Abbildungen der Seite

(4.) A betaking one's self unto Christ and his righteousness alone, for salvation from sin and wrath. This is done by this trusting on him and his righteousness wholly, Ruth ii. 12. The sinner believing that Christ is his Saviour and that his righteousness is made over to him by free gift, and withal that this his Saviour, with his righteousness, is sufficient to save him from sin and wrath, doth accordingly trust on Christ and his righteousness, for salvation from sin and wrath. : 5. Lastly, An affiance, confidence, or trust on Christ and his righteousness, that he will save us from sin and wrath, according to his promise. That faith is an affiance, confidence, or trust, is evident from the whole tenor of the holy scripture. So it is expressly called. Isa. xxvi. 3, 4. and I. 10. Psal. xxviii. 7. and cxyiii. 8, 9. Heb. x. 35. And that it is a particular trust, viz. that Christ will save us, is evident from the nature of the thing: for he that trusts in a person for a thing, hath surely a persuasion of the same degree with the trust, that that person will do that thing for him. And hence, where the party trusted doth fail, the party trusting is confounded and ashamed, as being disappointed in that which he trusted he would do for him: and since the trust of faith is never disappointed, therefore it is observed, that the believer shall never be ashamed, Rom. x. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. 2 Tim. i. 12. ; which plainly imports the trust of faith in the Lord to be, that he will do for the sinner what he trusts him for, otherwise there would be no place for this shame in any case*.

SECONDLY, I come now to offer some motives to press the exhortation on sinners to enter personally into the covenant.

1. Being out of this covenant, ye are under the broken covenant of works, which makes your state a deplorable one. Some stand off from the gospel covenant, because they do not incline to come under a covenant with God. But, alas! they do not consider, that there never was nor will be a moment of their life wherein they were or are free from a covenant with God. Ye are born under the covenant of works, and the bond of that covenant is fast wreathed about

Some few enlargements in these particulars, with objections of serious exercised souls relative to the doctrine here laid down, and answers thereto may be seen, ubi som pra, under the title, The faith of the gospel instating in the covenant,

your necks, as long as ye are out of the covenant of grace: for the two covenants divide the whole world between them, Rom. vi. 14.; and there is no getting out of the bond of the first covenant, but by marrying with Christ, and so coming under the bond of the second, Rom. vii. 4. And of the broken covenant I may say, that it is strong to command, curse, condemn, and kill those under it, Gal. iii. 10. but absolutely barren as to the affording strength for duty, life, or salvation, Rom: viii. 3.

2. Ye are all under the covenant of grace externally and by profession, as being baptised in the name of Christ, Gal. ii. 27. Why will ye not really be what you have professed to be, members of Christ, believing in him, within the bond of the covenant in a saving manner? Why will ye ag gravate your own condemnation, by professing to take hold of the covenant, and yet before the Lord keeping your necks out of that yoke?

3. It is a most honourable covenant. The parties in it confederate are God and his own Son Jesus Christ, and in him the general assembly of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. And seemeth it a small thing to you to be confederated with these?

4. It is a most precious covenant, being a covenant in the blood of the Son of God, 1 Cor. xi. 25. It could not be purchased otherwise heaven and earth, set at odds by the breaking of the first covenant, could not be united again at less expence. Slight it not.

5. It is a most advantageous covenant, and most suitable for you. It is most advantageous for time and for eternity, 1 Tim. iv. 8. There is no case you are or can be in, but there is a suitable help for it in the covenant. Yea, it is suited to your inability for the duties of it, not by loosing the bond of the holy commandments, but promising strength, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. and to your fickleness and native instability, John x. 28, 29.

6. It is freely offered to you, and every one of you, Rev. xxii. 17. Not only is there a warrant for your entering into it, but that warrant is intimated to you, and ye are invited, yea commanded, to come in, Luke xiv. 23. 1 John iii. 23.

7. Jesus Christ himself is appointed Administrator of it to you, Isa. lxi. 1. Regard it for the sake of the glorious Ad.

ministrator. He is Heaven's Ambassador to you, and every one of you, in the matter of this covenant : so that if ye refuse it, ye must refuse it at his hand,

8. He administers it to sinners very honourably, taking them to himself, that he may bring them into the covenant, admitting them into it by union with himself.

9. Lastly, Without this covenant there is no salyation, Eph. ii. 12. Either ye must be in it, or perish for ever. When the first covenant was broken, there was a second made for the help of sinners ; if ye refuse the second, there is not a third. "It is the last ship bound for Immanuel's land.

Wherefore let this be a time of your embracing the covenant į and ye that have embraced it before, renew your acceptance of it, that ye may get it sealed by the sacrament,

(1.) Stir up the faith of the law in your own souls, as a preparative to the faith of the gospel,

(2.) Set before you the promises of the gospel, and believe on Jesus Christ, in whom they are all yea and Amen.

(3.) Lastly, In solemn prayer to God, be as express and particular as may be in these things, and so solemnly enter into the covenant in express words before the Lord, Isaiah xliv. 5.

SECONDLY, and lastly, Let those who have personally entered into the covenant of grace, and are now by faith instated in it, walk worthy of the covenant, walk as becomes the covenant, Phil. i. 27. Look to the covenant which ye are taken into, and let your life and conversation be agreeable thereto.

1. Be holy in the whole of your life, 1 Pet. i. 15. Holiness is the great end of the covenant, next to the glory of God. It is the holy covenant ye are brought into ; holiness goes through the whole of it, and the design of it was to make sinners holy. And ye must evidence the reality of

: your being in it by holiness, holiness of heart and life, Psal. xxiv. 3, 4. An unholy life, and an unsanctified heart in which sin rules and reigns, will be a decisive evidence of estrangedness from the covenant.

2. Turn not back to your former lusts in your state without the covenant, 1 Pet. i. 14. The men of the first covenant live, and cannot but live in their sins, because death domineers under that covenant; and living lusts feed on

[ocr errors]

their souls, as worms do on the dead body. But under the covenant of

grace, life reigns; and the soul being thereby restored to life, will cast off these, Col. iii. 7, 8. Beware of backsliding and apostasy. It is dangerous to the last degree,

, Luke ix. 62. “No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.' That is the way hypocrites pull off their mask, 1 John ii. 19. Remember Lot's wife. But true believers shall be saved from it, Heb. x, 38, 39. Now the just shall live by faith ; but

3 if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.' Wherefore, 'hearken, O daughter, and consider and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy Father's house,' Psal. xlv. 10.

3. Mix not again with the world lying in wickedness, but carry yourselves as a separate company, under a new covenant, and a new head, Acts ii. 40. Save yourselves from this untoward generation. If ye are really brought into the covenant, ye are come out from among them : shew that it is so, by your keeping at a distance from them. The grace of the covenant secures it as to all true believers, Psal. xii. 7. And,

(1.) Chuse not their company, Psal. xxvi. 4, 5. It is dangerous as a pest-house, 1 Cor. xv. 34. Many of the truly godly have been wounded in their soul and conscience deeply thereby; witness Peter in the high priest's hall. Many who have had very fair appearances once a day, have

been ruined by ill company, Prov. xiii. 20. ' A Companion of fools shall be destroyed. There is no eviting it altoge

' ther in this life, 1 Cor. v. 10. But take heed ye have God's call, and then may ye expect the divine protection. Why will ye chuse their company? they are not going your way.

(2.) Conform not to their way, Rom. xii. 2. Ye have declared yourselves of a different, yea, a contrary society; why then will ye do as they do? To walk according to the course of this world, speaks one to be a child of wrath, not a child of the covenant. Being come into the covenant, your privilege is beyond others: it is expected then that ye should do more than others, who have not your privilege, Matth. v. 47. The privilege is very singular, ye must then be singular in your walk, in comparison of the world lying


[ocr errors]

in wickedness, though you should be wondered at, Zechi. iii. 8. 1 Pet. i. 4.

4. Remember that ye are no more your own, but the Lord's by covenant, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. God has offered his covenant unto you, ye have entered into it: so ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Let this be an answer to the teinptations that ye will meet with ; say to them as Jephthah did to his daughter, Judges xi. 35. • I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.' If others say, their tongues and themselves are their own, and they have no Lord over them, ye cannot say it: for if you have come into the covenant, ye have said, as Isa. xliv. 5. 'I am the Lord's.' And if you are his, ye must be for him only, wholly, and for ever.

5. Espouse the interests of the covenant, saying, Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' Matt. vi. 10. Have common friends and enemies with the God of the covenant, Psal. xvi. 2, 3. and cxix. 21. Your own interest is in it: and if it be really so, the interest of Christ's kingdom in the world will be yours, and ye will fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh, as the adversaries of the covenant. They are very low in the world at this day, and in this land; though the nation is under the bond of solemn covenants to God, that bond is little regarded, backslidings are multiplied, and the generation is dealing treacherously with a witness. If ye have embraced the covenant of grace for your own souls, it will natively produce a well tempered concern-for the covenanted refor, mation of yourselves and the land.

6. Pursue earnestly the ends of the covenant. These are the destruction of sin, and the service of the Lord, Luke i. 74. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil;' hold hand to this end of the covenant in yourselves and others. Study mortification of your own lusts in the first place : labour to break the power of sin in others, according as ye have opportunity, and to weaken Satan's interest in the place wherein

you live. Serve the Lord diligently in the duties of inward worship, and in the duties of morality, first and second table duties : and as ye have access, stir up one another thereto.

7. Lasilij, In all ye do, act as under the influence of this covenant, and not of the covenant of works. Be evangelical

« ZurückWeiter »