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chiefly fall to be considered : 1st, His Person ; 2dly, His duties; 3dly, The manner of performing those duties. As to the Person of the Goel or Redeemer, it behoved him to be the nearest relation, or failing him, some kinsman.m To such a one, in virtue of his relationship, a fourfold right belonged; or if you please, a fourfold duty was incumbent upon him. 1. That of redeeming possessions of his brother or kinsman, which had been sold or alienated, as a house or land. 2. That of obtaining his freedom, if he were a captive or a servant. 3. That of avenging him, if murdered; hence he was called “ the avenger of blood.”p 4. That of marrying the wife of a deceased brother or kinsman, to raise up seed to him;9 as a pledge of which, he spread over her the skirt of his garment ;? for, amongst the Jews, this was a symbol of conjugal duty, love, and protection.s
With regard to the manner of performing these offices, three things are observable. 1. That sometimes a price was to be paid, as in the redemption of property that had been sold. 2. That on some occasions power and force were to be employed, as in the avenging of blood. 3. That sometimes kindness was to be shown to a widow, as in the case of marrying a deceased brother's wife. These, when taken together, include almost every thing relative to the Goel, of which we are informed by the Mosaic law.
Xxxv. Christ was called Goel before the institution
m Lev. XXV. 25, 48, 49.
n Lev. xxv. 25. • Lev. xxv. 47, 48. . P0705812 Num. xxxv. 19. Deut. xix. 6. 9 Deut. xxv. 5.
Ruth iii. 9. Deut. xxii. 30. Ezek. xvi. 8. VOL. II.
and beyond the sphere of the Mosaic polity;t and perhaps some rights pertaining to the Goel prevailed in the families of the patriarchs; among whom, some traces at least, of the right of a husband's brother, oceur.u But the prophets that flourished after Moses, sometimes distinguish our Saviour by the same name." And all things which the law required in the Goel are found united in Christ.
XXXVI. With respect to the person, Christ, by assuming our nature, became our Brother and Kinsman, that being already possessed of the right of propriety, as God, he might obtain the right of propinquity, as our Relative. Indeed he is in a peculiar manner related to the Jews, as from them he sprung. On this account he is said to have taken on him the seed of Abraham,y and from this Paul gathers that the Jews shall one day be restored. But in a more general view, Christ is also the brother of other men, without distinction of nations ;-not indeed of all mankind and of every individual, but of those that belong to “ the seed of the woman," who are so called according to the promise, and opposed to “ the seed of the ser“ pent." The Israelites, then, are related to the Messiah at once by paternal and maternal extraction-by their descent as well from mother Eve as from father Abraham; for to him also a promise of the blessed seed was made. The Gentiles are related to the Messiah, at least, by maternal descent. On both sides we ought to consider not the mere carnal alliance, but the divine promise, which is the source of a true and beneficial relation.a
t Gen. xlviii. 16. Job xix. 25.
Rom. xi. 26.
+ Gen. xxxviii. 6-8.
XxxvII. By virtue of this right of propinquity, Christ has claimed us to himself; of which we have a form in the following words: “ But now thus saith the Lord " that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, “ O Israel; Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I “ have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” b Christ too has omitted none of those duties that could be expected from a Goel; for, 1st, By his meritorious righteousness he has recovered our lost possessions, and that heavenly inheritance which we had forfeited by our demerit;——“ having obtained eternal redemption.”a 2dly, He hath delivered us who were captives, and in a state of bondage to the devil.e 3dly, He has taken vengeance on our enemies, who had murdered our souls. 4thly, He has dissolved our connexion with our former husband, to wit, the law and covenant of works, and joined us to himself in an everlasting and indissoluble marriage, according to the covenant of grace. For the confirmation of this union, too, he has spread over us the garment of his most perfect righteousness;h which is shadowed forth in Ezekiel,i by a naked and polluted female, over whom it pleased God, having entered into a marriage-covenant with her, to spread his skirt.*
XXXVIII. Nothing is omitted even as to the manner of performing these offices; for, 1st, He has redeemed
• In the first Edition, the Author here refers to Turretin. de Salisf. Chrisi. Disp. iii. Sect. 30, 31. * Ephes. ii. 15.
b guns xa Is. xliü. 1. * Tit. iii. 7.
& Heb. ix. 12. e Luke i. 71.
f Col. ii. 15. Heb. i. 14. i Rom. vii. 4. Ephcs. v. 25, 26. h Gal. ii, 27. Chap. xvi. 8.
us by paying a most ample price.j 2dly, He has rescued us from the slavery of the devil by the most signal exertions of might and power.k 3dly, He has displayed incredible love in betrothing and purchasing the church to himself. See copious illustrations of these points by James Alting.*
XXXIX. With respect to our Lord's being born of a Virgin, this is an evidence of a holy and immaculate conception and birth: For these two consequences fol. low from his mother's virginity. 1st, That our Surety was not represented in Adam's covenant, since he was not born according to the law of nature, and consequently was not liable to the imputation of Adam's sin.2dly, That he could not be considered as existing in Adam, when Adam sinned ; for he was not born by virtue of that blessing which God pronounced on marriage before the fall, and which was annexed to the old covenant, “ Be fruitful and multiply;"—but by virtue of a new promise subsequent to the fall, in which he is denominated “ the seed of the woman,” and appointed the second Adam, the root and head of the new creation.
XL. This immaculate holiness of the conception and nativity of Christ, or, which is the same thing, this original purity of our Lord's human nature, tends without doubt to our advantage. It is a counterpart to that impurity and depravity of our nature in which we were conceived and born, and is intended to cover it. In
• In Commentariis ad Rom. xi. 26. et in quarta Heptade Disserlationum, Dissert. iv. Sect. xv. et Dissert vi.
j Job xxxii. 24. Mat. XX. 28. 1 Tim. ii. 6.
7 See Note VII.
other words, it forms a part of that perfect righteousness of Christ, by which, in the capacity of Surety, he satisfied all the demands of the law in our place, and which is ours in all its extent. The law declares that no man is worthy of eternal life, but one that is holy in nature as well as in conduct. Since sin consists wholly in contrariety to the law, that corruption of nature which is born with us will not be sin, unless it be contrary to the law. But it will not be contrary to the law, unless the law, by a precept opposed to it, require holiness of nature in every rational creature as soon as born. Besides, Christ, as our Surety, performed every thing that the law of righteousness demanded on our account. For our sake, therefore, it behoved him to be born righteous and holy, according to the demand of the law; that he might cover our original sin with his original righteousness, and supply our want of original righteousness.
XLI. This assertion is not, as some have imagined, a novel opinion, or an error springing from our ignorance and temerity. The most eminent men in the Church, have formerly, according to holy writ, taught the same doctrine. We read in the Palatine Catechism, Quest. xxxvi. “ Whát benefit do you derive “ from the holy conception and birth of Christ ? Ans. “ That he is our Mediator, and that, by his innocence " and perfect holiness, he covers my sins in which I “ was conceived, that they may not appear in the sight “ of God.” Gomar says;“Of whose righteousness, "namely that of Christ, there are two parts, a habitual “ and original righteousness of nature, and an actual "and perpetual righteousness of life. The former of " these is opposed to our original, and the latter to “ our actual unrighteousness; and covers it in its own