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bound to do, for, other men's souls, viz. to fray, preach, exhort, and reprove for their salvation.

Error IX. 'They will not allow the new covenant to be pro" perly made with us, but with Christ for us. * And some of them affirm, That this covenant is all of it a promise, having nt condition upon our part. They acknowledge, indeed, faith, repentances and obedience, to be conditions, but'fay they are net conditions on our part, but on Christ's s and consequently affirm, that he reptnted, believed, and obeyed for us.' Refutation 1. The confounding or distinct covenants leads them into this error; we acknowledge there was a covenant properly made with Christ alone, which we call the covenant of redemption. This covenant, indeed, though it were made for us, yet it was not made with us: It had its condition, and that condition was laid only upon Christ, viz. That he should aflame our nature, and pour out his soul unto death, which condition he was solely concerned to perform; but besides this, there is a covenant of grace made with him, and with all believers in him: with him primarily, as the head, with them as the members, who personally come into this covenant, when they come into the union with him by faith. This covenant of grace is not made with Christ alone, personally considered, but with Christ, and all that are his, mystically considered, and is properly made with all believers in Christ,; and therefore it is called their covenant, Zech ix. 11. "As for "thee, also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy "prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water." So when God entered into the covenant of grace with Abraham, Gen. xvii. 7. "I will establish my covenant (faith he) between me and *' thee, and thy feed after thee." So when he took the people of Israel into this covenant, Ezek. xvi. 8. "I sware unto thee "(faith he) and entered into a covenant with thee, and thou "becamest mine."

This covenant of grace made with believers in Christ, is not the fame, nor must it be confounded with the covenant of redemption made with Christ before the world began; they are two distinct covenants: For in the covenant of grace, into which believers are taken, there is a Mediator, and this Mediator is Christ himself. But in the other covenant of redemption, there neither was, nor could be any Mediator, which manifestly distinguishes them. Besides, in the covenant of grace, Christ bequeaths manifold, and rich legacies, as he is the Testator;

* Vide Saltmarfli of Free Grace, pag. 126,127.

but no man gives a legacy to himself. This covenartt is really, and properly made with every believer, 'as he is a member of Jel'us Christ, the head; and they are truly, and properly toederates with God: The covenant binds them to their duties, and encourages them therein by promises of strength, to be derived j from Christ, to enable them thereunto.

2. We thankfully acknowledge, that the glory of the new covenant is chiefly discovered in the promises thereof; opoa the bell promises it is established. And all the promises are reducible to the covenant. They meet, and center in it, as the livers in the sea, or beams in the fun; but yet we cannot lay, that nothing but promises is contained in this covenant: For there are duties required by it, as well as mercies promised in it. .

Nor may we fay, that those duties required by it are required only to be performed by Christ, and not by us; but they are required to be performed by us in his strength: Nor is it Christ that repents and believes for us, but we ourselves are to believe, and repent in the strength . of his grace: And till we do so actually, in our own perions, we have no parr, or portion in the blessings, and mercies of this covenant. If Christ by believing for us, give us an actual right and title to the promises and blessings of the new covenant, then it will unavoidably follow:

(1.) That men, who never repented for one fin in all their lives, may be, nay, certainly are pardoned as much as the greatest penitents in the world j because though they nevsr repented themsclves, yet Christ repented for them j expresly contrary to his own words, Luke xiii. 3. "Except ye repent, ye "shall all likewise perish;" and contrary to his own established order, Luke xxix. 47 Acts iii. 19.,

(2.) It will also follow, that unbelievers, who never bad onion with Christ by one vital act of faith, in all their lives, may be, nay, certainly shall be saved, as well as thole that are actual believers: because, though they be unbelievers in themselves, yet Christ believed for them; expresly contrary to Mark xvi. 16. " He that believeth not, shall be damned." John iii. -36. "He that believes not the Son, shall not fee life; bnt the "wrath of God abideth on him." Anci Luke xii. 46. "He "will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with "unbelievers."

(3.) It will also follow from hence, that men may continue in a state of disobedience all their days, and yet may be saved, as well as the most obedient fouls in the world; expresly Cobtrary to Eph. v. 6. " Let no man deceive you with vain words; "tor because of thele things, cometh the wrath of God upon "the children of disobedience." And Rom. ii. S. " But unto "them are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey "unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath." And 1 Pet. iv. 17. " What {hall the end of them be that obey not the gospel "of God?"

This language sounds strange and harsh to the ears of Christians, a repenting Christ saving the impenitent sinner ; a believing Christ saving unbelievers; an obeying Christ saving obstinate, and disobedient wretches: Whither doth such doctrine tend, but to encoqrage and fix men in their impenitence, unbelief, and disobedience? But the-Lord grant no poor sinner in the world may trust to this, or build his hopes of eternal life upon such a loose, sandy foundation, as this is. Reader, all that Christ hath done without thee, will nor, cannot be effectual to thy salvation, unless repentance, faith, and obedience, be wrought by the Spirit in thy soul. It is "Christ "in thee, that is the hope of glory," Col. i. 27. beware, therefore, on what ground thou buildest for eternity.

Error to. 'They deny fantlisication to be the evidence of jus 'ttsication, and deridingly tell us, this is to light a candle to the 'fun; and the darker our santltsication is, the brighter our jus* tification is.'

Refutation. I am not at all surprised at this strange and absonous language; it is a false, and dangerous conclusion, yet such as naturally results from, and, by a kind of necessity, follows out of their other errors: For if the elect be all justified from eternity, and that neither repentance, faith, or obedience, be required of us in the covenant of grace; but were all required of, and performed by Christ, who repented, believed, and obeyed for us; then, indeed, I cannot understand what relation our sanctification hath to our justification, or how it should be an evidence, mark, or sign thereof, or what regard is due from Christians to any grace, or work of the Spirit wrought in them, to clear up their interest in Christ to them. For we'being in Christ, and in a state of justification, before we were naturally born, we must necessarily be so before we be regenerated, or new-born: and, consequently, no work of grace wrought in us, or holy duties performed by us, can be evidential of that which from eternity was done before them, and without them. h I-grant, indeed, That many vain professors do cheat, and deceive themselves, by false, unlcriptural signs, and evidences,

as well as by true ones misapplied.

2. I grant also, That by realbn of the deceitfulness of the heart, instability of the thoughts, similar works of common grace in hypocrites, distractions of the world, wiles of Satan, weakness of grace, and prevaleocy of corruptions: The clearing up of our justification by our sanctifiesiion, is a work that meets with great, and manifold difficulties, which are the things that most Christians complain of.

3. I also grant, That the evidence of our ianctification in this, or any other method, is not essential, and absolutely necessary to the being of a Christian. A man may live in Christ, and yet not know his interest in him, or relation to him, Isa. L 10. Some Christians, like children in the cradle, live, bnt understand not that they live; are born to a great inheritance, but have no knowledge of it, or present comfort in it.

4. I will further grant, That the eye of a Christian may be too intently fixed upon his own gracious qualifications; and being wholly taken up in the reflex acts of faith, may too much neglect the direct acts of faith upon Christ, to the great detriment of his foul.

But all this notwithstanding, The examination of our justification by our sanctification, is not only a lawful, and possible, but a very excellent and necessary work and duty. It is the course that Christians have taken in all ages, and that which God hath abundantly blessed to the joy and encouragement of their fouls.

He hath furnished our souls to this end with noble, self-reflecting powers and abilities. He hath answerably furnished his word with variety of marks and signs for the fame end and use. Some of these marks are exclusive, to detect and bar bold presumptuous pretenders, t Cor. vh 9. Rev. xxi. 8, 27. Some are inekJive marks, to measure the strength and growth of grace by, Rom. iv. 20. And others are positive signs, flowing out of the very essence of grace, or the new creature, 1 John iv. 13. " Hereby we "know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath

given us of his Spirit."

He hath also expresty commanded us to examine and prove oarselves; upbraided the neglecters of that duty, and enforced their duty upon them by a thundering argument, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. "Exa"mine yourselves whether ye be in the faith, prove your own "selves; know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ "is in you, except ye be reprobates." In a word, for this end and purpose, amongst others were the scriptures written, 1 Jobs t. 13. "These things have I written to you, that believe on "the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have "eternal life." And therefore, to neglect this duty is exceeding dangerous; but to deny and deride it, intolerable. It may be justly feared, such men will be drowned in perdition, who fall into the waters, by making a bridge over them with their own shadows.

For my own part, I verily believe, that the sweetest hours Christians enjoy in this world, are when they retire into their closets, and sit there concealed from all eyes, but him that made them; looking now into the bible, then into their own hearts, and then up to God; closely following the grand debate about their interest in Christ, till they have brought it to the happy desired issue.

And now, reader, for a close of all, I call the Searcher of hearts to witness, * That I have not intermeddled with these

* controversies of Antipaedo-baptifm, and Antinomianism, out of 'any delight I take in prolemical studies, or an unpeaceablc con

* tradicting humour, but out of pure zeal for the glory, and 'truths of Cod; for the vindication, and defence whereof, I

* have been necessarily engaged therein. And having dis

* charged rhy duty thus far, I now resolve to return (if God 'will permit me) to my much sweeter, and more agreeable

* studies; still maintaining my Christian charity for those whom 'I oppose; not doubting but I shall meet those in heaven, from 'whom I am forced, in lesser things, to dissent and differ Hpon

* earth.'

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GOSPEL-UNITY

Recommended to the •

CHURCHES Of CHRIST.

A SERMON.

1 Cor. i. 10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the fame thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfetlly joined together in the fame mind, and in the fame judgment.

.\TTH EN I consider this healing and uniting text, and the * * scandalous divisions of the congregations to which I reVol. IV. B b b

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