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Having this feal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And them alfo he faw among others, gone away from their pasture, wandering as waifs and ftrays, a prey to every devourer; but, in order to their being fought out, and returned, and kept in safety for ever, the new covenant was entered into with another fhepherd, even our Lord Jefus Chrift: and they are put under his hand, as the shepherd of Ifrael. In Adam's reprefentation in the covenant of works, the party reprefented was confidered as an upright feed, Ecclef. vii. 29. but in Chrift's reprefentation in the covenant of grace, the party reprefented was confidered as a corrupt finful mafs, laden with guilt, under the wrath of God and curfe of the law. And who would have reprefented fuch a company, putting himself in their room and ftead? But free love engaged our Lord Jefus to it. So the holy One of God reprefented wretched finners; the beloved of the Father reprefented the curfed company.
2. They were confidered alfo as utterly unable to help themselves, in whole or in part; as being without ftrength, Rom. v. 6. They were debtors, but quite unable to pay off one farthing of the debt: they were criminals, but quite unable to bear their own punishment, to the fatisfaction of juftice: had it lain on them to have paid the debt, or born the punishment, they behoved to have funk under the load for ever. So it was neceffary they should have one to represent them, taking burden on him for them all.
3. Lastly, They were confidered withal as the ob jects of eternal, fovereign, and free love, given to Chrift by his Father. The Father loved them, John xvii. 23. and therefore gave them to Chrift, verfe 6. The Son loved them, Eph. v. 2. ; and accepting of the gift, reprefented them in the covenant, as a father his own children, Ifa. ix. 6. His name fhall be called-The everlasting Father. Compare Heb. ii. 13. Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me
It was owing to his free love, and mere good pleafure, that they, and not others in the fame condemnation, by the breach of the first covenant, were reprefented and contracted for by Jefus Chrift, in the fecond; that their names were put in the eternal contract, while the names of others were left out. They were his Father's choice, and his own choice; fo he became their representative.
From what is faid concerning the party reprefented and contracted for, we make the following infe
Inf. 1. There is a fovereign freedom of the love: of God appearing in the fecond covenant, the covenant of grace. And it appears especially in two things. (1.) In that there was a love towards fallen man, and not towards fallen angels, Tit. iii. 4. whereby it came to pass, that men, and not devils, were taken hold of, reprefented and contracted for by Jefus Chrift, in the covenant, Heb. ii. 16. Doubtlefs he could have contracted for the one, as well as for the other but fovereignty paffed by fallen angels, and caught hold of men; howbeit the former were, in their own nature, the more worthy and excellent creatures. But in all the difpenfation of grace, there is no refpect to creature-worth; all is owing to the mere good pleasure of God, who hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. (2.) It appears in that there was an electing love of men; whereby it came to pafs, that fome men, and not all men, were reprefented and contracted for in the covenant. All men were alike by nature; and there was nothing in one more than in another, to recommend him; but free love pitched on objects altogether unlovely; and fovereign love pitches on fome fuch objects, paffing by others of the fame condition; Even fo, Father, for fo it feemed good in thy fight, Matth. xi. 26. The veffels of honour, and veffels of difhonour, are both made of the fame finful lump: a mystery that must be
refolved into fovereign will and pleafure, Rom. ix. 21. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the fame lump to make one veel unto honour, and another unto difbonour? But fay not, that this difparageth the federal reprefentation of the fecond Adam, that he reprefented only fome of mankind, whereas the firft Adam reprefented all mankind. For as it is more to be furety for a vaft fum, for one man who neither hath, nor can have any thing at all wherewithal to pay his debt, than to be furety for a hundred fuch as have abundance of their own; fo it was more for Jefus Chrift to contract and undertake for one finner, than for Adam to contract for a righteous world. And till it holds true, that where fin abounded, grace did much more abound, Rom. v. 20. for it is more by far to fave one, than to ruin many. Mean while, thofe reprefented by Chrift in the fecond covenant, are a great multitude, which no man could number, Rev. vii. 9. even as the ftars of heaven, Gen. xv. 5. Rom. iv. 18.
Inf. 2. There is no univerfal redemption, nor univerfal atonement. Jefus Chrift died not for all and every individual perfon of mankind; but for the elect only. The contrary doctrine may confift with the opinion which holds the covenant of redemption, and the covenant of grace, to be two diftinct covenants; the former made with Chrift, and the latter with believers; the condition of the one undertaken and performed by him, the condition of the other undertaken and performed by us. Accordingly that opinion concerning the covenant, is readily embraced by Univerfalifts of different denominations. But that doctrine is utterly inconfiftent with this account of the covenant, which doth at once overthrow univer fal redemption or atonement, together with the fede ral conditionality of our holiness and good works, in the covenant of grace. For if the covenant of grace Awas made with Chrift as a reprefentative, and the elect
only were the party reprefented by him in it; then furely the conditions of the covenant, his doing and dying were accomplished for them only; and he died for no other: As when one hath entered into a bond of furety hip, his payment of that bond can never be reckoned a payment of their debt, whose names were not in the bond, and whom he was not furety for.
Inf. 3. and laft. Whoever they be that reject the covenant of grace offered to them in the gospel, and fo perish; all God's elect fhall infallibly be entered perfonally into it, and be faved. Likeas all those whom Adam reprefented in the covenant of works, have been, are, or fhall be brought perfonally into that covenant, and fin and death pafs upon them, Rom. v. 12.; even fo all those whom Chrift reprefented in the covenant of grace, have been, are, or fhall be brought perfonally into this covenant, and partake of righteoufnefs and life, verfe 18, 19. Our Lord Jefus has fulfilled the conditions of the covenant for them whom he represented; and it would neither be fuitable to the juftice of God, nor to the wisdom of Chrift the party contracting with him, that he fhould reprefent, contract, and fulfil the conditions, for any who fhall never enjoy the benefit of the contract. Wherefore, fince there are who, by a purpose of God that cannot be fruftrated, fhall without peradventure, be brought perfonally into this covenant; and ye who hear the gofpel, having the means for compaffing that end ufed towards you, do ftand as fair for it as any; this may encourage you to come to Christ, and take hold of the covenant. Beftir yourselves therefore, O finners, to take hold of the covenant of grace, which is offered to you in the gofpel; and come ye to Chrift by faith, thereby winding yourselves perfonally into the bond of this covenant, and the communion thereof.
OBJECTION. But I fear I am none of those whom "Chrift reprefented in the covenant of grace; how
then can I take hold of it by believing? ANSWER. Though your name were the first name that the Lamb wrote down in his book of life; yet you nor no man can know, that it is there at all, until that you have by believing taken hold of the covenant. 2 Pet. i. 10. Make your calling and election fure ; but first your calling, and then your election. And, on the other hand, though you were a monster of all manner of wickednefs, and had all the defperate marks of a caft-away about you, except that one only, the fin against the holy Ghoft, you nor no man can know that you were not reprefented in the covenant: Matth. xii. 31. All manner of fin and blafphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blafphemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Wherefore that matter is an abfolute fecret to you, which, in this cafe, you are not to meddle to determine in for the fecret things belong unto the Lord our God: but thofe things which are revealed, belong unto us, Deut. xxix. 29. Neither does your warrant to believe, and to lay hold on the covenant, any manner of way depend on it: for the reprobate have as good and fair a revealed warrant to believe, and take hold of the covenant of grace as the elect have, elfe they could not be condemned for unbelief, and not taking hold of the covenant. Be what you will, fince you are certainly a finner of mankind, your warrant is uncontestable, according to the word: For God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, John iii. 16. This is his commandment, that we Should believe on the name of his Son Jefus Chrift, I John iii. 23. Wherefore believe ye, and take hold of the covenant for yourselves; fo fhall you know your election, and your reprefentation in the covenant, by the effects thereof.
This difficulty caft in the way of a finner fenfible