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but could only serve to prevent the forfeiture of the right of a son by this means, the whole design of the covenant of works, and all the righteousness which is by the law, are quite destroyed. In fine, what can be more absurd, than the trifling manner in which these sophisters talk of the grace of adoption, as giving Adam a right to enter upon an heavenly inheritance, in a legal covenant: when on the other hand, they so stiffly contend for the merits of works, under a covenant of grace. It is only there (to wit, under the covenant of grace,) that we are to apply the above sentiment, that the inheritance is due to an adopted Son of God, in right of adop tion, previous to all good works.


Of the Promises of the Covenant of Works.

I. HAVING thus considered the condition of the Covenant of Works; let us now enquire into the Promises of that covenant. And here first, the Socinians come under our notice, who obstinately deny all promises. For, thus Volkelius, de vera religione, lib. 2. c. 8. says, Scarce, if at all, was any general promise made to the men of that age but rather threatenings and terrors were then set before them. Nor do we see God, promising upon Adam's abstain ing from the fruit of that tree, any reward of obedience; but only, denouncing destruction, if he did not obey, Gen. ii. 17. For this he assigns the following reason: Moreover, the reason why God at that time would be obeyed, without proposing almost any general reward, seems to be this; because, at the very beginning of the world, he would shew to all that be owed nothing to any, but was himself the most absolute lord of all.

II. To this I answer, as follows: 1st, Man's natural conscience teaches him, that God desires not to be served in vain, nor that obedience to his commands, will go unrewarded and for nought. The very Heathens were also apprized of this. Arian, in his Dissert. lib. 1. c. 12. introduces Epictetus, speaking thus: "If there are no Gods, how can it be the end of man to obey the Gods? But if there are, and they be yet regardless of every thing; how is the matter mended? But if they both are, and take care of human affairs; but men have no recompence to expect from them, and have as little; the case is still worse." Let us add, Seneca, Epist. 95.


"God does not want servants. Why so? He ministers himself to mankind; being every where present and at hand. Whoever conceives not of God as he ought, dealing all things, bestowing his benefits freely, will never make the proper proficiency. Why are the Gods so beneficient? It is owing to their nature. The first article of the worship of the Gods, is to believe that they are: then to render them the honour of their majesty, and of their goodness, without which there is no majesty to know, that they preside over the world, govern all things by their power, take special care of mankind, without neglecting individuals." In like manner, we find it among the articles of the Jewish faith, as a thing naturally known, that there are rewards as well as punishments with God; according to that common saying, God defrauds no creature of its reward. The worship of God presupposes the belief of this: For be that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that be is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb. xi. 6.

III. 2dly, Besides, this faith is not merely a certain persuasion of the mind, arising from reasoning, and the consideration of the goodness of God: but to render it a genuine faith, it must rest on the word and promise of God: faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom, x. 17. 3dly, This was the intent of the tree of life, which the Socinians themselves, in Compend. Socinian. c. 2. § 5. allow to have been a kind of symbol, though obscure, of eternal life. But that symbol, proposed to Adam, could have been of no use, unless he understood it, and considered it as a seal of the promise made by God. It had been mere farce, to have prohibited man from access to, and eating of this tree after the fall; unless thereby, God had given him to understand, that he would forfeit the thing promised, and consequently, become unworthy of the use of that symbol and sacrament, 4thly, If no promise had been made they might have lived without hope. For the hope which maketh not ashamed, is founded on the promises. But this is the cha racter of the woeful calamity of those, who are without God in the world, that they have no hope, Eph. ii. 12. 5thly; God represents to Cain a thing known long before, even by nature, much more by paternal instruction: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? Gen. iv. 7. But did this maxim begin to be true, and to be known only after the fall? 6thly, The very threatening infers a promise. The language of which at least is, that he was to be deprived of that happiness, which otherwise he would continue to enjoy; we may therefore,

therefore, most certainly infer, that man had no occasion to be afraid of losing that happiness, as long as he kept himself from sin. 7thly, By this assertion of our adversaries, according to their own hypotheses, all the religion of the first man is destroyed. Seeing, as our author writes at the beginning of that chapter," the promise of rewards, for well-doing, is closely interwoven with religion." 8thly, The reason he gives for this assertion, is foolish and to no purpose. For, do these many and liberal promises of eternal life, which God hath given us in Christ, make it now less evident, that God is indebted to none, and is the most absolute lord of all things? Does the supreme Being, by his gracious promises, derogate any thing from his most absolute dominion? Must it not be known in all ages, that God owes nothing to any? How then comes it, that God did not always equally forbear promising?

IV. Let this therefore be a settled point, that this covenant was not established without promises. We now enquire what sort of promises God made to Adam. Accordingly, we believe God promised Adam life eternal, that is, the most perfect fruition of himself, and that for ever, after finishing his course of obedience; our arguments are these:

V. 1st, The Apostle declares that God, by sending his Son in the flesh, did what the law could not do," in that it was weak through the flesh," Rom. viii. 3. But it is certain Christ procured for his own people a right to eternal life, to be enjoyed in heaven in its due time. This the Apostle declares the law could not now do, not of itself, or, because it has no such promises, but because it was weak through the flesh. Had it not therefore been for sin,the law had brought men to that eternal life, which Christ promises to and freely bestows on his own people. This appears to m a conclusive argument.


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VI. 2dly, It is universally allowed, that Paul, in his epistle to the Romans and Galatians, where he treats on justification, does under that name comprize the adjudging to eternal life: he in many places proves that a sinner cannot be justified, that is, lay claim to eternal life, by the works of the law; but never by this argument, because the law had no promises of eternal life; but because man is by the law brought to the acknowledgment of sin, and the confession of deserved damnation, Rom. iii. 19, 20. He insists on this point with great labour and pains, though otherwise he might have very easily cut short the whole dispute, by just saying, that a title to eternal life was to be sought for by faith in Christ; that it is in vain to rest upon any law, though kept ever so perfectly, in regard it has no promises of eternal life annexed to it. On the VOL. I. contrary,


contrary, the Apostle teaches, that the commandment, considered in itself, was ordained to life, Rom. vii. 10. that is, was such as by the observance thereof life might have once been obtained; which if the law could still bestow on the sinner," verily righteousness should have been by the law," Gal. iii. 21. that is, the right to that same happiness which now comes from faith on Christ. For the dispute was concerning anguia, the inheritance of eternal life, which was to be entered upon; whether now, by means of the law, or by the promise of the Gospel, v. 18. And he owns, it would be by the law, could the law or make alive. And this could be done by that law which was ordained to life, Rom.vii.10. But when? In innocence before it was made weak by the flesh. If Adam therefore had persevered in obedience, the law would have brought him to that same inheritance, which now in Christ is allotted not to him that worketh, but to him that believeth. And this argument, if I mistake not ; is plain to any person of thought and attention.

VII. 3dly, We are above all to observe how the Apostle distinguishes the righteousness, which is of the law, from the evangelical. Of the first he thus speaks, Rom. x. 5. " Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law; that the man which doth those things shall live by them :" Of the second, he writes as follows, Rom. i. 17. "The just shall live by faith." On both sides, the promise of life is the same, and proposed in the very same words. Nor does the Apostle in the least hint that one kind of life is promised by the law, another by the Gospel. Which, if true, ought for once at least to be hinted; as the doing this would have ended the whole dispute. For, in vain would any seek for eternal life by the law, if never promised in it. But the Apostle places the whole difference, not in the thing promised, but in the condition of obtaining the promise; while he says, Gal. iii. 11, 12. "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but the man that doth them, shall live in them." That very life therefore is promised by the law to the man that worketh, which he now receives through the faith of Christ. But to what man, thus working, were the promises made? Was it to the sinner? Was it not to man in a state of innocence? And was it not then, when it might truly be said if thou continuest to do well, thou shalt be heir of that life upon that condition? And this could be said to none but to innocent Adam. Was it not then, when the promise was actually made? For after sin, there is not so much a promise,

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as a denunciation of wrath, and an intimation of a curse, proposing that as the condition of obtaining life, which is now evidently impossible to be performed. I therefore conclude, that to Adam, in the covenant of works, was promised the same eternal life, to be obtained by the righteousness which is of the law, of which believers are made partakers through Christ. But let none object, that all these arguments are fetched, not from the history of man in innocence, but from Paul's reasoning. For it is no matter whence arguments are taken, if they contain a demonstration to the conscience, which I think is here evident. Undoubtedly Adam knew a great deal more than is contained in that very short, account of him by Moses. Nor does it appear to be without a mystery, that Moses is more sparing on most of the particulars of that covenant, and throws so little light on the shadow of a transient image, to denote that it was to evanish.

VIII. Once more, 4thly, It was entirely agreeable, that God should promise Adam, by covenant, something greater and better to be obtained after finishing his course of obedience than what he was already possessed of. What kind of covenant would it have been to have added no reward to his obedience, and his faithful compliance with the conditions of the covenant, but only a continuation of those blessings, which he actually enjoyed already, and which it was not becoming God to refuse to man whom he had created? Now, Adam enjoyed in Paradise all imaginable natural and animal happiness, as it is called. A greater, therefore, and a more exalted felicity still awaited him; in the fruition of which, he would most plainly see, that in keeping the divine commands, there is up 2 μiodawadecvai psyahm great reward. Psal. xix. 11. Let none object the case of the angels, to whom he may pretend nothing was promised by God, but the continuance of that happy state, in which they were created. We are here to keep to the Apostle's advice, in Col. ii. 18. "not to intrude into these things we have not seen." Who shall declare unto us those things which are not revealed concerning the angels? But if we may form probable conjectures, it appears to me very likely that some superior degree of happiness was conferred on the angels after they were actually confirmed, and something more excellent than that in which they were at first created as the joy of the angels received a considerable addition, upon beholding the divine perfections, so resplendent in the illustrious work of redemption; and at the consummation of all things, the happiness of all the elect, both angels and men, will be complete; when Christ's whole body shall

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