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granted, as the head and spring of his whole ensuing discourse.
And this shall now be a little further cleared and confirmed; to
which end we may observe, —

1. That the whole mystery of his will, antecedently to the reve-
lation of it, is said to be hid in God; that is, the Father, Eph. iii. 9.
'It lay wrapped up from the eyes of men and angels, in his eternal
wisdom and counsel, Col. i. 26, 27. The Son, indeed, who is, and
from eternity was, "in the bosom of the Father," John i. 18, "as
one brought up with him," his eternal delight and Wisdom, Prov.
viii. 29, 30, was partaker with him in this counsel, verse 31 ; as also
his eternal Spirit, who searches and knows all " the deep things of
God," 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. But yet the rise and spring of this mystery


was in the Father; for the order of acting in the blessed Trinity
follows the order of subsistence. As the Father, therefore, is the
fountain of the Trinity as to subsistence, so also as to operation. He
"hath life in himself;" and "he giveth to the Son to have life in him-
self," John V. 26. And he doth it by communicating unto him his
subsistence by eternal generation. And thence saith the Son, " As
my Father worketh, so I work," verse 17. And what he seeth the
Father do, that doeth the Son likewise, verse 19; not by imitation,
or repetition of the like works, but in the same works in order of
nature the will and Wisdom of the Father doth proceed. So also
is it in respect of the Holy Ghost, whose order of subsistence denotes
that of his operation.

2. That the revelation of the mystery of the will of God, so hidden
in the counsel of his will from eternity, was always made and given
out in the pursuit and for the accomplishment of the jmrpose of the
Father, or that eternal purpose of the will of God which is by the
way of erainency ascribed imto the Father: Eph. i. 8, 9, " He hath
abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence ; having made
known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good plea-
sure which he hath purposed in himself. ' It is the Father of whom
he speaks: Verse 8, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ." Now, he abounds to us-ward in wisdom and |)ru-
dence, or abundantl}^ manifests his infinite wisdom in his dealing
with us, by the revelation of the mystery of his will. And this he
doth in pursuit of " his good pleasure which he purposed in himself,"
or that purpose of his will which had its foimdation solely in his
good pleasure. This is the purpose of election, as is declared, verses
3-5; and this purpose is peculiarly assigned unto him, John xvii. 6;
2 Thess. ii. 13. For the accomplishment of this purpose, or the
bringing of those predestinated thereby to the end purposed for
them by the means ordained, for the praise of God's glorious grace,
is the whole revelation of the will of God, first and last, made. He
spake in his Son, and he spake in him that he might manifest his
name (himself and will) to the men whom he gave him; for saith
the Son, "Thine they were" ('set apart for thee in thine eternal
purpose'), " and thou gavest them me," John xvii. 6. And there-
fore Paul tells us, that in preaching of the gospel he " endured all
things for the elect's sakes," 2 Tinj. ii. 10; knowing that it was for
their salvation that the mystery of it was revealed from the bosom
of the Father, as God also had before taught him. Acts xviii. 10.
See Rom. xi. 7, viii. 28, etc.

8. This purpose of God being communicated with and unto the
Lord Christ, or the Son, and so becoming " the counsel of peace be-
tween tnem both," Zech. vi. 18, he rejoicing to do the ^york that was
incumbent on him for the accomplishment of it, Prov. viii. 80, 81,


Ps. xl. 7, 8j it became peculiarly the care and work of the Father
to see that the inheritance promised him upon his undertaking,
Isa. liii. 10-12, should be given unto him. Tliis is done by the
revelation of the will of God unto men concerning their obedience
and salvation ; whereby they are made the lot, the seed, the portion
and inheritance of Christ. To this end doth the Lord, that is the
Father, who said unto the Lord the Son, " Sit thou at my right
hand," Ps. ex. 1, " send the rod of his strength out of Zion," verse 2;
and that by it to declare his rule even over his enemies, and to make
his people, those given unto him, willing and obedient, verse 3.
The inheritance given by the Father unto Christ being wholly in
the possession of another, it became him to take it out of the usur-
per's hand, and deliver it up to him whose right it was; and this
he did and doth by the revelation of his mind in the preaching of
the word, Eph. i. 12, 13. And from these considerations it is that, —
4. The whole revelation and dispensation of the will of God in
and by the word is, as was said, eminently appropriated unto the
Father. Eternal life (the covmsel, the purpose, ways, means, and
procurer of it) was with the Father, and was manifested to us by
the word of truth, 1 John i. 1, 2. And it is the Father, — that is,
his will, mind, purpose, grace, love, — that the Son declares, John
i. 18; in which work he speaks nothing but what he heard from
and was taught by. the Father, John viii. 28. And hence he says,
" My doctrme is not mine" (that is, principally and originally),
"but his that sent me," John vii. 16. And the gospel is called
*' The gospel of the glory of the blessed God," 1 Tim. i. 11; which
is a periphrasis for the person of the Father, who is "the Father of
glory," Eph. i. 17. And we might also declare, that the great work
of making this gospel effectual on the minds of men doth peculiarly
belong unto the Father, which he accomplisheth by his Spirit, 2 Cor.
iii. 18, iv. 6; but that is not our present business. Thus the revela-
tion of events that should befall the church to the end of the world,
that Christ signified by his angel unto John, was first given him of
the Father, Rev. i. 1. And therefore, though all declarations of
God and his will, from the foundation of the world, were made by
the Son, the second person of the Trinity, and his Spirit speaking in
the prophets, 1 Pet. i. 11, 12, yet as it was not by him immediately,
no more was it absolutely so, but as the great angel and mes-
senger of the covenant, by the will and appointment of the Father.
And therefore the very dispensers of the gospel are said vpis'^rjuv
I'TTip Xpiarov, to treat as ambassadors about the business of Christ
with men, in the name of God the Father, 'rig rov QioZ 'Trapaxa.-
Xouvro; di' 7][j^mv, saith the apostle; — "As if God" (the Father) "ex-
horted in and by us," 2 Cor. v. 20; for to him doth this whole work
principally relate.


And from the appropriating of this work ( riginiilly and princi-
pally to the Father, there are three things that are particularly in-
timated unto IIS : —

1. The authority is to be considered in it. The Father is the
original of all power and authority; of liim "the whole family
in heaven and earth is named," Eph. iii. 15. He is the Father of
the whole family, from whom Christ himself receives all his power
and authority as mediator, Matt, xxviii. 18; which, when his work
is accomplished, he shall give up again into his hand, 1 Cor. xv. 28.
He sent him into the world, set him over his house, gave him com-
mand unto his work. The very name and title of Father carries
authority along with it, Mai. i. 6. And in the disposal of the
church, in respect of this paternal power, doth the Son affirm that
the Father is greater than he, John xiv. 28; and he runs up the con-
temjDt of tlie word, in the preaching of it by his messengers, inio a
contempt of this authority of the Father: " He that r^fuseth you
refuseth me: he that refuseth me refuseth him that sent me."

The revelation, then, and dispensation of the mind and will of
God in the word, are to be considered as an act of supreme, sovereign
authority, requiring all subjection of soul and conscience in the
receiving of it. It is the Father of the family that speaks in this
word ; he that hath all power and authority essentially in him over the
souls and eternal conditions of them to whom he speaks. And wliat
holy reverence, humility, and universal subjection of soul to the word,
this in a particular manner requires, is easy to be apprehended.

2. There is also love. In the economy of the blessed Trinity
about the work of our salvation, that which is eminently and in an
especial manner ascribed unto the Father is love, as hath been at
large elsewhere showed, 1 John iv. 8, 10, 16. " God," that is the
Father, saith John, " is love." And how he exerts that property of
his nature in the work of our salvation by Christ he there shows at
large. So John iii. 16; Rom. v. 7, 8. To be love, full of love, to
be the especial spring of all fruits of love, is peculiar to him as the
Father. A.nd from love it is that he makes the revelation of his
will whereof we speak, Deut. vii. 8, xxxiii. 3; Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20; '2
Cor. v. IS, 19. It was out of infinite love, mercy, and compassion,
that God would at all reveal his mind and will unto sinners. He
might for ever have locked up the treasures of his wisdom and pru-
dence, wherein he abounds towards us in his word, in his own eternal
breast. He might have left all the sons of men unto that wolul
darkness whereinto Iby sin they had cast themselves, and kept them
under the chains and power of it, with the angeis that sinned before
them, unto the judgment of the great day. But it was from infinite
love that he made this condescension, to reveal himself and his will
unto us. This mixture of authority and love, which io the spring of


the revelation of the will of God unto us, requires all readiness,
willingness, and cheerfulness, in the receipt of it and submission
unto it. Besides these also, —

8. There is care eminently seen in it. The great care of the
church is in and on the Father. He is the husbandman that takes
care of the vine and vineyard, John xv. 1, 2. And hence our
Saviour, who had a delegated care of his people, commends them
to the Father, John xvii., as to whom the care of them did princi-
pally and originally belong. Care is proper to a father as such;
to God as a father. Care is inseparal)le from paternal love. And
this also is to be considered in the revelation of the will of God.

What directions (rom these considerations may be taken for the
use both of them that dispense the word, and of those whose duty
it is to attend unto the dispensation of it, shall only be marked in
our passage.

For the dispensers of the word, let them, — 1. Take heed of pur-
suing that work negligently which hath its spring in the authority,
love, and care of God. See 1 Tim. iv. 13-16. 2. Know to wJiom
to look for supportment, help, ability, and encouragement in their
work, Eph. vi. 19, 20. And, 8. Not be discouraged, whatever
opposition tliey meet with in the discharge of their duty, consider-
ing whose work they have in hand, 2 Cor. iv. 15, 16. 4. Know
how they ouglit to dispense the toord, so as to answer the spring
from whence it comes, — namely, with authority, and love to and care
for the souls of men. And, 5. Consider to whom they are to give
an account of the work they are called to the discharge of, and
intrusted with, Heb. xiii. 17.

And for them to whom the word is preached, let them consider, —
1. With what reverence and godly fear they ought to attend unto
the dispensation of it, seeing it is a proper effect and issue of the
authority of God, Heb. xii. 28. And, 2. How they will " escape if
they neglect so great salvation," declared unto them from the love
and care of God, Heb. ii. 8. And, 3. With what holiness and spiri-
tual subjection of soul unto God, they ought to be conversant in
and with all the ordinances of worship that are appointed by him,
Heb. xii. 28, 29.

Other observations I shall more briefly pass over. " God spake
in them."

II. The authority of God speaking in and by the penmen of
the Scriptures is the sole bottom and foundation of our assenting
to them, and what is contained in them, witli faith divine and

He spake in them; he then continues to speak by them; and
therefore is their word to be received, 2 Pet. i. 20, 21. But this is
elsewhere handled at large.



III. God's gradual revelation of himself, his mind and will, unto
the church, was a fruit of infinite wisdom and care towards liis

" These are parts of his ways," say.-* Job; " but how little a por-
tion is heard of him?" Job xxvi. 14. Though all his ways and dis-
pensations are ordered in infinite wisdom, yet we can but stand at
the shore of the ocean, and admire its glory and greatness. Little
it is that we can comprehend. Yet what may be for our instruction
what may further our faith and obedience, is not hidden from us.
And these things lie evident unto us in this gradual discovery of
himself and his will : —

1. That he overfilled not their vessels. He gave them out light
as they were able to bear. Though we know not perfectly what
their condition was, yet this we know, that as no generation neeiled
more light than they had, for the discharge of the duty that God
required of them, so more light would have unfitted them for
somewhat or other that was their duty in their respective gene-

2. He kept them in a continual dependence upon himself, and
waiting for their rule and direction from him; which, as it tended
to his glory, so it was exceedingly suited to their safety, in keeping
them in a humble, waiting frame.

3. He so gave out the light and. knoiuledge of himself as thattho
great work which he had to accomplish, that lay in the stores of his
infinitely wise will, as the end and issue of all revelations, — namely,
the bringing forth of Christ into the world, in the way wherein he
was to come, and for the ends which he was to bring about, —
might not be obviated. He gave light enough to believers to enable
them to receive him, and not so nmch as to hinder obdurate sin-
ners from crucifying him.

4. He did this work so that the pre-eminence full g and ultimately
to reveal him might be reserved for Him in whom all things were
to be gathered unto a head. All privileges were to be kept for
and unto him ; which was principally done by this gradual revela-
tion of the mind of God.

5. And there was tender ca?-e conjoined with this infinite wisdom.
None of his elect in any age wore left without that light and in-
struction which were needful for them in their seasons and genera-
tions; and this so given out unto them as that they might have
fresh consolation and supportment, as their occasions did require.
Whilst the church of old was under this dispensation, they were
still hearkening when they should hear new tidings from heaven for
their teaching and refreshment; and if any difticuky did at any time
befall them, they were sure not to want relief in this kind. And
this was necessary before the final hand was set to the work. And


this discovers the woful state of the present Jews. They grant that
the revelation of the will of God is not perfected; and yet, notwith-
standing all their miseries, darkness, and distresses, they dare not
pretend that they have heard one word from heaven these two
thousand years, — that is, from the days of Malachi; and yet they
labour to keep the veil upon their eyes.

IV. We may see hence the absolute perfection of the revelation
of the will of God by Christ and his apostles, as to every end and
purpose whatever for which God ever did or ever will in this world
reveal himself, or his mind and will.

For as this was the last way and means that God ever designed
for the discovery of himself, as to the worship and obedience which
he requires, so the person by whom he accomplished this work makes
it indispensably necessaiy that it be also absolutely perfect, from
which nothing can be taken, to which nothing must be added, under
the penalty of the extermination threatened to him that will not
attend to the voice of that Prophet.

Return we now again unto the words of our apostle. Having
declared the Son to be the immediate revealer of the gospel, in pur-
suit of his design he proceeds to declare his glory and excellency,
both that which he had in himself antecedent to his susception of
the office of mediator, and what he received upon his investiture

Two things in the close of this verse he assigns unto him: — 1.
That he was appointed heir of all ; 2. That by him the worlds were
made: wherein consist the first amplification of his proposition con-
cerning the revealer of the gospel, in two parts, both acknowledged
by the Jews, and both directly conducing to his purpose in hand.

"Ov Urj-yci xX7ipov6/xov i:avrm. "Edrjxs, — "Posuit," " fecit,"
"^^'"''- " constituit." Syr., D?,— " posuit," « he placed," " set,"
" made," '' appointed."

1. "O:*, " whom ;" that is the Son, in whom the Father
spake unto us : and as such, as the revealer of the gos-
pel, QidvdpwTroc, " God and man." The Son, as God, hath a natural
dominion over all. To this he can be no more appointed than he
can be to be God. On what account he hath his divine nature, on
the same he hath all the attributes and perfections of it, with all
things that necessarily on any supposition attend it, as supreme
dominion doth. Nor doth this denotation of him respect merely
the human nature ; for although the Lord Christ performed all the
acts of his mediatory office in and by the human nature, yet he did
them not as man, but as God and man in one person, John i. 14,
Acts XX. 28, And therefore unto him, as such, do the privileges
belong that he is vested with on the account of his being medialoi.
Nothing, indeed, can be added unto him as God, but there may be


to him who is God, in respect of his condescension to discharge
an office in another nature which he did assume. And this salves
the paralogism of Felbenger on this place, which is that wherewith
the Jews and Socinians perpetually entangle themselves: " Deus
altissimus non potest salva majestate sua ab aliquo ha3res constitutus
esse; Filius Dei a Deo est hseres omnium constitutus: ergo Filius
Dei non est Deus altissimus." God is called PV- - » " the high," or
" most high God," with reference to his sovereign and supreme exal-
tation over all his creatures, as the next words in the place where
that title is given unto him do declare: P.^l ^^'P*^ i^.^P, — " Possessor
of heaven and earth," Gen. xiv. 19. He is not termed "Deus altissi-
mus," " the most high God," as thoiigh there were another " Deus
altus," "a high God," that is not the " altissimus;" which is the
sense of the Socinians. This one " Deus altissimus," " most high
God," absolutely, in respect of his divine nature, cannot be appointed
an heir by any other. But he who is so this high God as to be the
eternal Son of the Father, and made man, may, in respect of the
office which in the nature of man he undertook to discharge, by his
Father be made " heir of all."

2. KXripovc/xov, " the heir." KX^pog is " a lot," and a
peculiar portion received by lot; thence " an inherit-
ance," which is a man's lot and portion. KXr,pog kvibizog, " an in-
heritance under controversy;" xX'fipovo/xo;, "an heir to goods divided,
by lot," or he that distributeth an inheritance to others by lot.
Absolutely, "an heir." So the poet, of the covetous Hermocrates,
'Ei* dia67^Kaig ahrhv ruv idluv 'iypa-^e xXrjpovof/jOV — " He appointed him-
self his own heir in his last will and testament." It hath also a
more large signification. 'O rou Xoyov TtXripovo/j^og, he is, in Plato,
whose turn it was to speak next. Strictly, it is the same with
" hseres," " an heir." And an heir is he " qui subintrat jus, locum,
et dominium rerum defuncti, ac si eadera persona esset ;" — "who
entereth into the right, place, and title of him that is deceased,
as if he were the same person." But yet the name of an heir is
not restrained in the law to him that so succeeds a deceased per-
son; in which sense it can have no place here. " Hreredis nomen
latiore eignificatione possessorem et fidei commissarium et legata-
rium comprehendit;" — it comprehends a possessor, a trustee, and a
legatary. So Spigelius, This sense of the word takes otf the cata-
chresis which must be supposed in the application of it unto the
Son, if it only denoted such an heir as Abraham thought Eliezer
would be to him. Gen. xv. 3, 4, — one that succeeds into the right and
goods of the deceased ; for the Father dieth not, nor doth ever forego
his own title or dominion. Neither is the title and right given to
the Son as mediator the same with that of God absolutely consi-
dered. This is eternal, natural, co-existent with the being of all


things; that new, created by grant and donation, by whose erection
and establishment the other is not at all impeached. For whereas
it is affirmed that " the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed
all judgment unto the Son," John v. 22, 27, 30, it respects not title
and rule, but actual administration.

In the latter sense of the word, as it denotes any rightful pos-
sessor by grant from another, it is properly ascribed unto the Son.
And there are three things intended in this word: —

(1.) Title, dominion, lordship, " Hseres est qui herus;" for thence
is the word, and not from " sere," as Isidore supposeth. The heir
is the lord of that which he is heir unto. So the apostle. Gal. iv. 1,
KXrjpovo/j^og is Kvpioc, <7:dvroov, " The heir is lord of all.'" And in this
sense is Christ called li33 " the first-born," Ps. Ixxxix.' 28, " I will
give him to be my fii'st-born, higher than" (or, "and high above")
"the kings of the earth ;" " princeps, dominus, caput familiae," — " the
prince, lord, and head of the family," that hath right to the inherit-
ance, and distributes portions to others. Hence "^i^? is used for
every thing that e^xcelleth, and hath the pre-eminence in its own
kind. Job xxviii. 11; Isa. xiv. 30; Ezek. xlvii. 12. So Col. i. 15.

(2.) Possessio7i. Christ is made actual possessor of that which he
hath title imto. As he is "'^^f , so he is ^'})\ — such a possessor as
comes to his possession by the surrender or grant of another. God
in respect of his dominion is called "^^P, the absolute possessor of
heaven and earth, Gen. xiv. 22. Christ as mediator is ^''})\ a pos-
sessor by grant. And there was a suitableness that he that was the
Son should thus be heir. Whence Chrysostom and Theophylact
affirm that the words denote xai ro rrn v'torrirog yWiSiov, xai rh rrn
xvpioTr}rQs avavod'Tras-ov," — " the propriety of his sonsliijD, and the im-
mutability of his lordship." Not that he was thus made heir of all
as he was [lovoyivng, "the only- begotten" Sou of the Father, John
i. 14; but it was agreeable and consonant that he wiio was eternally
[/.ovoytvni. and had on that account an absolute dominion over all
with his Father, becoming 'TrpMrdroy.oc sv rroXkoTg ddi'kfoTg, Rom. viii.
29, " the first-born amongst many brethren," should have a dele-
gated heiiship of all, and be given to be " the head over all to the
church," Eph. i. 22. '

(3.) That he hath both this title and possession hy grant from the
Father ; of which afterwards. Christ, then, by virtue of a grant from
the Father, is made Lord by a new title, and hath possession given
him according to his title. He is xXripovCixog, " the heir."

8. ndvTuv, "of all." This is the object of the heir-
ship of Christ, his inheritance. The word may be taken
in the masculine, gender, and denotes all persons, all those of whom
he had spoken before, all the revealers of the will of God under the
old testament. The Son was Lord over them all; which is true.


But the word in the neuter gender denotes all things absolutely ; and
so it is in this place to be understood: for, —

(1.) It is so used elsewhere to the same purpose: 1 Cor. xv, 27,
Uavra brrira^v — " He hath subjected all things unto him/' So Rom.
ix. 5, 'O £01' £t/ -ffavTuv Qscg' — " Who is God over all."

(2.) This sense suits the apostle's argument, and adds a double force
to his intention and design. For, — [1.] The Author of the gospel
being heir and lord of all things whatever, the sovereign disposal
of all those rites and ordinances of worship about whicli the Jews

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