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Of the Covenant of God with the Elect.

HE plan of this work, formerly laid down, has now brought us to treat of God's COVENANT WITH THE ELECT, founded on the compact between the Father and the Son. The nature of which we shall first unfold in general, and then more particularly explain it in the following order, as first to speak of the CONTRACTING PARTIES: then enquire into the PROMISES of the Covenant, and moreover, examine whether, and what, and how far, any thing may be required of the elect, by way of a CONDITION in the Covenant: in fine, to debate whether this covenant has its peculiar THREATENINGS.

II. The CONTRACTING PARTIES are, on the one part, GOD; on the other, the ELECT. And God is to be considered, 1. As truly all-sufficient, for all manner of happiness, not only to himself, nay, nor only to the innocent creature, but also to guilty and sinful man. He himself impressed this upon Abraham at the renewal of the covenant, when God emphatically called himself the Almighty God, or God all-sufficient, Gen. xvii. 1. denotes powerful, and sometimes too in the VOL. I. abstract


abstract, power, as Prov. iii. 27. 8, power of thine hand. It therefore denotes him who is endowed with such power, as "that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask, or think," Eph. iii. 20. Without whom we can do nothing, and in whom we can do all things: signifies sufficient; whether we suppose it compounded of the relative, and › so as to denote one who is sufficient; or whether derived from, signifying both a pap or breast, and desolation or ravage. If we join each of these together and say, that God is so powerful and so sufficient, as that himself is in want of nothing, and from his plentiful breast all things derive their being, their life, and their motion: which breast being once withdrawn, all things relapse into desolation. This is what he declares himself to be, to his chosen people, in the covenant of grate, for whose benefit he is possessed of this most powerful all-sufficiency. That name therefore is often repeated to the patriarchs, as the fountain of every blessing, Gen. xxviii. 3. xxxv. 11. and xliii. 14. 2dly, As most merciful and gracious, rejoicing to communicate himself to the sinful creature, Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. 3dly, And at the same time as most just, not entering into a state of friendship with the sinner, but in a way consistent with his holiness, and after having obtained full satisfaction to his justice for he will by no means clear the guilty. 4thly, and lastly, As most wise, having found out an admirable mixture of his mercy and justice, without infringing the rights of either. For by this means, "unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, is made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God," Eph. iii. 1o.

III. But here men are considered, 1st, As sinners, miserable and lost in themselves, who could not be restored by their own, or by any other created power; in a word, possessed of nothing, on account of which they can please God, Ezek. xvi. 1-6. Tit. iii. 3, 4- 2dly, As chosen by God to grace and glory, according to his most absolute good pleasure, and so appointed heirs of eternal life, and are that "little flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom," Luke xii. 32. 3dly, As those for whom Christ engaged or made satisfaction: for this ought to be considered as necessary, before ever it could be worthy of God to make mention of his grace to sinful man.

IV. The economy of the persons of the Trinity in the covenant of grace, claims also our attention. The FATHER is held forth as the principal author of it, "who was in Christ Leccaciling the world to himself," a Cor. v. 19. and appoint


ed the Elect to be heirs of himself, and joint heirs with his Son, Rom. viii. 17. The SoN is not only Mediator, and executor of the covenant, but is himself also the testator, who by his death ratified the testament of grace, Luke xxii. 29. Heb. ix. 16. and the distributer of all the blessings of it. "I give “ ] unto them eternal life," John x 28. The SPIRIT brings the Elect to Christ, and, in Christ, to the possession of the benefits of the covenant, intimates to their consciences Ta ir tā Dagidra wisa the holy pledges, the sure mercies of David, and is Δαρίδ the seal and earnest of their complete happiness, 1 Cor. xii. 3, 11, 12. Eph. i. 13, 14.

V. Moreover, as we restrict this covenant to the Elect, it is evident we are speaking of the internal, mystical, and spiritual communion of the covenant. For salvation itself, and every thing belonging to it, or inseparably connected with it, are promised in this covenant, all which, none but the Elect can attain to. If, in other respects, we consider the external economy of the covenant, in the communion of the word and sacraments, in the profession of the true faith, in the participation of many gifts, which, though excellent and illustrious, are yet none of the effects of the sanctifying Spirit, nor any earnest of future happiness; it cannot be denied, that, in this respect, many are in covenant, whose names, notwithstanding, are not in the testament of God.

VI. And thus we come to mention some things concerning the promises of the covenant, which, in general, may be included under the names of GRACE and GLORY, as is done by the Psalmist, Psal. xlviii. 9. 11. " the Lord will give grace and glory." Which are commonly so distinguished by divines, so as to refer grace to this life, and glory to that which is to come; though the grace of this life be glorious, and the glory of the future life gracious. We may likewise not improperly say, that in the covenant of grace are promised both salvation itself, and all the means leading to it, which the Lord hath briefly comprized, Jer. xxxi. 33. "but this shall be the covenant, that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people :" and again, chap. xxxii. 38, 39, 40. " and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: and 1 will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them

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them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me."

VII. Here we are to observe a remarkable difference between the promises of the covenant of works, and those of the covenant of grace. The same eternal life is promised in both, which can be but one, consisting in the communion and enjoyment of God; but it is promised in a manner quite different in the one, from what it is in the other. In the covenant of works God promised life to man, on condition of perfect obedience, but he did not promise to produce, or effect this obedience in man. In the covenant of grace he not only promises life eternal, but also at the same time faith and repentance, and perseverance in holiness, without which life cannot be attained, and which being granted, life cannot but be obtained. And even in this sense it may be said that the covenant, of which Christ is the Mediator, is "more excellent, and established on better promises," Heb. viii. 6; because it does not depend on any uncertain condition, but is founded on the suretiship and actual satisfaction of Christ, does infallibly secure salvation to the believer, and as certainly promise faith to the Elect.

differently as to the We, for our part, a

VIII. Divines explain themselves CONDITIONS of the covenant of grace. gree with those who think, that the covenant of grace, to speak accurately, with respect to us, has no conditions properly so called: which sentiment we shall explain and esta1 ish in the following manner.

IX. A condition of a covenant, properly so called, is that action, which, being performed, gives a man a right to the reward. But that such a condition cannot be required of us in the covenant of grace, is self-evident: because a right to life neither is, nor indeed can be founded on any action of ours, but on the righteousness of our Lord alone; who having perfectly fulfilled the righteousness of the law for us, nothing can, in justice, be required of us to perform, in order to acquire a right already fully purchased for us. And indeed, in this all the orthodox readily agree.


X. Further, the Apostle, more than once, sets forth the covenant of grace, under the appellation of a TESTAMENT, which is God's immutable purpose, not suspended on any one condition and as it is founded on the unchangeable counsel of God, and ratified by the death of the testator, so it is not possible it should be made void by any unbelief of the Elect, nor acquire its stability from any faith of man: for in this very testament God has as immutably determined concerning

faith as salvation. Thus, Gal. iii. 15. we see the covenant of God with Abraham is called a testament; the ratification of which must also be the same with that of a testament. And the covenant to be made with Israel, Jer. xxxi. has the same appellation, Heb. viii. 10. As also that covenant with Israel mentioned by Moses, Exod. xxiv. and the declaration of the manner of enjoying the love of God through faith in Christ, Heb. ix. 15. 20. And likewise the compact of the Father with the Son, Luke xxii. 39; in which passage, first, the will of God is published, by which he decreed, that the Son should, by the divine power of the Father, obtain the inheritance of the world, and a kingdom: secondly, the will of Christ, that the Apostles and others given him, should, through faith, become heirs of righteousness, and of the heavenly kingdom, and of that of the world. Compare Gal. iii. 8. But why should the Apostle call the covenant of Abraham, and that mentioned Heb. viii. 10. a testament, and whether it ought not to be so taken, Matt. xxvi. 18. and in other places shall be considered in its place, Cocceius de Fader. § 4. And, in a word, I know not whether Paul, when speaking of the covenant of grace, did at any time, or in any passage, give it any other name than that of a testament. "But at that time (at least if we give into Cocceius's opinion) that word signified, neither to Greeks, nor Hellenist Jews, nor to the Hebrews, any other thing but a testament," Cocceius ad Gal. 3. §. 134. I do not assert these things as if I wanted to confound the notions of a covenant and a testament; but to shew that the covenant of grace is testamentary, and to be distinguished from a covenant, founded on a compact, agreement, or law. Nor do I conceal that I found this in Cocceius de fœd. $ 87. Which made me wonder that a certain le r ed person, who is a great admirer of Cocceius, should find fault with these things.

XI. The famous Cloppenburg, formerly the ornament of the university of Friezland, has accurately observed the same thing, whose words I shall subjoin from Disputat. 3. de foderibus, Thes. 19. "The other disposition of the covenant (which regards us) is testamentary, whereby the grace by which we are saved, comes to us from the most perfect merit of Christ the Surety. For we are reckoned to be in covenant with God by the new covenant of grace, without having superadded to the covenant confirmed with Christ the surety, by the renewal of the old agreement, any condition, by which God should transact with us, but giving a gratuitous call to the inheritance of the promises, whose testament Christ rati

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