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and defects of the former are supplied, and which never shall fail, but shall surely reach its end, and so shall remain as that which needs no other to succeed it. So God removed the first dispensation by Moses, Heb. viii. 7-13. For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second," &c. So the priesthood of the order of Aaron ceases, because of the weakness and insufficiency of it to answer the ends of priesthood, which are, to reconcile God to man. Therefore, God introduces another priesthood, of the order of Melchizedec, that is sufficient, and cannot fail, and remains for ever. Heb. vii. So Moses, the first leader of Israel, failed of bringing them into Canaan; but Joshua, the second leader, did not fail. The kingdom of Saul, the first anointed of the Lord, did not continue ; but the kingdom of the second anointed remains for ever. The first sanctuary, that was built in Israel, was a moveable tabernacle, and therefore ready to vanish away, or be removed finally :—and God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh. But the second sanctuary was a firm building, an immoveable temple, which was typically an everlasting sanctuary, and that which God would never forsake; 2 Sam. vii. 10, 11. So the first covenant, that God made with Adam, failed, because it was weak through the weakness of human nature, to whose strength and stability the keeping was entrusted. Therefore, God introduces another better covenant, committed not to his strength, but to the strength of one that was mighty and stable, and, therefore, is a sure and everlasting covenant. God entrusted the affair of man's happiness on a weak foundation at first, to show man that the foundation was weak, and not to be trusted to, that he might trust in God alone. The first was only to make way for the second. God lighted up a divine light in man's soul at the first ; but it remained on such a foundation, that Satan found means to extinguish it; and, therefore, when God lights it up a second time, it is, that it may never be extinguished.
$ 13. Some things may yet remain, that are properly the conditions of salvation; on which salvation may be suspended, that it may well excite to the utmost caution, lest we should come short of eternal life, and should perish for the want of them, after it is already become impossible that we should fail of salvation. For the condition on which the man, Christ Jesus, was to obtain eternal life, was his doing the work which God had given him to do; his performning perfect persevering obedience, and his therein conquering Satan and the world, and all opposition, and enduring all sufferings that he met with. Therefore, Christ used the utmost diligence to do this work, and used the utmost caution lest he should fail of it; and prayed with strong crying and tears, and wrestled with God in a bloody sweat, that he might not fail, but might have
God's help to go through. Yet it was impossible he should fail of eternal life, and the whole reward that had been promised him. The joy that was set before him, was not only certain to him, but he had a proper title to it as God's heir, by reason of his relation to God the Father, as being his only be gotten Son. It was impossible that he should fail in the work to which he was appointed, as God had promised him sufficient and effectual grace and help to persevere, and already had made known his election : Psal. cx. 7. " He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up the head.” Isaiah xlii. 1. “Behold my Servant whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my Spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Verse 4. “ He shall not fail, nor be discouraged." And verse 6: “I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness: I will hold thine hand, and keep thee.” So it was in effect promised in the revelations that were made to Mary and Joseph, Zechariah, &c., and so to himself in answer to his prayers, by a voice from heaven. "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." It appears, that all was certain beforehand, by God's actually saving great numbers beforehand, on the ground of his future perseverance in his work.
6 14. Grace is that which God implants in the heart against great opposition of enemies, great opposition from the corruption of the heart, and from Satan and the world.
Great are the efforts of all these against the implantation of it, and they all labour to the utmost to keep it out. Seeing, therefore, that God manifests his all-conquering power in giving grace a place in the heart in spite of those enemies, he will, doubtless, maintain it there against their united efforts to root it out. He that has so gloriously conquered them in bringing in grace, will not at last suffer himself to be conquered, by their expelling that which he has so brought in by his mighty power.He that gloriously subdued those enemies under his feet, by bringing this image of his into the soul, will not suffer this image of his finally to be trampled under their feet. God, alone, could introduce it. It was what he undertook; and it was wholly his work, and, doubtless, he will maintain it. He will not forsake the work of his own hands. Where he has begun a good work, he will carry it on to the day of Christ. Grace shall endure all things, and shall remain under all things; as the expression FavTA UTOLever literally signifies, in 1 Cor. xiii, 7.
§ 15. The Spirit of God was given at first, but was lost. God gives it a second time, never to be utterly lost. The Spirit is now given in another manner than it was then. Then indeed it was communicated, and dwelt in their hearts. But this communication was made without conveying at the same time any
proper right or sure title to it. But when God communicates it the second time, as he does to a true convert, he withał gives it to him to be his own; he finally makes it over to him in a sure covenant. He is their purchased and promised possession. Man, in his first estate, had no benefit at all properly made over to him : for God makes over benefits only by covenant: and then the condition of the covenant had not been fulfilled. But now, man, at his first conversion, is justified and adopted: he is received as a child and an heir, as a joint heir with Christ. His fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. God is theirs, and Christ is theirs; and the Holy Ghost is theirs ; and all things are theirs. The Holy Spirit, who is the sum of all good, is their inheritance; and that little of it that they have in this life, is the earnest of their future inheritance, till the redemption of the purchased possession. Heaven is theirs : their conversation is there. They are citizens of that city, and of the household of God. Christians are represented as being come already to heaven, to Mount Zion, the city of the living God; to an innumerable company of angels, &c.-Heaven is the proper country of the church. They are raised up together by Christ, and made to sit together in heavenly places : Eph. ii. 6. “ They are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places." The whole tenor of the gospel shows, that Christians have actually a full and final right made over to them, to spiritual and heavenly blessings.
6 16. That the saints should be earnestly exhorted and pressed to care and caution, and earnest endeavours to persevere, is most reasonable; and it cannot be otherwise, notwithstanding their having an absolute, unchangeable promise, that they shall persevere. For still perseverance is their duty, and what they are to do in obedience to God. For that is the notion of perseverance, their holding out in the way of God's commandments. But if it were absurd to command them to persevere, as the work they have to do, then how would they do it in obedience to him? The angels in heaven are confirmed, and it is promised unto them that they never shall sin : yet it is proper for God to give them commands, though in so doing he requires the improvement of their care and endeavours to obey and fulfil his will exactly. It is not obedience, if they do not take care and endeavour to obey. If they should cease to take care, that very thing would prove their fall. So, in this case, if Christians cease to take care to persevere, that very thing is falling away,
§ 17. It shows the infallible perseverance of true Christians, that their spiritual life is a participation with Christ in the life that he received as risen from the dead. For they live by Christ's living in them: Gal, ii. 20. “I am crucified with
Christ; nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." That is, by the life that he has received since his resurrection, and by his communicating to them that fulness which he received when he rose from the dead. When he rose, he received the promise of the Father, the Spirit of life without measure, and he sheds it forth on believers. The oil poured on the risen head goes down to the skirts of the garments; and thus Christ lives in believers by his Spirit dwelling in them. Believers, in their conversion, are said to be risen with Christ ; Col. ii. 12, 13. “Ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you being dead in your sins, and the circumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him." And chap. i. 1 “If ye then be risen with Christ;" &c. And Eph. ii. 5, 6. “ Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together.” Rom, v. 10. “For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his,
This spiritual resurrection and life is procured and purchased for Christ's members, by Christ's suffering obedience, in the same manner as his own resurrection and life is purchased by it. And they receive life as united to him, as members of a risen Saviour, and as being married in their conversion to him.
§ 18. The perseverance of faith is necessary to a congruity to salvation. For it is implied in several places of scripture, that if true believers should fail in persevering in faith they would be in a lost state ; John xviii. 8, 9. “ Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If, therefore, ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me, have I lost none :" i. e. Christ took care that they might go away, that they might not be in the way of such temptations as would be in danger of overthrowing them, so that they should not persevere. And it is implied, that if they were overthrown, and should not persevere, Christ would have lost them; the saving relation that they stood in to Christ would have been dissolved. The same seems fully implied in Christ's prayer in the 17th chapter of John. Thus, he makes use not only of their having received God's word, and believed that God had sent him, but their having kept his word, as a good plea for their title to that favour and acceptance of the Father, which he asks of the l'ather for them; as ver. 6, 7, 8, &c.—The same is implied in the 11th verse: “Roly Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." This implies that their being one, or their standing in a saving VOL VII,
relation to him, and in union with his mystical body, depends