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law of the spirit of life,” or the covenant of grace, “hath made me free from the law of fun and death,” or covenant of works.
4. That the fountain and first ground, from whence our freedom from the curse of the law doth flow, is the covenant of redemption, past betwixt God and God the Son as incarnate, wherein Christ takes the curse of the law upon him for fin, that the believer, who could not otherwise be delivered from the covenant of works, may be delivered froin it. And this doctrine the Apostle holdeth forth in these four brancies: (1.) That it was utterly impossible for the law, or the covenant of works, to bring righteousness and life to a sinner, because it was weak. (2.) That this weakness and inability of the law, or covenant of works, is not the fault of the law, but the fault of sinful flesh, which is neither able to pay the penalty of sin, nor to give perfect obedience to the law, (presuppose bygone sins were forgiven:) “ The law was weak,” faith he, “ through the flesh.” (3.) That the righteousness and falvation of finners, which was impossible to be brought about by the law, is brought to pass by sending God's own Son, Jesus Christ, in the fleh, in whose fesh sin is condemned and punished, for making fatisfaction in the behalf of the elect, that they miglit be set free. (4.) That, by his means, the law loseth nothing, because the righteousness of the law is best fulfilled this way; first, by Christ's giving perfect active obedience in our name unto it in all things : next, by his paying in our name the penalty (due to our fins) in his death: And lastly, by liis working of sancti. fication in us, who are true believers, who strive to give new obedience unto the law, and " walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
WARRANTS TO BELIE V E.
por building our confidence upon this folid ground, these four f warrants and special motives to believe in Christ may serve. }', The first whereof is God's hearty invitation, holden forth, If. lv. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. , Ho, every one that thirseth, come ye to the waters, and he that bath no money; come ye, buy and eat, jea, come, buy wine and milk with. out money, and without price. Verf. 2. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread and gour labour for that which fatisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your Joul delight itfei in fainefs. Verf. 3. Incline your ear, and come unto mne : kear, and your soul jhall live, and I will makan everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Vers. 4. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people, &c. .
Here (after setting down the precious ransom of our redemption by the fafferings of Christ, and the rich blessings purchased to us thereby, in the two former chapters) the Lord, in this chapter,
- I. Maketh
1. Maketh open offer of Christ and his grace, by proclamation of a free and gracious market of righteousness and salvation, to be had through Christ to every soul, without exception, that truly desires to be saved from sin and wrath: “ Ho, every one that thirsteth,” faith he.
2. He inviteth all finners, that for any reason stand at distance with God, to come and take from him riches of grace, running in Christ as a river, to wash away sin, and to locken wrath: “ Come ye to the waters,” saith he.
any should stand aback, in the sense of his own sinfulness or unworthiness, and inability to do any good, the Lord calleth upon such persons in special, saying, “ He that hath no money, come.”
4. He craveth no more of his merchant, but that he be pleased with the wares offered, which are grace, and more grace; and that he heartily confent unto, and embrace this offer of grace, that fo he inay close a bargain, and a formal covenant with God; « Come, buy “ without money,” faith he, “come, eat:" That is, consent to have, and take unto you all saving graces; make the wares your own, possels them, and make use of all blessings in Chrift; whatsoever maketh for your fpiritual life and comfort, use and enjoy it freely, without paying any thing for it: “Come, buy wine and milk with out money,
and without price,” faith he. 5. Because the Lord knoweth how much we are inclined to feek righteousness and life by our own performances and satisfaction, to have righteousness and life as it were by the way of works; and how loth we are to embrace Christ Jesus, and to take life by way of free grace through Jesus Chrift, upon the terms whereupon it is offered to us: Therefore the Lord lovingly calls us off this our crooked and unhappy way, with a gentle and timeous admonition, giving us to understand, that we Thall but lose our labour in this our way: " Wherefore do ye spend your money (faith he) for that which is “ not bread ? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?"
6. The Lord promiseth to us folid fatisfaction, in the way of betaking ourselves unto the grace of Christ, even true contentment, and fulness of spiritual pleasure, saying, “ Hearken diligently unto “ me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your foul delight itself « in fatness.”
7. use faith cometh by hearing, he calleth for audience unto the explication of the offer, and calleth for þelieving of, and listening unto the truth, which is able to beget the application of faving faith, and to draw the soul to trust in God: “Incline your ear, and “ come unto me,” faith he. To which end, the Lord-promises, that this offer being received, shall quicken the dead sinner; and that, upon the welcoming of this offer, he will close the covenant of grace with the man that fhall consent unto it, even an indissolvable covenant of perpetual reconciliation and peace : “Hearken, and your “ fou shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you." Which covenant, he declareth, shall be in substance the affignation
, and the making over, of all the saving graces which David (who is Jesus Christ, Acts xiii. 34.) hath bought for us in the covenant of res
s of the real the covenant, Fourt
emption: “I will make a covenant with you,” faith he, « even
the fure mercies of David.” By fure mercies, he means faving races, such as are righteoufness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. doption, fanctification, and glorification, and whatsoever belongs to odliness and life eternal. 8. To confirm and affure us of the real grant of these saving meres, and to persuade us of the reality of the covenant betwixt God nd the believer of this word, the Father hath made a fourfold gift f his eternal and only begotten Son:
First, To be incarnate and born for our fake, of the seed of David is type ; for which cause he is called here, and Acts xiii. 34. David, je true and everlasting King of Ifrael. This is the great gift of od to man, John iv, 10. And here, I have given him to be David, r born of David, to the people.
Secondly, He hath made a gift of Christ to be a witness to the eople, both of the sure and saving mercies granted to the redeem: I in the covenant of redemption ; and also of the Father's willing. efs and pupose to apply them, and to make them fast in the cove. ant of reconciliation, made with such as embrace the offer: "I have given him” (faith the Lord here) “ to be a witness to the people.” And truly he is a sufficient witness in this inatter, in iany refpects : ift, Because he is one of the blefled Trinity, and pary-contracter for us, in the covenant of redemption, before the world was. 2dly, He is by office, as Mediator, the Meslenger of the ovenant, and hath gotten commission to reveal it. 3dly, He began ctually to reveal it in Paradise, where he promised, that the feed of he woman should bruise the head of the ferpent. 4thly, He set forth is own death and sufferings, and the great benefits that should come hereby to us, in the types and figures of facrifices and ceremonies be.. ore his coming. Sthly, He gave more and more light about this coenant, speaking by his Spirit, from age to age, in the holy Prophets, thly, He came himself, in the fulness of time, and did bear witness f all things belonging to this covenant, and of God's willing mind o take believers into it ; partly by uniting our nature in one per. on with the divine nature ; partly by preaching the good tidings f the covenant with his own mouth ; partly by paying the price f redemption on the cross; and partly by dealing still with the eople, from the beginning to this day, to draw in, and to hold in he redeemed in this covenant. . .
Thirdly, God hath made a gift of Christ, as a leader to the people, o bring us through all difficulties, all afflictions and temptations, un
life, by this covenant: And he it is, and no other, who doth inleed lead his own unto the covenant; and, in the covenant, all the vay on unto falvation : 1. By the direction of his word and Spirit. • By the example of his own life, in faith and obedience, even to the leath of the cross. 3. By his powerful working, bearing his re. leemed ones in his arms, and causing them to lean on him, while hey go up through the wilderness.
Fourthly, God hath made a gift of Christ unto his people, as a com, mander : which office he faithfully exerciseh, by giving to his kirk
and people, laws and ordinances, pastors and governors, and all necellary officers ; by keeping courts and allemblies anong them, to fee that his laws be obeyed ; fubduing, by his word, Spirit, and discip fine, his peoples corruptions; and, by his wisdom and power, guard. ing them against all their enemies whatsoever.
Hence he who hath closed bargain with God, may strengthen his faith, by reasoning after this inanner :
« Whosoever doth heartily receive the offer of free grace, made “ here to finners, thirsting for righteousness and falvation ; unto 6 him, by an everlasting covenant, belongeth Christ, the true David, “ with all his fure and faving mercies.
" But I (inay the weak believer say) do heartily receive the offer « of free grace made here to finners, thirsting for righteousness and 16 falvation.
“ Therefore unto me, by an everlafing covenant, belongeth Chrift $6 Jefus, with all his furę and saving mercies.”
The second warrant and special motive to embrace Chrift, and be:
lieve in him, is the ecrnefi req!eft that God maketh to us to be reconciled to him in Christ, holden forth, 2 Cor. v. 19, 20, 21.
God was in Chrift, reconciling the world unto him !f, not imputing their trespalles unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliati on. Verf. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Chrifi, as though God did beseech sout by us : we pray you in Chris's Atead, be je recorciled to God.' Verf. 21. For he hath made him to be fin for y., who knew no fini that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Wherein the Apostle teacheth us these nine doctrines: • First, That the elect world, or world of redeemed fouls, are by nature in the eftate of enmity against God: This is presupposed in the word reconciliation ; for reconciliation, or renewing of friendship cannot be, except betwixt those that have been at enmity. .
Second, That in all the time bypast, since the fall of Adam, Chrilt Tefus, the eternal Son of God, as Mediator, and the Father in hin, hath been about the making friendship (by his word and Spirit) be twixt himself and the elect world : “ God,” faith he, “ was in Chrift k reconciling the world to himself.”
Third, That the way of reconciliation was in all ages one and the fame in substance, viz. by forgiving the fins of them, who do ac knowledge their fins and their enmity against God, and do seek reconciliation and remiffion of sins in Chrift: “ For God," faith he, " was in Christ reconciling the world to hinself,” by way of “ not
imputing their trespaíses unto them.”
Fourth, Thąt the end and scope of the gospel, and whole word of God, is threefold: 1. It ferveth to make people sensible of their firs and of their enmity againft God, and of their danger, if they floud Itand out, and not fear God's difpleasure. 2. The word of God fer veth to inake men acquainted with the course which God hath pro pared for making friendfhip with them through Christ, viz. That it men hall acknowledge the enmity and shall be content to enter into covenant of friendship with God, through Christ, then God will be intent to be reconciled with them freely. 3. The word of God iveth to teach men how to carry themselves towards God, as friends, ter they are reconciled to him, viz. to be loth to sin against him, nd to strive heartily to obey his commandments: and therefore the ford of God here is called the word of reconciliation, because it teachth us what need we have of reconciliation, and how to make it, nd how to keep the reconciliation or friendfhip, being made with od through Chrift.
Fifth, That albeit the hearing, believing, and obeying of this word, oth belong to all thofe to whom this goipel doth come ; yet the of ce of preaching of it, with authority, belongeth to none, but to fuch nly as God doth call to his ministry, and fendeth out with commifon for this work. This the Apostle holdeth forth, verf. 19. in these vords, “ He hath committed to us the word of reconciliation."
Sixth, That the ministers of the gospel fhould behave themfelves as hrift's messengers, and should closely follow tlicir commission fet lown in the word, Matth. xxviii. 19, 20. and, when they do fo, they would be received by the people as Ambaffadors from God; for ere the Apostle, in all their names, faith, “ We are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did befeech you by us.” Seventh, That ministers, in all earneftnefs of affections, should leal with people to acknowledge their fins, and their natural enmity gainst God, more and more seriously; and to confent to the coveant of grace and emballage of Christ more and more heartily; and Devidence more and niore clearly their reconciliation, by a holy arriage before God. This lie holdetli forth, when he faith, “ We pray you be reconciled to God.” Eight, That in the ministers affectionate dealing with the people, he people fhould consider that they have to do with God auid Chrift, equesting'them, by the ministers, to be reconciled: Now, there can. ot be a greater inducement to break a funer's hard heart, than iod's making a request to him for friendship; for when it became $, who have done so many wrongs to God, to feek friendship of lod, he preventeth us : and (o wonder of wonders !) he requesteth s to be content to be reconciled to hiin ; and therefore moft fearful rath must abide them who do fer light by this request, and do not ield when they hear ministers with commisiion, faying, “ We are ambaffadors for Chrift, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Ninth, To inake it appear, how it cometh to pass that the coveint of reconciliation should be fo easily made up betwixt God and humble finner fleeing to Chriít, the Apostle leads us unto the cause ! it, holden forth in the covenant of redemption, the sum whereof this: “ It is agreed betwixt God and the Mediator Jesus Christ the Son of God, surety for the redeenied, as parties-contracters, that the sins of the redeemed should be imputed to innocent Christ, and he both condemned and put to death for them, upon this very condition, that whosoever heartily consents unto the covenant of reconciliation offered through Chrift, snall, by the amputation of