« AnteriorContinuar »
Of the Incarnation of Christ, 49. His State of Hamiliation, 66. Ative
Of Redemption by Christ, 159. Causes of it, 164. Objects of Redemption
Of the Death of the Body, 342. Immortality of the Soul, 350. State of
OF THE ACTS OF THE GRACE OF GOD TOWARDS AND UPON HIS ELECT IN TIME.
OF TH E M A N I FESTATION AND A D M IN IS T R ATION OF T H E COVENANT OF G R ACE.
AVING treated of the sin and fall of our first parents, and of the breach
of the Covenant of Works by them, and of the sad effects thereof to themselves, and of the woeful consequences of the same to their posterity; of the imputation of their sin, and of the derivation of a corrupt nature into them; and of actual sins and transgressions flowing from thence, and of the punishment due unto them; I am now come to the dawn of grace to fallen man, to the breakings forth and application of the Covenant of grace, and the blessings of it to the spiritual seed of Christ among the posterity of Adam. I have considered the covenant of grace in a former part of this work, as it was a compact in eternity, between the three divine persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; in which each person agreed to take his part in the oeconomy of man's salvation: and now I shall consider the administration of that covenant in the several periods of time, from the beginning of the world to the end of it. The Covenant of Grace is but one and the same in all ages, of which Christ is the substance; being given for a covenant of the people, of all the people of God, both Jews and Gentiles, who is the same in the yesterday of the Old Testament, and in the to-day of the New Testament, and for ever; he is the way, the truth, and the life, the only true way to eternal life; and there never was any other way made known to men since the fall of Adam; no other name under heaven has been given, or will be given, by which men can be saved. The Patriarchs before the flood and after, before the law of Moses and under it, before the coming of Christ, and all the saints since, are saved in one and the same way, even by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that is the grace of the covenant, exhibited at different times, and in divers manners. For though to covenant is but one, there are different administrations of it; particularly
two, one before the coming of Christ, and the other after it; which lay the WOL, II, A
foundation for the distinction of the first and second, the old and the new covenant, observed by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, chap. viii. 7, 8, 13. —ix. 1, 15. for by the first and old covenant, is not meant the covenant of works made with Adam, which had been broke and abrogated long ago; since the apostle is speaking of a covenant waxen old, and ready to vanish away in his time: nor was the covenant of works the first and most ancient covenant ; the covenant of grace, as an eternal compact, was before that; but by it is meant the first and most ancient administration of the covenant of grace which reached from the fall of Adam, when the covenant of works was broke, unto the coming of Christ, when it was superseded and vacated by another administration of the same covenant, called therefore the second and new covenant" The one we commonly call the Old Testament-dispensation, and the other the New Testament-dispensation; for which there seems to be some foundation in 2 Cor. iii. 6, 14. Heb. ix. 15. these two covenants, or rather the two administrations of the same covenant, are allegorically represented by two women, Hagar and Sarah, the bond-woman and the free, Gal. iv. 22–26, which fitly describes the nature and difference of them. And before I proceed any farther, I shall just point out the agreement and disagreement of those two administrations of the covenant of grace. I. The agreement there is between them. — 1. They agree in the efficient cause, God: the covenant of grace, in its original constitution in eternity, is of God, and therefore it is called his covenant, being made by him; I have made a covenant — my covenant I will not break, Psal. lxxxix. 3, 34, and whenever any exhibition, or manifestation of this covenant was made to any of the patriarchs, as to Abraham, David, &c. it is ascribed to God, I will make my covenant—he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, Gen. xvii. 2. 2 Sam. xxiii, 5, so the new covenant, or administration of it, runs in this form, I will make a new covenant, &c. Heb. viii. 8. —2. In the moving Cause, the sovereign mercy and free grace of God, which moved God to make the covenant of grace at first. Every exhibition of it under the former dispensation, is a rich display of it, and therefore it is called, the mercy promised to the fathers in his holy covenant, Luke i. 72. and which has largely appeared in the coming of Christ, which is ascribed to the tender mercy of our God, grace and truth, in the great abundance of them, are also said to come by him; by which names the covenant of grace, under the gospel-dispensation, is called, in distinction from that under the Mosaic one, John. i. 17. – 3. In the Mediator, who is Christ; there is but one Mediator of the covenant of grace, let it be considered under what dispensation it will; even Christ, who under the former dispensation was revealed as the Seed of the woman that should bruise the serpent's head, and make atonement by his sufferings and death, signified by the expiatory sacrifices, under the law; the Shiloh, the peaceable One, and the Peace-Maker, the living Redeemer of Job, and of all believers under the Old Testament. Moses, indeed, was a Mediator, but he was only a typical one. There is but