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perfonally into it, must be by becoming his, standing related to the head of the covenant as our head : and it is by faith, and no work, nor confent of ours differing from faith, that we are united to him, and become members of his body, Eph. iii. 17. How do we all enter perfonally into the covenant of works, fo as to partake of the curfe in it? Is it not through our becoming, by natural generation, branches of the first Adam the reprefentative in that covenant? Hereby every one of us is perfonally entered and instated in that covenant, before we are capable to approve or difapprove of the fame, to confent to it, or diffent from it. Even fo we enter perfonally into the covenant of grace, so as to partake of the benefits in it, by our becoming branches of the fecond Adam the reprefentative therein: and that is thro' faith, in fubjects capable of actual believing. It is by being ingrafted into Christ we come to partake of the covenant and benefits thereof. And hence it is that infants, not capable of actual believing, nor of knowing what the covenant is, yet having the Spirit of faith, are perfonally entered into it, and inftated in it; forafmuch as that Spirit of faith is effectual in them, to a real uniting them with Christ. Hereunto agrees God's giving Christ for a covenant, that in him people may have the covenant, and all the benefits thereof. As God, in making of the covenant, took Chrift for all, for the condition and for the parties to receive the promises; he being a Second Adam: fo finners, in accepting and embracing of the covenant, are to take him for all; the whole of the covenant, the parties and parts of it too being in him, forafmuch as he is God as well as man, fecond Adam.
And thus it appears, that uniting with Chrift the head of the covenant, is a finner's formal entering into the covenant: the which uniting with him, being by faith on him, it is evident, that it is by believ
ing on Chrift a finner embraceth, enters into, and is inftated in the covenant unto falvation. Wherefore reach Chrift by faith, and ye reach the covenant: if ye mifs him, ye mifs the covenant, in point of life. and falvation. But here arifeth a weighty question, to wit,
QUEST. What is that believing, by which one unites with Jefus Chrift, and fo enters into the covenant of grace? ANS. The clearing of this point being fo neceffary to direct finners in their way into the covenant, for their eternal falvation: we fhall, for what. now remains, addrefs ourselves to the confideration thereof only.
And to begin with, the word, by which the holy Ghoft expreffeth what we call believing, whether in the Old or New Teftament; whofoever fhall duly confider the import of it, in the fcripture-ufe thereof, will find, that it is juft trufting, trufting a word, perfon, or thing. And hence the fcripture-phrafes of believing to, and believing in, that is, trufting to, and trufting in; the former phrafes, however unufual with us in converfation, yet ordinary, both in the Old and New Teftament, according to the originals. It is the trufting a word, as to a report, Ifa. liii. 1. In his word, Pfal. cvi. 12. It is the trusting a person: fo, in the ftile of the holy Ghost, the Ifraelites believed in the Lord, and in Mofes his fervant, Exod. xiv. 31. He believed not in his fervants, Job iv. 18. that is, as we read it, He put no truft in them. And it is, the trufting a thing too: fo in the fame ftile, Job xxxix. 12. Wilt thou believe in him (to wit, the unicorn) that he will bring home thy feed? i. e. Wilt thou truft in him, that he will do it? Deut. xxviii. 65. Thou shalt not believe in thy life: that is, as we read it, Thou shalt have none affurance in thy life; no truft in it, because no certainty about it. The phrafeology is the fame in the New Teftament, as being brought into it from
the Old, only in a different language. And taking the meaning of the holy Ghost in this matter from the words which he teacheth, as we are directed, 1 Cor. ii. 13. we conclude. That faith or believing, fo expressed by him in the fcripture, is in the general, TRUSTING, the trufting of a word, and of a perfon and thing, held forth in that word.
Now, there is a twofold word to be believed or trufted of all thofe who would enter into the covenant of grace in a faving manner: namely, the word of the law, and the word of the gospel. The believing of the former, is a faith of the the law; the believing of the latter, a faith of the gospel: of which in order. A Faith of the Law preparatory for the Covenant.
HF. faith of the law is not indeed saving faith:
for the law is the word and administration of condemnation, and not of righteoufnefs; as fpeaking nothing of a Saviour, an atonement, or an imputed righteousness, 2 Cor. iii. 9. Nevertheless, it is a neceffary antecedent thereof, according to the ftated order of the difpenfation of the covenant. The faith of the law is like the hearing of the strong wind, the feeling of the earthquake, and seeing of fire; in which though the Lord was not, yet they ferved to prepare to hearkening to the ftill small voice in which he was, I Kings xix. 11, 12. Accordingly, the faith of the law is the work of the Spirit of God, as well as the faving faith of the gofpel: though wrought in a different manner. The former he works as a spirit of bondage, convincing of fin and mifery, by the law, Rom. viii. 15. with John xvi 8. The latter he works as a quickening fpirit, enlightening the foul in the knowledge of Chrift, by the gofpel, 2 Cor. iii. 17. 18..
Whofoever then would enter into the covenant of grace, muft in the first place have a faith of the law: for which cauft, it is neceffary, that the law, as well
as the gospel, be preached unto finners. And that faith of the law confifts in a belief of thefe three things.
1. By it a man believes that he is a finner. The holy law pronounceth him guilty: and he believes the report of the law concerning himself in particular; his heavy and forrowful heart, by this faith, echoing to the voice of the law, guilty, guilty! Rom. iii. 19. The which faith refts not on the teftimony of man, whether fpoken or written; but is a divine faith, founded upon the teftimony of God, in his holy law, demonftrated by the fpirit of bondage, to be the voice of the eternal God, and the voice of that God to him in particular. And thus he believes, (1.) That his life and converfation is finful, difpleafing and hateful in the fight of a holy God, according to the divine teftimony, Rom. iii. 12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one. He is convinced, that he is gone out of the way of God, and walking in the way of deftruc tion; that the number of his errors of omiffion and commiffion he cannot understand; and that all his righteoufneffes, as well as his unrighteoufneffes, are as filthy rags before the Lord. (2.) That his heart is full of mischief and iniquity, according to the divine teftimony, Jer. xvii. 9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and defperately wicked. The law hineth into the heart, difcovers divers lufts there, which he little noticed before; and preffing the unholy heart, irritates them; and thus fuch a mystery of iniquity within his breaft opens to his view, as he could never before believe to have been there. Rom. vii. 9. I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, fin revived, and I died. (3.) That his nature is quite corrupted, as one dead in trefpaffes and fins, according to the divine teftimony, Eph. ii. 1. To the verdict of the law, Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job
xiv. 4. his foul, by this faith, echoes back, unclean, unclean! I was shapen in iniquity, and in fin did my mother conceive me. He is conceived, his disease is hereditary and natural; and that therefore his nature must be renewed: that otherwise, he not only does no good, but can do no good. In all these refpects, he believes himself to be an object loathfome in the fight of God; loathfome in his nature, heart, and life.
2. By it a man believes, that he is a loft and undone finner, under the curfe of the law; liable to vengeance, according to the divine teftimony, Gal. iii. 10. Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them. He can no more look upon the curfe as fome strange thing, belonging only to fome monfters of wickednefs, and not to him: for the Spirit of the Lord, as a fpirit of bondage, applies it clofely to him; as if he faid, Thou art the man. And, like one under fentence of death pronounced against him, he grones out his belief of it, under the preffure thereof, Luke xv. 17. I perish.
3. Laftly, By it a man believes his utter inability to recover himself. He believes that he cannot, by any doings or fufferings of his remove the curfe of the law from off him; according to the divine teftimony of our being without ftrength in that point, Rom. v. 6.; nor change his own nature, heart, and life, fo as to render them acceptable to God; according to the infallible teftimony, Jer. xiii. 23. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his Spots? then may ye alfo do good that are accustomed to do evil. He is, in his own eyes, as in the fight of God, a fpiritually dead man; legally dead, and morally dead, as the Apostle teftifies of himfelf in that cafe, Rom. vii. 9.
This is the faith of the law. And the effect of it is a legal repentance, whereby a finner is broken and