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venant. Rev. i. 16. Out of his mouth went a Marp two-edged sword. What that sword is, and by what a strong arm it is weilded, in this case, may be learn. ed from the Apostle, calling it the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Eph. vi. 17.; and what the effect of it is, being managed by that arm of the Lord revealed, is declared by the Pfalmift, Pfalm cx. 3. Thy people mall be willing in the day of thy power; and by the Prophet, Ila. xliv. 3. I will pour my spi-. rit upon thy feed :ver. 4. And they shall spring up.-ver. 5. One fall say, I am the Lord's. Chrift communicates to them, and every one of them, at the time appointed in the eternal counsel, the spirit and grace of the covenant, therein secured for them by promise ; and thereby they are quickened, en, abled and determined to believe. And whereas he finds them prisoners, though prisoners of hope, he opens the house of their bondage, breaking the yoke of sin, death and the devil, from off their necks, by his Spirit applying to them his fatisfaction. The which has that mighty effect, inasmuch as then the law hath full satisfaction as to them; and the -law being satisfied, the strength of sin is broken ; and the strength of fin being broken, the sting of death is taken away: and the sting of death being taken away, the devil loseth his power over them; and Satan's power over them being loft, the present evil world, which is his kingdom, can hold them no longer. Thus are they separated from the world Jying in wickedness, and constituted members of the kingdom of Christ; delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son, Col. i. 13. And from thenceforth, though they be in the world, yet they are no more of it; but strangers and pilgrims in it, true and lively members of the invisible kingdom of Christ; a society to which the world is an implacable enemy, John xv. 19. re are not of the world, but I have chosen you
out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. And herein Christ doth, in a special manner, fhew himself a King mighty in battle, by the power of his grace overcoming the most perverse and rebellious to a cordial submiffion, and rescuing them from the bondage and dominion of their enemies.
4. Gathering them and others with them together into a visible church-state, Gen, xlix. 10. Unto him Shall the gathering of the people be. Thus is erected the visible church or kingdom of Christ in the world; a society feparate from the visible kingdom of the devil, and profesling faith in, and obedience to Chrift, outwardly bearing his badge, and the figns of his cavenant. Among them is the ordinary seat of the administration of the covenant, the ordinary means of falvation, and offers of grace. In their land the voice of the turtle is heard, and the singing of birds in the preaching of the glorious gospel; while there is a lasting winter over all the world besides. They have the Bible, and fabbaths, the ministry of the word, and the holy facraments. Among them is to be found the communion of saints, and a church-government, instituted for controlling the unruly, fuppreffing of fin and wickedness, and encouraging an orderly
walk. And they have the privilege of Heaven's protection ; infomuch that the church shall be defended, and her enemies fo restrained and conquered by her King, that she fhall continue while the world stands, maugre all opposition that hell can make a gainst her: Matth. xxviii. 20. Log I am with you alway even to the end of the world.
5. Lastly, Ruling and governing his true and kindly subjects agreeably unto the covenant, by which his royal prerogative is stated, and their privileges are fecured, ifa. ix. 6. The government shall be upon his shoulder. Of this his government there are feveral acts, the chief of which are these following. if, He gives them the laws of the covenant; not
only only intimating the fame unto them externally by his word; but teaching them internally by his Spirit, writing them upon the tables of their hearts, and leaving an indelible copy of them affixed there: Heb. viii. 10. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. These laws of the covenant, are no other but the laws of the ten commandments, originally given to Adam in his creation, and at his transportation into Paradise and settlement there, vested with the form of the covenant of works; and now, unto believers in Christ, standing without that form, in the covenant of grace, as the eternal rule of righteousness, whereunto they are to be conformed by the grace of the covenant; the effectuat. ing of which is committed by the Father to Jesus Christ as Administrator thereof. And accordingly, he carries it on, by his word and Spirit, in a suitableness to their nature as rational agents, and to their state; making these laws known to them, as the rule of life, unto which they stand bound by the fovereign authority, and matchless love of God their Creator and Redeemer; and withal inclining their hearts unto the obedience of the fame.
2dly, He gives them the rewards of the covenant in the course of their obedience : Psal. xix. 11. In keeping of them there is a great reward. He puts his people indeed to work and labour ; but not to labour in the fire, and for vanity, as the servants of fin doz they are to work and labour, like an ox treading out the corn, which was not to be muzzled, but to have access at once to work and to eat. The service now done to Zion's King,, hath a reward in this life, as well as a reward in the life to come. By the order of the covenant, there is a privilege established to follow duty, as the reward thereof; the which order is observed by the King in his administration. Accordingly, he proposeth the privilege of comfort, to excite to the duty of mourning, Matth.
V. 4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be
of debt to him, as the leading privileges are, that produce the working: but both the one and the other are equally the reward of Christ's work, in the most strict and proper notion of reward.
3dly, He ministers unto them the discipline of the covenant, in case of their disobedience. The disci. pline of the covenant is fatherly chastisement, which their estate of imperfection in this life makes neces. sary to their welfare : and therefore it is secured for them in the covenant, Pfal. lxxxix. 30. If his chil. dren for fake my law ;-verse 32. Then will ! visit their transgression with the rod,-verse 33. Never. theless--verse. 34. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. It belongs to the promissory part of the covenant, and particu. larly to the promise of sanctification : forasmuch as it is not vindi&tive, but medicinal; being an ap. pointed means of advancing holiness in them. He chastens for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness, Heb. xii. 10. And thus it serves to purge iniquity, and to take away fin, Isa. xxvii. 9.; namely, in that as a fire melting down the paint and varnish of the defiling objects in the world, in our sight, and as a looking-glass shewing us our pollution, it occasions and excites us unto washing in the only laver of the blood of Christ, by faith. Now the administering of the discipline of the covenant is comitted unto Zion's King, John v. 22. The Fa: ther hath committed all judgment unto the Son, Rev. iii. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. And, as to the nature of it, it comprehends all manner of strokes upon their worldly substance, name, employments, and relations; all manner of bodily af. Aictions, diseases and pains incident to finful flesh; ; even' natural death itself, 1 Cor. xi. 30. 32. : and generally, all outward strokes which any of the chil. dren 8f men are liable to, Eccles. ix. 2. All things fome alike to all. Moreover, it comprehends fpiritus