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As to the Lord's supper, our Saviour teacheth us, that it is the seal of the new covenant, in which remission of sins is offered through the blood of Christ. Mat. xxvi. 28. For this is my

blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins. Which is essentially different from Mr. M.'s external covenant, by which no remission of sins can be obtained.

At the Lord's table, Christ, by the mouth of his minister, says, this is my body, take ye, eat ye all of it. This is my hlood, take ye, drink ye all of it. Hereby. sealing to the truth contained in the “written instrument.” But it is therein written in so many words, “I am the living bread, which came down from heaven ; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." John vi. 5). 56. Thus it is written, and thus it is sealed on Christ's part. On the other hand the communicant, by his practice, declares, “ I take his flesh, and eat it. I take his blood, and drink it," and seals the covenant on his part; and thus the “ written instrument”, is externally and visibly sealed, ratified, and confirmed on both sides, with as much formality as any “written instrument” is mutually sealed by the parties in any covenant among men. And now if both parties are sincere in the covenant thus sealed ; and if both abide by and act according to it, the communicant will be saved. For salvation is promised in the “ written instrument” to those who eat his flesh and drink, his blood. John vi. 51. This promise is sealed by Christ at the Lord's table. The condition of it is externally complied with, in the sacramental actions, by the communicant, who visibly eats his flesh and drinks his blood. And if the exercises of his heart: answer to his external actions, the covenant is on his part. complied with, sealed, ratified, and confirmed. And if the Gospel is true, he will be saved.

But if the communicant's heart does not answer to his external sacramental actions; but on the contrary, if when he visibly and sacramentally eats his flesh and drinks his blood, even at that very time, in his heart and in the sight of God,

he rejects bis flesh and his blood, his atonement, and all the blessings purchased by his death, his visible actions are a lie; and lying is not a converting ordinance.

An impenitent sinner under legal terrors may forsake bad company, lay aside the practice of uncleanness, of drunkenness, of backbiting, of lying and cheating, &c. be inay make restitution to those whom he has injured in name and estate : he may spend much time in hearing and reading the word of God, in meditating on death and judgment, heaven and hell, in comparing his thoughts, words, and actions, with the law of God, and with the gospel of Christ: and he may spend much time in secret prayer, and in trying to get his heart deeply affected with eternal things, &c. &c. without lying. And thus reforming his life, and attending these means, may be useful to promote a conviction of his sinful, guilty, helpless, ruined state: But lying tends to sear his conscience and hearden his heart in sin. To make a profession of a compliance with the covenant of grace with his mouth, when he knows he does not comply with it in his heart; and to renew this covenant at the table of the Lord in visible actions, while he continues to reject it in his heart, and knows this to be the case with him, is wilful lying, and tends directly to the eternal ruin of the sinner's immortal soul.

Object. By my sacramental actions I mean to acknowledge, that the gospel is true; but not to profess a compliance with it.

p. 41. Answ. Should your neighbour treat you thus, in any covenant depending between you ; should he say, " I own the things contained in it are true, but I do not mean to bind myself to fulfil the covenant, by signing and sealing it before evidence;" you, and all the world, would look upon him as a dishonest quibbler.

OBJ. But I mean to have the truth of the Gospel deeply impressed upon my heart by the ordinance." p. 41.

Answ. This end might be as well obtained, if you tarried as a spectator. Those who stand by as witnesses, when a bond is signed and sealed, may know what is done, as well as those who are parties, and who bind themselves. Men that mean not to bind themselves should not sign and seal the bond. No one seals a bond, unless he means to bind himself to fulfil it. Should a man offer to sign and seal a bond, which he did not mean to bind himself to fulfil, in order to get his heart affected with what is contained in it, his neighbours would think him delirious.

OBJ. But I mean to bind myself to “endeavour" to fulfil it ; i. e. to " endeavour to conform my practice to the rules of it." p. 21.

Ans. Should you offer your house and farm to your peighbour upon the most reasonable terins, which if he had a heart he might fulfil with ease and pleasure, Mat. xi. 28, 29. Prov. üi. 17.; and should he plainly tell you, that at present he could not find it in his heart to comply with your offer; nor could he promise that he ever should comply; but however he was willing to bind himself to “ endeavour" to comply, and no more; you would doubtless think best to put off the bargain till you should find bim of another temper. And what our Saviour thinks best in the present case, is most plainly expressed in Luke xiv. 25-33.

SECTION VI.

It cannot be determined what Mr. M.'s external covenant re

quires, and wherein a real compliance with it doth consist, so that any man can ever know that he has complied with it.

NEGATIVELY, Mr. M. has determined with great exactness, what it does not require, and what is not necessary in order to a perfect compliance with it: viz. holiness. For it requires vo holiness at all : no, not the least spark of true grace. So that, if we could know what it did require, it nright be perfectly complied with by one who is quite dead in sin. This is very plain.

Positively he has not determined what it does require, so that any man can ever know that he has complied with it; nor can it be determined by him, or by any other. For it

cannot be determined from scripture, for the scripture knows nothing about such a covenant, either name or thing. And it cannot be determined from reason; for it is supposed to be a matter of

pure

revelation. Indeed, Mr. M. has attempted to settle this matter : he says, p. 21.“ I will allow, that none but such as profess the Christian religion, and will endeavour to conform his practice to the rules of it, ought to be admitted into the church." Upon which it may be observed, : 1. That Abraham made no profession at all of any faith, but of a saving faith. He believed in the Lord, and it was counted to hins for righteousness. And if Abraham is to be our pattern, as Mr. M. insists, then we must make a profession of this faith, or of none. To set aside Abraham's faith, which was, as James asserts, a living faith ; and to introduce into its room a dead faith, which James calls the faith of devils ; and to substitute this in the stead of the faith of Abraham, and to put God's seal, which belongs to God's covenant, to this new invented covenant of human device, is not “ to conform our practice to the rules" of God's word ; nor so much as 10“ endeavour” it. Besides,

2. Mr. M. says, p. 7. “ That by which ANY ONE was to enter into this" external “ covenant, was an external mark in the flesh.” But faith, although a dead faith, is an internal thing, and is as much invisible, as any other mental qualification whatsoever : and therefore is not necessary on his scheme to be in the heart of the professor : nor need he profess it to be in his heart. For “ to require more of the person to be admitted into the church, than is made necessary by the covenant on which it is framed, is really absurd.” p. 22. For to imitate his manner of reasoning, it may be said, " to set this matter in the clearest light, an infidel, or an atheist, with a fair profession of the external covenant, when he is received into the visible church, on Mr. M.'s scheme, is in the sight of God either a member of it, or he is not. If he is a member, then the faith of devils is not necessary. If he is not, then on Mr. M.'s scheme th no visible church.” This is Mr. M.'s manner of reasoning,

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can be

VOL. III.

p. 49*, I hope this may show the inconsistence of excluding a living faith, because it is an invisible mental qualification; and yet retaining a dead faith, which is equally an in, visible mental qualification. To make Mr. M.'s scheme consistent, no, mental qualification ought to be professed. Nothing but baptism, which is substituted in the room of circumcision, is needful. Baptism alone, without any profes sion at all, is the only requisite to constitute any man a nein, ber of Mr. M.'s visible church. But in the apostolic age no man was ever received into the visible church by baptism alone, without a profession. Mr. M. is obliged therefore to allow of the necessity of a profession. But this supposes the necessity of some mental, invisible, internal qualification to be professed: but this is inconsistent with the notion, that nothing is necessary but what is external and visible. So his scheme cannot hang together.-Besides,

3. To have no other faith than the devil has, and to profess no other faith than he has professed, is not to enter into covenant with God, unless the devil is in covenant with Godi Therefore let the articles of faith to which professors give their assent be ever so orthodox, and their profession be ever

x These are Mr. M.'s words. “To set this matter in the clearest light; aa únregenerate man, with a fair profession of religion, when received into the visible church; is in reality either a member of it, or he is not: if he is a member, his union must be constituted by something besides the covenant of grace, which extends to none but such as have true grace in heart: but if he is not in reality a member of the visible church, then there can be no such thing as a visible church, that has a real existence.” Answ. The visible union of the visible church is constituted by a visible credible profession of a compliance with the covenant of grace: just as their real union is constituted by a real compliance with the cove. nant of grace.

To set this matter in the clearest light ; in a Spanish milled dollar there is a certain quantity of silver, the stamp, &c.—Silver is essential to a real dollar, If there is no silver in the seeming dollar, it is not a real dollar, but a counterfeit

So here-If a body of men profess friendship to Christ, tlrey are a visible chureh of Christ; but if there is no friendship in their hearts, they are like the counterfeit dollar, Should

any ove object, a pewter dollar, with a good stamp, and well washed over, is a real dollar, or it is not : if it is a real dollar, then silver is not essential to a real dollar: if it is not a real dollar, then there is no such thing as a visible dollar in the worlds” would any man by such logic as this, be induced to receive pewter dollars, professedly such, in pay for his whole estate ?

one.

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