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hunger wask; and such was his compassion towards the sorrows of Mary and Martha', because he himself was acquainted with griefm; and such was his compassion towards Peter in that state of desertion wherein he lay", because he himself knew what it was to be forsaken'. And this is the apostle's assurance, that we shall obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need; “Because he had a feeling of our infirmities, and was tempted as we are P.”—Secondly, His consanguinity ;-—“He is not ashamed to call us brethren;" he is our goel or kinsman, and therefore our redeemer 9.

And will not repent.Many things God hath said, which he hath revoked, as the destruction of Nineveh, the death of Hezekiah, and the like; which implying a tacit condition, fit in the particular cases to be concealed, upon the varieties of that, God might be said either to persevere, or to repent." God is ever most unchangeable in all his ways, counsels, and purposes ; they stand for ever. Nothing can fall out to make God more wise, more merciful, more provident, more powerful than he was before; and, therefore, nothing can make him truly to change his will, or to repent of his former actions or resolutions. There is with him“ no variableness nor shadow of changing :—He is not a man that he should repent :-1 the Lord change nots." Only in mercy unto our weakness, God condescends unto the manner of human expressions, retaining still the steadfastness of his own working, which receiveth no variation nor difference from the contingencies of second causes. He speaketh according to our capacity, but he worketh according to his own counsel; so that God is then said to repent, when that which is once willed to be, he, after, by the counsel of the same will, causeth not to be; therein not changing his own counsel“, but only willing the change of the things, that the same thing, for this period of this time, shall be,-and then shall cease. As when a rope is fixed to either side of a river, by the same, without any manner of change or alteration in it, I draw the boat wherein I am, backward or forward : so the same will and counsel of God stands constant and unmoved in the several mutations of those things, which are wrought or removed by it.

k Matt. iy. 2. 1 John xi. 33, 35. m Isai. liii. 3. o Luke xxü 61. • Matt. xxvii. 46. P Heb. iv. 15, 16. q Heb. xi. Ruth. iii. 9. iv. 4. ? Jer. xviii. 7, 8. xxvi. 13, 19. s Jam. i. 17. 1 Sam. xv. 29. Mal. iii. 6. * Humanæ capacitati aptiora quam Divinæ sublimitati, &c. Vid. Aug. To. 4. ad Simplicia, lib. 2. qu. 2. vid. de Civ. Dei, lib. 14. cap. 11. lib. 15. cap. 25.-Tertul. cont. Marc. lib. 2. cap. 16. u Ubi legitur quod 'pænituit cum,' mutatio rerum significatur, immutabili manente præsentia divina. Aug. de Cir. Dei. lib. 17. cap. 7. et lib. 22, cap. 1, 2.--Just. Martyr. Quæst. et Resp. ad Orthodox. qu. 60.

Now then, when not only the counsel of God is immutable in itself, but also he hath ordained some law, covenant, or office, which he will have for ever to endure, without either natural expiration, or external abolishment, then is God said not to repent.' To apply this to the present business: The apostle, speaking of a new covenant which is established upon this new priesthood of Christ (for the priesthoods and the laws go both together; the one being changed, there is made, of necessity, a change of the other m), maketh the introducing of this new covenant, which is founded upon the oath of God, to make the preceding covenant old and transitory: "In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away "." And he saith peremptorily, that it was therefore disannulled, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereofo," and this he affirmeth even of the moral law;that law, the righteousness whereof was to be fulfilled in us by the Spirit of Christ, namely, in sincerity and in love, which is the bond of perfection, and the fulfilling of the law P. For the full understanding, then, and applying the words to the priesthood of Christ, and the law of grace, or the second covenant thereupon grounded, it will be needful to resolve these two questions:- First, whether God hath repented him of the law, which was the rule and measure of the covenant of works? Secondly, upon what reasons or grounds the immutability of the second covenant or law of grace standeth ?

For the first of these, the Psalmist telleth us, that “ The commandments of God are sure, and that they stand fast for ever, and ever 9. And we may note, that the same form of speech, which the Lord useth to show the stability of the new covenant,—“ The mountains shall depart, and the hills

o Heb. vii. 18.

p Rom.

m Heb. vii. 12. a Heb. viii. 13. viji. 3, 4. 9 Psal. cxi. 7, 8. VOL. 11.

2 A

be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee","—the same kind of form doth our Saviour use to express the stability of the law ;“ It is easier for Heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fails.” Now the law hath a twofold obligation; the one principal, which is to obedience, whereunto is annexed a promise of righteousness or justification: the other, secondary and conditional, which is unto malediction, upon supposal of disobedience. For “ cursed is every one, which continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Now if no tittle of the law must fail, then neither of these two must fail, but be both fulfilled ; and then it should seem, that the first covenant is not removed notwithstanding the weakness thereof.

For resolving hereof“, we must note, that, in point of validity or invalidity, there can but five things be said of the law: for, first, either it must be obeyed; and that it is not, “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Or, secondly, it must be executed upon men, and the curse or penalty thereof inflicted; and that it is not neither, “For there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ"." Or, thirdly, it must be abrogated, or extinguished ; and that it is not neither, for “ Heaven and earth must sooner pass away." If there were no law, there would be no sin; for sin is the transgression of the law: and if there were no law, there would be no judgement; for the world must be judged by the law. Or, fourthly, it must be moderated and favourably interpreted by rules of equity, to abate the rigour and severity thereof; and that cannot be neither, for it is inflexible, no jot nor tittle of it must be abated. Or, lastly, the law itself remaining, the obligation thereof notwithstanding, must, towards such or such persons, be so far forth dispensed withal, as that a surety shall be admitted (upon a concurrence of all their wills, who are therein interested ; God willing to allow, Christ willing to perform, and man willing to enjoy :) both to do all the duties, and to suffer all the curses of the law in the behalf of that person, who, in rigour, should himself have done and suffered all. So then neither the law, nor any jot or tittle thereof is abrogated, in regard of the obligations therein contained ; but they are all reconciled in Christ with the second covenant. Yet notwithstanding to the purpose of a covenant, or rule of righteousness between us and God, so he hath repented of it, and removed that office or relation from it, that righteousness should come to us thereby, by reason of the weakness and unprofitableness which is in it to that purpose by the sin of man; yet thus much the law hath to do with justification, that the fulfilling of the whole law is thereunto ever some way or other pre-supposed. Only in the first covenant, we were to do in our own persons; in the second, Christ is appointed and allowed to do it for us. He fulfilled all the obligations of the law; the duties thereof by active obedience in his life, and the curses thereof by passive obedience in his death. Now then we, by faith, becoming one with Christ, the grace of God doth number us up in the same mass and sum with him, and so imputeth and accounteth that ours which was done by him. There is no righteousness but doth originally refer and bear proportion to the law of God; and yet we are not justified by the law, but by grace; because it is the favour of God, contrary to the rigour and exaction of the law, which alloweth the righteousness of the law, by one fulfilled, to be unto another accounted. A man is denominated righteous, as a wall may be esteemed red or green. Now that comes to pass two manners of ways; either by the colour inherent and belonging unto the wall itself, or by the same colour in some diaphanous transparent body; as glass, which, by the beam of the sun shining on the wall, doth externally affect the same, if it were its own, and covers that true inherent colour which it hath of itself. In like manner, by the strict covenant of the law, we ought to be righteous from a righteousness inherent in, and performed by, ourselves : but in the new covenant of grace, we are righteous by the righteousness of Christ, which shineth upon us, and presenteth us in his colour unto the sight of his Father. Here, in both covenants, the righteousness from whence the denomination

" Isai. liv. 10.

Luke xvi. 17. t Gal. iii, 10. defens. fidei Cathol. de satisfactione Christi, cap. 3. y Rom. viii, 1.

u Vid. Grotii * Rom. iii. 23.

as

groweth, is the same ; namely the satisfying of the demands of the whole law; but the manner of our right and propriety thereunto is much varied. In the one, we have right unto it by law, because we have done it ourselves: in the other, we have right unto it only by grace and favour, because another man's doing of it is bestowed upon us, and accounted ours. And this is that gracious covenant, of which the Lord here saith, “ I have sworn and will not repent.

For resolving of the second question, upon what reasons the immutability of the covenant of grace standeth, we must note, That as things are of several sorts, so accordingly they may be mutable or immutable several ways. Some things are absolutely immutable, out of the nature of the thing itself; and that is, when the abrogation or alteration of the thing would unavoidably infer some prodigious consequences and notorious pravity with it, as certain dishonour to God, and confusion upon other things. As if we should conceive a man free from worshipping, reverencing, acknowledging, loving, or trusting in God; herein the creature would be unsubordinated to the Creator, which would infer desperate pravity and disorder, and God should be robbed of his essential honour, which he can no more part from than cease to be God. But now it is repugnant to the nature of an entire covenant, to be in this manner immutable. For, in a covenant, there is a mutual stipulation and consent between God and man; and after performance of man's duty, God maketh promise of bestowing a reward. Now there can be no binding necessity in God to confer, nor absolute power in man to challenge any good from God, who doth, freely and by no necessity, good unto his creatures.

Secondly, Some things are merely juris positivi,' not of any intrinsecal necessity, resulting out of the condition of their nature, such as are free either to be or not to be of themselves, or, when they are, free to continue or to cease; not in themselves determined unto any condition of being invariably belonging unto their nature. And such are all covenants : for God might have dealt with men, as with lapsed angels, never have entered anew into covenant with them : he might lave reserved unto bimself a power of revocation and calling in his patent, shutting up his office of mercy again. How

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