O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. - Hos. xiii. 9.
I. ALBEIT man, having brought himself into this woeful condition, be neither able to help himself, nor willing to be helped by God out of it, but rather inclined to lie still, insensible of it, till he perish; yet God, for the glory of his rich grace, hath revealed in his word a way to save sinners; viz., by faith in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God; by virtue of, and according to the tenor of the Covenant of Redemption, made and. agreed upon between God the Father and God the Son, in the council of the Trinity, before the world began.
II. The sum of the Covenant of Redemption is this: God having freely chosen unto life a certain number of lost mankind; for the glory of his rich grace, did give them, before the world began, unto God the Son, appointed Redeemer; that, upon condition he would humble himself so far as to assume the human nature, of a soul and a body, unto personal union with his divine nature, and submit himself to the law, as surety for them, and satisfy justice for them, by giving obedience in their name, even unto the suffering of the cursed death of the cross, he should ransom and redeem them all from sin and death, and purchase unto them righteousness and eternal life, with all saving graces leading thereunto, to be effectually, by means of his own appointment, applied in due time to every one of them. This condition the Son of God (who is Jesus Christ our Lord) did accept before the world began, and in the fulness of time came into the world, was born of the Virgin Mary, subjected himself to the law, and completely paid the ransom on the cross: But by virtue of the foresaid bargain, made before the world began, he is in all ages, since the fall of Adam, still upon the work of applying actually the purchased benefits unto the elect; and that he doth by way of entertaining a covenant of free grace and reconciliation with them, through, faith in himself; by which covenant, he makes over to every believer a right and interest to himself, and to all his blessings.
III. For the accomplishment of this Covenant of Redemption, and making the elect partakers of the benefits thereof in the Covenant of Grace, Christ Jesus was clad with the threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King: made a Prophet, to reveal all saving knowledge to his people, and to persuade them to believe and obey the same; made a Priest, to offer up himself a sacrifice once for them all, and to intercede continually with the Father, for making their persons and services acceptable to him; and made a King, to subdue them to himself, to feed and rule them by his own appointed ordinances, and to defend them from their enemies.