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5. Lastly, The covenant of grace was so made, that it might be a sure covenant; even to the end the promise might be sure to all the feed, Rom. iv. 16. The first covenant was made with a mere creature, as a principal party, and contractor: and though he was a holy and righteous man, yet was he fo fickle and unstable, that he failed of performing the condition he undertook; and fo the benefit of the promise was lost;, wherefore fallen men were not at all fit to be principal parties, or parties contractors, in the new covenant, wherein the promise was to be sure, and not to miss of an accomplishment. They being then wholly a brokan company, not to be trusted in the matter, Jesus Christ the Son of God was constituted head of the new covenant, to act for, and in name of the spiritual seed: and that to the end, the covenant being in this manner sure in point of the fulfilling of the condition, might be also sure in point of the accomplishment of the promise. And this is the very hinge of the stability of the covenant of grace, according to the scripture ; Pfal. Ixxxix. 28. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant Mall stand fast with him., Verse 22. The enemy shall not exact upon him ; or, as others read it, and I think justly, The enemy Mall not beguile bim, namely, as he did the first Adam.' The original phrase is elliptical, q. d. The enemy shall not be guilt (his foul, Jer. xxxvii. 9.) in him.
Before I leave this point, I offer the following inferences from it.
Inf. 1. The covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace are not two distinct covenants, but one and the same covenant. I know that many divines do express themselves otherwise in this matter; and that upon very different views, some of which are no ways injurious to the doctrine of free grace. But this I take to be scripture-truth, and a' native consequent of the account given of the covenant of
-Ifa. lii. 10,
grace in our Larger Catechism, to wit, “ That the
covenant of grace was made with Christ as the se. “ cond Adam, and in him with all the elect as his “ feed: Gal. iii. 16. Now to Abraham and his feed
were the promises made. He saith not, And to feeds,
as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which “ is Christ. Rom. v. 16, to the end.
When thou shalt make his fout an offering for fin, he shall see his feed, he shall prolong his
days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in “ his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul, and
Jhall be satisfied." &c. So the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace are but two names of one and the same second covenant, under diferent considerations. By a covenant of redemp. tion, is meant a bargain of buying and selling: and such a covenant it was to Christ only; forasmuch as he alone engaged to pay the price of our redemption, 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. By a covenant of grace is meant a bargain whereby all is to be had freely: and such a covenant it is to us vuly, to whom the whole of it is of free grace; God himself having provided the ransom, and thereupon made over life and falvation to us, by free promise, without respect to any work of ours, as the ground of our right thereto.
To confirm this, consider, (1.) That in scripturereckoning, the covenants for life and happiness to man, are but two in number, whereof the covenant of works is one: Gal. iv. 24. These are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, namely, generating bond-children, excluded from the inheritance, verse 30. This is a distinguishing character of the covenant of works; for such are indeed the children of that covenant, but not the children of the covenant of grace
under any dispensation thereof. These two covenants are called the old covenant, and the new covenant : and the old is called the first, which speaks the new
to be the second: Heb. viii. 13. In that he faith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. This is agreeable to the two ways unto life revealed in the fcripture; the one by works, the other by grace, Rom. xi. 6. The one is called the law, the other grace, chap. vi. 14. The former is the law-covenant with the first Adam, representing all his natural feed; made first in paradise, and afterward repeated on mount Sinai, with the covenant of grace: she latter is the covenant of grace, made with the second Adam representing his spiritual seed: 1 Cor. xv. 47, 48. (2.) It is evident, that the salvation of finners is by the blood of the covenant, which is the blood of Christ, Heb, x. 29. I Cor. xi. 25. And the seripture mentions the blood of the covenant four times; but never the blood of the covenants;, therefore the covenant, the blood whereof the scripture mentions, and our salvation depends upon, is but one covenant, and not two. Now, that covenant is Christ's covenant, or the covenant of redemption: for it was through the blood of it he was brought again from the dead; namely, in virtue of the promise made therein to be fulfilled to him, upon his performing of the condition thereof, Heb. xiii. 20. And it is also his people's covenant, or the covenant of grace, Exod. xxiv. 8. Behold, the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you. It is expresly called their covenant. Zech. ix. II. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water. The words expressing the party here spoke to, being of the femi. nine gender in the first language, make it evident, that this is nor directed to Christ, but to the church: so the covenant is proposed as their covenant. And the spiritual prisoners are delivered, in virtue of this their covenant, which certainly must be the covenant of grace. By all which it appears, that the covenant of grace is the very fame covenant that
was made with Christ, in respect of whom it is called the covenant of redemption.
Inf. 2. Likeas all mankind sinned in Adam, fo believers obeyed and suffered in Christ the second Adam. For as the covenant of works was made with Adam as a public person and representative, all finned in him, when he broke that covenant; fo the covenant of grace being made with Christ, as a public person and representative, all believers obeyed and suffered in him, when he fo fulfilled this covenant. This is the doctrine of the apostle ; Rom. v. 19. As by one man's disobedience many were made fin. ners : so by the obedience of one mall many be made righteous. Chap. viii 3. God Sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for fin condemned
sin in the flesh: verse 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. 2 Cor. v. 21. That we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Gal. ji. 20. I am crucified with Christ. And it affords a folid answer for believers, unto the law's demand of obedience and suffering for life and falvation.
3. Believers are justified immediately, by the righteousness of Christ, without any righteousness of their own interveening; even as all men are condemned, upon Adam's sin, before they have done any good or evil in their own persons : Rom. v. 18. As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. And thus believers are righteous before God with the self-fame righteousness which was wrought by Jesus Christ, in his fulfilling of the covenant. The which righteousness is not imputed to them in its effects only; so as their faith, repentance, and fincere obedience, are therefore accepted as their evan. gelical righteousness, on which they are justifiel : but it is imputed to them in itself, even as Adam's
4. The covenant of grace is absolute, and not conditional to us. For being made with Christ, as representative of his feed, all the conditions of it were laid on him, and fulfilled by him. Wherefore all that remains of it to be accomplished, is, the fulfilling of the promises unto him and his spiritual seed; even as it would have been in the case of the first covenant, if once the first Adam had fulfilled the condition thereof.
5. The covenant of grace is a contrivance of infinite wisdom and love, worthy to be embraced by poor finners, as well ordered in all things and sure, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. O admirable contrivance of help for a desperate cafe ! Wonderful contrivance of a covenant of God, with them who were incapable of standing in the presence of his holiness, or of performing the least condition for life and salvation ! A new bargain for the relief of loft finners.made on the highest terms with those who were not able to come up to the lowest terms ! Infinite Wisdom found out the way, to wit, by a representative. The love of the Father engaged him to propose the representation; and the love of the Son engaged him to accept of it. Thus God had one, with whom he might contract with the safety of his honour ; and who was able to fulfil the covenant, to the reparation of the injuries done to his glory: and finners also had one able to act for them, and to purchase salvation for them at the hand of a holy and just God. So a sure covenant was made, and a firm foundation laid, upon which God laid the weight of his honour, and on which finners may safely lay their whole weight: Therefore thus faith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion--a fure foundation: he that believeth, shall not make hajte, Isa. xxviří. 16.; Mall not be ashamed, Rom. ix. 33.
6. Lastly, The way to enter personally into the covenant of grace, so as to partake of the benefits thereof, unto salvation, is to unite with Christ the