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condition; and in end died an ignominious death: Pfalm xxii. 4. Our fathers trufted in thee; they trufted, and thou didst deliver them. He paid the price of the redemption of finners, while as yet many of the redeemed were not born, nay, nor as yet are ; and feveral of them imbrewed their hands in his blood: but he refted on the promife of the covenant. He pleaded it when he was juft entering into the fwell.. ing waves of death, where he was, like Jonah, to be fwallowed up, John xvii. 5. Now, O Father, glorify me with thyfelf. And in the faith of the accomplishment of the promife, he completed his performance of the condition; for the joy that was fet before him in the promises, he endured the cross, defpifing the fbame, Heb. xii. 2.
7. Laftly, God hath fworn the promises of the covenant: I have made a covenant with my chofen: I have fworn unto David my fervant. The apoftle tells us, that God willing more abundantly to fhew unto the heirs of promife the immutability of his coun fel, confirmed it by an oath, Heb. vi. 17. A tender man will not fwear a promife, but in a matter of weight. Of what unfpeakable weight and importance then must the promife of the covenant be, which the God of truth hath confirmed with his oath ?
Now, for clearing of this part of the covenant, we fhall, 1. Confider the promifes in general; and, 2. Take a more particular view of them.
Of the Promifes in general.
S to the promises in general, two things are to be inquired into: 1. What are the general kinds of them? And, 2. To whom they are made, I. As to the general kinds of the promifes; confidering the parties on whom the promifes of the covenant of grace have their direct and immediate effect, they appear to be of two general Kinds.
1. Some of them have their direct and immediateeffect on Chrift himself, the head of the covenant; fuch as the promise of affiftance in his work, and the promife of a name above every name. So in the first covenant, there were promifes which were to have their direct and immediate effect on Adam himself, and looked not, but mediately and indirectly, to his pofterity, fuch of them, at leaft, as fhould have lived after the compleat fulfilling of the condition of that covenant: namely, the promises of natural life continued in vigour and comfort, and of fpiritual life continued in favour and fellowship with God, during the course of his probationary obedience.
2. Others of them have their direct and immediate effect on Christ's fpiritual feed, comprehended with him in the covenant; fuch as the promifes of regenération, of the new heart, and cleanfing from the defilement of fin. So in the firft Adam's covenant, the promise of life contained a promife of the holy conception and birth of his natural feed: in refpect of which the promise would have had its direct and immediate effect, not on Adam himself, but on his pofterity.
II. The next thing to be confidered, is, To whom they were made? And we may take up this point in two things.
First, The promises of the first fort, namely, thofe having their direct and immediate effect on the perfon of Chrift, were made to Chrift himself. Of this no doubt can be moved. And they were made to him as the head of the covenant, the fecond Adam, the representative of his feed. This appears from our text, wherein he is called the Chofen, the headelect, and reprefentative of the election, David God's fervant: in which capacity the covenant was cut off or made, to him, by the Father. It is evident, that all the promises of affiftance in his work, and of his fubfequent reward, were made to him in view of his performance of the condition: and therefore, fince
he performed the condition, as head of the covenant, fecond Adam, and reprefentative of his feed, these promises were made to him in that capacity.
The promises of this kind then were made to Chrift only. And that was the peculiar honour put upon the head of the covenant, in the promiffory part; as it was his peculiar burden to fulfil the conditionary part. So he hath the name which is above every name, and is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. In the election, whereof he is the head, he shines above the reft, as the fun in his meridian brightness, above the twinkling ftars. He is the Benjamin at God's table with his brethren, whose mess of promifes in the covenant is five times fo much as any of theirs; the Jofeph who was feparate from his brethren, in fulfilling the condition of the covenant, and had a double portion in the promised land made over to him, as the first born amongst many brethren.
Nevertheless, as the honour and profperity of the head redound to the members, their intereft, in refpect of their union and communion, being a joint intereft; fo the glory and honour fettled on Christ by promise, are a spring of grace and glory to his members, an enriching treasure, their glory and crown. He is that head of gold which puts a glory on the body: and the ointment poured upon the head, cannot mifs to go down to the skirts of his garments. And hence is, (1.) The continual cry of prayer by the whole company of the faithful, for the accomplishing of the promises made to the Mediator, Pfal. Ixxii. 15. Prayer alfo fhall be made for him continually. It is evident that Pfalm concerns the Meffias. But prayer made continually for Chrift! how can that be? Why, till the world end, that cry in prayer. shall never cease among the faithful, Thy kingdom come, Matth. vi. 10. It began with Adam's embrac ing the promise of faith, was carried on all along
the time of the Old Teftament: and now it hath been founding in the New Teftament church more than fixteen hundred years, and fhall not ceafe until the confummation of all things. (2.) Hence alfo the joyful acclamations of praife, by the fame company, for the accomplishment of promises to the Mediator. Whenfoever there appears any fuch accomplishment made, it is matter of joy to the church; and the more. there appears of it, the joy is the more increafed. Thus the church hath a fong upon the fulfilling of the promise of the gathering of the nations unto him, Ifa. xii. 1.: of his victory over Antichrift, Rev. im, ft. si . xix. 1.; of the calling of the Jews, verfe 6. And when, the end being come, all the promises made to him fhall be accomplished, that will afford them an everlasting fong of praife.
Secondly, The promises of the other fort, namely, thofe having their direct and immediate effect on the elect, are made to Chrift primarily, and to them fecondarily firft to the head; then to the members, through him.
1. The promifes having their immediate effect on the elect, are made to Chrift immediately, primarily, and chiefly. God hath in the covenant promifed grace and glory, all that pertains to life and godlinefs, unto a felect company of mankind: but the promife of all thefe was firft and chiefly made to Chrift their head: fo that he hath not only an intereft in thefe promifes, but the chief intereft in them. This appears by feveral documents from the word of God.
ift, The Apostle teftifies, that the promifes were made to the feed, which is Chrift, Gal, in, 16. And the promifes he fpeaks of, are the promife of the bleffing, of the Spirit, ver. 14.; of the inheritance. ver. 18.; the promifes received through faith, ver. 14. Even thefe are made to Chrift the head of the body. This is confirmed by thofe paffages which fhew God's covenant to be made with Chrift, and in
the mean time explain it by a promise of the happinefs of his feed, Pfalm lxxxix. 3. with 4. verfe 28. and 29. verse 35. and 36. And what is more natural, than to make a promise to a father in favour of his children?
2dly, Our Lord Jefus is conftitute the heir of all things, (Heb. i. 2.), in virtue of the promise of the covenant, I will make him my first born, Pfal. lxxxix. 27. Now, if Chrift, as the fecond Adam, be heir of all things, by his Father's promife, the promises of all things are made to him; and confequently, the promise of eternal life, comprehending all happiness to his people, is made to him in the first place. So Christ is the first and chief heir; and they are fecondary heirs in and through him. Hence, in view of the great promife of the covenant, I will be their God, our Saviour hath that endearing expreffion, I afcend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God, John xx. 17. Compare Rom. viii. 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
3dly, As in the covenant of works, God promifed life to Adam's natural feed, upon condition of his perfect obedience; which is evident from death's coming on them by his disobedience; fo in the covenant of grace, he hath promifed life to Chrift's. fpiritual feed, upon condition of his obedience; for as in Adam all die, even fo in Chrift shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. xv. 22. But that promise of life for Adam's natural feed, was primarily made to Adam himself, while as yet none of them were in being; and they were to partake of it only through him, to whom it was made as their reprefentative. There fore the promise of life to Chrift's fpiritual feed, was made chiefly to Chrift himfelf; and to them only in and through him. Accordingly we are told, that the promise of eternal life, upon which the hope of believers is built, was made before the world