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OF THE

COVENANT of GRACE, &c.

PSALM lxxxix. 3.
I have made a covenant with my Chofen.

I Cor. XV. 45.
The last man was made a quickening Spirit.

A A

S man's ruin was originally owing to the

breaking of the covenant of works, so his

recovery, from the first to the last step thereof, is owing purely to the fulfilling of the covenant of grace; which covenant, being that wherein the whole mystery of our falvation lies, I am to essay the opening of, as the Lord shall be pleased to affift. And there is the more need of humble dependance on the Father of lights, through Jesus Christ his Son, for the manifestation of his Spirit in this manner, that whereas the first cove, ant is known, in part by the light of nature, the knowledge of this second is owing entirely to revelation.

It was from this covenant the Psalmist, in the verse immediately preceeding the first text, took a comfortable view of a glorious building, infallibly going up in the midst of ruins ; even a building of mercy: For I have said, Mercy Mall be built up for ever; the ground of which confident assertion is, in our text, pointed out to be God's covenant with his Chosen. From the type of the covenant of grace, namely the covenant of royalty made unto David, he saw a building up of mercy for the royal family of Judah, when they were brought exceeding low. From

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the substance of it, he saw a building of mercy for sinners of mankind, who were laid in ruins by the breach of the first covenant. This is that new building, free grace set on foot for us ; into which they that believe are instantly thereupon received, and where once received, they shall dwell for ever : a building of mercy, in which every stone, from the bot. tom to the top, from the foundation-stone to the copestone, is pure mercy, rich and free mercy to us.

Of this building of mercy I shall drop a few words.

And, 1. The plan of it was drawn from all eternity, in the council of the Trinity: for it is according to the eternal purpose purposed in Jesus Chrift, Eph. iii. ir. The objects of mercy, the time and place, the way and means, of conferring it on them, were designed particularly, before man was miferable, yea, before he was at all. 2. The builder is God himself, the Father, Son and holy Ghost, i Cor. iii. 9. re are God's building. All hands of the glorious Trinity are at work in this building. The Father chose the objects of mercy, and gave them to the Son to be redeemed; the Son purchased redemption for them; and the holy Ghost applies, the purchased redemption unto them. But it is specially attribuied to the Son, on the account of his singular agency in the work : Zech. vi. 12. Behold the man whose name is the Branch- -He shall build the temple of the Lord: verse 13. Even he mall build the temple of the Lord, and he mall bear the glory. 3. The foundation was laid deep in the eternal counsel; beyond the reach of the eyes of men and angels. Paul confidering it, cries out, О the depth! Rom. xi. 33. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor? verse 34. 4. It is more than five thousand years since this building rofe above ground. And the first stone of it that appeared, was a promise, a promise of a Savi. our, made in Paradise after the fall, Gen. iii. 15.;

namely,

namely, That the feed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. Here was mercy. And mercy was laid upon mercy. Upon promising mercy was laid quickening mercy, whereby our lost first parents were enabled to believe the promise; and upon quickening mercy was laid pardoning mercy to them ; and upon that again fanctifying and establishing mercy; and at length glorifying mercy. ' 5. The cement is 'blood; the blood of Jesus Christ the Medi. ator, which is the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. No sav. ing mercy for finners could confift, nor could one mercy lie firm upon another in the building, without being cemented with that precious blood; but by it the whole building consists, and stands firm for ever, Heb. ix. 22, 23. and vii. 24, 25. 6. Ever since. the time it appeared above ground, it has been going on. And many hands have been employed, to ferve in carrying on the work. In the first ages of the world, Patriarchs were employed in it, such as Adam, Enoch, and Noah; in the middle ages, prophets, priests and Levites; in these the last ages, the apostles, and other extraordinary officers, and ordinary ministers of the gospel, Great has been the opposition made to the building from the beginning, by Satan and his agents, both in the way of violence and deceit ; yet has it all along been going on ftill. And now it is come far above mid-height; it is drawing towards the top, and the time when the last stone shall be laid thereon; for it is evident, we are far advanced in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, wherein the mystery of God is to be finisbed, Rev. x, 7. 7. The cope stone will be laid on it at the last day: at what time the promise will receive its full accomplishment, in the compleat falvation of all the objects of mercy, then to be advanced unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, Eph. iv. 13. In that day our Lord Jesus Christ, the great builder, shall bring forth the head

stone

stone thereof with shoutings, even the last and crowning mercy, saying, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. And then shall they dwell in the building of mercy perfected, and sing of mercies for ever and ever. 8. Lastly, The foundation on which it stands, is a firm one. It is necessary that it be fo: for a building of mercy to sinners, from a holy just God, is a building of huge weight, more weighty than the whole fabric of heaven and earth: and if it should fall, all is ruined a second time, without any more hope of relief. But it is a fure foundation, being God's everlasting covenant : I have made a covenant with my Chofen.

In which words, together with the second text, there are four things to be considered. 1. The foundation on which the building of mercy stands; to wit, A covenant. 2. The parties-contractors in that covenant. 3. The making of it. And, 4. The nature of it.

1. The foundation on which the building of mercy stands, is a covenant, a divine covenant, a sure one. The first building for man's happiness was a building of bounty and goodness, but not of mercy; for man was not in misery, when it was a rearing up. And it was founded on a covenant too; namely on the covenant of works, made with the first Adam : but he broke the covenant, and the whole building tumbled down in an instant. But this is another covenant, and of another nature. In the type indeed and shadow, it is the covenant of royalty with David, 2 Sam. vii. 11, -17.; which was a foundation of mercy to his family, securing the continuance of it, and that as a royal family. Howbeit, in the antitype and truth, it is the covenant of grace, the covenant of eternal life and falvation to finners the spiritual seed of the head thereof, to be given them in the way of free grace and mercy, Psalm

lxxxix.

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