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to the blessings of the covenant of grace, to pardon, justification, and eternal life; to say which, is at once to set aside the whole New Testament. Thus stands the case.
Now what method Mr. M. will take to get along with bis scheme, after time for reconsideration, is not yet knowo : or whether a gentleman of so much good sense will not rather give it up.
OBJEC. But if these things are true, it will follow, that the covenant with Abraham, the Sinai covenant, and the Gospel covenant, are for substance one and the same covenant; even the covenant of grace : but this does not agree with many Scripture texts. For the apostle Paul distinguishes between the Abrahamic covenant and the Sinai covenant, between the promise to Abraham and the law which was 430 years after, and calls them two covenants. Gal. 3. 16, 17, 18. and Chap. 4. 24. And he represents the Sioai covenant, which he calls the law as requiring perfect obedience on pain of the curse. Chap. iii. 10. And affirms that by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified. Rom iii. 20. Gal. ii. 16. And that Abraham was not justified by the law, but by faith. Gal. iii. 6, 7, 8, 9. And that the law is not of faith, ver. 12. but a school-master to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Ver. 24. Moreover, it is plainly intimated, that in the Sinai covenant God did not communicate sanctifying grace to those that were under it; but that in the Gospel covenant he does. At Mount Sinai God wrote the law on tables of stone, and obliged the people to keep it; but did not give them a heart to do so: but in the new covenant God writes his law on the heart, i. e. by the influences of his Spirit, gives a disposition of mind answerable to the law. Heb. viii. 8. 12. Therefore Paul calls the Sinai covenant the ministration of death and condemnation, and the letter that killeth, in distinction from the Gospel, which he calls the spirit which giveth life, the ministration of the spirit, and the ministration of righteousness. 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7,8.
Ans. As Mr. M. maintains that the Abrahamic, the Sinai, and the Gospel covenants, are for substance one and the same covenant; so the foregoing objection cannot consistently
be made by him or by his admirers ; nor has he taken any notice of it. It may suffice therefore to say,
1. That every self-righteous Jew was disposed to consider the Old Testament as a covenant of works, and every selfrighteous Christian is disposed to consider the New Testament in the same light. They attended the externals of that dispensation, and expected to find acceptance with God, by what they did. Luke xviii. 11. Rom. ix. 31. 32. And their example is closely followed by too many under the Christian dispensation : neither of them understanding the true nature of the divine law. Rom. vii. 8, 9.
2. It is readily granted, that St. Paul taught that all selfrighteous sinners, be they Jews or Christians, are under a law which requires perfect obedience on pain of eternal damnation : that this law is holy, just, and good ; that they are in duty bound to fulfil this law themselves; that God is not bound to give them any assistance at all, and that it curses every one that continueth not in all things. And it is readily granted, that this law is a ministration of death and condemnation, and killeth. It was ordained to life, i. e. it promises life to every one that lives up to it; but it is found to be unto death to every one who makes the attempt. Rom. vii. 10.
3. It is readily granted, that this law is as different from the Abrahamic covenant, and the Gospel covenant, as the covenant of works is from the covenant of grace : and that it was the design of the apostle to set this difference in a clear and striking light, that he might kill all the self-righteous hopes of the self-righteous sinner; and convince him that there is no hope in his case, but of mere free grace through Jesus Christ. Gal. iii. 10. 24. Rom. ii. 9. 25. .
4. It is also granted, that this law was one principal part of the Sinai covenant; and that every carnal Jew was under it, and held bound by it. Yea, that it is the peculiar privilege of the true believer to be delivered from it; and that by being united to and interested in Christ Jesus, the second Adam, who hath completely answered its demands; Rom. vi. 14. and chap. vii. 4, 5, 6. Gal. ii. 19, 30. and chap. ii. 10. 14. And to grant these things, is to grant all that the apostle says, about this law. And yet consistently with all these things it may be asserted, that,
5. The Mosaic dispensation did reveal a way in which pardon of sin might be obtained : it did exhibit in types a shadow of the Gospel-way of obtaining pardon. See the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 16th chapters of Leviticus. Avd it did promise pardoning mercy and sanctifying grace to the penitent believer. Lev. xxvi. 40, 41, 42. Deut. xxx. 1-6. And the land of Canaan was a designed type of heaven ; and long life and prosperity there, of eternal life and blessedness above. Heb. iv. 1-0. But this is the sum of what is intended, when the Sinai covenant is represented as a covenant of grace.
6. The Israelites, when they entered into covenant at Mount Sinai in words, did by their unbelief reject the covenant of
in their hearts. Psalm lxxviii. 36, 37. Heb. iii. 19. And therefore, notwithstanding they were then visibly married to God in a covenant containing the promises before mentioned, whereby they laid themselves under bords to keep covenant; yet GOD was not obliged to give them a heart to keep covenant, by any promise contained in that dispensation, as he would have been had they been sincere, and as he is to all who are united to Christ by a true and live ing faith. And so it came to pass that they broke covenant, in an open, public inanner; and he regarded them not, but their carcasses fell in the wilderness. Whereas God writes his law in the heart of the true believer, and effectually inclines him to walk in his ways. And thus every false professor, whether Jew or Christian, will fall short of the heavenly Canaan; as it is written, John xv. 2. Every branch in me that beureth not fruit, he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit.-But,
after all, shall insist that the Sinai covenant was merely a covenant of works, and that the Abrahamic covenant was not in any sense contained in it, they ought to consider, that if this be so, then the Sinai covenant ought to be entirely left out of the account in the present dispute, and circumcision ought to be considered as being in no sense a
seal of it. For it was appointed to be a seal of the Abrahamic covenant, and of no other; and therefore if the Abrabamic covenant was in no sense a part of the Sinai covenant, then circumcision was in no sense a seal of the Sinai covewant. For no new seals to the covenant of works have been appointed since Adam was turned out of paradise. And as for Mr. M.'s external graceless covenant, it never had any existence.' The bible knows nothing about it, either name or thing. We have already seen that it is not contained in the Old Testament, and we shall presently perceive that it is not to be found in the New.
The Gospel of Christ essentially different from Mr. Mather's
external graceless covenant. IT is true, the Gospel consists in an external revelation"; but then the thing revealed, is the way of salvation by free grace through Jesus Christ. It is also true, that the call of the Gospel is an external call; but then the thing it calls us -unto, is a belief and compliance with the way of salvation by free grace through Jesus Christ. The Gospel consists in the clearest and fullest external revelation of the way in which GOD
may be just, and yet justify and save sinners; which way of salvation it constantly invites sinners to.comply with, that - they may be pardoned and saved ; saying, come, for all things are now ready. Mat. xxii. 4. This may be called an external covenant, as it is a visible exhibition of the covenant of grace, with which professors of Christianity visibly comply in a profession of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. But in this view it is essentially different from Mr. M.'s external covenant. For the Gospel covenant proinises pardon and eternal life to those who really comply with it; but one may comply with Mr. M.'s external covenant in sincerity and truth, and yet have no grace, and finally perish. For Mr. M.'s external covenant does not require saving grace, and may be perfectly complied with by one who is dead in sin. For it is an unholy, graceless covenant; and so it is essentially different from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
John Baptist did not baptise with the baptism of the external covenant, but with the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Luke iii.
Jesus Christ did not call men to comply with an external graceless covenant, and be baptised; but to repent and believe the Gospel. Mat. i. 15. Having counted the cost, to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him. Luke xiv. 25—33. Promising eternal life to those who did so. Mat. xix. 29. Representing graceless professors by salt that has lost its savour, and is good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot. Mat. v. 13. Luke xiv. 34, 35. He warned his hearers against professing, and not living up to his religion, as an inconsistent conduct. Luke vi. 46. He called them to make such a profession as he might own to their honour in the heavenly world, before his Father. Mat. X. 32.
Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. This is that profession unto which he invited men, and never invited them to any other. Rather to false professors Christ declares it will be said, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment ? Mat. xxii.
The apostles had no commission to preach and baptise upon
Mr. M.'s external covenant; but were expressly ordered to preach the Gospel to every creature; a Gospel that promised eternal life: and to baptise those who appeared to comply with it. Mark xvi. 15, 16. They were sent to make disciples, not to Mr. M.'s external covenant, but to Christianity. Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. In a word, they were sent to preach repentance and remission of sins to all nations in the name of Christ. Luke xxiv. 47. And they acted up to their commission.
When the three thousand were pricked in their heart, Peter did not tell them to comply with Mr. M.'s external covenant and be baptised, which they might have done, and yet have continued inpenitent and unpardoned; but exactly according to his master's orders, he said, repent and be bap