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FORCE OF THE WORD “GIVETH."
But again, this word, giveth, is not to be rejected; for it hath its proper use, and may signify to us,
1. That though the act of giving among men doth admit of the time past, or the time to come, and is to be spoken of with reference to such time; yet with God it is not so. Things past, or things to come are always present with God, and with his Son Jesus Christ: “He calleth things that are not” that is, to us, “as though they were.”
And again, “Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world.” All things to God are present, and so the gift of the Father to the Son; although to us, as is manifest by the word, it is an act that is past. Rom. iv. 17; Acts xv.
10. 2. Christ may express himself thus, to show, that the Father hath not only given him this portion in the lump, before the world was, but that those that he had so given, he will give him again; that is, will bring them to him individually, at the time of their conversion. For the Father bringeth them to Christ. John vi. 44. As it is said, “She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work;” that is, in the righteousness of Christ; for it is God imputeth that to those that a resaved.” Psalm xlv. 14; 1 Cor. i. A man giveth his daughter to such a man, first in order to marriage, and this respects the time past; and he giveth her again at the day appointed in marriage. And in this last sense, perhaps, the text may have a meaning; that is, that all that the Father hath (before the world was) given to Jesus Christ, he giveth them again to him, in the day of their espousals.
Things that are given among men, are ofttimes best at first, that is, when they are new; and the reason is, because all earthly things wax old. But with Christ it is not so. This gift of the Father is not old and deformed, and unpleasant in his eyes; and therefore to him it is always new. When the Lord spake of giving the land of Canaan to the Israelites, he said not, that he had given, or would give it
to them, but thus: “The Lord thy God giveth thee this good land.” Deut. ix. 6. Not but that he had given it to them, while they were in the loins of their fathers, hundreds of
years before. Yet he saith now he "giveth” it to them; as if they were now also in the very act of taking possession, when as yet they were on the other side Jordan. What then should be the meaning ? Why, I take it to be this: That the land should be to them always as new; as new, as if they were taking possession thereof but now. And so is the gift of the Father, mentioned in the text, to the Son; it is always now, as if it were always new.
“All that the Father giveth me.” In these words you find mention made of two persons, the Father and the Son: the Father giving and the Son receiving or accepting of this gift. This then, in the first place, clearly demonstrateth, that the Father and the Son, though they, with the Holy Ghost, are one and the same eternal God, yet, as to their personality, are distinct. The Father is one, the Son is one, the Holy Spirit is one. But because there is in this text mention made but of two of the three, therefore a word about these two. The giver and receiver cannot be the same person in a proper sense, in the same act of giving and receiving. He that giveth, giveth not to himself, but to another; the Father giveth not to the Father, that is, to himself, but to the Son; the Son receiveth not of the Son, that is, of himself, but of the Father. So when the Father giveth commandment, he giveth it not to himself, but to another. As Christ saith, “He gave me a commandment." John xii. 49. So again, “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me, beareth witness of me.” John viii. 18.
Further, here is something implied that is not expressed, namely, that the Father hath not given all men to Christ; that is, in that sense intended in the text, though in a larger (as was said before) he hath given him every one of them.
THE FATHER HONORS THE SON.
For then all should be saved. He hath therefore disposed of some another way. He gives some up to idolatry; he gives some up to uncleanness, to vile affections, and to a reprobate mind. Now these he disposeth of in his anger, for their destruction, that they may reap the fruit of their doings, and be filled with the reward of their own ways. Acts vii. 42; Rom. i. 24, 26, 28. But neither hath he thus disposed of all men. He hath even of mercy reserved some from these judgments; and those are they that he will pardon, as he saith, “For I will pardon them whom I reserve.” Jer. 1. 20. Now these he hath given to Jesus Christ by will, as a legacy and portion. Hence the Lord Jesus says, “This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."
The Father therefore, in giving them to him to Christ to save them, must needs declare unto us these following things :
1. That he is able to answer this design of God, viz., to save them to the uttermost sin, the uttermost temptation, &c. Heb. vii. 25. Hence he is said to “lay help on one that is mighty," "mighty to save;" and hence it is again, that God did even of old promise to send his people a Saviour, “a great one." Psalm lxxxix. 19; Isa. lxiii. 1. To save is a great work, that calls for almightiness in the undertaker. Hence he is called “The Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God," &c. Sin is strong; Satan is also strong; death and the grave are strong, and so is the curse of the law; therefore it follows, that this Jesus must needs be by God the Father accounted almighty, in that he hath given his elect to him to save them, and deliver them from these, and that in despite of all their force and power. And the Son gave us testimony of this his might, when he was employed in that part of our deliverance that called for a declaration of it. He abolished death; he destroyed him that had the power of death; he was the destruction of the
hath finished sin, and made an end of it, as to its damning effect upon
that the Father hath given him; he hath vanquished the curse of the law, nailed it to his cross, triumphed over these things upon his cross, and made a show of them openly. 2 Tim. i. 10; Heb. ii. 14, 15; Hos. xii. 14; Dan. ix. 24; Gal. ii. 13; Col. ii. 14, 15.
Yea, and even now, as a sign of his triumph and conquest he is alive from the dead, and hath the keys of hell and death in his own keeping. Rev. i. 18.
2. The Father's giving them to him to save them, declares unto us that he is and will be faithful in his office of Mediator; and that therefore they shall be secured from the fruit and wages of their sins, which is eternal damnation, by his faithful execution of it. And indeed it is said, even by the Holy Ghost himself, “That he is faithful to him that appointed him;" that is, to this work of saving those that the Father hath given him for that purpose; as
Moses was faithful in all his house.” Yea, and more faithful too; for Moses was faithful in God's house, but as a servant, “ but Christ as a Son, over his own house." Heb. iii. And therefore this man is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, even upon this account, because more faithful than he, as well as because of the dignity of his person. Therefore in him, and in his truth and faithfulness God rested, well pleased, all the government of his people upon his shoulders. Knowing that nothing shall be wanting in him, that may any way perfect the design. And of this he, that is, the Son, hath already given a proof: for when the time was come, that his blood was by divine justice required for their redemption, washing, and cleansing, he as freely poured it out of his heart as if it had been water out of a vessel : not sticking to part with his own life, that the life which was laid up for his people in heaven might not fail to be bestowed upon them. And upon this account (as well as upon any other) it is that God called him the “righteous
CHRIST IS BOTH ABLE AND FAITHFUL.
servant.”. Isa. liii. For his righteousness could never have been complete, if he had not been to the uttermost faithful to the work he undertook. It is also because he is faithful and true, that in righteousness he doth judge and make war for his people's deliverance. He will faithfully perform this trust reposed in him. The Father knows this, and hath therefore given his elect unto him.
3. The Father's giving them to bim, to save them, declares that he is, and will be gentle and patient towards them under all their provocations and miscarriages. It is not to be imagined, the trials and provocations that the Son of God hath all along had with those people that have been given to him to save. Indeed he is said to be " a tried stone;" for he has been tried, not only by the devil, guilt of sin, death, and the curse of the law, but also by his people's ignorance, unruliness, falls into sin, and declining to errors in life and doctrine. Were we but capable of seeing how this Lord Jesus has been tried even by his people, ever since there was one of them in the world, we should be amazed at his patience and gentle carriage to them. It is said, indeed, “The Lord is very pitiful, slow to anger, and of great mercy:" and indeed, if he had not been so, he could never have endured their manners as he has done from Adam hitherto. Therefore are his pity and yearnings towards his church preferred above the pity and yearnings of a mother towards her child. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, saith the Lord.” Isa. xlix. 15.
God did once give Moses, as Christ's servant, a handful of his people, to carry them in his bosom, but no farther than from Egypt to Canaan; and this Moses, as is said of him by the Holy Ghost, was the meekest man that was then to be found on the earth ; ‘yea, and he loved the people,' at a very great rate; yet neither would his meekness nor his