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her nails, and wash herself, that she might be meet for him. And the Lord Christ, taking this bride unto himself, by the conquest he hath made of her, must by sanctification make them meet for this relation with himself. And therefore he doth it, Eph. v. 25, 26. “ Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word: ver. 27. that he might present it unto himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish."" This it became him to do, this was the end why he did it: he sanctifieth his church, that he may present it a meet bride or spouse unto himself. The like may be said of all other relations wherein the Lord Christ stands unto his people: there is no one of them, but makes their sanctification absolutely necessary.
3. On the part of the children themselves; for unless they are regenerate, or born again, wherein the foundation of their sanctification is laid, they can by no means enter into the kingdom of God. It is this that makes them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. As without it, they are not meet for their duty, so are they not capable of their reward. Yea, heaven itself, in the true light and notion of it, is undesirable unto an unsanctified person. Such an one neither can, nor would enjoy God if he might. In a word, there is no one thing required of the sons of God, that an unsanctified person can do, no one thing promised unto them that he can enjoy.
There is surely then a woful mistake in the world. If Christ sanctifies all whom he saves, many will appear to have been mistaken in their expectations at another day. It is grown amongst us almost an abhorrency unto all flesh, to say, that the church of God is to be holy. What though God hath promised that it should be so; that Clirist hath undertaken to make it so? What if it be required to be so? What if all the duties of it be rejected of God if it be not so? It is all one: if men be baptized whether they will or not, and outwardly profess the name of Christ, though not one of them be truly sanctified, yet they are, as it is said, the church of Christ. Why then let them be so; but what are they the better for it? Are their persons, or their services, therefore accepted with God? Are they related or united unto Christ? Are they under his conduct unto glory? Are they meet for the inheritance of the saints in light ? Not at all ; not all, not any of these things, do they obtain thereby. What is it then that they get by the furious contest which they make for the reputation of this privilege ? Only this, that satisfying their minds by it, resting, if not priding themselves in it, they obtain many advantages to stifle all convictions of their condition, and so perish unavoidably. A sad success, and for
sons of God in a word cone neither is undesirata
ever to be bewailed. Yet is there nothing at all at this day more contended for in this world, than that Christ might be thought to be a Captain of salvation unto them unto whom he is not a sanctifier ; that he may have an unholy church, a dead body. These things tend neither to the glory of Christ, nor to the good of the souls of men. Let none then deceive themselves: sanctification is a qualification indispensably necessary unto them, who will be under the conduct of the Lord Christ unto salvation : he leads none to heaven, but whom he sanctifies on the earth. The holy God will not receive unholy persons. This living head will not admit of dead members, nor bring men into the possession of a glory which they neither love nor like.
Secondly, Having given this description of the Captain of salvation, and of the sons to be brought unto glory, the apostle affirms of them, that they are oživos, of one,' which made it meet for him to suffer, and for them to be made partakers of his sufferings. The equity hereof lies in the agreement, that he and they are of one; which, what it is, we must now inquire.
The word hath this ambiguity in it, that it may be of the masculine gender, and denote one person; or of the neuter, and signify one thing. If it relate unto the person, it may have a double interpretation.
1st, That it is God who is intended : they are, of one, that is God. And this may be spoken in several respects. The Son was of him by eternal generation, the many sons by temporal creation : they were made by him. Or they are all of him : he ordained him to be the Sanctifier, them to be sanctified; him to be the Captain of salvation, and them to be brought unto glory. And this sense, the last testimony produced by the apostle seems to give countenance unto : “ Behold I, and the children whom God hath given unto me;" me to be their Fa. ther, Captain, Leader; they to be the children to be cared for, and conducted by me. And this way went most of the ancients, in their exposition of this place. In this sense, the reason yielded by the apostle in these words, why the Captain of salvation should be made perfect by sufferings, because the sons to be brought unto glory were also to suffer; and they were all of one, both he and they, even of God. But though these things are true, yet they contain not a full reason of what the apostle intends to prove by this assertion. For this interpretation allows no other relation to be expressed between Christ and the sons, than what is between him and angels: they are also with him of one God. And yet the apostle afterward sheweth, that there was another union and relation between Christ and the elect needful, that they might be saved by him, than any that was between him and angels. And if nothing be in-VOL. III.
timated but the good pleasure of God, appointing him to be a Saviour, and them to be saved, because they were all of himself, of one God, which was sufficient to make that appointment just and righteous, then nothing is here asserted to prove the meetness of Christ to be a Saviour unto men, and not to angels, which yet the apostle in the following verses expressly, deduceth from hence.
2dly, If it respect a person, it may be ex uno liomine, (of one man,' that is, of Adam. They are all of one common root and stock, bę and they came all of one Adam ; unto him is the genealogy of Christ referred by Luke. And as a common stock of our nature, he is often called the one, the one man, Rom. v. And this, for the substance of it, falls in with what will be next considered.
3dly, It may be taken in the neuter sense, and denote one thing; and so also it may receive a double interpretation.
1. It may denote the same mass of human nature. Ezivos Qugruntas, of one and the same mass of human nature ;' or să syos do CTOS. So it is said of all mankind, that God made them, să évos árpatos, of one blood,' Acts xvii. 26. of one common principle, which gives an alliance, cognation, and brotherhood unto the whole race of mankind. As the making of all mankind by one God gives them all a relation unto hiin, as saith the apostle, “ We are all his offspring;” so their being made of one blood gives them a brotherhood among themselves ; see Acts xiv. 15. And this interpretation differs not in the substance of it from that last preceding; in as much as the whole mass of human nature had its existence in the person of Adam, only it refers not the oneness mentioned formally unto his person, but unto the nature itself whereof he was made partaker. And this sense the apostle farther explains, ver. 14. as he also observes it, Rom. ix, 5.
2. By one, some understand the same spiritual nature, the principles of spiritual life which is in Christ the head, and the children his members. And this they say is that which is their peculiar oneness, or being of one; seeing all wicked men, even reprobates, are of the same common mass of human nature as well as the children. But yet this is not satisfactory. It is true indeed, that after the children are really sanctified, they are of one and the same spiritual nature with their Head, i Cor. xü. 12. and hereby are they differenced from all others. But the apostle here treats of their being so of one, that he might be meet to suffer for them, which is antecedent unto their being sanctified, as the cause is unto the effect. ' Neither is it of any weight that the reprobates are partakers of the same common nature with the children, seeing the Lord Christ partook of it only on the childrens account, as ver. 14. And of their nature
he could not be partaker, without being partaker of that which was common to them all, seeing that of one blood God made all nations under heaven. But the bond of nature itself is in the covenant, reckoned only unto them that shall be sanctified.
It is then one common nature that is here intended. He and they are of the same nature, ot' one mass, of one blood. And hereby he became to be meet to suffer for them, and they to be in a capacity of enjoying the benefit of his sufferings; which how it answers the whole design of the apostle in this place, doth evidently appear.
First, He intends to shew that the Lord Christ was meet to suffer for the children ; and this arose from hence, that he was of the same nature with them, as he afterwards at large declares. And he was meet to sanctify them by his sufferings, as in this verse he intimates. For as in an offering made unto the Lord of the first fruits, of meat, or of meal, a parcel of the saine nature with the whole was taken and offered, whereby the whole was sanctified, Lev. ii.; so the Lord Jesus Christ, being taken as the first fruits of the nature of the children, and offered unto God, the whole lump, or the whole nature of man in the children, that is all the elect, is separated unto God, and effectually sanctified in their season. And this gives the ground unto all the testimonies which the apostle produceth unto his purpose out of the Old Testament. For being thus of one nature with them, he is not ashamed to call them brethren, as he proves from Psal. xxi. For although it be true, that as brethren is a term of spiritual cognation and love, he calls thein not so until they are made partakers of his Spirit, and of the same spiritual nature that is in him, yet the first foundation of this appellation lies in his participation of the same nature with . them, without which, however he might love them, he could not properly call them brethren. Also his participation of their nature, was that which brought him into such a condition, as wherein it was needful for him to put his trust in God, and to look for deliverance from him in a time of danger, which the apostle proves in the second place by a testimony out of Psal. xviii. which could not in any sense have been said of Christ, had he not been partaker of that nature, which is 'exposed unto all kind of wants and troubles, with outward straits and oppositions, which the nature of angels is not. And as his being thus of one with us, made him our brother, and placed him in that condition with us, wherein it was necessary for him to put his trust in God for deliverance, so being the principal head and first fruits of our nature, and therein the author and finisher of our salvation, he is a Father unto us, and we are his children, which the apostle proveth by his last testimony from Isa.
viii. “ Behold I, and the children which the Lord hath given unto me.” And further, upon the close of these testimonies, the apostle assumes again his proposition, and asserts it unto the same purpose, ver. 14. shewing in what sense he and the chil. dren were of one, namely in their mutual participation of flesh and blood.
And thus this interpretation of the word will sufficiently bear the whole weight of the apostle's argument and interences. But it any one list to extend the word farther, and to comprise in it the manifold relation that is between Christ and his members, I shall not contend about it. There may be in it, 1. Their being of one God, designing him and them to be one mystical body, one church, he the head, they the members. 2. Their taking into one covenant, made originally with him, and exemplified in them. 3. Their being of one common principle of human nature. 4. Designed unto a manifold spiritual union in respect of that new nature which the children receive from him, with every other thing that concurs to serve the union and relation between them ; but that which we have insisted on is principally intended, and to be so considered by us. And we might teach from hence, that,
III. The agreement of Christ and the elect in one common nature, is the foundation of his fitness to be an undertaker on their behalf, and of the equity of their being made parlakers of the benefits of his mediation. But that this will occur unto us again more fully, ver. 14.
And by all this doth the apostle discover unto the Hebrews, the unreasonableness of their offence at the afflicted condition and sufferings of the Messiah. He had reminded them of the work that he had to do, which was to save his elect by a spiri. tual and eternal salvation. He had also intimated what was their condition by nature, wherein they were unclean, unsancti. fied, separate from God. And withal had made known what the justice of God, as the supreme Governor and Judge of all required, that sinners might be saved. He now reniinds them of the union that was between him and them, whereby he became fit to suffer for them, as that they might enjoy the blessed effects thereof in deliverance and salvation.
Thirdly, The apostle lays down an inference from his preceding assertion, in those words, “ For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." In which words, we have, 1. The respect of that which is here affirmed unto the assertion foregoing—for which cause. 2. The thing itself affirmed, which is that the Lord Christ calls the sons to be brought unto glory, his brethren. 3. The manner of his so doing-he is not ashamed to call them so. And herein also the apostle, according to his wonted way of proceeding, which we have of