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Tidswear; this word is variously used, and variously rendered : 'to consuinmate, to perfect, to make perfect, to consecrate, dedicate, sanctify.' Some would have it in this place to be the same with asoy doğay, ' to bring unto glory. But what is the precise signification of the word, we shall clear in the exposition ensuing, when we declare what act of God it is that is here intended.
Before we proceed to the exposition of the several parts of this text, we must consider the order of the words, to prevent some mistakes that divers learned commentators have fallen into about them. Some suppose a hyperbaton in them; and that those expressions, « For whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,” do intend the Son, the Captain of salvation. The word auta, hiin- it became him,' they confess to relate unto Oix, God,' in the verse foregoing, and to relate unto the Father; in which order, this would be the sense of the words, • It became him,' that is God, ' to make perfect through sufferings the Captain of their salvation, for whom are all things, and by whom are ali things, who bringeth many sons unto glory.' But there is no just reason why we should arbitrarily thus transpose the words; and that separation of, from whom are all things, and for whom are all things,' from, it became him,' takes away one main foundation of the apostle's reasoning, as we shall see. And the reason alleged for this ordering of the words is infirm, namely, that it is Christ who brings the many sons unto glory, not the Father ; for it is also assigned unto him, as we shall see upon many accounts.
Some refer the whole words unto Christ to this purpose, it became him,' that is the Son incarnate, for whom,' &c. bringing many sons unto glory, to be consuminated or made perfect by sufferings.' So Tena, and those whom he followeth. But this exposition of the words is directly contrary to the scope of the apostle, declared in the verse foregoing, and that following. It leaves also avtw, him,' nothing to relate unto; nor allows the causal gag, for,' to give an account of any act of God before mentioned; and besides, the whole of it is built on the corruption or mistake of one word in the Vulgar translation, consummari for consummare, and that but in some copies, as is acknowledged by the most learned Romanists, who here adhere unto the original. For taking that word actively, and the object of the act expressed in it, being the Captain of salvation, some agent distinct from him must needs be signified, which is God the Father.
Some suppose an answis in the words, and therefore in the seading of those, in bringing many sons unto glory,' they supply
by afflictions or sufferings :'* having brought many sons to glory by afflictions, it became him to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. So Capellus. But this imagi. nary defect arose merely from a mistake, that the to meetor, or condecency here mentioned, hath a respect unto the things done; that seeing the sons had suffered, it was meet and convenient that their Captain should suffer in an eminent manner. But the truth is, it respects only the doer of them, it was on his part requisite so to do the things mentioned. VER. 10.-For it became him for whom are all things, and by
whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. There is in the words, 1. The causal connection unto the verse foregoing, “ for.' 2. A design of God intimated as the foundation of the discourse, which was to bring many sons unto glory. 3. The means he fixed on for the accomplishment of that design, namely, the appointing unto them a Captain of their salvation. 4. The especial way of his dedicating him unto that office-he made him perfect by sufferings. 5. The reason of this his proceeding and dealing with him-it became him so to do. 6. An amplification of that reason, in a description of his condition_him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.
First, A reason is rendered in the words, of what he had asserted in the foregoing verse, namely, that Jesus the Messiah was to suffer death, and by the grace of God to taste of death for all. Why he should do thus, on what account, what ground, necessity and reason there was for it, is here declared : it was so to be, « For it became him," &c.
Secondly, The design of God is expressed in this whole matter, and that was to bring many sons unto glory. And herein the apostle declares the nature of the salvation which was to be wrought by the Messiah, about which the Jews were so greatly mistaken, and consequently in and about the way whereby it was to be wrought. His purpose herein was not now to carry his children into a new Canaan, to bring them into a wealthy country, an earthly kingdom, which must or might have been done by might, and power, and arms, as of old; but his design towards his sons in and by the Messiah was of another nature, it was to bring them unto glory, eternal glory, with himself in heaven; and so it is no wonder if the way whereby this is to be accomplisbed, be quite of another nature than that whereby their teni. poral deliverance was wrought, namely, by the death and sufferings of the Messiah himself. And here, in reference unto this design of God, it is supposed, 1. That some who were created for the glory of God, had by sin come short of it; so that without a new way of bringing them unto it, it was impossible that they should ever be made partakers of it. This is here supposed
to be wrongo a new Canaawhich must of his
by the apostle, and is the foundation of all his doctrine concerning the Messiah. 2. That the way whereby God will at length bring them who are designed unto glory thereunto, is by taking of them first into a state of sonship and reconciliation with hine self: they must be sons, before they are brought to glory. There is a double act of God's predestination ; the first is, his designation of some unto grace to be sons, Eph. i. 5. the other, his appointment of those sons unto glory, both to be wrought and accomplished by Christ, the Captain of their salvation. The latter, and the execution of it, namely, the bringing of those who by grace are made sons, unto glory, is that which the apostle here expresseth. He dealeth not with the Hebrews in this Epistle about the conversion of the elect, the traduction of them into a state of grace and sonship, but of the government of them being made sons, and their guidance unto glory. And therefore the sufferings of Christ, which absolutely and in themselves are the cause of our sonship and reconciliation with God, are mentioned bere only as the means whereby Christ entered into a condition of leading sons into glory, or of saving them who upon the account of his sufferings are made sons by grace. But yet this is not so precisely respected neither, but that the apostle withal intimates the necessity of the suiterings of Christ, as to the whole effect of it towards the elect. Now these sons, thus to be brought unto glory, are said to be many; not all absolutely, not a few, or of the Jews only, which they looked for, but all the elect of God, who are many, Rev. vii. 3. And this work of bringing many sons unto glory, is here signally assigged by the apostle unto God the Father, whose love, wisdom and grace, believers are principally to eye in the whole work of their salvation, wrought out and accomplished by Jesus Christ. This therefore we shall a little insist upon, to declare the grounds and reasons, on the account whereof it is so ascribed unto hii, or what acts are peculiarly assigned unto the father in this work of bringing many sons unto glory, which will secure the ascription of it unto him, and therein our interpretation of the place.
1. The eternal designation of them to that glory whereunto they are to be brought, is peculiarly assigned to him. " Ile predestinates them to be conformed to the image of his Son," Rom. viii. 28-30. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chooseth us before the foundation of the world, and predestinateth us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, Eph. i. 3–5.' And he hath “ from the beginning cho. sen us unto salvation.” 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. And this electing love of God, this eternal purpose of his “ good pleasure, which he purposed in himself," is the fountain and spring of all other immediate causes of our salvation. From hence faith, Acts xiii. 49. ; sanctification, 2 Thess. ii. 13.; holiness, Eph. i, 4. preservation in grace, 2 Tim. ii. 19. The death of Christ for them, John iii. 16. and final glory itself, 2 Tim. ii. 10. do all ensue and proceed, so that on the account hereof, he may justly be said to be the “* Bringer of many sons to glory."
2. He was the spring and fountain of that covenant (as in other operations of the Deity) that was of old between himself and his Son, about the salvation and glory of the elect. See Zech. vi. 13. Isa. xlii. 1. Prov. viii. 20—30. Isa. 1. 4. liii. 11, 12. Psal. xvi. 10. Psal. cx. 1, 6. He in his love and grace is still declared as the proposer both of the duty and of the re. ward of the Mediator, the Son incarnate, as the Son accepts of his terms and proposals, Heb. x. 5—8. And hence the intenseness of his love, the immutability of his counsel, the holi, ness of his nature, his righteousness and faithfulness, his infinite wisdom, do all shine forth in the mediation and sufferings of Christ, Rom. iii. 25, 26. v.8. 1 John iv. 9. Heb. vi. 17, 18. Tit. i. 2. Rather than his love should not be satisfied, and his counsel accomplished, “ he spared not his own Son, but gave him unto death for us."
3. He signally gave out the first promise, that great foundation of the covenant of grace, and afterwards declared, confirmed and ratified by his oath, that covenant wherein all the means of bringing the elect to glory are contained, Gen. iii. 15. Jer. xxxi. 32-34. Heb. viii. 8. The person of the Father is considered as the principal author of the covenant, as the person covenanting and taking us into covenant with himself, the Son as the Messiah, being considered as the Surety and Mediator of it, Heb. vii. 22. ix. 15. and the Purchaser of the promises of it.
4. Ile gave and sent his Son to be a Saviour and Redeemer for them and to them, so that in his whole work, in all that he did and suffered, he obeyed the command and fulfilled the will of the Father. Him did God the Father send, and seal, and give, and set forth, as the Scripture every where expresseth it. And our Lord Jesus Christ every where remits us to the consideration of the love, will and authority of his Father in all that he did, taught, or suffered, so seeking the glory of God that sent him.
5. He draws his elect, and enables them to come to the Son, to believe in him, and so to obtain life, salvation and glory by him. “ No man,” saith our Saviour, “ can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw bim,” John vi. 44. No man, no not any one of the elect, can come to Christ unless the Father, in the pursuit of that love from whence it was that he sent the Son, do put forth the efficacy of his grace to enable him thereto, and accordingly he reveals him to some, when he is hidden from others, Mat. xi. 25. For the revelation of Christ to the soul is the immediate act of the Father, Mat. xvi. 17.
6. Being " reconciled to them by the blood of his Son," he
reconciles them to himself, by giving them pardon and forgiveness of sins in and by the promises of the gospel, without which they cannot come to glory, 2 Cor. v. 18—21. - He is in Christ reconciling us unto himself,” by the non-imputite tion, or forgiveness of our sins, “ Forgiving us all our trespasses for Christ's sake,” Eph. iv. 32. There are many things concurring to the pardon of sin, that are peculiar acts of the Fatber.
7. He quickens them and sanctifies them by his Spirit, to “make them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," that is for the enjoyment of glory. - He that raised up Jesus from the dead quickens us by his Spirit,” Rom. viii. 11. (Eph. ii. 1.) So save ing us, “ by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us richly by Jesus Christ,” Tit. iji. 5, 6. This sanctification and renovation by the Holy Ghost, and all supplies of actual grace, enabling us to obedience, are every where asserted as the grant and work of the Father, who “ worketh in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.” And so in especial is the saving illumination of our minds, to know the mystery of his grace and discern the things that are of God, 2 Cor. iv. 6. Col. ii. 2. Eph. iii. 13-18. Mat. xi. 25.
8. As the great Father of the family he adopts them, and makes them his sons, that so he may bring them to glory. He gives them the power or privilege to become the sons of God, John i. 12. making them heirs and co-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 14-17. sending withal « into their hearts the Spirit of a. doption, enabling them to cry Abba Father,” Gal. iv. 6. The whole right of adopting children is in the Father, and so is the authoritative translation of them out of the world and kingdom of Satan into his own family and household, with their investiture in all the rights and privileges thereof.
9. He confirms them in faith, establisheth them in obedience, preserveth them from dangers and oppositions of all sorts, and in manifold wisdom keeps them through his power to the glory prepared for them, as 2 Cor. i. 21, 22. Eph. iii. 20, 21. 1 Pet. 1. 5. John xvii. 11.
10. He gives them the Holy Ghost as their Comforter, with all those blessed and unspeakable benefits which attend that gift of his, Mat. vii. 11. Luke xi. 13. John xiv. 16, 17. Gal. iv. 6.
In brief, in bringing the elect to glory, all the sovereign acts of power, wisdom, love and grace exerted therein, are peculiarly assigned to the Father, as all ministerial acts are to the Son as Mediator. So that there is no reason why he may not be said by the way of eminency to be the @yoyeus, the leader or bringer of his sons to glory.".
And herein lies a great direction to believers and a great sup