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alfo in its turn: and thefe things cease not, until he is brought into a new ftate, and is become a new creature. Whence did all this take its rife? Why,. the man had an unknown friend in the court of heaven, who spoke for him to the King: and all this is the fruit of that interceffion made for him.
2. Appearing for them, and in their name taking poffeffion of heaven, and all the other benefits of the covenant, which they have a right to, in virtue of their new covenant ftate: Eph. ii. 6. And hath raised us up together, and made us fit together in heavenly places in Chrift Jefus. Heb. vi. 20. Whither the forerunner is for us entered. That moment where in a finner enters into the covenant by believing, he hath a right to all; for if children then heirs, Rom. viii. 17. Howbeit, in the cafe of moft of the chil dren of God, the poffeffion feems to be delayed long after that time. But it is to be confidered, that poffeffion may not only be taken by a man in his own perfon, but alfo in the perfon of another : thus one may by his attorney take poffeffion of an eftate which he never faw; and a minor, by his representative, may be poffeffed of what is not as yet meet to give him into his own hand. So, howbeit the believer's poffeffion of all in his own person is indeed delayed; yet in this refpect it is not delayed one moment after his believing in Jefus Chrift: for his Interceffor acts for him in the matter. What fhould hinder this manner of poffeffion one moment after believing? For the covenant of promises is an undoubted right; the finner, though on earth, doth by faith plead it before God in heaven; and Chrift is there, as his representative and interceffor, to take poffeffion in his name. Wherefore every believer fhall juftly reckon himself, though having nothing, yet poffeffing all things, 2 Cor. vi. 10. and complete in him, Col. ii. 10.
3. Maintaining the peace between God and them
while they are here in this world. Having purchased their peace with Heaven by the facrifice of himself, and by his interceffion brought them into a state of peace, he doth not leave it to themselves to maintain it. If it were fo, it would foon be at, an end. There are fo many failures on their part, while they are compaffed with the body of fin, that their own confciences have wherewith to accufe them every day: and the devil is an inceffant accufer of the brethren: but Chrift intercedes for them, to the preventing always a total rupture betwixt Heaven and them; however they may for their fins fall under God's fatherly displeasure: upon the ground of his fatisfac tion for them, he answereth all accufations against them, and makes up all emerging differences between them and their covenanted God: 1 John iii. 1. If a ny man fin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jefus Chrift the righteous: ver. 2. And he is the pro. pitiation for our fins. Hereupon the Apostle triumphs over all their accufers, Rom. viii. 33. Who fhall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that juftifieth: verfe 33. Who is he that condemneth? it is Chrift that died, who alfo maketh interceffion for us. Wherefore their state of peace with God is inviolably maintained; though, for their correction, they may indeed lose the fight and sense of it for a time. Having once become their friend in Christ, he may indeed feverely chastise them for their faults, but he never becomes their enemy again, even in the way of legal enmity, far lefs in the way of real enmity, Rom. viii. 1. Ifa. liv. 9.
4. Procuring them access to God, and acceptance with him, notwithstanding of their imperfections, while in this life. Saints on earth never want businefs in the court of heaven. Yet being finful, they are in themselves unfit to come into the presence of the King. But the Intercessor of the covenant introduceth them, procuring them accefs by his intereft
in the court: For through him we have an access by one Spirit unto the Father, Eph. ii. 18. And by his means they are allowed accefs with boldness, chap. iii. 12. He makes their perfons accepted, notwithstanding of the finfulness cleaving to them: they are accepted in the beloved, chap. i. 6. And in him they have an altar that fanctifies their gifts, Heb. xiii, 10. So that their spiritual facrifices, howbeit they want not their blemishes, yet are acceptable to God by Jefus Chrift, 1 Pet. ii. 5. Their prayers made in faith,' though fmelling rank of the remains of the corrup tion of nature, yet being perfumed by the Interceffor with the incenfe of his merit, are accepted in, heaven, and have gracious returns made them, Rev. viii. 3. Their doing fervices, and their fuffering fervices, which however coftly, could not be accepted for their own worth, because imperfect, are through his interceffion accepted, as being washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, chap. vii. 14.
5. Lastly, Obtaining their admittance into heaven, in the due time; and continuing their state of perfect happiness there for ever and ever: John xvii. 24. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am. Our Lord Jesus Christ was by his Father, constituted a priest for ever, Pfalm cx. 4. Nevertheless, after his having once offered up himself a facrifice on the cross, he offered no more facrifice. Therefore he muft be, not a facrificing priest for ever, but an interceding prieft, as the Apoftle explains it, Heb. vii. 25. He ever liveth to make interceffion for them. Now, the fpirits of just men being made perfect immediately after death, there is no more imperfection about their fouls morally confidered, Heb. xii. 23 and after the refurrection, there will be no more imperfection about their bodies neither, 1 Cor. xv. 54. The effect then of Christ's interceffion for ever, must be the everlasting continuation of their happy ftate; their Interceffor eternally willing
willing the continuance of the fame, on the ground of the eternal redemption obtained for them, by the facrifice of himself. The infinite merit of his facrifice will be eternally prefented before God in the holy place, while he fhall appear there in our nature continually and this will be the everlasting security for the continuation of the faints happiness. The which happiness iffuing from the merit of his facrifice as their Priest, will be communicated unto them by him as their Prophet and their King: for these his offices will never be laid aside. As he is a priest for ever, fo of his kingdom there shall be no end, Luke i. 33. and the Lamb fhall be the light of the heavenly city, Rev. xxi. 23.; the faints communion with God there, being still in and through the Mediator, in a manner agreeable to their state of perfection, chap. vii. 17.
And these are the chief acts of his adminiftration of the covenant, as Interceffor thereof.
Thus far of the fourth head, namely, the adminiftration of the covenant.
The TRIAL of a faving perfonal Inbeing in the Covenant of Grace.
E have now opened the doctrine of the covenant of grace, in treating of the parties in it, the making of it, the parts of it, and the administration thereof; it remains to make fome practical improvement of the whole, in this and the following head.
If one seriously consider the covenant of grace, that on which the falvation of our fouls depends, he can hardly mifs to put the question to himself, What intereft have I in that covenant? There is no queftion but you have a common interest in it, by which
you are fufficiently warranted to come into it: but that you may have, and yet perish; for even chil dren of the kingdom fhall be caft out into utter darknefs, Matth. viii. 12. But the queftion is, Whether ye have a faving intereft in it, being actually come. into it, or not? the covenant is indeed brought unto you, in the ordinances of the gospel: but are you brought into the covenant, united with the head thereof, Chrift Jefus? It hath been adminiftred to you; but have you by faith taken hold of it? You have received the facrament of baptifm, the feal of the covenant, in the right of your parents; but have you perfonally embraced the covenant in fincerity ? The two covenants, of works, and of grace, divide the whole world between them: every man is under one of the two; and no man can be under both at one and the fame time, in refpect of his ftate before the Lord, Rom. vi. 14. Under the first covenant stands a numerous party, in the first Adam, head of that broken covenant, deriving fin, death, and the curfe from him: under the fecond covenant stands a party in the fecond Adam, head of that fulfilled covenant, deriving life and falvation from him. Thefe parties will be judged, each according to the covenant they are under: fo the former will be condemned, in virtue of the curfe of the covenant in which they are; and the latter will be eternally faved, in virtue of the promise of life in the covenant wherein they are. In the mean while, there is access for thofe of the first covenant to leave this party and covenant, and to join the party in the fecond covenant: but death will block up that accefs. Wherefore it is the interest of the one, as well as of the other, to know which party and covenant they belong to. And for trial hereof, I offer the following marks, figns, or characters of those who are favingly and perfonally within the covenant of grace.
I. They are fuch as have fled for refuge from the