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our Lord, Luke . 16. “ He that heareth you, heal. eth me; and he that despiseth you, defpiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me."
Thirdly, To whom it is offered? Christ's covenant of grace is offered to finners of mankind indefinitely; that is, it is offered to them, and any of them wholoever without distinction. So the offer stands in the written word, and so the ministerial offer is to be made. This is clear from many teftimonies, Prov. viii. 4. “ Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men,” Mark xvi. 15. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." John ii. 16. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." Isa. lv. I. “ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the wa. ters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.” Rev. xxii, 17. “ Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely:" Therefore it is offered to you, and every one of you, and you are war. santed to enter into it.
Object. But it may be I was not elected, and Chrift did not represent me in that covenant. Answ. Your warrant to enter into Christ's covenant does not at all depend on your election, or non-election, but on the revealed will of God making a real offer of it to you, Deut. xxix. ult. and that you have, and that you be lieve it not, you disbelieve the gospel, Isa. lii 1. make God a liar, 1 John y. 10. and fo mult perish, Mark Ivi. 16. Where do you find that ever a person's elec. tion was the ground of his believing or entering into the covenant ? It is not revealed to the elect to bring them to believe in Chrift ; but they firft believe, and then by that means they see they were elected. · Moreover, the promises are proposed indefinitely. So was the first promife, Gen, üi. 15. “ I will put en mity between thee and the woman, and between thy
feed and her feed : it shall bruise thy head, and thou falt bruise his heel.” So are other prumises of the covenant, Ifa. ly. 3. “ Incline your ear, and come un. to me; hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” Heb. viii. 10, 11, 12. “ I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, say. ing, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will bemerciful to their unrighteousness, and their fins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26, 27. “ Then will I fprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean ; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you.' A new heart also will I give you, and a new fpirit will I put within you, and I will take away the ftony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye fhall keep my judgments, and do them.” Where is there any limitation or distinction of persons there? · Object. The conditional promises are indeed to all, but not the absolute ones. Answ. There is a con. nection of duty and privilege in some promifes; but I know no promises properly condition, but to Chrift, who has fulfilled the conditions of them already i Rom. iv. 4, 5.“ Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." The promises of the covenant, call them as ye will, are to all indefinitely; for non eft diftinguendum ubi lex non distinguit. Therefore the apostle lays it for a ground of faith to the murderers of the Lord of glory, Acts ii. 38. 39. “ Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remiffion
of fins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Inst. If these promises be to all, then they must be fulfilled to all. Answ. That is false ; according to the apostle's reasoning, Heb. iv. l. “ Let us therefore fear, left a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” It fol. lows indeed that that must be fulfilled to all who accept them by believing; and so they shall, John iïi. 16. But not to them who will not accept them, be. lieve, nor apply them to themselves. No promise binds the promiser, if it is not accepted by the party. It is no imputation on God's faithfulness, that they are not fulfilled to unbelievers of them. :
SECONDLY, The next thing is the finner's entering into the covenant in a faving manner, so as to fecure his gathering to Christ at the last day. This the text expresfeth by “ cutting off his covenant on a sacrifice," that is, by cutting off the-facrifice. to enter into the covenant. And this being the sacrifice of Chrift him. self, can be no other but the laying the hand on the head of the facrifice which then was to be cut off by divine justice. And this in gospel language is just be. lieving on Jesus Christ sacrificed for us. So it is by believing on Christ crucified, that we are personally and savingly entered into the covenant. .
It is agreeable to the nature of the covenant, that this should be the way of entering into it. For whereas the covenant is not made with us immediately, as parties, contractors for ourselves, in which case we would enter into it by promising to do something on our part as the condition thereof; but mediately through Jesus, who mediated therein as a representative, undertook the fulfilling the condition thereof, and had the promises thereof made to him ; it is evident there can be no way of our personal entering in,
to it in a faving manner, but by uniting with him, which the scripture determines to be by faith alone, Eph. iii. 17. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Accordingly it is determined, John x. 9. “ I am the door ; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.”
Now this believing on Christ crucified or sacrificed for us, whereby we are entered into the covenant, formally lies in three things.
1. Believing the absolute sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of finners, and your falva. tion in particular, and the complete security of the covenant for that effect to all within the bond of it, Jer. iii. 22, 23. “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings; behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains ; truly in the Lord our
God is the salvation of Ifrael.” The soul seeing the :. infinite ill that is in sin, as an offence and abomination
to an infinite God, must see also the infinite dignity of
- 3. Trusting on the facrifice of Christ for your falva tion from fin and wrath, upon the ground of God's faithfulness in the covenant, Aets xv. 11. “We belies that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved." The soul renounceth all confidence ir itself, or any other, and relies wholly on the facrifice of Christ, the fulfilled condition of the covenant, for the promises of the covenant being fulfilled to itself, because God has so engaged in his proclaimed covenant, and he cannot but be faithful in his covenant.
Thus the soul is formally entered into the covenant, receiving Christ in his priestly office, and so uniting with him.
And this necessarily brings along with it the cove. nanter's,
1. Receiving Christ as his Prophet, renouncing his own wisdom and the wisdom of the world, giving up himself to be guided by his word and Spirit, Matth. xvi. 24. Acts xiii. 22. Uniting with him, he must needs be our head for direction and guidance.
2. Receiving him as his King and Lord, renouncing the dominion of fin, the devil, and the world, and whol ly giving up liimself to be ruled by him as his head for government, Psal. ii. ult. Ifa. xxvi. 13.
And thus the foul entering into the covenant, taking Christ in all his offices, takes God in Christ for his God, and gives up himself to be one of his people for ever, consenting to the offer made, Heb. viii. 10. “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Whofo thus enters into the covenant now, shall be joyfully gathered to him at the last day, as those that have entered into his covenant on a facrifice. .
THIRDLY, The last thing on this head is the profeffion and declaration of that entering into Christ's cove. nant, by some fit sign. This is a solemn declared entering into the covenant, in which one may be either fincere or hypocritical, Deut. xxix. 10, 12. “ Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; that