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it, is also grace, Eph. i. 5, 6.

All these, with all those admirable and inexpressible mercies that
they branch themselves into, — giving deliverance unto sinners from
evil temporal and eternal, laising them to communion with God
here, and to the enjoyment of him for ever hereafter, — are called
grace, and do belong to the lordship of Christ, as he is heir, lord,
and possessor of them all. All the stores of this grace and mercy
that are in heaven for sinners are given into his hand, and resigned



60 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. I.

up to his sovereign disposal, as we shall intimate in general and
particular: —

1. In general, Col. i. 19, " It pleased the Father that in him
should all fulness dwell." There is a fourfold fulness in Christ : —
(1.) Of the Deity in his divine nature, Rom. ix. 5. (2.) 01 union
in his person, Col. ii. 9. (3.) Of grace in his human nature, John
i. 14, iii. 34; Luke ii. 52, iv. 1. (4.) An authoritative fulness, to
communicate of it unto others. That is the fulness here intended ;
for it is in him as the head of the church, verse 18, so as that from
him, or that fulness which it pleased the Father to intrust him
withal, believers might receive "grace for grace," John i. 16, 17.
Thus he testifies that "all things are delivered to him of his Father,"
Matt. xi. 27, — put into his power and possession. And they are the
things he there intends, on the account whereof he invites sinners
weary and laden to come unto him, verse 28, namely, all mercy
and grace; which are the things that burdened sinners need and look
after. The same is testified John iii. 35, 36; and fully chap. xvi. 15,
"All things that the Father hath are mine;" chap. xvii. 10. All
the grace and mercy that are in the heart of God as Father to
bestow upon his children, they are all given into the hand of Christ,
and are his, or part of his inheritance.

2. In particular: —

(1.) All pardoning grace, for the acceptance of our persons and
forgiveness of our sins, is his; he is the Lord of it. Acts v. 31, He
is made " a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and the for-
giveness of sins." Forgiveness of sin is wholly given unto him as
to the amdinistration of it, nor doth any one receive it but out of
his stores. And what is the dominion of ten thousands of worlds in
comparison of this inheritance? Sure he shall be my God and
King who hath all forgiveness at his disposal. All that this world
can do or give is a thousand times lighter than the dust of the
balance, if compared with these good things of the kingdom of Christ.

(2.) All regenerating, quickening, sanctifying, assisting grace is
his. [1.] John v. 21, He quickeneth whom he pleaseth. He
walks among dead souls, and says to whom he will, ' Live.' And,
[2.] He sanctifies by his Spirit whom he pleaseth, John iv. 14. All
the living waters of saving grace are committed to him, and he
invites men unto them freely, Cant. v. 1 ; Isa. Iv. 1 ; Rev. xxii. 1 7.
And, [3.] All grace actually assisting us unto any duty is his also,
for without him we can do nothing, John xv. 5 ; for it is he alone
that gives out suitable help in the time of need, Heb. iv. 16. No
man was ever quickened, purified, or strengthened, but by him; nor
can any dram of this grace be obtained but out of his treasures.
Those who pretend to stores of it in their own wills, are so far
anticiirists.



VER. 1, 2.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 61

(o.) Tlie grace of our 2^''^6servation iu our acceptation with God
and ol)edicnce unto him is solely his, John x. 28. And so also, —

(4.) Are all the blessed and gracious privileges whereof we are
made partakers in our adoption, John i. 12. Heb. iii. 6, he is so
Lord over the house and family of God as to have the whole inherit-
ance in his power, and the absolute disposal of all the good things
belonging unto it.

These are the riches and treasures of the kingdom of Christ, the
good things of his house, the revenues of his dominion. The mass
of this treasure that lies by him is infinite, the stores of it are inex-
haustible; and he is ready, free, gracious, and bountiful, in his.com-
munications of them to all the subjects of his dominion. This part
of his heirship extends unto, — 1. AH the grace and mercy that the
Father could find in his own gracious heart to bestow, whexi he was
full of counsels of love, and designed to exalt himself by the way of
grace, Eph. i. 6. 2. To all the grace and mercy which he himself
could purchase by the effusion of his blood, Heb. ix. 14; Eph. ii. 13;
and indeed these are commensurate, if things in respect of us alto-
gether boundless may be said to be commensurate. 3. All that
grace which hath saved the world of sinners which are already in
tlie enjoyment of God, and that shall effectually save all that come
to God by him. 4. All that grace which, in the promises of it in
the Old Testament, is set out by all that is rich, precious, glorious, —
all that is eminent in the whole creation of God ; and in the New
is called " treasure," " unsearchable riches," and " exceeding excel-
lency:" which, being communicated by him to all the subjects of his
kingdom, makes every one of them richer than all the potentates of
the earth who have no interest in him.

The especial foundation of all this trust is in an eminent manner
expressed, Isa. liii. 10-12. His suffering for the sins of all those to
whom he intends to communicate of this his fulness, according to
the will of God, and the purchase he made in his death, according to
the tenor of the covenant of the mediator, makes it just and right-
eous that he should enjoy this part of his inheritance, Heb. ii. 14,
ix. 1 2. The Father says unto him : ' Seest thou these poor wretched
creatures that lie perishing in their blood and under the curse ?
They had once my image gloriously en stamped on them, and were
every way meet for my service; but behold the misery that is come
\i\)on them by their sin and rebellion. Sentence is gone forth
against them upon their sin ; and they want nothing to shut them
up under everlasting ruin but the execution of it. Wilt thou under-
take to be their saviour and deliverer, to save them from their sins,
and the wrath to come? Wilt thou make thy soul an offering for
their sins, and lay down thy life a ransom for them? Hast thou
luve enough to wash them in thine own blood, in a nature to bo



62 AN EXPOSITION OF THE f CHAP. L

taken of them, being obedient therein unto death, the death of the
cross?' Whereunto he replies: 'I am content to do thy will, and
will undertake this work, and that with joy and delight. Lo, I
come for that purpose ; my delight is with these sous of men, Ps.
xl. 8; Prov. viii. 31. What they have taken, I will pay. What is
due from them, let it be required at my hand. I am ready to
undergo wrath and curse for them, and to pour out my soul unto
death.' ' It shall be,' saith the Father, ' as thou hast spoken, and
thou shalt see of the travail of thy soul and be sa^tisfied. I will
give thee for a covenant and a leader unto them, and thou shalt be
the captain of their salvation. To this end take into thy power
and disposal all the treasures of heaven, all mercy and grace, to
give out unto them for whom thou hast undertaken. Behold, here
are unsearchable hidden treasures, not of many generations, but
laid up from eternity. Take all these riches into thy power, and at
thy disposal shall they be for ever." This is the noble peculiar
foundation of this part of the inheritance of Christ.

From what hath been spoken, the rule also whereby the Lord
Christ proceedeth in disposing these treasures to the sons of men is
made evident. Though he hath all grace committed unto him, yet
he bestows not grace upon all. The rule of his procedure herein is
God's election; for the foundation of this whole truth is his under-
taking for them who were given him of his Father. See Acts
xiii. 48; Rom. xi. 7; Eph. i. 3-8. And the variety which is seen
in his actual communication of grace and mercy unto sinners
depends upon the sovereign and eternal designation of the persons
of them who by him were to obtain mercy, and be made heirs of
salvation.

But although the persons are designed and allotted unto him
from eternity who were to receive tljis grace and mercy at his
hands, yet as to the manner and all circumstances of his dispensa-
tion and communication of them, they are wholly committed unto
his own sovereign will and wisdom. Hence some he calls at one
time, some at another ; some in the morning, that they may glorify
grace in working all the day; some in the evening of their lives,
that they may exalt pardoning mercy to eternity: on some he
bestows nmch grace, that he may render them useful in the strength
of it; on others less, that he may keep them humble in a sense of
their wants: some he makes rich in light, others in love; some in
faith, others in patience; that they may all peculiarly praise him,
and set out the fulness of his stores. And liereby, — 1. He glorifies
every grace of his Spirit, by making it shine eminently in one or
other, as faith in Abraham and Peter, love in David and John,
patience in Job; and, 2. He renders his subjects useful one to another,
in that they have opportunities upon the defects and fulness of each



VER. 1, 2.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 63

other to exercise all their graces; and, 3. So he renders his whole
body uniform and comely, 1 Cor. xii. 14-27; 4. Keeping every
member in humility and dependence, whilst it sees its own wants
in some graces that others excel in, Col. ii. 19.

This is another most eminent part of the inheritance and kincy-
dom of Christ.

Secondly, All gifts that are bestowed on any of the sons of men,
whereby they are differenced from others or made useful unto others,
belong also unto the inheritance and kingdom of Christ.

Gifts bestowed on men are either natural or sjnritual. 1. Natural
gijts are especial endowments of the persons or minds of men, in re-
lation unto things appertaining unto this life; as wisdom, learning,
. skill and cunning in arts and sciences. I call them natural in
respect of the objects that they are exercised about, which are r«
jSiUTiJid, "things of this life;" as also in respect of their end and use.
They are not always so as to their rise and spring, but may be im-
mediately infused, as wisdom was into Solomon for civil government,
1 Kings iii. 12; and skill for all manner of mechanical operations
into Bezaleel, Exod. xxxi. 2-6. But how^ far these gifts are educed
in an ordinary course of providence out of their hidden seeds and
principles in nature, in a just connection of causes and effects, and
so fall under a certain law of acquisition, or what there may be
of the interposition of the Spirit of God in an especial manner, im-
mediately conferring them on any, falls not under our present con-
sideration of them. Nor yet can we insist on their use, which is
such that they are the great instrument in the hand of God for the
preservation of human society, and to keep the course of man's lite
and pilgrimage from being wholly brutish. I design only to show
that even they also belong (though more remotely) to the lordship
of Jesus Christ; which they do on two accounts: —

(1.) In that the very use of men's reason and their natural faculties,
as to any good end or purpose, is continued unto them upon the
account of his interposition, bringing the world thereby under a dis-
pensation of patience and forbearance, as was declared, John i. 9.

(2.) He is endued with power and authority to use them, in whose
hand soever they lie, whether of his friends or enemies, to the espe-
cial ends of his glory, in doing good unto his church. And, indeed,
in the efficacy of his Spirit and p9wer upon the gifts of the minds of
men, exciting, ordering, disposing, enabling them unto various act-
ings and operations, by and with them; controlling, overruling,
entangling each other and themselves in whom they are by them ;
his wisdom and care in the rule, government, chastisement, and
deliverance of his church, are most conspicuous.

2. Spiritual gifts, which principally come under that denomina-
tion, are of two sorts, — extraordinary, and ordinary. The first
VOL.. xu. — 5



64 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. I.

are immediate endowment of the minds of men with abilities ex-
ceeding the whole system of nature, in the exercise whereof they
are mere instruments of Him who bestows those gifts upon them.
Sucli of old were the gifts of miracles, tongues, healing, prediction,
and infalUble inspiration, given out by the Lord Christ unto such as
he was pleased to use in his gospel service in an extraordinary
manner. The latter sort are furnishments of the minds of men,
enabling them unto the comprehension of spiritual things, and the
management of them for spiritual ends and purposes. Such are
wisdom, knowledge, prudence, utterance, aptness to teach ; in general,
abilities to manage the things of Christ and the gospel unto their
own proper ends. And these also are of two sorts: — (1.) Such as
are peculiar unto office; and, (2.) Such as are common unto others,
for their own and others' good and edification, according as they are
called unto the exercise of them. And these two sorts of gifts differ
only in respect of degrees. There are no ordinary gifts that Cluist's
ufiicers are made partakers of, their office only excepted, which differ
in the kind or nature of them from those which he bestows on all
his disciples; which makes their stirring up and endeavours to
improve the gifts they have received exceeding necessary unto them.
And Christ's collation of these gifts unto men is the foundation of
all the offices that under him they are called to discliarge. See
Eph. iv. 8, 11, 1 Cor. xii. 5, John xx. 21, 22. And as they are the
spring and foundation of office, so they are the great and only means
of the church's edification. By them Christ builds up his church to
the measure appointed unto the whole and every member of it.
And there is no member but hath his gift; which is the talent given,
or rather lent, to trade withal.

Now, of all these Christ is the only Lord ; they belong unto his king-
dom: Ps. Ixviii. 19, ^1^^ J^i^^P ^n^^. " When he ascended on high,
he took" (or "received") " gifts for men;" he took them into his own
power and disposal, being given him of his Father; as Peter declares,
Acts ii. 33, adding that he received the Spirit, by whom all these
gifts are wrought. And Eph. iv. 8, the apostle renders the words of
the psalmist tduxs 66>ara, "he gave gifts;" because he received them
into his power, not to keep them unto himself, but to give them out
to the use of others. And so ^i^i doth sometimes signify to " give,"
Hos. xiv. 3. "Verbum accipiendi dare significat cum accipiunt
aliunde ut dent," say the Jewish masters. And it was after his
resurrection that this accession was made unto his kingdom, in such
an eminent and visible manner as to be a testimony of his office :
John vii. 39, Ouffw rjv Hvsv/^a aytov, " The Holy Ghost was not yet; be-
cause Jesus was not yet glorified," — not eminently given and re-
ceived, as to these gifts, Acts xix. 2. And this investiture of him with
power over all gifts, he makes the bottom of the mission of the



VER. 1, 2.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 65

apostles, Matt, xxviii. 18. This he had as a fruit of liis suffering,
as a part of his purchase; and it is a choice j)ortioa of his lordship
and kingdom.

The end also why all these gifts are given into his power and
disposal is evident: — ], The propagation of his gospel, and conse-
quently the setting up of his kingdom in the world, depends ufjon
them. These are the arms that he furnished his messengers withal
when he sent them forth to fight, to conquer and suljdue the
world unto him. And by these they prevailed. By that Spirit of
wisdom and knowledge, prayer and utterance, wherewith they were
endowed, — attended, where and when needful, with the extraordi-
nary gifts before mentioned, did they accomplish the work commit-
ted unto their charge. Now, the Lord Christ having a right unto
a kingdom and inheritance given him which was actually under
possession of his adversary, it was necessary that all those arms
wherewith he was to make a conquest of it should be given to his
disposal, 2 Cor. x. 4. These were the weapons of the warfare of
his apostles and disciples, which through God were so mighty to cast
down the strongholds of sin and Satan ; these are the slings and
stones before which the Goliaths of the earth and hell did fall; this
was that power from above wdiich he promised his apostles to furnish
them withal, when they should address themselves to the conquest
of the world, Acts i. 8. With these weapons, this furniture for their
warfare, a few despised persons, in the eyes of the world, went from
Judea unto the ends of the earth, subduing all things before them
to the obedience of their Lord and Master. ' And, —

2. By these is his church edified. And to that end doth he
continue to bestow them on men, and will do so to the end of the
world, 1 Cor. xii. 4-14; Eph. iv. 8-12; Rom. xii. 6-8; 1 Pet. iv.
10, 11 ; Col. ii. 19. And for any to hinder their growth and exer-
cise is, what in them lies, to pull down the cliurch of Christ, and to
set themselves against that testimony which he gives in the world
that he is yet alive, and that he takes care of his disciples, being
present with them according unto his promise.

3. And by these means and ways isGod glorified in him and by him ;
which is the great end of his lordship over all the gilts of the Spirit.

That we may a little by the way look into our especial concern-
ment in these things, the order of them, and their subserviency one
to another, may be briefly considered: for as natural gifts are the
foundation of, and lie in an especial subordination unto spiritual, so
are spiritual gifts enlivened, made effectual and durable, by grace.
The principal end of Christ's bestowing gifts is the erection of a
ministry in his church, for the ends before mentioned. And where
all these, in their order and mutual subserviency unto one another,
are received by any, there, and there alone, is acompeteat furniture



66 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. I.

for the work of tlie ministry received. And where any of them, as
to their whole kind, are wanting, there is a defect in the person, if
not a nullity as to the office. Natural gifts and endowments of
mind are so necessary a foundation for any that looks towards the
Avork of the ministry, that without some competent measure of them
it is madness and folly to entertain thoughts of any progress.
Unless unto these, spiritual gifts are in Christ's time superadded, the
other will never be of any use for the edification of the church, as
having in their own nature and series no especial tendency unto that
end. Nor will these superadded spiritual gifts enable any man to
discharge his duty unto all well-pleasing before God, unless they also
are quickened and seasoned by grace. And where there is an inter-
cision of this series and order in any, the defect will quickly appear.
Thus some we see of excellent natural endowments, in their first
setting forth in the world, and in their endeavours on that single
stock, promising great usefulness and excellency in their way, who,
when they should come to engage in the service of the gospel, evi-
dence themselves to be altogether unfurnished for the employment
they undertake, yea, and to have lost what before they seemed to
have received. Having gone to the utmost length and bounds that
gifts merely natural could carry them out unto, and not receiving
superadded spiritual gifts, which the Sj)irit of Christ bestoweth as he
pleaseth, 1 Cor. xii. 11, they faint in the way, wither, and become
utterly useless. And this, for the most part, falleth out when men
either have abused their natural gifts to the service of their lusts'
and in an opposition to the simplicity of the gospel; or when they
set upon spiritual things and pretend to the service of Christ merely
in their own strength, without dependence on him, as the heir and
lord of all, for abilities and furniture for his work; or when they
have some fixed corrupt end and design to accomplish and bring
about by a pretence of the ministry, without regard to the glory of
Christ, or compassion to the souls of men,- — which the Lord Christ
will not prostitute the gifts of his S2:)irit to make them serviceable
unto. And sundry other causes of this failure may be assigned.

It is no otherwise as to the next degree in this order, in reference
unto spiritual gifts and saving grace. When these gifts, in the good
pleasure of the Lord of them, are superadded unto the natural en-
dowments before mentioned, they carry on them who have received
^ them cheerfully, comfortably, and usefully, in their way and pro-
gress. The former are increased, heightened, strengthened, and
perfected by the latter, towards that special end whereunto them-
selves are designed, — namely, the glory of Christ in the work of
the gospel. But if these also are not in due season quickened by
saving grace, if the heart be not moistened and made fruitful thereby,
even they also will wither and decay. Sin and the world in urocess



YEW. 1, 2.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. G7

of time will devour them; whereof we have daily experience in this
world. And this is the order wherein the great Lord of all these
gifts hath laid them, in a subserviency one kind unto another, and
all of them unto his own glory.

And this that hath been spoken will abundantly discover the rea-
son and ground of the apostolical exhortation, " Covet earnestly
the best gifts," 1 Cor. xii. 31 : as, first, the gift of wisdom and know-
ledge in the word and will of God, 1 Cor. xii. 8, ii. 7; 1 Tim. iii, 15 ;
1 Cor. i. 5; — secondly, the gift of ability to manage and improve
this wisdom and knowledge to the edification of others, Heb. iii. 1 o,
X. 25; Rom. xv. 14; 1 Thess. v. 11; — thirdly, of prayer. And
many more might be added of the like usefulness and importance.

Secondly/, To close our considerations of this part of the lordship
of Christ, there remains only that we show him to be the Lord of
all spiritual eternal things, which in one word we call glory. He is
himself the " Lord of glory," 1 Cor. ii. 8, and the Judge of all, John
V. 22; in the discharge of which office he gives out glory as a reward
unto his followers, Matt. xxv. 32 ; Rom, xiv. 10. Glory is the reward
that is with him, which he will give out at the last day as a crown,
1 Pet. V. 4; 2 Tim. iv. 8; John xvii. 2. And to this end, that he
might be Lord of it, he hath, — 1. Purchased it, Heb. ix. 12; Ejsh.
i. 14; Heb, ii. 10; 2. Taken actual possession of it in his own person,
Luke xxiv. 26; John xvii. 5, 22-24; and that, 3. As the forerunner
of those on whom he will bestow it, Heb. vi. 20.

And this is a short view of the lordship of Christ as to things
spiritual.

II. Ecclesiastical things, or things that concern church institu-
tions, rule, and power, belong also unto his rule and dominion. He
is the only head, lord, ruler, and lawgiver of his church. There
was a church-state ever since God created man on the earth ; and
there is the same reason of it in all its alterations, as unto its rela-
tion to the Lord Chri.st. Whatever changes it underwent, still Ciirist
was the Lord of it and of all its concernments. But by way of in-
stance and eminency, we may consider the Mosaical church-state
under the old te.stament, and the evangelical church-state under the
new. Christ is Lord of and in respect unto them both.

1, He was the Lord of the old testament church-state, and he
exercised his power and lordship towards it in four ways: — (1.) In
and by its institution and erection. He made, framed, set up, and
appointed that church-state, and all the worship of God therein
observed. He it was who appeared unto ]\Ioses in the wilderness,
Exod. iii. 5, 6, Acts vii. 32, 33 ; and who gave them the law on mount
Sinai, Exod. xx., Ps. Ixviii. 17, 18, Eph. iv. 8; and continued with them
in the wilderness. Num. xxi. 6, 1 Cor. x. 9. So that from him, his
power and authority, was the institution and erection of that church.



68 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. I.

(2.) By prescribing a complete rule and form of worship and obedi-
ence unto it, being erected, as its lawgiver, to which nothing might
be added, Deut. iv. 1, 2, xii. 32. (3.) By way of reformation, when
it was collapsed and decayed, Zech. ii. 8-13; Mai. iii. 1-3. (4.)
Bv way of amotion, or taking down what he himself had set up,



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