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hath its effect upon them, from their death, all along through eternity. And fo the great lines of it are two; to wit, a promise of victory over death, and a promise of everlasting life in heaven. And these things I fhall touch more briefly, having handled them at large elsewhere.
I. The promise of victory over death.
The promise of eternal life comprehends a promife of victory over death, to be conferred on all and every one of the fpiritual feed, in the encounter with that last enemy: Ifa. xxv. 8. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. After the wearifome march, and the reiterated fight of faith they have in their paffage thro' the wilderness of this world, they have to pass the Jordan of death, and to fight the laft battle with that enemy. But the victory is fecured on their fide by promife; of which there are two chief branches, to wit, a promise of difarming death, and a promise of destroying it.
1. There is a promise of difarming death to the dying believer; fo that it fhall at no rate be able to reach him a ruinating firoke: Hof. xiii. 14. O death, I will be thy plague; namely, by taking the sting quite away. I Cor. xv. 55. When fin entered the world, death followed; and fin furnished death with an invenomed fting, wherewith to kill the finner, both foul and body at once: the holy law, with its curfe, fixed this fting in death's hand; having first fo pointed it, that it could not mifs of doing execution. But Chrift the fecond Adam, having undertaken to bear the curfe, and to die in the room and ftead of his people; there was thereupon made a promise of difarming death to them; fince the Surety fuffering the pains of death armed with its fting, the principal behoved to be liberate from fuffering the fame over again. And thus the cove
nant fecures believers from death's harm. Yea, it fo alters the nature thereof, that it makes it a quite new thing to them from what it was originally. Hence death is found in the inventary of the faints treasure, 1 Cor. iii. 22. Whether life, or death, or things prefent, or things to come; all are yours. Not only is life theirs by the covenant, but death is theirs too by the fame tenor. And indeed as it is new framed by the covenant, it is of excellent ufe to them, bringing them into a ftate of perfection and everlasting reft, Heb. xii. 23. Rev. xiv. 13.
This promife is grafted upon the promise of victo. ry made to Chrift, as appears from the forecited Ifa. xxv. 8. He encountered death armed with its fting, on purpose to difarm it to his people: he received the fting thereof into his own foul and body, that they might be delivered from it. Wherefore the promife of victory over death made to him, fecures the difarming of it to them. And as the promise makes them fafe, in the encounter with that last enemy; fo the lively faith of it may deliver from fear in the cafe.
2. There is a promise of destroying death to the dead believer, by a glorious refurrection at the last day: Hofea xiii. 14. O grave, I will be thy deftruction. When death entered into the world by fin, then came the grave, as death's attendant, to keep faft his prisoners for him, till the general judgment: and thus the grave ferves death, in the cafe of all who die in a state of enmity with God. But Christ, the second Adam, having in the fecond covenant engaged to go, in the room and stead of his people, death's prifoner, into the grave, and there to lie till their debt fhould be fully paid; there was made thereupon a promise of a glorious refurrection to his members, whereby they fhall be put out of the reach of death for good and all, at the last day: for then fhall be brought to pass the faying that is
written, Death is fwallowed up in victory, 1 Cor. xv. 54.; and then fhall they triumphantly fing, O death, where is thy fting? O grave, where is thy victory? verse 55. And thus the covenant fecures the forming anew of their diffolved bodies, the return of their departed fouls into them, and their coming forth of their graves glorious, immortal, and incorruptible. In the faith of which, the faints may with comfort confider the grave as but a retiring place, from whence, after a while, they fhall come forth with unfpeakable joy.
This promife is grafted upon the promise of a refurrection made to Chrift, Ifa. xxvi. 19. Thy dead men fhall live, together with my dead body fhall they arife. The promise of a resurrection being made to him as a public perfon, it must take place alfo in his myftical members, whofe federal head he was. Hence the Pfalmift fays, his flesh fhall rest in hope, namely, in the grave, in hope of a glorious refurrection, because the holy one Jefus was not to fee corruption, Pfalm xvi. 9, 10. with Acts xiii. 35. ; thereby teaching, that Chrift's refurrection, would infure his glorious refurrection, as a member of the mystical body by faith. And indeed there is fuch a connection between Chrift's refurrection and the happy refurrection of the faints, that they stand and fali together: 1 Cor. xv. 16. For if the dead rife not, then is not Chrift raifed.
II. The Promife of everlasting Life in Heaven.
The promise of eternal life doth, in the laft place, comprehend a promife of everlasting life in heaven, to be conferred on all and every one of the fpiritual feed after death; Dan. xii. 2. And many of them that fleep in the duft of the earth fhall awake, fome to everlasting life. This was more fparingly revealed under the Old Teftament than under the New, 2 Tim. i, 10. yet was it, even then, fo clearly revealed,
vealed, that all the holy patriarchs lived and died in the faith of it, Heb. xi. 13,-16. The fathers before Abraham faw it in the promise of the feed of the woman, which was to bruise the ferpent's head: and from Abraham they faw it in the promise of Canaan. But now by the gofpel this life and immortality are fet in a full light. By the breach of the first cove nant that life was forfeited, the heavenly paradife loft to Adam and all mankind: in token whereof he was turned out of the earthly paradife. But the fecond Adam having, in the fecond covenant, undertaken the redemption of the forfeited inheritance, there was a new promise of it made in favour of his feed: and they are invefted with an indefeasible right thereto, in the first moment of their union with Chrift by faith; howbeit they are not inftantly put in poffeffion thereof. And when they do come to the poffeffion, it is not given them all at once, but at two different periods, in different measures; according to the two chief branches of the promife thereof, namely, a promise of tranfporting their fouls into heaven at death, and a promise of transporting them foul and body thither at the last day.
1. There is a promife of transporting their fouls, feparate from their bodies, into heaven, there to behold and enjoy the face of God. And it is ac complished to them immediately after their death. It was most plainly declared and applied by our Saviour to the penitent thief on the crofs, Luke xxiii. 43. To-day halt thou be with me in paradife. But it was in the faith of it, that the covenant was to David, even in the face of death, all his falvation, and all his defire, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.; and that Paul had a defire to depart, knowing that he was to be with Chrift upon his departure, Philip. i, 23. And it is in the faith of the fame, that the whole church militant doth groan earnestly, defiring to be cloathed upon with the house which is from heaven, that is, the
the heavenly glory, 2. Cor. v. 2. Indeed the curfe of the first covenant did, upon the breaking of that covenant, fall to their lot, as well as to the rest of mankind: and that curse would natively have issued in cutting them afunder, as covenant breakers, and appointing them their portion with the hypocrites; but that being executed to the full on Chrift their head, to the parting afunder of his holy foul and body, it can operate no more on them. Wherefore, howbeit others die in virtue of the curfe, feparating their fouls and bodies, the one to the place of torment, the other to the grave, till the laft day; yet they do not fo die. Being redeemed from the curfe, Gal. iii. 13. they fhall never fee fuch death, John viii. 51. But they die in conformity to Christ their head, being predeftinate to be conformed to his image, (Rom. viii. 29.) who is the first born from the dead, Col. i. 18. and the first fruits of them that fleep, which every man is to follow in his own order, r Cor xv. 20. 23. That, as in the cafe of the head, fo in the cafe of the members, as death came on by fin, fin may go off by death. In virtue of their communion with Chrift in his death, the union betwixt their fouls and mortal bodies is diffolved: their fouls difmiffed in peace into the heavenly glo. ry, there to remain till fuch time as their bodies, laid down in the grave, come, in virtue of their com⚫ munion with Chrift in his refurrection, to put on incorruption and immortality.
This promife is grafted upon the promise of acceptance made to Chrift, when he fhould make his foul an offering for fin. In confidence of which acceptance, dying on the cross he commended his fpirit, or foul, into the hands of his Father, Luke xxiii. 46.; and told the penitent thief, he was to be that very day in paradife, though then it was towards the evening of it, ver. 43. The words in which he commended his foul to his Father, were Da