Imágenes de páginas


- and establishing his commands by what penalties he had pleased, and never have brought himself under the tye and obligation of a covenant to his own creatures : but he chuses to deal familiarly with his people, by way of covenanting, being a fami. liar way, 2 Sam. vii. 19. Is this the manner of men, O Lord God, or, (as Junius renders it) and that after the manner of men, O Lord God! it is a way full of condescending grace and good, gels: he is willing hereby his people should know what they may certainly expect from their God, as well as what their God requires of them. Hereby also he will furnish them with mighty pleas and arguments in prayer, succoor their faith against temptations ; Itrengthen their hands in duties of obedience, sweeten their obedience to them, and discriminate his own people from the world.

As soon therefore as man was created and placed in paradise, being made upright, and throughly furnished with abilities per. fectly and completely to obey all the commands of his Maker, the Lord immediately entered into the covenaot of works with him, and all his natural posterity in him : And in this covenaat his standing or falling was according to the perfection and cooltancy of his perfooal obedience, Gen. ii. 17. Gal. iii. 10. But in this first covenant of works no provision at all was made for his recovery (in case of the least failure) by his repentence or better obedience; but the curse immediately seized both foul and body: and fin, by the fall eatering into man's nature, totally disabled him to the perfect performance of any one duty, as that covenant required it to be done, Rom, viii. 3. nor would God accept any repentance, or after-endeavours, in lieu of that perfect obedience due by law. So that from the fall of Adam, to the end of the world, this covenaot ceaseth as a covenant of life, or a coveqant able to give righteousaefs and life uato all mankind for evermore, Rom. iii. 20. “Therefore by the deeds “ of the law there shall no flesh be justified ia his light." Gal. ii. ..36. “ By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Gal. iii. 11. “ But that no man is justified by the law in the sight “ of God, is evident." And it being so evident, that righteoulpess and life being for ever impoflible to be obtained upon the terms of Adam's covenant, it mult therefore be a selfevident truth, That since the fall, God never did, and to the end of the world he never will open that way or door to life ( thus block'd up by an absolute impossibility) for the justification and Jala vation of any man.. Thesis 2. Soun after the violation and cefation of this first

[ocr errors]

Covenant, as a covenant of life, it pleased the Lord to open and publish the second covenant of grace by Jesus Christ, the firA dawning whereof we find in Gen. iii. 15. where the feed is promiled which foall bruise the serpent's head. And though this be but a very mort, and somewhat obfcure discovery of man's remedy and falvation by Christ; yet was it a joyful found to the ears of God's people, it was even life from the dead to the believers of those times. For we may ratiopally conclude, That that space of time betwixt the breaking of the first, and making of the second covenant, was the most dismal period of time that ever the world did, or shall fee. This covenant of grace now took place of the covenant of works, comprehended all believers in the bofom of it. The covenant of works took place from the time it was made until the fall of Adam, and then was abolished as a life-giving covenant. The second covenant took place from the time it was made foon after the fall, and is to contidue to the end of the world. And there only are the two covenants God hath made with med; the latter fucceeding the former, and commencing from its expiration ; but both cannot poflibly be in force together at the same time, and upon the same perfons, as co-ordinate covenants of life and talvation. For in co-ordination they expel and destroy each other, Gal. v. 4. " Whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from « grace." The first covenant was a covenant without a mediator ; the second is a covenant with a mediator. Place a believer under both at once, or put these two covenants in co-ordination, and that which results will be a pure contradiction, viz. That a man is saved without a mediator, and yet by a mediator. Moreover, if there be a way to life without a media ator, there was no need to make a covenant in and with a me. diator ; nor can those words of Christ be true, John iv. 6. “I " am the way, the truth, and the life : no man cometh to the ** Father but by me.”

The righteousness of the first covenant was within man himself; the righteousness of the second covenant is without man in. Chrift. Put these two in co-ordination, and that which results is as pure a contradiction as the former, viz. That a man is justified by a righteousness within him, and yet is justified by a righteousness without him, exprelly contrary to the a. the apostle's conclusion, Rom. iii. 20." Therefore by the deeds “ of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his fight." It is therefore an intolerable absurdity to place believers under both these covenants at the same time; under the curse of the first, and blessing of the second, - For whenloever the state of any

person is changed by juftification, his covenant is changed with his state, Col. i. 13. 'Tis as unimaginable that a believer should thus stand under both covenants, as it is to imagine a man may be born of two mothers, Gal. iv. 22, 23, 24, 25, or a woman lawfully married to two husbands, Rom. vü. 1, 2, 3, 4. and more absurd (if it be possible any thing can be more absurd) to attribute the most glorious privilege of the covenant of grace, (viz. “ I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee,” Gen. xvii. 7.) to the impotent and abolished covenant of works; both which absurdities are asserted in defence of Antipaedo-beptism.

And though it be true, that after the first edition of the covenant of grace, the matter of the first covenant was represented to the Israelites in the moral law: yet that representation was intended and designed to be subfervient, and added to the promise, Gal. iii. 19. and so (as an acute and learved divine * speaks) the very decalogue or moral law itself pertained to the covenant of grace; yea, in fome fort, flowed out of this covenant, as it was promulged by the countel of God to be ferviceable to it; both antecedently to lead men by the conviction ., of sin, fear of wrath, and self-despair, to the covenant of grace; and also consequently as it is a pattero of obedience and rule of holiness. For had it been published as a coveoant designed intentionally to its primitive üle and end, it had totally frustrated the covenant of grace. .

Thesis 3. Though the primordial light or firf glimmerings of this covenant of grace, were comparatively weak and obfcure; yet from the first publication of it to Adam, God in all ages hath been amplifying the privileges, and heightning the glory of this second covenant in all the after expresures and editions of it unto this day, and will more and more amplity and illustrate it to the end of the world. : That first promise, Gen. iii. 15. is like the first small spring or head of a great river, which the farther it runs, the bigger it grows by the accession of more waters to it. Or like the fup in the heavens, which the higher it mounts, the more bright and glorious the day still grows.

In that period of time, betwixt Adam, and Abraham, we find go token of God's covenant ordered therein to be applied to the infant-seed of believers. But in that second edition of the

covenant to Abraham, the privileges of the covenant were am- plified, and his infant-feed not only taken into the covenant

[ocr errors][merged small]

(as they were before) but also added to the visible church, by to receiving the token of the covenant, which then was circumes cision; and so here is a great addition made to che visible on church, even the whole infant off-spring of adult believers. ch

From that period, until the coming of the Messiah in the inte field, the Jewish church, and their infant-feed, except only select some few profelytes out of the Gentile Dations, made up the visible church of God, and the poor Geçtiles were without Chrift, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, Eph. ï. 12. but in this glorious -third period the covenant again enlarges itself more than be fore, and the privileges of it are no longer limited, and resta Atrained to the Jewish believers, and their infant-feed; bot the Gentiles also are taken into the covebant, and the door de faith was opered unto them, Acts xiv. 27. the partition-wall was now broken down, which separated the church from the 21 Gentile world, Eph. ii. 14. This was a glorious enlargement of the the covenant, and many glorious prophecies, and promises, were fulfilled in it; such as those, Ifa. xl. 10, and xlii. 1, 6. xlix. 22. liv. 3. IX. 3, 5, 11, 16. lxii. 2, C...

And though the covenant, as to its external part, seems to har bave lost ground in the breaking off of the Jewish pation from the church; yet, like the sea, what it loses in one place, it gains with advantage, upon another : The addition of many 12 Gentile nations to the church, more than recompences for the present breaking off of that one pation of the Jews. And, in deed, they are broken off but for a time, for God shall grafen them in again, Rom. xi. 23. This therefore being the deliga 13 of God, and steady course of his covenant of grace, more and more to enlarge itself in all ages; nothing can be more oppor Site to the nature of this covenant, than to narrow and contract its privileges in its farther progrefs, and cut off a whole fpecies from it, which it formerly took in. .

Thesis 4. It is past all doubt, and contradiction, that the iDfant-feed of Abraham, under the second edition of the covenant of grace, were taken with their believing parents into God's gracious covenant, bad the seat of that covenant applied to them, and were thereby added to the visible church, Gen. xvil. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. which was a gracious privilege of the covenant fuperadded to all the former, and such as sweeps away all the

frivolous, and grouodless cavils, and exceptions of those that · object the incapacity of infants to enter into covenant will God, or receive benefit from the external privileges of the nig

Dant that the vers were, if the fame benefits of Geatile believers

fible church. Nor can the subtileft enemy to infants baptism,
give us a convincing reason why the infants of Geotile believers
are not equally capable of the fame benefits that the infants of
Jewish believers were, if they still stand under the fame coven,
Dant that the former food under ; and God hath no where ree
pealed the gracious grant formerly made to the infant-seed of
his covenaat-people. .
· Thefs 5: It is to me clear, beyond all contradiction, from
Rom. xi. 17. “If fome of the branches be broken off, and
“ thou being a wild olive-tree, wert grafted in amongst them,
" and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the oliven
“ tree ;” I say, I can scarce défire a clearer scripture-light than
this text gives, to satisfy my understanding in this case, that
when God brake off the unbelieving Jews from the church,
both parents and children together; the believing Gentiles,
which are as truly Abraham's feed as they were, Gal. iii. 29.
yea, the more excelleot feed of Abraham, were implanted or
ingrafted in their room, and do as amply enjoy the privileges
of that covenant, both internal and external, for themselves, and
for their infanr-feed, as ever any members of the Jewish church
did or could do.
· Our adversaries in this controversy do pitifully and apparent-
ly fhufile here, and inveor many strange and unintelligible dis-
tinctions to be-cloud the light of this famous text. What
they are, and how they are baffled, the reader will easily discera
from what hath already past betwixt my antagonist and me, in
p. 108, &c. of my Vindicia Legis et Fæderis. It is plain, that
Abraham is the root, the olive-tree, the visible church; the
fap and fatness of the olive, are church-ordinances and cove.
Dant-privileges, the Gentile believers, who are Abraham's feed
accordiog to promise, are the ingrafted branches standing in
the place of the natural branches, and with them, or in like
manger as they did, partaking of the root and fatness of the
olive-tree, that is, as really and amply enjoying all the immu-
pities, benefits, and privileges of the church and covedant
(amongst which the initiating sign was one, and a chief one
too) as ever the natural branches that were broken off, that is
the Jewish parents and their children, did or might have done.
And to deny tbis (as before was noted) is to straiten covenant-
privileges in their farther progress.

Thesis 6. Suitably hereunto we find, that no sooner was the Christian church. constituted, and the believing Gentiles by. faith added to it, but the children of such believing parents are declared to be foederally holy, 1 Cor. vii, 14, and the unbeliev.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »