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CHAP. may henceforth be banished; and that it may XIII.
never be heard from the mouth of any Reformexpressions
ed Divine, to the dishonour and reproach of which are
our most holy religion: That sin does no liable to calumny.
manner of hurt to believers, and that a believer, immediately after committing the most atrocious crime, is as much assured of pardon, as he can be after the deepest humiliation.
Concerning the Covenant of Grace.
1. Questions concerning the covenant of grace. II.--IX.
A method of reconciliation attempted. X. Chamier's sentiments.
SEE the following things controverted CHAP. concerning the covenant of grace. 1. Whether it consists entirely in that eternal compact I. Quesbetween the Father and the Son, as the represent
cerning the ative head of all the eleft; whereby the Son un-covenant of dertook, according to the will of the Father, grace. to do all things worthy of the Divine perfections, that the cleat might obtain salvation in a manner becoming God: or whether there must also be acknowledged a certain compact between God and the eleet, concerning the manner whereby they may actually become partakers of the salvation purchased by Christ. 2. Whether Christ so took upon himself all the conditions of the covenant of grace, that no condition at all is required, or can be required of the elect, to be performed by the grace of God, through the merit of Christ, prior to the actual possession of salvation.
II. I find so many things here, in which the brethren agree, that provided party zeal, method of and the obstinacy of defending what has once been said, were laid aside, I would hope that tempted.
CHAP. little controversy would remain concerning XIV.! the subject itself,
JII. If I am not mistaken, both parties aIII.
gree in this, That they acknowledge the wonderful compact between the Father and the Son, concerning procuring the salvation of the elect, wherein the Som represented them all, being to do these things for them, which otherwise it was incumbent on them to do.
IV. Nay, I also trust impartial judges will grant me, that they acknowledge there is a certain federal transaction between God and the elect, concerning the manner wherein they are to please God, and to enjoy happiness: though perhaps they will not yet acknowledge that it should be comprehended in the definition of the covenant of grace. For such a federal transaction is so often, and so expressly taught in scripture, that it would not seem it can be called in question. Such a covenant God made with Abraham and with his seed, Gen. xvii. Where having first said that he is God all-sufficient, he requires that he walk continually before him, and be perfect. Again, he promises, « that he will be a God to him and to his seed after him:" but he also requires, that he keep his covenant, for the confirmation of which he gives him the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness of faith. What solemn federal transactions between the Israelites and God, are often on record; which indeed I do not deny,
may be called national: yet it is so far from chap. being true that they contained any thing opposite to the genius of the covenant of grace; that, on the contrary, they implied, and supposed that covenant, at least in respect of the elect; of whom it is said, Psal. I. 5. “ Gather me my favourites, who have made a covenant with me upon a sacrifice.” And Psal. ciii, 17, 18. “ The mercy of the Lord is toward such as keep his covenant." Isa. xxiv.
They make void the everlasting covenant." And Jer. 1. 5. “ They shall join themselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant, which shall not be forgotten.” I omit a great many other things of the like nature; which I do not now choose warmly to urge. Only, I contend at present, that they evince in general, that besides the eternal covenant between the Father and the Son, there is a certain covenant made in time, betwixt God and the elect. [24.]
V. It is also confessed, that the true condition of the covenant of grace,
properly so called, whereby it is chiefly distinguished from the covenant of works, is this, That all that righteousness, upon which the right to life is entirely founded, be performed by the Mediator and Surety of the covenant. From whence it follows, that this righteousness of the Surety being admitted, no condition, properly so called, can be required of
CHAP. the elect, whereby they may acquire freedom
from punishment, or a right to life.
VI. Nay, also, all grant this, that the apostle often.designs the covenant of grace under the name of a Testament. Now the testament is the unchangeable will of God, suspended on no condition: which, having all its strength from the death of the Testator, cannot be suspended on any condition to be performed by man: especially, since in the same testament God hath provided no less concerning the faith and holiness of the heirs, than concerning salvation itself. Hence it is that the form of the covenant consists sometimes of mere promises, Jer. xxxi. 33. and xxxii. 38,
39, 40. [25.] VII.
VII. Neither is it controvérted, that these very things, which inga certain respect are called conditions by some, belong in another, to the benefits of the covenant. For in the same covenant, God promises repentance, faith, the beginning, progress, and uninterrupted continuation of the new life, no less than its blessed consummation: as appears
from Jeremiah's prophecies just now quoted. VIII. ' VIII. It is also certain, that in the greatest
wisdom and holiness, God has so appointed, that none should obtain salvation except in the way of faith and sanctification, and has arranged his promises in that order, that the further and more perfect good should pertain