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(3.) But when all this is done, how shall this covenant be executed? Why, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. He hath undertaken two things. [1.] To assure our souls of all things on the part of God; to reveal the terms of the covenant, and make known unto us the end of God in it. And [2.] to undertake on our parts to give us hearts, that we shall love him, and fear him; to write the terms of the covenant on our part in our souls; so that it shall have an infallible execution. If any thing had been wanting in this order, we could never had benefit by this covenant.

There is an addition of order, in reference to the matter of it, here expressed: as it is ordered, ‘so it is ordered in all things:' it is ordered in all the things of grace on the part of God;' it is ordered in all the things of sin on our part.' (1.) It is ordered in all the things of grace on the part of God,' that all grace whatsoever, that is needful for the covenanters, shall be given out unto them. If there were any needful grace that we should come short of, in reference unto the end of this covenant, it would not be ordered in all things. If the covenant had been ordered but in some grace, in quickening grace, and not in persevering grace, we had never come to the end of the covenant; if in pardoning grace, and not renewing grace, we had never come to the end of the covenant; 'for without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' But whatsoever grace is needful to bring us to the enjoyment of God, it is ordered in all grace. The first covenant with Adam was ordered in grace, but not in all grace; it was ordered in righteousness, holiness, and innocency, but not ordered in the grace of perseverance; and, failing in that grace, the whole covenant failed: but this covenant is ordered in all things, with reference to believers. (2.) It is ordered in reference unto sin. There was a great deal of glory and beauty in the first covenant; but there was no order taken about sin; that, if any sin came in, the first covenant was gone and broken, and of no use any more. But this covenant hath taken order about sin; that there shall no sin befal believers, but what the grace of the covenant will extend pardon unto. If a believer should fall into any one sin, that would deprive him of the benefit of this covenant, it would not be ordered in all things. There are sins, that, if a believer should fall into,

would break the covenant; but the covenant prevents such falls.

This is another motive to rely upon this covenant, because it is ordered in all things. What could God provide more for poor creatures?

3. The last property of this covenant is, that it is sure. It is ordered in all things, and sure.' If it had not been sure, it would not have been a relief unto us. The springs of the security of this covenant are two: (1.) The oath of God; (2.) The intercession of Christ.

God hath confirmed this covenant by his oath; and that gives surety in itself, and security unto us; Heb. vi. 17, 18.

And it is made sure by the interposition of Christ. He. 'is made the surety of a better covenant;' Heb. vii. 22. And he lives for ever to make intercession for them that come unto God by him, and so is able to save unto the utmost; ver. 25.

This is what I have to offer from the opening of the words, and the reasons contained in them, why they are the great relief and reserve of believers in all the surprisals, disappointments, and distresses, that may befall them; and we are marvelously unwise, if we do not live in a constant expectation of such surprisals. To say, that we shall die in our nests, and our mountain is so strong that it shall not be moved, this is carnal security.

I will answer one question, and I have done.

How do believers betake themselves to this covenant for relief? Or, what may we do, that we may betake ourselves unto it for our relief in our surprisals and distresses?

I answer, first, The first way is, by faith to get a due and dear valuation of the things of the covenant, above all things we here enjoy in this world. We shall never have relief by it, until we value the things of it as we ought; and those who do so shall never want relief from it.

Secondly, We should seek unto God in covenant, for strength to support us under our surprisals and distresses. When Abraham was going to battle, he took with him Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, who were the men of his covenant; Gen. xiv. 13. When our souls are engaged in battle with our sins, oppositions, and fears, let us take with us the men of our covenant, I mean, take God with us, seek

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strength from the covenant, it is the way to support under soul surprisals.


Thirdly and lastly, We must resolve finally to take up our rest in the covenant of God, and not in other things. In Isa. xxx. 15. God brings it to this; Thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, in returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.' God, when he proposes the covenant unto us, doth it, that we should take up our rest and confidence alone in that. But ye would not, but said, We will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee.' If we have other reserves, the covenant will never be a stable reserve unto us.




Although my house, &c.-2 Sam. xxiii: 5.

I Do remember I have spoken in this place formerly from these words; and delivered somewhat concerning the covenant of God, so far as the exposition of the words did lead me.

I shall now add only one consideration, which is taken from the introduction of David's retreat unto, and assertion of, the everlasting covenant in this place; and that is in these words, Although my house be not so with God.'

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David took a prospect now in his latter days, of all the distresses and calamities that should assuredly come upon his family; and it may be, he had regard unto those great and dreadful breaches that had before been made upon it, in the sins and judgments that ensued upon some of his children. This was enough to work in him a consternation of spirit and trouble of mind; and, in the view and prospect of it, he repairs for his relief unto the covenant of God; 'Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.' What I would observe from it is this:

Under present distresses, and the saddest prospect of future troubles, it is the duty, and wisdom, and privilege of believers, to betake themselves for relief and support unto the covenant of God. Nothing can befall them, no case happen, for which there is no relief provided; and it is the greatest and best relief that can be provided for any case whatsoever.

Having laid down this assertion, the substance of what I shall do at present is, but to confirm it with some Scripture instances, and the practice of believers in former ages.

* This sermon was preached Jan. 1, 1670.



We have one instance in Gen. xxviii. 3, 4. Isaac was sending away his son Jacob unto Padan-aram, to take him a wife; and he might easily know, and did no doubt, what troubles, and distresses, and dangers, would befall Jacob in that great undertaking. And one would somewhat wonder, why so great a man as Isaac was, should send his son away with no better provision than Jacob was sent away with. He gives the account of it, I had nothing but my staff; With my staff,' saith he, I went over Jordan.' But it seems, that temporal blessings being then a great token and evidence of God's covenant mercies, he would have Jacob work for himself, that he might have experience of God's blessing him in what he did. He should try God by his own experience. And what provision doth he give him, besides his staff, for this great undertaking? It is this, ver. 3, 4. God Almighty bless thee, and give thee the blessing of Abraham.' Why does he say, 'God Almighty? Because that was the name whereby God revealed himself to Abraham, when he entered into covenant with him in Gen. xvii. 1. 'I am the Almighty God.' Isaac calls his son Jacob to renew his covenant interest with God, and to betake himself unto the blessing of the covenant, against that long and hazardous journey he was to go, against the hard, false, oppressive, deceitful dealing he was to meet with, against the dangers he was to encounter. He gives him the covenant for his security. And Jacob was not wanting to take the same course himself, Gen. xxxii. 9. and so onward: he was in as great a distress, and under as just a fear, as ever man was in this world, or could be in; and so he expresses his fear unto God, ver. 11. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother, with the children.' He feared the universal destruction of himself and family, and so the failing of the promise he had received, and which he had pursued through so many difficulties and dangers. What course now doth Jacob take? Why, he appeals to the covenant, ver. 9. O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac;' which was the plea whereby they did plead the covenant that God entered solemnly into with them. Two things, it is evident, Jacob pleaded in this very great distress: one was the co

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