Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

INTRODUCTION.

IT is the peculiar excellence of Gospelrevelation, 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, natures 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 perspicuous on both; they discover not Only the cause of our destruction, but likeways the source of our •help. It is not the,design of the follow* A big ing Disiertations to consider that transaction which obtained between God and Adam, in his innocent state, 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 lbul: 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 ChurchVCovenant of Duty.—Afterwards, we (hall attend unto the State of the Church, from the Fall of Adam until the Fcederal Transaction between God and Noah.

FIRST, I am to take a fliort survey of the Eternal Compact between God the Father and his only begotten Son. To remove ambiguity, and prevent repetition, I {hail run over the, various significations of the terms by which it is expresled in both

the

the Old and New Testament. The term Covenant *, in the language of the Old Testament, is derived from a word which signifies to choose j*: and is expressive of the nature of a Fœderal 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 sacred and civil sense. It is used in a civil sense to express fiich leagues as obtained between Princes in ancient times $; but on this fense we need not insist.—When it is used in a sacred sense it expreiseth,

i. The Covenant which took place between God and Adam in Paradise,—which was broken by Adam; "But they like men have tranigresled the Covenant:" So

* rrH3» f rfia, elegit. This derivation is vindicated, Appendix No. I. J For example, Gen. xiv. 13.—xxi. 27, 33.—xxvi. 28.-—xxxi. 44. &c.

A 2 our our translation has it. "But they like Adamhave transgressed the Covenant." Heb.* .

2. The Covenant of Mercy between God the Father and his only begotten Son, as our liirety; whether as made from eternity, or as manifested in time, and con~ firmed by sacraments and sacrifice. In the first fense it is used by the Psalmist, as the mouth of the Father. Said he, "I have made a Covenant with my chofenf." David, . it is true, is mentioned in the following part of the verse; but the antitypical David must be ultimately intended: The things promised are, by much, too important to be-1 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 frequently used to denote the dispensation of the Covenant of Grace unto sinners. It denotes this Covenant, as offered unto sinners Sn the Gospel: "Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your foul sliall live: and I will make an everlasting CoveNant with you, even the sure mercies of David $."—As accepted by the faith of .God's

* Hot vi. 7, -)• Psal. Ixxxix. 3. t Is- lv- 3

elect;

elect: "Yet he hath made with me aftt everlasting covenant, ordered in all things,. and lure*"1—As ratified by sacrifices, sacraments, and the sealing of the HolyGhost. Under the Old Testament, the initiating seal bore the name of the Covenant itself; as the confirming seal still bears the seme name under the New f. In like manner, when the Covenant is made effectual, and the promises of it accomplished on the children of it, it is laid to be made with them $.

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 afterwards 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 stiled the CoVenant by the prophet §; as are the ten commandments by Moses: Said he, *• and

*2 Sam.xxiii. 5. fGen.xvii. 10. Math. xxvl. 27, 28. I Jer, woji. 36. 5 If, lix, 31,

he

« AnteriorContinuar »