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at the entrance of life: fo doth the foul, in actual believing, at Chrift's coming into it by his Spirit. As God breathed into the firft man the breath of life, and he became a living foul, who was before but a lifeless piece of fair earth: that is, God put a fpirit, a foul, into his body, which immediately fhewed itfelf in the man's breathing at his noftrils; fo Jefus Chrift, in the time of loves, puts his Spirit into the dead foul, which immediately fhews himfelf alive, by believing, receiving and embracing him, known and difcerned in his tranfcendent glory. And thus the union betwixt Chrift and the foul is completed; Chrift firft apprehending the foul by his Spirit; and then the foul thus apprehended and quickened, apprehending him again in the promise of the gofpel by faith.
Now, the promife of the Spirit, in both branches thereof, is grafted upon the promife of a refurrection from the dead, made to Chrift; and it is fo interwoven therewith, that there is no feparating of them. The promife of his refurrection, like the oil on Aaron's head, runs down to the fkirts of his garments, in the promise of quickening his members too. Herein the fcripture is very plain, Ifa. xxvi. 19. Thy dead men fhall live, together with my dead body fball they arife, Eph. ii. 5. Even when we were dead in fins, hath quickened us together with Chrift. Our Lord Jefus, in the eternal covenant, became the head of a dead body, to wit, of the body of elect finners dead in fin; and that to the end he might reftore it to life: and being legally united with that body, that fo death might have accefs to fpread itself from it unto him in due time, he had the promife of a refur rection, both for himfelf and his members, made unto him. The appointed time being come, death drew together its whole forces, and made an attack upon the head of the body, which alone remained alive. It flung him to the heart upon the crofs, and laid him too in the duft of death; and fo it had them
all dead together, head and members. Thus the condition of the covenant was fulfilled. Now, the promise comes next, in its turn, to be fulfilled? particularly, the promise of a refurrection: namely, that, death having exhausted all its force and vigour on the head, he should be raised again from the dead: and that as death had spread itself from the members into the head, fo life, in its turn, fhoud fpread itself from the head into the members, they, together with his dead body, arifing. It was in virtue hereof, that the spirit or foul that animated Chrift's body, and which he yielded up upon the cross, (Matth. xxvii. 50.) fhewed by his breathing out his last there, (Luke xxiii. 46. Gr.), was returned again into his bleffed body: whereupon he came forth out of the grave. And it is in virtue of the fame, that the Spirit of life returns into the dead fouls of the elect again; upon which they live and believe. The time of the return of the Spirit, both into the head, and into the members, was prefixed in the covenant, refpectively fo that as it was not poffible Christ should be held in the grave after three days; even fo it is not poffible, that his elect should be held in the bonds of fpiritual death, after the time prefixed for their delivery, Hof. vi. 2. After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raife us up, and we shall live in his fight.
And thus the promise of eternal life to the elect, works in this dark period of their days; which dark period ends here. It appears now, and runs above ground ever after.
From Union with Chrift, until Death.
Confidering the promise of eternal life to the e
as it is to, and hath its effect on them, from their union with Christ, until
death; the great lines to be perceived therein, are the promises, 1. Of juftification; 2. Of a new and faving covenant-relation to God; 3. Of fanctification; 4. Of perfeverance; and, 5. Of temporal benefits; Of which in order.
1. The promife of justification.
The promise of eternal life to the elect, comprehends the promise of justification, to be conferred on them, and each one of them, being united to Christ thro' the Spirit. This is found Ifa. liii. 11. By his knowledge shall my righteous fervant justify many. Chap. xlv. 25. In the Lord fhall all the feed of Ifrael be justified. It is the leading promise of this period: and the effect of the accomplishment thereof, is, that the foul legally dead under the fentence of the law, or curfe of the broken covenant of works, is caufed to live again accordingly; as it is written, The juft shall live by faith, Rom. i. 17. And this is the beginning of that life which is received from Chrift by faith, and is mentioned John v. 40. Te will not come to me, that ye might have life. Chap. vi. 57. He that eateth me, even he shall live by me. There is a life received from Chrift before faith, whereby one is enabled to believe; of which we have already spoken: and there is a life received from Chrift through faith, according to John xx. 31. That believing ye might have life through his name. And this laft is, according to the fcripture, eternal life too: Chap. v. 24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlafting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is paffed from death unto life.
The elect of God, lying under the breach of the first covenant, were dead in law, as being under the curfe. They could not be restored to life in the eye of the law, but upon the fulfilling of the righteoufnefs of the law; the which they not being able to do
do for themselves, Chrift in the covenant undertook to do it for them; and thereupon was made the promife of their juftification. This promife taking effect upon their believing, the curfe is removed, and they are actually and perfonally juftified. Thus they are reftored to life in the eye of the law: which kind of life, received by faith, is everlasting; forafmuch as, according to the covenant, the curfe can never return upon them, for fhorter or longer time: Ifa. liv. 9. As I have fworn that the waters of Noah bould no more go over the earth; fo have I fworn that I will not be wroth with thee,
Of the promise of juftification there are two branches; namely, the promife of pardon, and of acceptance.
1. The promise of pardon of fin, whereby the guilt of eternal wrath is done away; Heb. viii. 12. Their fins and their iniquities will I remember The fins of the elect being, in the eternal covenant, imputed to, and laid on Chrift; who becoming legally one with them, transferred their debt on himself, and undertook to pay the fame: a promife was thereupon made of pardon to them, and each one of them. Now, as foon as they are myftically and really united to him by faith, by means of that union they have communion with him in his righteousness: whereupon his perfect-fatisfaction is imputed to them; and, upon the account of it alone. and not any deed of theirs whatfoever, the free promife is accomplished, and the pardon actually beftowed on them, according to the eternal agreement, Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of fins, according to the riches of his grace.
Here is life from the dead; a pardon put into the hand of the condemned man, difarming the law of ifs condemning power, and death of its fting, as to him; caufing him to lift up his head from off the
block, and go away with acclamations of praife of the King's mercy, and his Son's merit. And it is eternal life: for all his fins paft, prefent, and to come are pardoned, as to the guilt of eternal wrath; a formal remiffion of thefe of the two former kinds being granted, and a not-imputing of thefe of the latter fort, as to that guilt, being fecured; as the Apostle teacheth, Rom. iv. 7. Bleffed are they whofe iniquities are forgiven, and whofe fins are covered. ver. 8. Bleed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute fin. And God will never revoke his pardons. Chap. xi. 29. For the gifts and calling of God are without
2. The other branch of the promife of juftification, is the promife of acceptance of their perfons as righteous in the fight of God; according to that, Ifa. xlii. 21. "The Lord is well pleafed for his righteousness fake. Compared with Matth. iii. 17. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed; and Eph. i. 6. He hath made us accepted in the beloved. A holy righteous God, whofe judgment is according to truth, cannot accept finners as righteous, without a righteoufness, even a perfect righteousness. They that are not truly righteous in law, can never pafs for righteous, but for unrighteous ones, in the view of his piercing eye: For in thy fight, fays the Pfalmift, Pfalm cxliii. 2. Shall no man living be justified; to wit, by the deeds of the law, or inherent righteoufness, which is imperfect, as the Apostle expounds it, Rom. iii. 20. But our Lord Jefus having in the covenant undertaken to fulfil all righteoufnefs for them, who of themfelves could fulfil no righteoufnefs; a promife was thereupon made, to accept them as righteous upon the account of his furety righteousness, which becomes truly theirs through faith, and that by a double right. (1.) By a right of free gift received: inafmuch as Chrift's righteousness being made over, in the gofpel, as Heaven's free gift to finners, the