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injurious to the wisdom of God, who appointed them. Qdly. Though the faith of Christ had no stain, yet it was but human, and depended on the influence, support, and corroboration of the Deity, and as he usually does this by the means he has appointed for that purpose, it was the duty of the man Christ, to obey this will of the Deity, and carefully apply the means adapted to that end, some of which are the Sacraments. Buy. None, I imagine, will deny, that Christ preserved, exerted, and strength. ened his own faith by devout prayers, pious meditation on the word of God, an attentive observation of the ways of God to. wards bimself and other believers, the contemplation of the divine perfections, and by a full exercise of instituted worship. For as these are things inseparable from the duty of a pious man, 80 they very much contribute to preserve and strengthen faith. Why should we not then believe, that they had the same effect on Christ as what, by their nature they are adapted to have ? And if, by these means, the faith of Christ was supported, why not also by the Sacraments ? Athly. Nay, as often as a more bitter temptation, or dreadful affliction assaulted him, he was confirmed in the faith of the promises by extraordinary means ; such as the appearance of God at Jordan, the descent of the Holy Spirit, Matt. iii
. 16, 17.; the ministry of angels, Matt. iv. 11.; the glorious transfiguration on the holy mountain, Matt. xvii. 1, &c. À voice from heaven, John xii. 28. And an angel strengthening him in his agony, Luke xx. 48. So from this, I conclude, that since it was fit, Christ should at times be confirmed in faith by extraordinary means, it was no ways unfit to allow the ordinary means of the Sacraments to be applied for the same purpose.
XXI. Nor was it less proper, that Christ should so solemnly reiterate his engagements in the use of the Sacraments, though the Father was fully persuaded of his veracity and fidelity. For, 1. That free and often repeated profession of Christ's alacrity to perform every thing he engaged for, contributed to the glory of the Father. R. The zeal of Christ himself, though never vicious. ly languid, was yet roused and kindled to a fame by that repetition of his obligation. 3. It was highly useful to believers, who either were eye witnesses of his actions, or otherwise acquainted with them attentively, to consider that open declaration of Christ. For thus they were both strengthened in the faith of Christ, and excited to a like alacrity of zeal. Whence we conclude, that the use of the Sacraments was neither a vain, nor an empty thing to Christ.
XXII. Having premised these things in general, concerning
the Sacraments which Christ used, let us briefly take a view of each. And the first is his cirCUMCISION, intimated, Luke ii. 21. Which signified and sealed to Christ, 1st. That he was acknowledged by the Father as the promised seed of Abraham, in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed. 2dly. That bis death and cutting off out of the land of the living, Isa. hij. 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 mean for the preservation of the whole person. For they who neglected this were threatened to be cut off from among their people, Gen. xvü. 14. 3dly. That his people were to derive from him the circumcision made without hands, consisting of putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, to be begun in regeneration, carried on in sanctification, and consummated in the glorification both of body and soul, Col. ii. 11.
XXIII. On the other hand, Christ promised in circumcision, 1st. That he would in general perform all righteousness, see Gal. v. 8. 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 his blood on the eighth 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. 18.
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 offices were most acceptable to him. Adly. 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 xl. 3. as the baptized person ascends out of the water. 4thly. On the other hand Jesus declared his readiness to plunge into the torrents of hell, yet with an assyred faith and
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 de stroying '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 bis 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, § 54. that the cir. cumcision 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 neighbour'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. 2. c. v. from Maimonides in his book de Paschate, c. vii. sect. 18. “ 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 upderneath 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
61 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 not only pious, but also well skilled in the Jewish customs, having been born at Sichem, and the son of a Samaritan? Since then
a the passover presented such a clear resemblance of the crucifixo ion, Christ, when he partook of it, promised an obedience even unto the cross. XXVII. The signification of the Holy Supper is much the same:
by it was sealed to Christ, 1st. That he should be to the elect the sweetest food, meat and drink, for their spiritual and eternal life. - 2dly. That the virtue of his merits should be celebrated by believers till his return again to judgment. Süly. That, to gether 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 scaling of the covenant entered into between him and the Father.
Of the Covenant of God with the Elect.
HE 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 particu. larly 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 ca venant has its peculiar THREATENINGS.
II. The CONTRACTING PARTIBS are on the one part, God; on the other, the ELECT. And God is to be considered, Ist. As truly all-sufficient, for all manner of happiness, not only to himself, nay, nor only to the innocery creature, but also to guilty and sinful man. He himself impressed this upon Abraham at the renewal of the covenant, when God emphatically called himself the Almighty God, or God all-sufficient, Gen. xvii. 1. denotes powerful, and sometimes too in the abstract, power, as Prov. üi. 27. 108 5x, poroer of thine hand.