Chapter IV

To Person of Christ the Foundation of all the Counsels of God

Secondly, The person of Christ is the foundation of all the counsels
of God, as unto his own eternal glory in the vocation, sanctification,
and salvation of the church. That which I intend is what the apostle
expresseth, Eph. 1: 9, 10: "Having made known unto us the mystery of
his will, according to his good pleasure, which he has purposed in
himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in him." The "mysteries of the will of
God, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself"--are
his counsels concerning his own eternal glory, in the sanctification
and salvation of the church here below, to be united unto that above.
The absolute original hereof was in his own good pleasure, or the
sovereign acting of his wisdom and will. But it was all to be effected
in Christ--which the apostle twice repeats: he would gather "all
things into a head in Christ, even in him" that is, in him alone.

Thus it is said of him, with respect unto his future incarnation and
work of mediation, that the Lord possessed him in the beginning of his
way, before his works of old; that he was set up from everlasting,
from the beginning, or ever the earth was: Prov. 8: 22, 23. The
eternal personal existence of the Son of God is supposed in these
expressions, as I have elsewhere proved. Without it, none of these
things could be affirmed of him. But there is a regard in them, both
unto his future incarnation, and the accomplishment of the counsels of
God thereby. With respect thereunto, God "possessed him in the
beginning of his way, and set him up from everlasting." God possessed
him eternally as his essential wisdom--as he was always, and is
always, in the bosom of the Father, in the mutual ineffable love of
the Father and Son, in the eternal bond of the Spirit. But he signally
possessed him "in the beginning of his way "--as his wisdom, acting in
the production of all the ways and works that are outwardly of him.
The "beginning of God's ways," before his works, are his counsels
concerning them--even as our counsels are the beginning of our ways,
with respect unto future works. And he "set him up from everlasting,"
as the foundation of all the counsels of his will, in and by whom they
were to be executed and accomplished.

So it is expressed: (verses 30, 31:) "I was by him, as one brought up
with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were
with the sons of men." And it is added, that thus it was before the
foundation of the world was laid, or the chiefest part of the dust of
the earth was made--that is, [before] man was created. Not only was
the delight of the Father in him, but his delight was in the habitable
part of the earth, and among the sons of men--before the creation of
the world. Wherefore, the eternal prospect of the work he had to do
for the children of men is intended herein. In and with him, God laid
the foundation of all his counsels concerning his love towards the
children of men. And two things may be observed herein.

1. That the person of the Son "was set up," or exalted herein. "I was
set up," saith he, "from everlasting." This cannot be spoken
absolutely of the person of the Son himself--the Divine nature being
not capable of being so set up. But there was a peculiar glory and
honour belonging unto the person of the Son, as designed by the Father
unto the execution of all the counsels of his will. Hence was that
prayer of his upon the accomplishment of them: (John 17: 5:) "And now,
0 Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had
with thee before the world was." To suppose that the Lord Christ
prayeth, in these words, for such a real communication of the
properties of the divine nature unto the human as should render it
immense, omniscient, and unconfined unto any space--is to think that
he prayed for the destruction, and not the exaltation of it. For, on
that supposition, it must necessarily lose all its own essential
properties, and consequently its being. Nor does he seem to pray only
for the manifestation of his divine nature, which was eclipsed in his
exinanition or appearance in the form of a servant. There was no need
to express this by--the "glory which he had with the Father before the
world was." For he had it not, in any especial manner, before the
world was; but equally from eternity, and in every moment of time.
Wherefore, he had a peculiar glory of his own, with the Father, before
the world was. And this was no other but that especial exaltation
which he had when he was "set up from everlasting," as the foundation
of the counsels of God, for the salvation of the church. In those
eternal transactions that were between the Father and the Son, with
respect unto his incarnation and mediation--or his undertaking to
execute and fulfill the eternal counsels of the wisdom and grace of
the Father--there was an especial glory which the Son had with him--
the "glory which he had with the Father before the world was." For the
manifestation hereof he now prays and that the glory of his goodness,
grace, and love--in his peculiar undertaking of the execution of the
counsels of God--might be made to appear. And this is the principal
design of the gospel. It is the declaration, as of the grace of God
the Father, so of the love, grace, goodness, and compassion of the
Son, in undertaking from everlasting the accomplishment of God's
counsels, in the salvation of the church. And hereby does he hold up
the pillars of the earth, or support this inferior creation, which
otherwise, with the inhabitants of it, would by sin have been
dissolved. And those by whom the eternal, divine preexistence, in the
form of God--antecedent unto his incarnation his denied, do what lies
in them expressly to despoil him of all that glory which he had with
the Father before the world was. So we have herein the whole of our
design. "In the beginning of God's ways, before his works of old" that
is, in his eternal counsels with respect unto the children of men, or
the sanctification and salvation of the church--the Lord possessed,
enjoyed the Son, as his eternal wisdom--in and with whom they were
laid, in and by whom they were to be accomplished, wherein his
delights were with the sons of men.

2. That there was an ineffable delight between the Father and the Son
in this his setting up or exaltation. "I was," saith he, "daily his
delight, rejoicing always before him." It is not absolutely the
mutual, eternal delight of the Father and the Son--arising from the
perfection of the same divine excellencies in each person--that is
intended. But respect is plainly had unto the counsels of God
concerning the salvation of mankind by him who is his power and wisdom
unto that end. This counsel of peace was originally between Jehovah
and the Branch, (Zech. 6: 13,) or the Father and the Son --as he was
to be incarnate. For therein was he "foreordained before the
foundation of the world;" (1 Pet. 1: 20 ,) viz, to be a Saviour and a
deliverer, by whom all the counsels of God were to be accomplished;
and this by his own will, and concurrence in counsel with the Father.
And such a foundation was laid of the salvation of the church in these
counsels of God--as transacted between the Father and the Son--that it
is said, that "eternal life was promised before the world began:" Tit.
1: 2. For, although the first formal promise was given after the fall,
yet was there such a preparation of grace and eternal life in these
counsels of God, with his unchangeable purpose to communicate them
unto us, that all the faithfulness of God was engaged in them. "God,
that cannot lie, promised before the world began." There was eternal
life with the Father--that is, in his counsel treasured up in Christ,
and in him afterwards manifested unto us: 1 John 1: 2. And, to show
the stability of this purpose and counsel of God, with the infallible
consequence of his actual promise, and efficacious accomplishment
thereof, "grace" is said to be "given us in Christ Jesus before the
world began:" 2 Tim. 1: 9.

In these counsels did God delight--or in the person of Christ, as his
eternal wisdom in their contrivance, and as the means of their
accomplishment in his future incarnation. Hence he so testifieth of
him: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul
delighteth;" (Isa.42:1;) as he also proclaims the same delight in him,
from heaven, in the days of his flesh: Matt. 3: 17; 17: 5. He was the
delight of God, as he in whom all his counsel for his own glory, in
the redemption and salvation of the church were laid and founded: "My
servant, in whom I will be glorified;" (Isa. 49: 3;) that is, "by
raising the tribes of Jacob, restoring the preserved of Israel, in
being a light unto the gentiles, and the salvation of God unto the
ends of the earth:" verse 6.

We conceive not aright of the counsels of God, when we think of
nothing but the effect of them, and the glory that ariseth from their
accomplishment. It is certainly true that they shall all issue in his
glory, and the demonstration of it shall fill up eternity. The
manifestative glory of God unto eternity, consists in the effects and
accomplishment of his holy counsels. Heaven is the state of the actual
accomplishment of all the counsels of God, in the sanctification and
salvation of the church. But it is not with God as it is with men. Let
men's counsels be ever so wise, it must needs abate of their
satisfaction in them, because their conjectures (and more they have
not) of their effects and events are altogether uncertain. But all the
counsels of God having their entire accomplishment through revolutions
perplexing and surpassing all created understandings, enclosed in them
infallibly and immutably, the great satisfaction, complacency, and
delight of the Divine Being is in these counsels themselves.

God does delight in the actual accomplishment of his works. He made
not this world, nor any thing in it, for its own sake. Much less did
he make this earth to be a theatre for men to act their lusts upon--
the use which it is now put to, and groans under. But he made "all
things for himself," Prov. 16: 4; he "made them for his pleasure,"
Rev. 4: 11; that is, not only by an act of sovereignty, but to his own
delight and satisfaction. And a double testimony did he give hereunto,
with respect unto the works of creation. (1.) In the approbation which
he gave of the whole upon its survey: and "God saw all that he had
made, and, behold, it was very good:" Gen. 1: 31. There was that
impression of his divine wisdom, power, and goodness upon the whole,
as manifested his glory; wherein he was well pleased. For immediately
thereon, all creatures capable of the conception and apprehension of
his glory, "sang forth his praise:" Job 38: 6, 7. (2.) In that he
rested from his works or in them, when they were finished: Gen. 2: 2.
It was not a rest of weariness from the labour of his work--but a rest
of complacency and delight in what he had wrought--that God entered

But the principal delight and complacency of God, is in his eternal
counsels. For all his delight in his works is but in the effects of
those divine properties whose primitive and principal exercise is in
the counsels themselves, from whence they proceed. Especially is it so
as unto these counsels of the Father and the Son, as to the redemption
and salvation of the church, wherein they delight, and mutually
rejoice in each other on their account. They are all eternal acts of
God's infinite wisdom, goodness, and love--a delight and complacency
wherein is no small part of the divine blessedness. These things are
absolutely inconceivable unto us, and ineffable by us; we cannot find
the Almighty out unto perfection. However, certain it is, from the
notions we have of the Divine Being and excellencies, and from the
revelation he has made of himself, that there is an infinite delight
in God--in the eternal acting of his wisdom, goodness, and love--
wherein, according to our weak and dark apprehensions of things, we
may safely place no small portion of divine blessedness.
Self-existence in its own immense being--thence self sufficiency unto
itself in all things--and thereon self satisfaction--is the principal
notion we have of divine blessedness.

1. God delights in these his eternal counsels in Christ, as they are
acts of infinite wisdom, as they are the highest instance wherein it
will exert itself. Hence, in the accomplishment of them, Christ is
emphatically said to be the "Wisdom of God;" (1 Cor. 1: 24;) he in
whom the counsels of his wisdom were to be fulfilled. And in him is
the manifold wisdom of God made known: Eph.3:10. Infinite wisdom being
that property of the divine nature whereby all the acting of it are
disposed and regulated, suitably unto his own glory, in all his divine
excellencies--he cannot but delight in all the acts of it. Even
amongst men--whose wisdom compared with that of God is folly itself--
yet is there nothing wherein they have a real rational complacency,
suitable unto the principles of their nature, but in such acting of
that wisdom which they have (and such as it is) towards the proper
ends of their being and duty. How much more does God delight himself
in the infinite perfection of his own wisdom, and its eternal acting
for the representation of all the glorious excellencies of his nature!
Such are his counsels concerning the salvation of the church by Jesus
Christ; and because they were all laid in him and with him, therefore
is he said to be his "delight continually before the world was." This
is that which is proposed as the object of our admiration, Rom. 11: 33-

2. They are acts of infinite goodness, whereon the divine nature
cannot but be infinitely delighted in them. As wisdom is the directive
principle of all divine operations, so goodness is the communicative
principle that is effectual in them. He is good, and he does good--
yea, he does good because he is good, and for no other reason--not by
the necessity of nature, but by the intervention of a free act of his
will. His goodness is absolutely infinite, essentially perfect in
itself; which it could not be if it belonged unto it, naturally and
necessarily, to act and communicate itself unto any thing without God
himself. The divine nature is eternally satisfied in and with its own
goodness; but it is that principle which is the immediate fountain of
all the communications of good unto others, by a free act of the will
of God. So when Moses desired to see his glory, he tells him that "he
will cause all his goodness to pass before him, and would be gracious
unto whom he would be gracious:" Exod. 33: 19. All divine operations--
in the gracious communication of God himself--are from his goodness,
by the intervention of a free act of his will. And the greatest
exercise and emanation of divine goodness, was in these holy counsels
of God for the salvation of the church by Jesus Christ. For whereas in
all other effects of his goodness he gives of his own, herein he gave
himself, in taking our nature upon him. And thence, as he expresseth
the design of man in his fall, as upbraiding him with folly and
ingratitude, "Behold, the man is become as one of us," Gen. 3: 22, we
may, with all humble thankfulness, express the means of our recovery,
"Behold, God is become like one of us," as the apostle declares it at
large, Phil. 2: 6-8. It is the nature of sincere goodness--even in its
lowest degree--above all other habits or principles of nature, to give
a delight and complacency unto the mind in the exercise of itself, and
communication of its effects. A good man does both delight in doing
good, and has an abundant reward for the doing it, in the doing of it.
And what shall we conceive concerning eternal, absolute, infinite,
perfect, immixed goodness, acting itself in the highest instance (in
an effect cognate and like unto it) that it can extend unto! So was it
in the counsels of God, concerning the incarnation of his Son and the
salvation of the church thereby. No heart can conceive, no tongue can
express, the least portion of that ineffable delight of the holy,
blessed God, in these counsels, wherein he acted and expressed unto
the utmost his own essential goodness. Shall a liberal man devise
liberal things, because they are suited unto his inclination? Shall a
good man find a secret refreshment and satisfaction in the exercise of
that low, weak, imperfect, minced goodness, that his nature is inlaid
withal?--And shall not He whose goodness is essential unto him--whose
being it is, and in whom it is the immediate principle of
communicating himself unto others--be infinitely delighted in the
highest exercise of it which divine wisdom did direct?

The effect of these eternal counsels of God in future glory is
reserved for them that do believe; and therein will there be the
nearest manifestation of the glory of God himself unto them, when he
"shall be glorified in his saints," and eternally "admired in all that
believe." But the blessed delight and satisfaction of God, was, and
is, in those counsels themselves, as they were acts of his infinite
wisdom and goodness. Herein was the Lord Christ his "delight
continually before the foundation of the world,"--in that *in* him
were all these counsels laid, and *through* him were they all to be
accomplished. The constitution of his person was the only way whereby
divine wisdom and goodness would act and communicate of themselves
unto mankind--in which acting are the eternal delight and complacency
of the Divine Being.

3. Love and grace have the same influence into the counsels of God,
as wisdom and goodness have. And, in the Scripture notion of these
things, they superadd unto goodness this consideration--that their
object is sinners, and those that are unworthy. God does universally
communicate of his goodness unto all his creatures, though there be an
especial exercise of it towards them that believe. But as unto his
love and grace, as they are peculiar unto his elect--the church chosen
in Christ before the foundation of the world--so they respect them
primarily in a lost, undone condition by sin. "God commendeth his love
towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us:"
Rom 5: 8. "God is love," says the apostle. His nature is essentially
so. And the best conception of the natural internal acting of the holy
persons, is love; and all the acts of it are full of delight. This is,
as it were, the womb of all the eternal counsels of God, which renders
his complacency in them ineffable. Hence does he so wonderfully
express his delight and complacency in the acting of his love towards
the church: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will
save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he
will joy over thee with singing:" Zeph. 3: 17. The reason why, in the
salvation of the church, he rejoiceth with joy and joyeth with singing-

  • the highest expression of divine complacency--is because he resteth in his love, and so is pleased in the exercise of its effects.

    But we must return to manifest in particular how all these counsels
    of God were laid in the person of Christ--to which end the things
    ensuing may be distinctly considered.

    1. God made all things, in the beginning, good, exceeding good. The
    whole of his work was disposed into a perfect harmony, beauty, and
    order, suited unto that manifestation of his own glory which he
    designed therein. And as all things had their own individual
    existence, and operations suited unto their being, and capable of an
    end, a rest, or a blessedness, congruous unto their natures and
    operations--so, in the various respects which they had each to other,
    in their mutual supplies, assistances, and cooperation, they all
    tended unto that ultimate end--his eternal glory. For as, in their
    beings and existence, they were effects of infinite power--so were
    their mutual respects and ends disposed in infinite wisdom. Thereon
    were the eternal power and wisdom of God glorified in them; the one in
    their production, the other in their disposal into their order and
    harmony. Man was a creature that God made, that by him he might
    receive the glory that he aimed at in and by the whole inanimate
    creation--both that below, which was for his use, and that above,
    which was for his contemplation. This was the end of our nature in its
    original constitution. Whereunto are we again restored in Christ:
    James 1: 18; Ps. 104: 24; 136: 5; Rom. 1: 20.

    2. God was pleased to permit the entrance of sin, both in heaven
    above and in earth beneath, whereby this whole order and harmony was
    disturbed. There are yet characters of divine power, wisdom, and
    goodness, remaining on the works of creation, and inseparable from
    their beings. But the primitive glory that was to redound unto God by
    them--especially as unto all things here below--was from the obedience
    of man, unto whom they were put in subjection. *Their* good estate
    depended on their subordination unto him in a way of natural use, as

  • his* did on God in the way of moral obedience: Gen. 1: 26, 28; Ps. 8: 6-8. Man, as was said, is a creature which God made, that by him he
    might receive the glory that he aimed at in and by the whole inanimate
    creation. This was the end of our nature in its original constitution.
    Whereunto are we again restored in Christ: James 1: 18. But the
    entrance of sin cast all this order into confusion, and brought the
    curse on all things here below. Hereby were they deprived of that
    estate wherein they were declared exceeding good, and cast into that
    of vanity--under the burden whereof they groan, and will do so to the
    end: Gen. 3: 17,18; Rom. 8: 20, 21. And these things we must again
    consider afterwards.

    3. Divine wisdom was no way surprised with this disaster. God had,
    from all eternity, laid in provisions of counsels for the recovery of
    all things into a better and more permanent estate than what was lost
    by sin. This is the "anapsuxis", the "apokatastasis pantoon", the
    revivification, the restitution of all things, Acts 3: 19, 21; the
    "anakefalaioosis", or the gathering all things in heaven and earth
    into a new head in Christ Jesus: Eph 1: 10. For although, it may be,
    there is more of curiosity than of edification in a scrupulous inquiry
    into the method or order of God's eternal decrees or counsels, and the
    disposal of them into a subserviency one unto another; yet this is
    necessary from the infinite wisdom, prescience, and immutability of
    God--that he is surprised with nothing, that he is put unto no new
    counsels, by any events in the works of creation. All things were
    disposed by him into those ways and methods--and that from eternity--
    which conduce unto, and certainly issue in, that glory which is
    ultimately intended. For as we are careful to state the eternal
    decrees of God, and the actual operations of his providence, so as
    that the liberty of the will of man, as the next cause of all his
    moral actions, be not infringed thereby--so ought we to be careful not
    to ascribe such a sacrilegious liberty unto the wills of any
    creatures, as that God should be surprised, imposed on, or changed by
    any of their acting whatever. For "known unto him are all his works
    from the foundation of the world," and with him there is neither
    "variableness nor shadow of turning."

    4. There were, therefore, eternal counsels of God, whereby he
    disposed all things into a new order, unto his own glory, in the
    sanctification and salvation of the church. And of them two things may
    be considered: (1.) Their original; (2.) The design of their

    (1.) Their first spring or original was in the divine will and wisdom
    alone, without respect unto any external moving cause. No reason can
    be given, no cause be assigned, of these counsels, but the will of God
    alone. Hence are they called or described, by--the "good pleasure
    which he purposed in himself;" (Eph. 1: 9;) "the purpose of him who
    worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will:" verse
    11. "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his
    counselor? Or who has first given unto him, and it shall be
    recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him,
    are all things:" Rom. 11: 34-36. The incarnation of Christ, and his
    mediation thereon, were not the procuring cause of these eternal
    counsels of God, but the effects of them, as the Scripture constantly
    declares. But, (2.) The design of their accomplishment was laid in the
    person of the Son alone. As he was the essential wisdom of God, all
    things were at first created by him. But upon a prospect of the ruin
    of all by sin, God would in and by him--as he was foreordained to be
    incarnate--restore all things. The whole counsel of God unto this end
    centred in him alone. Hence their foundation is rightly said to be
    laid in him, and is declared so to be by the apostle: Eph 1: 4. For
    the spring of the sanctification and salvation of the church lies in
    election, the decree whereof compriseth the counsels of God concerning
    them. Herein, God from the beginning "chooseth us unto salvation
    through sanctification of the Spirit;" (2 Thess. 2: 13;) the one being
    the end he designeth, the other the means and way thereof. But this he
    did in Christ; "he chooseth us in him before the foundation of the
    world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;"
    that is, "unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit." In him
    we were not actually, nor by faith, before the foundation of the
    world; yet were we then chosen in him, as the only foundation of the
    execution of all the counsels of God concerning our sanctification and

    Thus as all things were originally made and created by him, as he was
    the essential wisdom of God--so all things are renewed and recovered
    by him, as he is the provisional wisdom of God, in and by his
    incarnation. Therefore are these things put together and compared unto
    his glory. He "is the image of the invisible God, the first born of
    every creature: for by him were all things created that are in heaven,
    and that are in earth, visible and invisible; ... all things were
    created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him
    all things consist: and he is the head of the body, the church; who is
    the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he
    might have the preeminence:" Col. 1: 15-18.

    Two things, as the foundation of what is ascribed unto the Lord
    Christ in the ensuing discourse, are asserted: verse 15.--(1.) That he
    is "the image of the invisible God." (2.) That he is "the firstborn of
    every creature;" things seeming very distant in themselves, but
    gloriously united and centring in his person.

    (1.) He is "the image of the invisible God;" or, as it is elsewhere
    expressed, he is "in the form of God"--his essential form, for other
    form there is none in the divine nature--the "brightness of the glory,
    and the express image of the Father's person." And he is called here
    the "invisible God," not absolutely with respect unto his essence,
    though it be most true--the divine essence being absolutely invisible,
    and that equally, whether considered as in the Father or in the Son--
    but he is called so with respect unto his counsels, his will, his
    love, and his grace. For so none has seen him at any time; but the
    only-begotten, which is in the bosom of the Father, he declares him:
    John 1: 18. As he is thus the essential, the eternal image of the
    invisible God, his wisdom and power--the efficiency of the first
    creation, and its consistence being created, is ascribed unto him: "By
    him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in
    earth, visible and invisible:" Col. 1: 17. And because of the great
    notions and apprehensions that were then in the world--especially
    among the Jews, unto whom the apostle had respect in this epistle of
    the greatness and glory of the invisible part of the creation in
    heaven above, he mentions them in particular, under the most glorious
    titles that any could, or then did, ascribe unto them--"Whether they
    be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things
    were created by him, and for him;" the same expression that is used of
    God absolutely: Rom. 11: 36; Rev. 4: 11. Add hereunto those other
    places to this purpose, John 1: 1-3; Heb. 1: 1-3; and those that are
    not under the efficacy of spiritual infatuations, cannot but admire at
    the power of unbelief, the blindness of the minds of men, and the
    craft of Satan, in them who deny the divine nature of Jesus Christ.
    For whereas the apostle plainly affirms, that the works of the
    creation do demonstrate the eternal power and Godhead of him by whom
    they were created; (Rom. 1: 19, 20;) and not only so, but it is
    uncontrollably evident in the light of nature: it being so directly,
    expressly, frequently affirmed, that all things whatever, absolutely,
    and in their distributions into heaven and earth, with the things
    contained respectively in them, were made and created by Christ is the
    highest rebellion against the light and teachings of God, to
    disbelieve his divine existence and power.

    (2.) Again it is added, that he is "the firstborn of every creature;"
    which principally respects the new creation, as it is declared: (verse
    18:) "He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning,
    the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the
    preeminence." For in him were all the counsels of God laid for the
    recovery of all things unto himself--as he was to be incarnate. And
    the accomplishment of these counsels of God by him the apostle
    declares at large in the ensuing verses. And these things are both
    conjoined and composed in this place. As God the Father did nothing in
    the first Creation but by him--as his eternal wisdom; (John 1: 3; Heb.
    1: 2; Prov. 8;) so he designed nothing in the new creation, or
    restoration of all things unto his glory, but in him--as he was to be
    incarnate. Wherefore in his person were laid all the foundation of the
    counsels of God for the sanctification and salvation of the church.
    Herein he is glorified, and that in a way unspeakably exceeding an
    that glory which would have accrued unto him from the first creation,
    had all things abode in their primitive constitution.

    His person, therefore, is the foundation of the church--the great
    mystery of godliness, or the religion we profess--the entire life and
    soul of all spiritual truth--in that all the counsels of the wisdom,
    grace, and goodness of God, for the redemption, vocation,
    sanctification, and salvation of the church, were all laid in him, and
    by him were all to be accomplished.

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