(Owen, Justification. part 18)

"'eravon", "arrathoon", "a pledge," or "earnest," Eph.1:14.
Wherefore "enguos" is "sponsor, fidejussor, praes,"--one that
voluntarily takes on himself the cause or condition of another, to
answer, or undergo, or pay what he is liable unto, or to see it
done; whereon he becomes justly and legally obnoxious unto
performance. In this sense is the word here used by the apostle; for
it has no other.
     In our present inquiry into the nature of this suretiship of
Christ, the whole will be resolved into this one question,--namely,
whether the Lord Christ was made a surety only on the part of God
unto us, to assure us that the promise of the covenant on his part
should be accomplished; or also and principally an undertaker on our
part, for the performance of what is required; if not of us, yet
with respect unto us, that the promise may be accomplished? The
first of these is vehemently asserted by the Socinians, who are
followed by Grotius and Hammond in their annotations on this place.
     The words of Schlichtingius are: "Sponsor foederis appellatur
Jesus, quod nomine Dei nobis, spoponderit, id est fidem fecerit,
Deum foederis promissiones servaturum. Non vero quasi pro nobis
spoponderit Deo, nostrurumve debitorum solutionem in se receperit.
Nec enim nos misimus Christum sed Deus, cujus nomine Christus ad nos
venit, foedus nobiscum panxit, ejusque promissiones ratas fore
spopondit et in se recepti; ideoque nec sponsor simpliciter, sed
foederis sponsor nominatur; spopondit autem Christus pro foederis
divini veritate, non tantum quatenus id firmum ratumque fore verbis
perpetuo testatus est; sed etiam quatenus muneris sui fidem, maximis
rerum ipsarum comprobavit documentis, cum perfecta vitae innocentia
et sanctitte, cum divinis plane quae patravit, operibus; cum mortis
adeo truculentae, quam pro doctrinae suae veritate subiit,
perpessione". After which he subjoins a long discourse about the
evidences which we have of the veracity of Christ. And herein we
have a brief account of their whole opinion concerning the mediation
of Christ. The words of Grotius are, "Spopondit Christus; id est,
nos certos promissi fecit non solis verbis sed perpetua vitae
sanctitate morte ob id tolerate et miraculis plurimis";--which are
an abridgment of the discourse of Schlichtingius. To the same
purpose Dr Hammond expounds it, that he was a sponsor or surety for
God unto the confirmation of the promises of the covenant.
     On the other hand, the generality of expositors, ancient and
modern, of the Roman and Protestant churches, on the place, affirm
that the Lord Christ, as the surety of the covenant, was properly a
surety or undertaker unto God for us, and not a surety and
undertaker unto us for God. And because this is a matter of great
importance, wherein the faith and consolation of the church is
highly concerned, I shall insist a little upon it.
     And, first, We may consider the argument that is produced to prove
that Christ was only a surety for God unto us. Now, this is taken
neither from the name nor nature of the office or work of surety,
nor from the nature of the covenant whereof he was a surety, nor of
the office wherein he was so. But the sole argument insisted on is,
that we do not give Christ as a surety of the covenant unto God, but
he gives him unto us; and therefore he is a surety for God and the
accomplishment of his promises, and not for us, to pay our debts, or
to answer what is required of us.
     But there is no force in this argument; for it belongs not unto
the nature of a surety by whom he is or may be designed unto his
office and work therein. His own voluntary susception of the office
and work is all that is required, however he may be designed or
induced to undertake it. He who, of his own accord, does voluntarily
undertake for another, on what grounds, reasons, or considerations
soever he does so, is his surety. And this the Lord Christ did in
the behalf of the church: for when it was said, "Sacrifice, and
burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offerings for sin, God would not
have," or accept as sufficient to make the atonement that he
required, so as that the covenant might be established and made
effectual unto us; then said he, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,"
Heb.10:5,7. He willingly and voluntarily, out of his own abundant
goodness and love, took upon him to make atonement for us; wherein
he was our surety. And accordingly, this undertaking is ascribed
unto that love which he exercised herein, Gal.2:20; 1 John 3:16;
Rev.1:5. And there was this in it, moreover, that he took upon him
our nature or the seed of Abraham; wherein he was our surety. So
that although we neither did nor could appoint him so to be, yet he
took from us that wherein and whereby he was so; Which is as much as
if we had designed him unto his work, as to the true reason of his
being our surety. Wherefore, notwithstanding those antecedent
transactions that were between the Father and him in this matter, it
was the voluntary engagement of himself to be our surety, and his
taking our nature upon him for that end, which was the formal reason
of his being instated in that office.
     It is indeed weak, and contrary unto all common experience, that
none can be a surety for others unless those others design him and
appoint him so to be. The principal instances of suretiship in the
world have been by the voluntary undertaking of such as were no way
procured so to do by them for whom they undertook. And in such
undertakings, he unto whom it is made is no less considered than
they for whom it is made: as when Judas, on his own account, became
a surety for Benjamin, he had as much respect unto the satisfaction
of his father as the safety of his brother. And so the Lord Christ,
in his undertaking to be a surety for us, had respect unto the glory
of God before our safety.
     Secondly, We may consider the arguments whence it is evident that
he neither was nor could be a surety unto us for God, but was so for
us unto God. For,--
     1. "Enguos" or "enguetes", "a surety," is one that undertakes for
another wherein he is defective, really or in reputation. Whatever
that undertaking be, whether in words of promise or in depositing of
real security in the hands of an arbitrator, or by any other
personal engagement of life and body, it respects the defeat of the
person for whom any one becomes a surety. Such a one is "sponsor,"
or "fidejussor," in all good authors and common use of speech. And
if any one be of absolute credit himself, and of a reputation every
way unquestionable, there is no need of a surety, unless in case of
mortality. The words of a surety in the behalf of another whose
ability or reputation is dubious, are, "Ad me recipio, faciet, aut
faciam". And when "anguos" is taken adjectively, as sometimes, it
signifies "satisfationibus obnoxius",--liable to payments for others
that are non-solvent.
     2. God can, therefore, have no surety properly, because there can
be no imagination of any defect on his part. There may be, indeed a
question whether any word or promise be a word or promise of God. To
assure us hereof, it is not the work of a surety, but only any one
or any means that may give evidence that so it is,--that is, of a
witness. But upon a supposition that what is proposed is his word or
promise, there can be no imagination or fear of any defect on his
part, so as that there should be any need of a surety for the
performance of it. He does therefore make use of witnesses to
confirm his word,--that is, to testify that such promises he has
made, and so he will do: so the Lord Christ was his witness.
Isa.43:10, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom
I have chosen;" but they were not all his sureties. So he affirms
that "he came into the world to bear witness unto the truth," John
18:37,--that is, the truth of the promises of God; for he was the
minister of the circumcision for the truth of the promises of God
unto the fathers, Rom.15:8: but a surety for God, properly so
called, he was not, nor could be. The distance and difference is
wide enough between a witness and a surety; for a surety must be of
more ability, or more credit and reputation, than he or those for
whom he is a surety, or there is no need of his suretiship; or, at
least, he must add unto their credit, and make it better than
without him. This none can be for God, no, not the Lord Christ
himself, who, in his whole work, was the servant of the Father. And
the apostle does not use this word in a general, improper sense, for
any one that by any means gives assurance of any other thing, for so
he had ascribed nothing peculiar unto Christ; for in such a sense
all the prophets and apostles were sureties for God, and many of
them confirmed the truth of his word and promises with the laying
down of their lives; but such a surety he intends as undertakes to
do that for others which they cannot do for themselves, or at least
are not reputed to be able to do what is required of them.
     3. The apostle had before at large declared who and what was God's
surety in this matter of the covenant, and how impossible it was
that he should have any other. And this was himself alone,
interposing himself by his oath; for in this cause, "because he

could swear by no greater, he sware by himself," Heb.6:13,14.
Wherefore, if God would give any other surety besides himself, it
must be one greater than he. This being every way impossible, he
swears by himself only. Many ways he may and does use for the
declaring and testifying of his truth unto us, that we may know and
believe it to be his word; and so the Lord Christ in his ministry
was the principal witness of the truth of God. But other surety than
himself he can have none. And therefore,--
     4. When he would have us in this matter not only come unto the
full assurance of faith concerning his promises, but also to have
strong consolation therein, he resolves it wholly into the
immutability of his counsel, s declared by his promise and oath,
chap.6:18,19: so that neither is God capable of having any surety,
properly so called; neither do we stand in need of any on his part
for the confirmation of our faith in the highest degree.
     5. We, on all accounts, stand in need of a surety for us, or on
our behalf. Neither, without the interposition of such a surety,
could any covenant between God and us be firm and stable, or an
everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure. In the first
covenant made with Adam there was no surety, but God and men were
the immediate covenantors; and although we were then in a state and
condition able to perform and answer all the terms of the covenant,
yet was it broken and disannulled. If this came to pass by the
failure of the promise of God, it was necessary that on the making
of a new covenant he should have a surety to undertake for him, that
the covenant might be stable and everlasting; but this is false and
blasphemous to imagine. It was man alone who failed and broke that
covenant: wherefore it was necessary, that upon the making of the
new covenant, and that with a design and purpose that it should
never be disannulled, as the former was, we should have a surety and
undertaker for us; for if that first covenant was not firm and
stable, because there was no surety to undertake for us,
notwithstanding all that ability which we had to answer the terms of
it, how much less can any other be so, now [that] our natures are
become depraved and sinful! Wherefore we alone were capable of a
surety, properly so called, for us; we alone stood in need of him;
and without him the covenant could not be firm and inviolate on our
part. The surety, therefore of this covenant, is so with God for us.
     6. It is the priesthood of Christ that the apostle treats of in
this place, and that alone: wherefore he is a surety as he is a
priest, and in the discharge of that office; and therefore is so
with God on our behalf. This Schlichtingius observes, and is aware
what will ensue against his pretensions; which he endeavours to
obviate. "Mirum", says he, "porro alicui videri posset, cur divinus
author de Christi sacerdotio, in superioribus et in sequentibus
agens, derepente eum sponsorem foederis non vero sacerdotem vocet?
Cur non dixerit 'tanto praestantioris foederis factus est sacerdos
Jesus?' Hoc enim plane requirere videtur totus orationis contextus.
Credibile est in voce sponsionis sacerdotium quoque Christi
intelligi. Sponsoris enim non est alieno nomine quippiam promittere,
et fidem suam pro alio interponere; sed etiam, si ita res ferat,
alterius nomine id quod spopondit praestare. In rebus quidem
humanis, si id non praestet is pro quo sponsor fidejussit; hic vero
propter contrariam causam (nam prior hic locum habere non potest),
nempe quatenus ille pro quo spopondit Christus per ipsum Christum
promissa sua nobis exhibet; qua in re praecipue Christi sacerdotium
     Answer 1. It may indeed, seem strange, unto any one who imagines
Christ to be such a surety as he does, why the apostle should so
call him, and so introduce him in the description of his priestly
office, as that which belongs thereunto; but grant what is the
proper work and duty of a surety, and who the Lord Jesus was a
surety for, and it is evident that nothing more proper or pertinent
could be mentioned by him, when he was in the declaration of that
     Ans. 2. He confesses that by his exposition of this suretiship of
Christ, as making him a surety for God, he contradicts the nature
and only notion of a surety among men. For such a one, he
acknowledges, does nothing but in the defect and inability of them
for whom he is engaged and does undertake; he is to pay that which
they owe, and to do what is to be done by them, which they cannot
perform. And if this be not the notion of a surety in this place,
the apostle makes use of a word nowhere else used in the whole
Scripture, to teach us that which it does never signify among men:
which is improbable and absurd; for the sole reason why he did make
use of it was, that from the nature and notion of it amongst men in
other cases, we may understand the signification of it, what he
intends by it, and what under that name he ascribes unto the Lord
     Ans. 3. He has no way to solve the apostle's mention of Christ
being a surety, in the description of his priestly office, but by
overthrowing the nature of that office also; for to confirm this
absurd notion, that Christ as a priest was a surety for God, he
would have us believe that the priesthood of Christ consists in his
making effectual unto us the promises of God, or his effectual
communicating of the good things promised unto us; the falsehood of
which notion, really destructive of the priesthood of Christ, I have
elsewhere at large detected and confuted. Wherefore, seeing the Lord
Christ is a surety of the covenant as a priest, and all the
sacerdotal acting of Christ have God for their immediate object, and
are performed with him on our behalf, he was a surety for us also.
     A surety, " sponsor, vas, praes, fidejussor," for us, the Lord
Christ was, by his voluntary undertaking, out of his rich grace and
love, to do, answer, and perform all that is required on our part,
that we may enjoy the benefits of the covenant, the grace and glory
prepared, proposed, and promised in it, in the way and manner
determined on by divine wisdom. And this may be reduced unto two
heads:-- First, His answering for our transgressions against the
first covenant; Secondly, His purchase and procurement of the grace
of the new: "he was made a curse for us,....that the blessing of
Abraham might come on us," Gal.3:13-15.
     (1.) He undertook, as the surety of the covenant, to answer for
all the sins of those who are to be, and are, made partakers of the
benefits of it;--that is, to undergo the punishment due unto their
sins; to make atonement for them by offering himself a propitiatory
sacrifice for the expiation of their sins, redeeming them, by the
price of his blood, from their state of misery and bondage under the
law, and the curse of it, Isa.53:4-6,10; Matt.20:28; 1 Tim.2:6; 1
Cor.6:20; Rom.3:25,26; Heb.10:5-8; Rom.8:2,3; 2 Cor.5:19-21;
Gal.3:13: and this was absolutely necessary, that the grace and
glory prepared in the covenant might be communicated unto us.
Without this undertaking of his, and performance of it, the
righteousness and faithfulness of God would not permit that sinners,-
-such as had apostatized from him, despised his authority and
rebelled against him, falling thereby under the sentence and curse
of the law,--should again be received into his favour, and made
partakers of grace and glory; this, therefore, the Lord Christ took
upon himself, as the surety of the covenant.
     (2.) That those who were to be taken into this covenant should
receive grace enabling them to comply with the terms of it, fulfill
its conditions, and yield the obedience which God required therein;
for, by the ordination of God, he was to procure, and did merit and
procure for them, the Holy Spirit, and all needful supplies of
grace, to make them new creatures, and enable them to yield
obedience unto God from a new principle of spiritual life, and that
faithfully unto the end: so was he the surety of this better
testament. But all things belonging hereunto will be handled at
large in the place from whence, as I said, these are taken, as
suitable unto our present occasion.
     But some have other notions of these things; for they say that
"Christ, by his death, and his obedience therein, whereby he offered
himself a sacrifice of sweet smelling savour unto God, procured for
us the new covenant:" or, as one speaks, "All that we have by the
death of Christ is, that whereunto we owe the covenant of grace; for
herein he did and suffered what God required and freely appointed
him to do and suffer. Not that the justice of God required any such

thing, with respect unto their sins for whom he died, and in whose
stead, or to bestead whom, he suffered, but what, by a free
constitution of divine wisdom and sovereignty, was appointed unto
him. Hereon God was pleased to remit the terms of the old covenant,
and to enter into a new covenant with mankind, upon terms suited
unto our reason, possible unto our abilities, and every way
advantageous unto us; for these terms are, faith and sincere
obedience, or such an assent unto the truth of divine revelation
effectual in obedience unto the will of God contained in them, upon
the encouragement given whereunto in the promises of eternal life,
or a future reward, made therein. On the performance of these
conditions our justification, adoption, and future glory, do depend;
for they are that righteousness before God whereon he pardons our
sins, and accepts our persons as if we were perfectly righteous".
Wherefore, by this procuring the new covenant for us, which they
ascribe unto the death of Christ, they intend the abrogation of the
old covenant, or of the law,--or at least such a derogation from it,
that it shall no more oblige us either unto sinless obedience or
punishment, nor require a perfect righteousness unto our
justification before God,--and the constitution of a new law of
obedience, accommodated unto our present state and condition; on
whose observance all the promises of the gospel do depend.
Others say, that in the death of Christ there was real satisfaction
made unto God; not to the law, or unto God according to what the law
required, but unto God absolutely; that is, he did what God was well
pleased and satisfied withal, without any respect unto his justice
or the curse of the law. And they add, that hereon the whole
righteousness of Christ is imputed unto us, so far as that we are
made partakers of the benefits thereof; and, moreover, that the way
of the communication of them unto us is by the new covenant, which
by his death the Lord Christ procured: for the conditions of this
covenant are established in the covenant itself, whereon God will
bestow all the benefits and effects of it upon us; which are faith
and obedience. Wherefore, what the Lord Christ has done for us is
thus far accepted as our real righteousness, as that God, upon our
faith and obedience with respect thereunto, does release and pardon
all our sins of omission and commission. Upon this pardon there is
no need of any positive perfect righteousness unto our justification
or salvation; but our own personal righteousness is accepted with
God in the room of it, by virtue of the new covenant which Christ
has procured. So is the doctrine hereof stated by Curcellaeus, and
those that join with him or follow him.
     Sundry things there are in these opinions that deserve an
examination; and they will most, if not all of them, occur unto us
in our progress. That which alone we have occasion to inquire into,
with respect unto what we have discoursed concerning the Lord Christ
as surety of the covenant, and which is the foundation of all that
is asserted in them, is, that Christ by his death procured the new
covenant for us; which, as one says, is all that we have thereby:
which, if it should prove otherwise, we are not beholding unto it
for any thing at all. But these things must be examined. And,--
     (1.) The terms of procuring the new covenant are ambiguous. It is
not as yet, that I know of, be any declared how the Lord Christ did
procure it,--whether he did so by his satisfaction and obedience, as
the meritorious cause of it, or by what other kind of causality.
Unless this be stated, we are altogether uncertain what relation of
the new covenant unto the death of Christ is intended; and to say
that thereunto we owe the new covenant does not mend the matter, but
rather render the terms more ambiguous. Neither is it declared
whether the constitution of the covenant, or the communication of
the benefits of it, is intended. It is yet no less general, that Cod
was so well pleased with what Christ did, as that hereon he made and
entered into a new covenant with mankind. This they may grant who
yet deny the whole satisfaction and merit of Christ. If they mean
that the Lord Christ, by his obedience and suffering, did
meritoriously procure the making and establishing of the new
covenant, which was all that he so procured, and the entire effect
of his death, what they say may be understood; but the whole nature
of the mediation of Christ is overthrown thereby.
     (2.) This opinion is liable unto a great prejudice, in that,
whereas it is in such a fundamental article of our religion, and
about that wherein the eternal welfare of the church is so nearly
conceded, there is no mention made of it in the Scripture; for is it
not strange, if this be, as some speak, the sole effect of the death
of Christ, whereas sundry other things are frequently in the
Scripture ascribed unto it as the effects and fruits thereof, that
this which is only so should be nowhere mentioned,--neither in
express words, nor such as will allow of this sense by any just or
lawful consequence? Our redemption, pardon of sins, the renovation
of our natures, our sanctification, justification, peace with God,
eternal life, are all jointly and severally assigned thereunto, in
places almost without number; but it is nowhere said in the
Scripture that Christ by his death merited, procured, obtained, the
new covenant, or that God should enter into a new covenant with
mankind; yea, as we shall see, that which is contrary unto it, and
inconsistent with it, is frequently asserted.
     (3.) To clear the truth herein, we must consider the several
notions and causes of the new covenant, with the true and real
respect of the death of Christ thereunto. And it is variously

represented unto us:--
     [1.] In the designation and preparation of its terms and benefits
in the counsel of God. And this, although it have the nature of an
eternal decree, yet is it not the same with the decree of election,
as some suppose: for that properly respects the subjects or persons
for whom grace and glory are prepared; this, the preparation of that
grace and glory as to the way and manner of their communication.
Some learned men do judge that this counsel and purpose of the will
of God to give grace and glory in and by Jesus Christ unto the
elect, in the way and by the means by him prepared, is formally the
covenant of grace, or at least that the substance of the covenant is
comprised therein; but it is certain that more is required to
complete the whole nature of a covenant. Nor is this purpose or
counsel of God called the covenant in the Scripture, but is only
proposed as the spring and fountain of it, Eph.1:3-12. Unto the full
exemplification of the covenant of grace there is required the
declaration of this counsel of God's will, accompanied with the
means and powers of its accomplishment, and the prescription of the
way whereby we are so to be interested in it, and made partakers of
the benefits of it: but in the inquiry after the procuring cause of
the new covenant, it is the first thing that ought to come under
consideration; for nothing can be the procuring cause of the
covenant which is not so of this spring and fountain of it, of this
idea of it in the mind of God, of the preparation of its terms and
benefits. But this is nowhere in the Scripture affirmed to be the
effect of the death or mediation of Christ; and to ascribe it
thereunto is to overthrow the whole freedom of eternal grace and
love. Neither can any thing that is absolutely eternal, as is this
decree and counsel of God, be the effect of, or procured by, any
thing that is external and temporal.
     [2.] It may be considered with respect unto the federal
transactions between the Father and the Son, concerning the
accomplishment of this counsel of his will. What these were, wherein
they did consist, I have declared at large, Exercitat., vol. 2.
Neither do I call this the covenant of grace absolutely; nor is it
so called in the Scripture. But yet some will not distinguish
between the covenant of the mediator and the covenant of grace,
because the promises of the covenant absolutely are said to be made
to Christ, Gal.3:16; and he is the "prooton dektikon", or first
subject of all the grace of it. But in the covenant of the mediator,
Christ stands alone for himself, and undertakes for himself alone,
and not as the representative of the church; but this he is in the
covenant of grace. But this is that wherein it had its designed
establishment, as unto all the ways, means, and ends of its
accomplishment; and all things are so disposed as that it might be

effectual, unto the eternal glory of the wisdom, grace,
righteousness, and power of God. Wherefore the covenant of grace
could not be procured by any means or cause but that which was the
cause of this covenant of the mediator, or of God the Father with
the Son, as undertaking the work of mediation. And as this is
nowhere ascribed unto the death of Christ in the Scripture, so to
assert it is contrary unto all spiritual reason and understanding.
Who can conceive that Christ by his death should procure the
agreement between God and him that he should die?
     [3.] With respect unto the declaration of it by especial
revelation. This we may call God's making or establishing of it, if
we please; though making of the covenant in Scripture is applied
principally, if not only, unto its execution or actual application
unto persons, 2 Sam.23:5; Jer.32:40. This declaration of the grace
of God, and the provision in the covenant of the mediator for the
making of it effectual unto his glory, is most usually called the
covenant of grace. And this is twofold:--
     1st. In the way of a singular and absolute promise: so was it
first declared unto and established with Adam, and afterwards with
Abraham. The promise is the declaration of the purpose of God before
declared, or the free determination and counsel of his will, as to
his dealing with sinners on the supposition of the fall, and their
forfeiture of their first covenant state. Hereof the grace and will
of God were the only cause, Heb.8:8. And the death of Christ could
not be the means of its procurement; for he himself, and all that he
was to do for us, was the substance of that promise. And this
promise,--as it is declarative of the purpose or counsel of the will
of God for the communication of grace and glory unto sinners, in and
by the mediation of Christ, according to the ways and on the terms
prepared and disposed in his sovereign wisdom and pleasure,--is
formally the new covenant; though something yet is to be added to
complete its application unto us. Now, the substance of the first
promise, wherein the whole covenant of grace was virtually
comprised, directly respected and expressed the giving of him for
the recovery of mankind from sin and misery by his death, Gen.3:15.
Wherefore, if he and all the benefits of his mediation, his death,
and all the effects of it, be contained in the promise of the
covenant,-- that is, in the covenant itself,--then was not his death
the procuring cause of that covenant, nor do we owe it thereunto.
     2dly. In the additional prescription of the way and means whereby
it is the will of God that we shall enter into a covenant state with
him, or be interested in the benefits of it. This being virtually
comprised in the absolute promise (for every promise of God does
tacitly require faith and obedience in us), is expressed in other
places by way of the condition required on our part. This is not the
covenant, but the constitution of the terms on our part, whereon we
are made partakers of it. Nor is the constitution of these terms an
effect of the death of Christ, or procured thereby; it is a mere
effect of the sovereign grace and wisdom of God. The things
themselves, as bestowed on us, communicated unto us, wrought in us
by grace, are all of them effects of the death of Christ; but the
constitution of then to be the terms and conditions of the covenant,
is an act of mere sovereign wisdom and grace. "God so loved the
world, as to send his only begotten Son to die," not that faith and
repentance might be the means of salvation, but that all his elect
might believe, and that all that believe "might not perish, but have
everlasting life." But yet it is granted that the constitution of
these terms of the covenant does respect the federal transaction
between the Father and the Son, wherein they were ordered to the
praise of the glory of God's grace; and so, although their
constitution was not the procurement of his death, yet without
respect unto it, it had not been. Wherefore, the sole cause of God's
making the new covenant was the same with that of giving Christ
himself to be our mediator,--namely, the purpose, counsel, goodness,
grace, and love of God, as it is everywhere expressed in the
     [4.] The covenant may be considered as unto the actual application
of the grace, benefits, and privileges of it unto any personal
whereby they are made real partakers of them, or are taken into
covenant with God; and this alone, in the Scripture, is intended by
God's making a covenant with any. It is not a general revelation, or
declaration of the terms and nature of the covenant (which some call
a universal conditional covenant, on what grounds they know best,
seeing the very formal nature of making a covenant with any includes
the actual acceptation of it, and participation of the benefits of
it by them), but a communication of the grace of it, accompanied
with a prescription of obedience, that is God's making his covenant
with any; as all instances of it in the Scripture do declare.
     It may be, therefore, inquired, What respect the covenant of grace
has unto the death of Christ, or what influence it has thereunto?
     I answer, Supposing what is spoken of his being a surety thereof,
it has a threefold respect thereunto:--
     1st. In that the covenant, as the grace and glory of it were
prepared in the counsel of God, as the terms of it were fixed in the
covenant of the mediator, and as it was declared in the promise, was
confirmed, ratified, and made irrevocable thereby. This our apostle
insists upon at large, Heb.9:15-20; and he compares his blood, in
his death and sacrifice of himself, unto the sacrifices and their
blood whereby the old covenant was confirmed, purified, dedicated,
or established, verses 18,19. Now, these sacrifices did not procure
that covenant, or prevail with God to enter into it, but only
ratified and confirmed it; and this was done in the new covenant by
the blood of Christ.
     2dly. He thereby underwent and performed all that which, in the
righteousness and wisdom of God, was required; that the effects,
fruits, benefits, and grace, intended, designed, and prepared in the
new covenant, might be effectually accomplished and communicated
unto sinners. Hence, although he procured not the covenant for us by
his death, yet he was, in his person, mediation, life, and death,
the only cause and means whereby the whole grace of the covenant is
made effectual unto us. For,--
     3dly. All the benefits of it were procured by him;--that is, all
the grace, mercy, privileges, and glory, that God has prepared in
the counsel of his will, that were fixed as unto the way of this
communication in the covenant of the mediator, and proposed in the
promises of it, are purchased, merited, and procured by his death;
and effectually communicated or applied unto all the covenanters by
virtue thereof, with others of his mediatory acts. And this is much
more an eminent procuring of the new covenant than what is pretended
about the procurement of its terms and conditions; for if he should
have procured no more but this,--if we owe this only unto his
mediation, that God would thereon, or did, grant and establish this
rule, law, and promise, that whoever believed should be saved,--it
were possible that no one should be saved thereby; yea, if he did no
more, considering our state and condition, it was impossible that
any one should so be.
     To give the sum of these things, it is inquired with respect unto
which of these considerations of the new covenant it is affirmed
that it was procured by the death of Christ. If it be said that it
is with respect unto the actual communication of all the grace and
glory prepared in the covenant, and proposed unto us in the promises
of it, it is most true. All the grace and glory promised in the

(continued in part 19...)

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