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would prove but curses, and my prosperity would but work my ruin.
Whither therefore should I go, my dear and blessed Saviour, but unto thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And how shall I come, but by thee? Thou hast the treasures of all grace. O thou, that hast wrought out my salvation for me, be pleased likewise to work this salvation in me! Give me, I beseech thee, such а measure of thy grace, as to believe in thee here upon earth, and then give me such degrees of glory, as fully to enjoy thee for ever in heaven!
I believe God entered into a double covenant with man, the covenant of works made with the first, and the covenant of grace made in the second Adam. THAT the most high God should take a piece of earth, work it up into the frame and fashion of a man, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and then should enter into a covenant with it, and should say, Do this and live, when man was bound to do it, whether he could live by it or no, was, without doubt, a great and amazing act of love and condescension; but that, when this covenant was unhappily broken by the first, God should instantly vouchsafe to renew it in the second Adam, and that too upon better terms, and more easy conditions than the former, was yet a more surprising mercy for, the same day that Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, did God make him this promise, that the seed of the woman should break the serpent's head, Gen. iii. 15. And this promise he afterwards explained and confirmed by the mouth of his prophet Jeremiah, saying, This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a
people, Jer. xxxi. 33. And again by St. Paul, under the New Testament, almost in the self-same words, Heb. viii. 10.
A covenant so gracious and condescending, that it seems to be made up of nothing else but promises. The first was, properly speaking, a covenant of works, requiring on man's part a perfect and unsinning obedience, without any extraordinary grace or assistance from God, to enable him to perform it; but here, in the second, God undertakes both for himself and for ruan too, having digested the conditions to be performed by us, into promises to be fulfilled by himself, viz. that he will not only pardon our sins if we do repent, but that he will give us repentance, that so we may deserve his pardon; that he will not only give us life if we come to Christ, but even draw us to Christ, that so he may give us life; and so, not only make us happy if we will be holy, but make us holy, that so we may be happy for the covenant is, not that he will be our God, if we will be his people, but he will be our God, and we shall be his people. But still, all this is in and through Christ, the Surety and Mediator of this covenant, in whom all the promises are Yea and Amen, 2 Cor. i. 20. So that Christ may be looked upon not only as a surety, but as a party in this covenant of grace, being not only bound to God, but likewise covenanting with him for us. As God-man he is a surety for us, but as man he must needs be a party with us, even our head in the covenant of grace, as Adam was in the covenant of works.
What, therefore, though I can do nothing in this covenant of myself, yet this is my comfort, that he hath undertaken for me who can do all things. And therefore is it called a covenant of grace, and not of works, because in it there is no work required from me, but what by grace I shall be enabled to perform.
And as for the tenor in which this covenant runs, or the habendum and grant which each party covenants for, it is express in these words, I will be your God,
and you shall be my people. God covenants with us, that we shall be his people; we covenant with God, that he shall be our God. And, what can God stipulate more to us, or we restipulate more to him, than this? What doth not God promise to us, when he promises to be our God? and what doth he not require from us, when he requires us to be his people?
First, he doth not say, I will be your hope, your help, your light, your life, your sun, your shield, and your exceeding great reward; but I will be your God, which is ten thousand times more than possibly can be couched under any other expressions whatsoever, as containing under it whatsoever God is, whatsoever God hath, and whatsoever God can do. All his essential attributes are still engaged for us; we may lay claim to them, and take hold on them: so that what the Prophet saith of his righteousness and strength, surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength, Isa. xlv. 24. I may extend to all his other attributes, and say, Surely in the Lord have I mercy to pardon me, wisdom to instruct me, power to protect me, truth to direct me, grace to crown my heart on earth, and glory to crown my head in heaven: and if what he is, then much more what he hath, is here made over by covenant to me. He that spared not his own Son, saith the apostle, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not but with him likewise freely give us all things ? Rom. viii. 32. But what hath God to give me? Why, all he hath is briefly summed up in this short inventory; whatsoever is in heaven above, or in earth beneath, is his; and that this inventory is true, I have several witnesses to prove it; Melchisedech, Gen. xiv. 19. and Moses, Deut. x. 14. and David, 1 Chron. xxix. 11. Indeed, reason itself will conclude this, that he that is the Creator and Preserver, must, of necessity, be the Owner and Possessor, of all things; so that let me imagine what possibly I can in all the world, I may, with the pen of reason, write under it, This is God's; and if I take
but the pen of faith with it, I may write, This is mine in Jesus Christ.
As for example; Hath he a Son? he hath died for me. Hath he a Spirit? it shall live within me. Is earth his? it shall be my provision. Is heaven his? it shall be my portion. Hath he angels? they shall guard me. Hath he comforts? they shall support me.. Hath he grace? that shall make me holy. Hath he glory? that shall make me happy. For the Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly, Ps. lxxxiv. 11.
And as he is nothing but what he is unto us, so he doth nothing but what he doth for us. So that whatsoever God doth by his ordinary providence, or (if our necessity requires) whatsoever he can do by his extraordinary power, I may be sure he doth and will do for me. Now he hath given himself to me, and taken me unto himself, what will he not do for me that he can? And what can he not do for me that he will? Do I want food? God can drop down manna from the clouds, Exod. xvi. 4. or bid the quails come down and feed me with their own flesh, as they did the Israelites, ver. 13. or he can send the ravens to bring me bread and flesh, as they did his prophet Elijah, I Kings xvii. 6. Am I thirsty? God can broach the rocks, and dissolve the flints into floods of water, as he did for Israel, Deut. viii. 15. Am I cast into a fiery furnace? He can suspend the fury of the raging flames, as he did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Dan. iii. 25. Am I thrown amongst the devouring lions? He can stop their mouths, and make them as harmless lambs as he did for Daniel, Dan. vi. 22. Am I ready to be swallowed up by the merciless waves of the tempestuous ocean? God can command a fish to come and ship me safe to land, and that in its own belly, as he did for his prophet Jonah, Jon. i. 17. ii. 10. Am I in prison? God can but speak the word, as he did for St. Peter, and the chains shall immediately fall off, and the doors fly open, and I shall
be set at liberty, as he was, Acts xii. 7, 8, 9, 10. And thus I can have no wants but God can supply them, no doubts but God can resolve them, no fears but God can dispel them, no dangers but God can prevent them. And it is as certain that he will, as that he can, do these things for me, himself having by covenant engaged and given himself unto me.
And as in God's giving himself, he hath given what soever he is, and whatsoever he hath, unto me, and will do whatsoever he can do for me; so in my giving myself to him, whatsoever I have I am to give to him, and whatsoever I do I am to do for him. But now, though we should thus give ourselves up wholly to God, and do whatever he requires of us, (which none, I fear, without some degree of presumption, can say he has done,) yet there is an infinite disproportion betwixt the grant on God's part, and that on ours, in that he is God, and we but creatures, the workmanship of his own hands, to whom it was our duty to give ourselves, whether he had ever given himself to us or no: he is ours by covenant only, not by nature; we are his both by covenant and
Hence we may infer, that it is not only our duty to do what he hath commanded us, because he hath said, Do this and live; but because he hath said, Do this; yea, though he should say, Do this and die, it would still be our duty to do it, because we are his, wholly of his inaking, and therefore wholly at his disposing; insomuch that should he put me upon doing that which would inevitably bring ruin upon me, I am not to neglect obeying him for fear of destroying myself, his will and pleasure being infinitely to be preferred before my life and salvation.
But if it were my duty to obey his commands, though I should die for it, how much more when he hath promised I shall live by it? Nay, I shall not only live, if I obey; but my obedience itself shall be my life and happiness; for if I be obedient unto him, he is pleased to