The Connection of the 16. ver. with the 15. discussed: And how That Reconciliation to God in one body, ver. 16. is to be understood: whether of that reconciliation wrought for us, or in us.
I Meet but with one eminent difficulty in the coherence and contexture of these words, and that is the connexion of these two verses, v. 15. 16. as namely of these words, And that he might reconcile us to God, v. 16. &c. with the former v. 15. Having abolisht the enmity, &c. Now this en∣mity mentioned v.* 15. is evidently intended of the enmity betweene Jew and Gentile,* as is clear by its connexion with v. 14. Who hath made of twaine one, and broken downe the partition wall: Having slain the enmity. Now the twaine, or the two, thus made one (between whom this enmity was) is not God and we, but the Jewes and the Gentiles (of whom he had spoken in the former verses) for he adds, that he might create both in one new man, which could not be said of God and us.
Now then the difficulty is, what reconciliation to God in Page 4 one body that should be v. 16. which the Apostle makes the consequent of having slain the enmity betweene these Jewes and Gentiles; For the connexion seemes to import the one a consequent of the other: And the words to run thus, Having slain the enmity between themselves, v. 15. that he might reconcile them to God, v. 16. Now this recon∣ciliation to God must be either meant of the work of re∣conciliation wrought in us, whereby we turne unto God, as 1 Cor.* 5. Be ye reconciled to God, or that Reconciliation which Christ wrought for us unto God: and whether of these should be intended,* is the Question. And so withall the Question is, whether those words, v. 16. And that he might reconcile both unto God, are to be cast unto the 15. verse as a part of the discourse thereof, or doe not rather begin a new and entire discourse full and compleat within them∣selves.
For the first stand many Interpreters, and the chief rea∣son for that opinion is,* The coherence of these words with those next immediately foregoing, Having abolisht the en∣mity, that he might create in himselfe of twayne one New man, and that he might reconcile both unto God, &c. The resolve of which seemes to be this, That Christ having on the Crosse wrought in himselfe this great worke for us, to slay the enmity betweene us, and make both one, by the sacrifice of himselfe, and this as the antecedent worke: That yet there remained two other as consequent works as the effects that follow therefrom. Namely,
1. To create both one new man, so making actually peace between themselves. And 2. To bring them both into an actuall state of reconciliation with God, by working re∣conciliation in them towards God, so making them one body.
And the reason for this interpretation further is, That both these two are brought in and yoked in the like Tenour Page 5 of speech,*That he might create, &c. And that he might re∣concile; as if they were like parallel fruits of that ante∣cedent worke, slaying that enmity mentioned, v. 15. and ac∣cording to this parallel, looke as creating them both into one new man, is and must be acknowledged to be under∣stood of a worke wrought in them, viz. the new Creation: so also that other, the reconciling them to God must be understood of the worke of reconciliation unto God wrought in them also; and so the new man they are crea∣ted into, v. 15. answereth but unto that one body they are re∣conciled unto, v. 16. being one and the same.
And that which encreaseth the difficulty is, that if it should be understood of reconciliation unto God himselfe wrought by Christ on the Crosse, how such a reconciliation should be the consequent of his slaying first the enmity be∣tween the Saints themselves, so as it should be said, He slew the enmity among the Saints, that he might reconcile them to God: This is not consonant to reason, seeing rather (that according to the harmony and dependance of Theologicall truths) his reconciling them unto God upon the Crosse is the antecedent and cause of his slaying the enmity of them mutually, because our reconciliation one with another is rather depending upon, and the fruit of reconciliation with God himselfe, who being first reconciled to us, all things else are reconciled one to another; as Subjects that have beene at variance, when reconciled to their Prince or Head, become reconciled one to another among themselves.
But yet I rather incline to thinke, that other kind of re∣conciliation betweene God and us, wrought by Christ for us on the Crosse, to be intended v. 16. and so to be brought in as a parallel with that former reconciliation wrought by him also on the Crosse betweene and on behalfe of the Jew and Gentile mutually. And so this 16. v. to begin a new and Page 6 intire discourse, apart and sejunct from the other, namely, of our reconciliation with God, as the former verses had discoursed of that reconciliation which is wrought for us betweene our selves.
And so the maine proportions of this parallel are these, that as that reconciliation betweene Jew and Gentile, wrought by Christ on the Crosse, had two parts, 1. Positive, making both one. 2. Privative, the amoveing the impedi∣ment that caused the enmity, v. 15. (the consequent of which is the creating of both into one new man:) So the A∣postle discoursing, v. 16. of this other reconciliation with God,* he therein intends to make like two parts thereof, an∣swerable to the other, onely with a transposition of speech, 1. Positive, reconciliation to God in one body: 2. Privative, Having slaine that enmity, namely, against God: The re∣solution of all which is, as if he had said, Whereas there was a double enmity, one to God, another among our selves; Christ that is our peace hath dealt with both: He having slaine the enmity betweene themselves,*hath made both one: And having slaine in like manner the enmity to God,*hath reconciled us unto God.
Now that which cleares and confirmes this connexion is,
1. That this renders a more full and just analysis of the words, which is this: 1. That v. 14. He in generall pro∣claimes Christ our peace. And then 2. In the next words proceeds to the two particular branches, wherein Christ is made our peace, 1. Betweene our selves mutually, 2. Be∣tweene God and us. And then 3. In the handling of either, observeth this parallel in either, namely, betweene a privo∣tive part, slaying the enmity; and a positive part, recon∣ciling and making one, so enumerating the compleat requi∣sites to either.
Then 2. To shew, that these are indeed two disjunct and Page 7 compleat discourses of two such heads of Reconciliation: He severs the first, v. 15. from the second, v. 16. by ad∣ding a full period, and as it were a Selah to the first, thus sealing up the v. 15. So making peace, namely, fully and compleatly, that peace, which had beene spoken of among Jew and Gentile, that so he might enter anew, and distinct∣ly from this, upon that other of reconciling both unto God, which he doth, v. 16.
Then 3. For the close of that 16. v. that he should in like manner bring in a second time these words, [Having slaine the enmity] upon occasion of his mentioning our re∣conciliation to God, argues still more, his aime to be to cut off the 16. v. from the 15. For if those words, v. 16. That he might reconcile us to God, had referred to that other [Having slaine the enmity, v. 15.] as a part of that sentence not made compleat; then this second [Having slaine the enmity] nee∣ded not to have been: but doth rather shew, that there's ano∣ther enmity betweene God and us, distinct from the former intended by him; and so the slaying thereof, joyned pro∣perly and genuinely with its fellow conjugate, namely, re∣conciliation unto God, as the former, v. 15. had in like man∣ner beene connected with its conjugate also, making both one among themselves. If indeed the Apostle had carried his speech in the 15. v. thus, Having abolisht the enmity be∣tweene them, that he might create one new man, and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body, and so ended his discourse of it: then these two, in their reference could not have beene parted: but he moreover adding to their recon∣ciling to God, a second time these words, Having slain the en∣mity (namely, that betweene God and us) he so maketh the 16. v. an entire sentence and period of it self, as the 14, and 15, doe make in like manner a full period of themselves: and so the 14, and 15, are to be read and joyned thus; Christ hath made both (Jew and Gentile) one, having slain the enmityPage 8 (that was betweene them:) thus Beza and others: and an∣swerably the 16. to this sense, with an easy and faire trans∣position, And having slaine, Or, And hath slaine the enmity (namely, betweene God and them) that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Crosse, on which he also slew that enmity.
And whereas it will be said, That the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or (And) which the 16. v. begins with, seemeth to cast the reference of this, upon the former slaying the enmity, v. 15. and so the latter to be but an emphaticall repetition of the same: I an∣swer, That that (and) v. 16. is but all one with moreover, as it is often used, as introducing a new and distinct dis∣course, added to a former.
And so 4. As thus understood the parallel is rendred yet more full; for as there is here found a double enmity, and an answerable double slaying of each in order to a double reconciliation, so to make up the parallel (which the Apostle intended) yet the more full, there are two further clauses added to each, fitly answering to one another. For as of the one he sayes, Having abolisht the enmity IN HIS FLESH, v. 15. so of the other (the latter) in like man∣ner he speakes, having slaine that enmity IN HIM∣SELFE, v. 16. as the Greeke beares, and the margent varies it.
Now as to any difficulty proposed, That which is left as materiall to be considered, is onely this; How his having slaine that enmity betweene us our selves first, should be conceived to be the antecedent to reconcile us to God?
Now for answer hereunto; 1. Besides, that according to that connexion which I have given, that the 16. v. should thus make up a full period of it selfe, and doth keepe it selfe intire within it selfe (as v. 14, and 15, also doe) and so not at all referring to the slaying the enmity, v. 15. as hath beene Page 9 explained; which coherence doth at once cut off the whole of that objection at first made: But besides this (supposing it might take in, and referre to that slaying the enmity v. 15. among the Saints, as the antecedent, or at least ingredient unto their reconciliation with God) there may perhaps this just assoylment be given thereto.
That 2. In order of nature, All enmity must first be sup∣posed removed, ere friendship or (as here) reconciliation, can be supposed to be procured: the reason of which is obvious to any judgement, first peace by slaying enmity, and then good will. And so upon this and the like grounds, these words, that he might reconcile unto God in one body, may well be supposed to have a secondary aspect to his ha∣ving first abolisht the enmity between our selves, ver. 15. as well as our enmity against God, ver. 16. And the Apostle his adding [IN ONE BODY] (which he studiously hath done) shewes, that they being under that notion and respect reconciled unto God by Christ upon the Crosse; that then withall at the same time, yea in order of nature, first, their enmities one against another were removed as well as against God himselfe: All sorts of Enmities being to be removed ere Any sort of Reconciliation attained, surely under that notion, they cannot be considered reconciled to God, but withall it must be said, they are at peace, and so made one among themselves, at least these two doe mutually argue each the other. If indeed there had beene roome left for us to conceive, that our reconciliation with God had beene so wrought by Christ for us, as for each person consider'd onely single, and apart (though even so it was intended, namely for each and every person; and this is involved in that other:) Then indeed it might have beene supposed that their enmities to God, had been slain and done first away, and reconciliation wrought with him first, by one primary act, & then after that, ex consequenti, as a secon∣dary Page 10 worke, our reconciliation amongst our selves had been cast in, and followed thereupon; or which is all one, wrought and procured by a second act or intention of Christs. But if in one and the same very individuall act, and intention of their being reconciled to God, they were considered [AS ONE BODY] and that this is put in as an involved ingredient thereinto, so, you must necessa∣rily suppose their owne mutuall enmities done away also, at least together therewith, by one and the same individuall act also; and this consideration if there were no other, is a sufficient salvo to the forementioned difficulty. Now how this reconciliation unto God in one Body was performed by Christ on the Crosse, I shall handle in the second Section of this discourse.
I shall trouble you no further with untying this knot, or the drawing out into one smooth continued line, the series of this coherence: For however (take the 16. ver. in which of these senses you please) the words in the 14. and 15. ver. are sufficient bottome for the heads of that whole discourse I intend. For these words, ver. 14, 15. doe un∣deniably (as all must confesse) treat of the reconciliation of the people of God among themselves, and sufficiently hold forth these two Generalls.
1. The work of Christ on the Crosse to procure it, He hath made both one, having slaine the enmity in his flesh: and hath virtually (in the virtue of his death) broke downe the partition wall that occasioned it, which in his providence he after ruined. And 2. the work of Christ by his spirit in us, creating both one new man in himselfe.
And now take the other words ver. 16. in either sense, or in both, (which are not inconsistent) however this is observable even therein; that the Apostle was not content to have setly pursued the Saints reconciliation among them∣selves, Page 11 in those two whole verses, the 14, 15. but when he speaks of reconciliation with God also, ver. 16. he must needs add, and put in that clause also, IN ONE BODY; the reconciliation then of the Saints mutuall is upon all ac∣counts, the principall intendment of the Apostle here.