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to angel-man to man-the powers of hea ven conflicting the fea and waves roaring.
Though Christ did not take the nature of angels, yet he took their livery, and fo affociated himself to them, as to appear among them their Captain and Commander in Chief; putting arms into their hands-arranging them under election banners-appointing their armies-teaching them skill-infpiring them with courage-and affording them strength to refift, repel, and, finally, to vanquifh what otherwife had been an all-conquering enemy.
Entering now upon his covenant-fervice, a state in which all before him was labour and warfare, he cheerfully prepares himself for the long engagement-puts on the dress of a fervant-affociates with, and makes the fervants his companions, to whom his language was not, Come ferve me; but, Come ferve with me. Come into the yoke, fellow fervants, with me-Come ye elect of God, take upon you with me, in my engagement to my God and to your God, the willing fhare of friends! Fellow-foldiers, come on—it is a common caufe! I will make it with you a common cause!
But this establishment of an intermediate world, upon an elect foundation, is plainly the unfolding of the divine principle. It is the commencement of the work engaged by the everlasting covenant. The doctrine, therefore, of an election of angels and men, from the foundation of the world, even from the eternal inflitution of Chrift, is no more
to be denied than is the being of the living and true God. The denial of election cannot be feparated from the denial of that divine covenant-ground, which we have feen to be the principle of knowledge, the difcoverable Divine Being and true Godhead.
Moreover, as this elect establishment, even of the angels of God, was made upon the ground of the everlasting engagement of Chrift, which, as has been fhewn, was to lay down his life that he might take it again; all the virtue and ftrength of the establishment muft refult from his obedience, or covenant righteousness. The angels could not have refifted one moment, but by gospel arms. Hence it is faid, that Michael and his angels overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb.
This establishment was, in the exhibition, one act of Christ's laying down his life, i. e. it comported with, and, in fome degree, brought into the view of the angels, his free confent to the divine parental will, requiring him to lay down his life; and therefore it was, that this act afforded them a standing. It is true, it afforded them a ftanding only as of men on the field of battle; for the victory could not be obtained, and the field won, until the whole work, act by act, was finished. And so it appears from the fcriptures, that the ferpent was not caft out of heaven, until after the death of Jesus.
As Christ went forward, ftep by step, in his covenant work, the elect gained, to their own view at least, more and more strength; K k
but it is plain from the divine theory, that the bringing forward of a new establishment, could not vanquish the enemy;-this could only be done by the diffolution of the old.
So long, therefore, as the elect faints are not entirely changed, and taken off from the natural ground, which cannot be the cafe whilst they are refident in their earthly house of this tabernacle, the watchings and struggles of warfare are inevitable; whilst thus they remain in the natural body, the power of the ferpent will be felt; in the nature of things, fo long that creeping thing will reach
and bruise their heel.
Section 4. A View of the mediate State and Covenant Work.
In entering upon this part of the argument, it will be neceffary to take a more particular view of the nature of the great fubject to be illustrated, which is that part of the divine will which is unfolded in Christ's mediate state and redemption-work.
The object of the requirement of the divine will, or commandment of God, was his glory; which finifhed, is the manifestation of God, even the Father; and for God to be manifested, Christ must be declared, even the Son of God; for it has been fhewn, that the character of the Father is effentially involv ed in that of the Son; and, therefore, that
work only, which would declare the Son, would manifest the Father.
But, according to the divine theory, for Chrift to be declared the Son of God, he muft lay down his life; for to manifeft, in duty, the glory of fuch infinite authority, the stoop of obedience must extend to the lowest point of humiliation, and embrace every poffible circumstance of trial.
And this is the record of God in the holy fcriptures, concerning his Son Jefus Chrift, that he was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the refurrection from the dead. Rom. i. 4 By his laying down his life, his being the Son of God was fully fhewn, in respect of duty; and by his refurrection from the dead, his fonfhip was fully declared in refpect of pow er. We are affured, that the full manifeftation of the fonfhip of Chrift, is in his being the first begotten of the dead. Rev. i. 5. Or the first born from the dead. Col. i. 18. For in the view given of the full proof of his being the Son of God, in these words, this fact of his being the firft begotten, or first born from the dead, is introduced. And there are three that bear witnefs in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood; and these three agree in one. This is fpoken of the manifeitation of the divine principle, or record in heaven; the meaning of which is, that thro' the eternal Spirit, or according to the will or commandment of God, called in the pasfage juft quoted from Romans, the Spirit of hoitnefs, the Lord Jefus Chrift laid down his
life that he might take it again. And this record, borne by three witneffes, is a full teftimony.
The everlafting and infinitely free divine confent, to the everlafting and infinitely bles fed divine will, conflituted the eternal fonfhip and paternity both; and in this junction of paternal and filial love, exifts the eternal Spirit of Truth. The manifeftation, therefore, of this everlafting love, is the manifestation of God, even the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoft; and, confequently, must be the object of the covenant work of Christ, and the glory which he fought in coming into the world. But we are affured, 1 John iii. 16. that his laying down his life for us, is the action whereby we perceive the love ef God.
Jefus faid, John x. 17. Therefore doth my. Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. But the Father loved Chrift as his Son and only begotten. It is evident, therefore, that in the everlasting and infinitely free confent of the divine covenant fubject, to lay down his life, that he might take it again, is found the eternal and infinitely dear character which was the delight of the Father, and was embraced in his bofom before the world began; and which is fon-glorified, and made moft blefled for ever.
Our Lord added in the following verfe, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.-This is