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ON THE .
TT is the peculiar excellence of Gospel
revelation, to discover the origin of
evil ; as also, that deliverance from it which God has provided for his people. Ever since sin entered into this world, nature's light, in its most cultivated state, has not only been altogether unsatisfactory, but even totally silent on each of these most interesting subjects: The Holy Scriptures, · however, are full and perfpicuous on both; they discover not only the cause of our deItruction, but likeways the source of our help. It is not the design of the following Dissertations to consider that transaction which obtained between God and Adam, in his innocent ftate, the violation of which is the teeming source of all evil; nor the eternal contract between the Father and the Son, which is the fountain of life unto the guilty soul : Yet, as the dispensations of Grace are among the immediate causes of the Church's engagements to be the Lord's, we must premise a few things concerning that Covenant to which they belong. By way of preliminary, then, we shall first take a short survey of that Covenant which obtained, from. eternity, between God the Father and his Eternal Son.
Then we shall consider the connection between the Covenant of Grace and the Church's Covenant of Duty.Afterwards, · we shall attend unto the State of the Church, from the Fall of Adam until the Federal Transaction between God and Noah.
FIRST, I am to take a short furvey of the Eternal Compact between God the Father and his only begotten Son. To remove ambiguity, and prevent repetition, I shall run over the various fignifications of the terms by which it is expressed in both
the Old and New Testament. The term Covenant *, in the language of the Old Teftament, is derived from a word which signifies to choose t: and is expressive of the nature of a Federal Transaction, for a Covenant is that which both parties choose, and in which they agree. All God's promises, for example, are free and sovereign acts of his will, manifested unto men; and all genuine obedience on the part of his children is a free-will offering unto the Lord,
The term Covenant is used both in a facred and civil sense. It is used in a civil sense to express such leagues as obtained between Princes in ancient times †; but on this sense we need not insist. ----When it is used in a sacred fenfe it exprefleth,
1. The Covenant which took place between God and Adam in Paradise, -which was broken by Adam ; “ But they like men have tranfgrefled the Covenant :” So
*012. titha, elegit. This derivation is vindicated, Appendix No. I. I For example, Gen. xiv. 13.-xxi. 27, 33.—xxvi. 28.--xxxi. 44. &c.
our translation has it. “But they like Adam. have tranfgrefled the Covenant.” Heb. *.'
. 2. The Covenant of Mercy between God the Father and his only begotten Son, as our furety; whether as made from eternity, or as manifested in time, and confirmed by sacraments and facrifice. In the first sense it is used by the Pfalmist, as the mouth of the Father, Said he, “ I have made a Covenant with my chosenf.” David, . · it is true, is mentioned in the following
part of the verse ; but the antitypical Da. vid must be ultimately intended; The things
promised are, by much, too important to be long unto any, in their fullest emphasis, but unto him who is both David's Son and David's Lord, But this term is most fre-, quently used to denote the dispensation of the Covenant of Grace unto finners. It derrotes this Covenant, as offered unto finners in the Gospel: “ Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting COVENANT with you, even the sure mercies of Dayid ."-As accepted by the faith of God's
clect : “ Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure*"...As ratified by facrifices, facraments, and the fealing of the Holy Ghoft. Under the Old Testament, the initiating seal bore the name of the Covenant; itself; as the confirming seal still bears the same name under the New t. In like manner, when the Covenant is made effectual, and the promises of it accomplished on the children of it, it is faid to be made with them 5.
3. This term is also applied by the Holy Ghost, to express the Church's engagements to be the Lord's; as appears . from many places of Scripture, to be af-: terwards explained.
4. BESIDES these significations of the term, there are others of a figurative kind; as when one part of the Covenant (whatever it be) bears the designation of the whole. Thus, the promise is stilęd the CoVENANT by the prophet Ø; as are the ten commandments by Moses; Said he, “ and
* 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. +Gen. xvii. 10. Math. xxvi. 27, 28. # Jer, xxi. 36. § Il. lix, 21.