The first step that the Father took, in the path of love to his elect, was in treating with Christ in their behalf, and appointing him to be their head, their husband, their surety, their mediator, their father, and their brother. But when was this living head, surety, husband, mediator, father, and brother, elected, ordained, and appointed? Why, it is dated from everlasting; as the Saviour declares, "The Lord possessed me in the beginning, of his way (mark, here are his goings forth from everlasting, called to beginning of his way), before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there was no depths, I was brought forth when there were no fountains abounding with water: before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth." (Prov. 8:22-25) Thus it appears that Christ was elected, appointed, pre-ordained, and set up from everlasting to be future man and mediator; and was delivered to death for his elect by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Thus God the Father makes known his electing and everlasting love to his chosen people, in appointing and giving Christ to them before the world was. When he set up Christ for our living head he gave us eternal life in him; as it is written, "In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie promised before the world began." (Titus 1:1) Christ is the quickening Spirit, that quickens all his redeemed; for he is our life, who has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In another passage he himself saith, "Because I live ye shall live also." (John 14:19) And it must be so; "For, as in Adam all (his natural seed) die, even so in Christ shall all (his spiritual seed) be made alive." But I proceed. When Christ was set up he was appointed to be the husband of God's chosen daughter. And as man and wife they were viewed one in union from everlasting; for the covenant of grace is a covenant of eternal wedlock: as it is written, "A certain king made a marriage for his son." (Matt. 22:2) And thus likewise runs the tenor of the covenant of wedlock, as God the Father speaks to his elect, "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young, man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." (Isa. 62:4,5) Thus the elect were chosen as the king's daughter-in-law from eternity." (Ps. 132:13) They are espoused in time; (2 Cor. 11:2) and the marriage shall be consummated in bliss, when the mystery of God is finished; as it is written, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." (Rev. 19:7) And then she shall be clad in gold of Ophir, and be brought with joy and rejoicing to enter into the king's palace. (Ps. 45:15)
--- William Huntington
God’s Everlasting Love
God’s love to his Son, as a Mediator, is an everlasting love; Thou lovedst me,says Christ (John 17:24), before the foundation of the world.This love was a love of complacency and delight; for Christ as Mediator, was from everlasting, then by him,that is, the Father (Prov. 8:30), as one brought up with him, and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.Now God loves his elect with the same love he loves his Son as Mediator. Hence Christ prays for the open and manifest union between him and his people; Thatsays he (John 17:23), the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.If God therefore has loved his Son, as Mediator, from everlasting, with a love of complacency and delight, and he has loved his elect from everlasting with the same love he has loved him, then he must have loved his elect from everlasting with a love of complacency and delight: and, indeed how can it otherwise be, since the elect were always in Christ their Head, in whom they were chosen before the foundation of the world? And they could not be considered in him but as righteous persons, through his righteousness, with which God is always well pleased, because by it the law is magnified, and made honorable; and so Christ is often said to be God’s beloved Son, in whomnot withwhom, he is well pleased(Matthew 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:17); which designs not his person only singly, but all the elect, as considered in him, who together with Christ, are the objects of God’s eternal delight and pleasure. It is certain that Jesus Christ has, from everlasting, loved the elect with a love of complacency and delight; for from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was, when there were no depths nor fountains, before the mountains and hills were brought into being, while as yet God had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world, Christ’s delights were with the sons of men" (Prov. 8:31). The word in the Hebrew rendered delights,is expressive of the most intimate, sweet, ravishing delight and pleasure; and it being not only in the plural number, but also having its radical letters, especially its two first radical letters, doubled, which, in the Hebrewlanguage,increases the signification of the word; it sets forth, that exceeding great delight and pleasure which Christ had in his people from everlasting; nay, he not only took delight in the persons of the elect, as they were presented to him in the glass of his Father’s purposes and decrees, but took pleasure also in the fore-views of the very spots of ground where he knew his people would dwell: and hence he says, that he was rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth (Prov. 8:31). Now why God the Father should not, from everlasting, love the elect with the same love his son did, I know not.