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fore his incarnation, and therefore he could not have come into the world as a Surety for us, and so would not have been fit, in this respect, to have discharged the principal part of the work, which he engaged in as Mediator.
2. There is another thing, mentioned in this answer, which rendered it requisite that the Mediator should be God, namely, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death. It must be allowed, that the weight of the wrath of God, due to our sin, was so great, that no mere creature could, by his own strength, have subsisted under it. We will not deny, that a mere creature, supposing him only innocent, but not united to a divine Person, might have been borne up, under the greatest burthen laid on him, by the extraordinary assistance of God, with whom all things are possible ; nor that God's giving a promise that he should not fail, or be discouraged, is such a security, as would effectually keep it from sinking; yet when we consider the human nature, as united to the divine, this is an additional security, that he should not sink under the infinite weight of the wrath of God, that lay upon him; for then it would have been said, that he, who is a divine Person, miscarried in an important work, which he undertook to perform in his human nature, which would have been a dishonour to him: so far this argument hath its proper force. But,
3. There is another reason, which more fully proves the necessity of the Mediator's being a Divine Person, viz. that this might give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession, that so what he did might have a tendency to answer the valuable ends designed thereby, namely, the satisfying the justice of God, procuring his favour, and purchasing a peculiar people to himself. Had he been only man, what he did and suffered, might indeed have been sinless, and perfect in its kind; nevertheless, it could not be of infinite value, for a finite creature, as such, cannot pay an infinite price, and thereby answer the demands of justice. Had nothing been demanded of him but a debt of obedience, which he was obliged to perform for himself, as a creature, it would not, indeed, have been necessary that it should be of infinite worth and value, any more than that obedience, that was due from our first parents, while in a state of innocency : But when this is considered as a price of redemption paid for us, and as designed to procure a right to the favour of God, and eternal life, this must be of such a value, that the glory of the justice of God might be secured, which nothing less than an infinite price could do; and the law of God must not only be fulfilled, but magnified, and made honourable ; and therefore the obedience, which was required, must not only be sinless, but have in it an infinite
worth and value, that hereby, when in a way of intercession, it is pleaded before God, it might be effectual to answer the ends designed thereby; but this it could not have been, had he not been an infinite Person, namely, God as well as Man.
4. Another reason assigned for this, is, that he might give his Spirit to his people. It is necessary that redemption should be applied, as well as purchased; and that the same Person, as a peculiar branch of glory due to him, should perform the one as well as the other; and, in the application of redemption, it was necessary that the Spirit should be glorified, that hereby he might appear to be a divine Person ; and, as he acts herein in subserviency to the Mediati 'glory, as has been before observed *, he is said to be sent by him, which he could not have been, had not Christ had a divine nature, in which respect he was equal with him ; nor could he be said to give that which the Spirit works, as he promised to do, when he told his disciples, If I depart, I will send him unto you, John xvi. 7.
5. It was necessary that Christ should be God, that he might conquer all our enemies, and so remove every thing out of the way that tends to oppose his name, interest, and glory ; these are sin, Satan, the world, and death. Sin, which is opposite to the holiness of God, is that which spirits, excites, and gives being to all opposition there is against him, either in earth or hell, and endeavours to eclipse his glory, controul his sovereignty, and reflect dishonour on all his perfections. This must be subdued by Christ, so that it may no longer have dominion over his people, Rom. vi. 14. and, in order hereunto, its condemning power must be taken away, by his making satisfaction for it, as our great High Priest; and also its enslaving power subdued by the efficacy of his grace, in the internal work of sanctification.
And, upon his having obtained this victory over sin, Satan is also conquered when his prisoners are brought from under his power; and he finds himself for ever disappointed, and not able to detain those, who were, at first, led captive by him, nor to defeat the purpose of God relating to the salvation of his elect, or to boast as though he had wrested the sceptre out of his hand, or robbed him of one branch of his glory.
Moreover, the world, which is reckoned among the number of God's enemies, must be conquered inasmuch as it opposes his name and interest in an objective way, from whence corrupt nature takes occasion either to abuse the various gifts and dispensations of providence, or by contracting an intimacy with those who are enemies to God and religion, to become more like them, as the apostle says, The friendship of the world is
• See Vol. 1. Page 291, 292. VOL. II.
enmity with God, James iv. 4. Now Christ must be God, that he may discover its snares, and enable his people to improve the good things of providence to his glory, and over-rule the evil things thereof for their good.
And as for death, which is reckoned among Christ's and his people's enemies, which the apostle calls, The last enemy that is to be destroyed, 1 Cor. xv. 26. this is suffered to detain the bodies of believers, as its prisoners, till Christ's second coming; but it must be destroyed, that so they may be inade partakers of complete redemption; and this is also a part of the Mediator's work, as he raises up his people at the last day. And all these victories over sin, Satan, the world, and death, as they require infinite power, so it is necessary that he, who obtains them, should be a divine Person.
6. It is necessary that the Mediator should be God, that he might bring his people to everlasting salvation, that is, first fit them for, lead them in the way to Heaven, and then receive them to it at last; for this reason, he is styled, The author and Finisher of our Faith, Heb. xii. 2. and it is said, that as he began the good work, so he performs it, Phil. i. 6. or carries it on to perfection. Grace is Christ's gift and work; as he purchased it by his blood, while on earth; it is necessary that he should apply it by his power; even as Zerubbabel, who was a type of him, after he had laid the foundation-stone of the temple, at last, brought forth the head-stone thereof, with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it, Zech. iv. 7. so Christ works all our works for us, and in us, till he brings them to perfection, and presents his people unto himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish, Eph. v. 27. and this is certainly a divine work, and consequently he, who performs it, must be a divine Person. And to this we may add,
7. It was necessary that our Mediator should be God, inas. much as the everlasting happiness of his people consists in the enjoyment of him. He is not only the Author of their complete blessedness, but, as we may express it, the matter of it; they are made happy, not only by him, but in him ; accordingly heaven is described as a state, in which they behold his glory, John xvii. 24. and see him as he is, 1 John iii. 2. therefore, since he is the Fountain of blessedness, it is requisite that he should be God, as well as Man.
II. It was requisite that the Mediator should be Man. When we speak of the necessity of Christ's incarnation, we are not to understand hereby, that this was absolutely necessary, without supposing the divine will, or purpose, to redeem man; for since our redemption was not in itself vecessary, but was only so, as the result of God's purpose relating thereunto; so
Christ's incarnation was necessary, as a means to accomplish it. This is what divines generally call a conditional necessity *; so that since Christ was ordained to be a Mediator between God and man, it was requisite that he should become Man: The reason assigned for it is, that he might perform obedience to the law. That obedience to the law was required, in order to his making satisfaction for sin, we shall have occasion to con. sider, when we speak of his Priestly office; therefore all that need be observed under this head, is, that this obedience could not be performed by him in the divine nature, in which respect he cannot be under any obligation to perform that which belongs only to those who are creatures, and as such subjects ; therefore, if he be made under the law, he must have a nature fitted and disposed to yield obedience.
Some have enquired, whether it was possible for Christ to have answered this end, by taking any other nature into union with his divine Person; or, whether this might have been brought about by his taking on him the nature of angels? I shail not enter so far into this
subject, as to determine whether God might, had he pleased, have accepted of obedience in any other nature, fitted for that purpose; but we have ground, from scripture, to conclude, that this was the only way that God had ordained for the redemption of man; and therefore, though Christ might have performed obedience in some other finite nature, or might have taken the nature of angels, this would not, in all respects, have answered those many great ends, which were designed by his incarnation. And therefore, since this was the way in which God ordained that man should be redeemed, it was necessary that he should take the human nature into union with his divine; and inasmuch as he was to yield obedience to the same law, that we had violated, it was necessary that he should be made of a woman, as the apostle expresses it, Gal. iv. 4. God had ordained, as an expedient most conducive for his own glory, that he, who was to be our Redeemer, should run the same race with us; and also, that he should suffer what was due to us, as the consequence of our rebellion against him, that so, as the
Captain of our salvation, he should be made perfect through sufferings, Heb. ii. 10. And inasmuch as sufferings were due to us in our bodies, it was necessary, God having so ordained it, that he should suffer in his body, as well as in his soul; and as death entered into the world by sin, so God ordained it, that we should be redeemed from the power of the grave, by one, who died for us ; in which respects, it was necessary that he should be man.
There are also other ends mentioned in this answer, which render this necessary, namely, that he might advance our na.
* It is otherwise styled, Necessitas consequentix.
ture. It was a very great honour which that particular nature, which he assumed, was advanced unto, in its being taken into union with his divine Person. Though it had no intrinsic dige nity, or glory, above what other intelligent, finite, sinless beings are capable of; yet it had a greater relative glory than any other creature had, or can have, which may be illustrated by a similitude taken from the body of man, how mean soever it is in itself, yet, when considered in its relation to the soul, that adds a degree of excellency to it, in a relative sense, greater than what belongs to any creature, destitute of understanding; so the human nature of Christ, though it had not in itself a glory greater than what another finite creature might have been advanced to; yet, when considered as united to the divine nature, its glory, în a relative sense may be said to be infinite.
It follows from hence, that since Christ's being truly and properly man, was a particular instance, in him, of the advancement of our nature, to a greater degree of honour, than what has been conferred on any other creature, this lays the highest obligation on us to admire and adore him; and should be an inducement to us, not to debase that nature which God has, in this respect, delighted to honour, by the commission of those sins, which are the greatest reproach unto it.
Another consequence of Christ's incarnation, whereby it farther appears that it was requisite that he should be man, is that, in our nature, he might make intercession for us. For the understanding of which, let it be considered, that the divine nature cannot properly speaking, be said to make intercession, since this includes in it an act of worship, and argues the Person, who intercedes, to be dependent, and indigent, which is inconsistent with the self-sufficiency and independency of the Godhead; therefore, had he been only God, he could not have made intercession for us, and consequently this is the necessary result of his incarnation.
Object. 1. It may be objected hereunto, that the Spirit is said to make intercession for the Saints, according to the will of God, Rom. viii. 27. whereas he has no human nature to make intercession in ; therefore Christ might have made intercession for us, though he had not been incarnate.
Answ. When the Spirit is said to make intercession for us, this is not to be understood of his appearing in the presence of God, and so offering prayers, or supplications to him in our behalf; but it only intends hřs enabling us to pray for ourselves, which is an effect of his power, working this grace in us; therefore the apostle, speaking concerning the same thing, says, elsewhere, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father, Gal. iv. 6. that is, enabling us to cry, Abba, Father: Such an intercession as this, is not