In God’s giving Christ to be our Redeemer, He gave the highest gift it was possible to bestow. As there is not a greater God than Himself to be conceived, so there is not a greater gift for this great God to present to His creatures; never did God go further, in any of His excellent perfections, than this. It is such a gift that cannot be transcended by a better. He is, as it were, come to the last mite of His treasure; and though He could create millions of worlds for us, He cannot give a greater Son to us.
He could abound in the expressions of His power, in new creations of worlds which have not yet been seen and, in the lustre of His wisdom, in more stately structures. But if He should frame as many worlds as there are mites of dust and matter in this, and make every one of them as bright and glorious as the sun; though His power and wisdom would be most signalised, yet His goodness could not [reach higher than to give Christ to be our Redeemer], since He hath not a more choice gift to bless those brighter worlds with than He hath conferred upon this. Nor can immense goodness contrive a richer means to conduct those worlds to happiness than He hath both invented for this world and presented it with. It cannot be imagined that [divine goodness] can extend itself further than to give a gift equal with Himself, a gift as dear to Him as Himself. His wisdom, had it studied millions of eternities (excuse the expression, since eternity admits of no millions, it being an interminable duration), it could have found out no more to give; this goodness could have bestowed no more, and our necessity could not have required a greater offering for our relief.
When God intended, in redemption, the manifestation of the highest goodness, it could not be without the choicest gift. As, when He would ensure our comfort, He swears “by Himself” because he cannot swear “by a greater” (Heb 6:13); so, when He would ensure our happiness, He gives us His Son, because He cannot give a greater, being equal with Himself. Had the Father given Himself in person, He had given one first in order, but not greater in essence and glorious perfections; it could have been no more than the life of God that should then have been laid down for us; and so it was [when Christ gave Himself], since the human nature did not subsist but in His Divine person.
1. Reprinted from The Existence and Attributes of God, vol 2, p 266, Baker edition, 1979.