accordingly he applies 
himself to the discharge of his work. He took a body, in it 
fulfilled all righteousness, even to a little, Matth. 3: 15. And at 
last his out was made an offering for sin, so that he could say as 
it is, John 17: 4. "Father, I have glorified thee on earth, I have 
finished the work thou gavest me to do." 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, and so he did; Luke 22: 43, "And there 
appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him." That was 
one of the sorest brunts that ever Christ met with; this was 
seasonable aid and succour. 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, Luke 3: 22!. "Thou art my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:" 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," 
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 has, Phil. 2: 9, 10, 
11, and that highly and super-eminently, "giving him a name above 
every name in heaven and earth." Thus were the articles performed. 
    (6.) Lastly, When was this compact made betwixt the Father and 
the Son? I answer, it bears date from eternity. Before this world 
was made, 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 that way which 
has been here opened? Then was the council, or consultation of peace 
betwixt them both, as some take that scripture, Zech. 6: 13. 
    Next let us apply it to ourselves. 
    Use 1. The first use that offers itself to us from hence, is 
the abundant security that God has given the elect for their 
salvation, and that not only in respect of the covenant of grace 
made with then, but also of this covenant of redemption made with 
Christ for them; which indeed is the foundation of the covenant of 
grace. God's single promise is security enough to our faith, his 
covenant of grace adds, ex abundanti, farther security; but both 
these viewed as the effects and fruits of this covenant of 
redemption, make all fast and sure. In the covenant of grace, we 
question not the performance on God's part, but we are often 
stumbled at the grand defects on our parts. But when we look to the 
covenant of redemption there is nothing to stagger our faith, both 
the federates being infinitely able and faithful to perform their 
parts; so that there is no possibility of a failure there. Happy 
were it, if puzzled and perplexed Christians would turn their eyes 
from the defects that are in their obedience, to the fulness and 
completeness of Christ's obedience; and see themselves complete in 
him, when most lame and defective in themselves. 
    Use 2. Hence also to be informed, that God the Father, and God 
the Son, do mutually rely and trust to one another in the business 
of our redemption. The Father relies upon the Son for the 
performance of his part; as it is, Isa. 42: 1, " Behold my servant, 
whom I uphold." Montanus turns it, on whom I lean or depend. As if 
the Father had said, behold what a faithful servant I have chosen, 
in whom my soul is at rest: I know he will go through with his work, 
I can depend upon him. And, to speak plain, the Father so far 
trusted Christ, that upon the credit of his promise to come into the 
world, and in the fulness of time to become a sacrifice for the 
elect, he saved all the Old Testament saints, whose faith also 
respected a Christ to come; with reference whereto, it is said, Heb. 
11: 39, 40. "That they received not the promises, God having 
provided some better things for us, that they without us should not 
be made perfect," i. e. without Jesus Christ manifested in the 
flesh, in our times, though believed on, as to come in the flesh, in 
their times. And as the Father trusted Christ, so does Christ, in 
like manner, depend upon, and trust his Father. For, having 
performed his part, and left the world again, he now trusteth his 
Father for the accomplishment of that promise made him, Isa. 53: 10. 
"That he shall see his seed," &c. He depends upon his Father for all 
the elect that are left behind, yet unregenerated, as well as those 
already called, that they shall be all preserved unto the heavenly 
kingdom, according to that, John 17: 11. "And now I am no more in 
the world, but these are in the world; and I come unto thee: holy 
Father, keep, through thine own name, those whom thou hast given 
me." And can it be imagined, that the Father will fail in his trust, 
who every way acquitted himself so punctually to the Son? It cannot 
    Use 3. Moreover, hence we infer the validity and unquestionable 
success of Christ's intercession in heaven for believers. You read, 
Heb. 7: 25. "That he ever lives to make intercession; and, Heb. 12: 
24. "That his blood speaks for good things for them." Non, that his 
blood shall obtain what it pleads in heaven for, is undoubted, and 
that from the consideration of this covenant of redemption. For here 
you see that the things he now asks of his Father, are the very same 
which his Father promised 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 has acknowledged it is, then the 
reward is due, and due immediately; and no doubt but he shall 
receive it from the lands of a righteous God. 
    Use 4. Hence, in like manner, you may be informed of the 
consistency of grace with full satisfaction to the justice of God. 
The apostle, 2 Tim. 1: 9. tells us, "We are saved according to his 
own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the 
world began." i. e. According to the gracious terms of this covenant 
of redemption; and yet you see notwithstanding, how strictly God 
stands upon satisfaction from Christ; so then, grace to us, and 
satisfaction to justice, are not so inconsistent as the Socinian 
adversaries would make them; what was debt to Christ, is grace to 
us: when you hear men cry out, Here is grace indeed! pay me all, and 
I will forgive you; remember, how all mouths are stopped with that 
one text, Rom. 3: 24. "Being justified freely by his grace;" and yet 
he adds, "through the redemption that is in Christ." 
    Use 5. Again, Hence judge of the antiquity of the love of God 
to believers! what an ancient friend he has 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 excellencies of ours could engage 
the love of God; for as yet we were not. 
    Use 6. 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, or not to enjoy a soul of you. Here you may suppose the 
Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you: 
    Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that 
have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! 
Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the 
eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus 
Christ returns. 
    Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that 
rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for 
them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what 
they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no 
after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will 
rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon 
me, my Father, upon me be all their debt. 
    Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must 
reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, 
I will not spare thee. 
    Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am 
able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, 
though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so 
indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8: 9. "Though he was rich, yet for our sakes 
he became poor") yet I am content to undertake it. Blush, ungrateful 
believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, 
has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that 
you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is 
hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do 
    Use 7. Lastly, 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? 
    Obj. Yea, but you will say, who can know that, there were no 
witnesses to that agreement. 
    Sol. Yes, We may know, without ascending into heaven, or prying 
into unrevealed secrets, that our names were in that covenant, if, 
(1.) You are believers indeed; for all such the Father then gave to 
Christ, John 17: 8. "The men that thou gavest me (for of them he 
spake immediately before) they have believed that thou didst send 
me." (2.) If you savingly know God in Jesus Christ, such were given 
him by the Father, John 17: 6. "I have manifested thy name unto the 
men thou gavest me." By this they are discriminated from the rest, 
verse 25. "The world has not known thee, but these have known," &c. 
(3.) If you are men and women of another world; John 17: 16, "They 
are not of the world, as I am not of the world." May it be said of 
you, as of dying men, that you are not men and women 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, 
John 17: 6. "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have 
kept thy word." By keeping his word, understand the receiving of the 
word, in its sanctifying effects and influences into your hearts, 
and your perseverance in the profession and practice of it to the 
end, John 17: 17, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is 
truth". John 15: 7, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, 
ye shall ask what ye will." Blessed and happy is that soul upon 
which these blessed characters appear, which our Lord Jesus has laid 
so close together, within the compass of a few verses, in this 17th 
chapter of John. These are the persons the Father delivered unto 
Christ, and he accepted from the Father, in this blessed covenant. 

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