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would I difcourage any ferious fouls, from taking hold of God's covenant of grace, for eternal life and falvation to themselves, with all the awful folemnity of the most, exprefs words, yea and of writing and fubfcribing it with their hands: which is commonly called perfonal covenanting. But I would have all to beware of a practical corrupting of the covenant of grace, by making covenants of their own, upon fuch and fuch terms, which they will fulfil for life and falvation. The carnal Jews miftaking the design of the giving of the law, did fo corrupt the covenant of grace looking for life and falvation, not for the fake of the promised feed alone, but for their obedience, fuch as it was, to the moral and ceremonial laws. And thus many, thinking that eternal falvation is propofed to them in the word, upon the condition of faith, repentance, and fincere obedience to God's law, do confent to thefe terms, and folemnly undertake to perform them; juft binding themfelves to fuch and fuch duties, that God may fave their fouls and fo they make their covenant. And while they can perfuade them felves, that they perform their part of the covenant, they look for life and falvation thereupon. This doth quite overturn the nature of the covenant of grace; for to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt, Rom. iv. 4. and if it be of works, then it is no more grace, chap. xi. 6. The finfulness of this practice is great, as overlooking Chrift, the great undertaker and party contractor by the appointment of the Father; and putting themselves in his room, to do and work for themfelves for life. And the danger of it must needs be great, as laying a foundation to bear the weight of their falvation, which divine wifdom faw to be quite unable to bear it. The iffue whereof muft be, that fuch covenanters, hall lie down in forrow. So the apoftle determines, Galv. 4. Chrift is become

of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.


Our part then, in this cafe, is only to take hold of God's covenant made already, and offered and exhibited to us in the gofpel. This hold is taken by faith; which is, in fcripture-account, the hand of the foul, John i. 22. So the original expreffion plainly carries it, Ifa. lvi. 4, 6. That fasten in my covenant. In which phrafeology, the correlate word hand (expressed Gen. xxi. 18.) is understood; q. d. That faften [their hand] in my covenant; that is to fay, "Who by the hand of faith take faft hold of my covenant;" as Adonijah did of the horns of the altar, 1 Kingsi. 50. wherein the fame manner of the expreffion is used. And this you do, by taking hold of Chrift in the free promise of the gofpel; believing that he is held forth to you in particular, confiding and trusting in him as your Saviour, for your falvation from fin and wrath, upon the ground of God's faithfulness in the promife, that whofoever believeth in him, fhall not perish, but have everlasting life, for he is given for a covenant to you, Ifa. xlix. 8.; and to receive him, is to believe on his name, John i. 12.

This is our making a covenant with God by facrifice, which is mentioned, Pfalm 1. 5. The original expreffion is, That cut my covenant upon a facrifice; namely, by laying their hands in faith on the head of the facrifice, thereupon cut down in their stead : and fo ceremonially transferring their guilt on the facrifice; but really and fpiritually, approving of the device of falvation by a crucified Saviour, and falling in with it as the method of falvation for them. In this way of covenanting, the free grace of the covenant is preferved pure and entire; for to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness, Rom. iv. 5. Here the honour of sole undertaker and party contractor in the covenant, is according to the


Father's appointment, left to Chrift the One that is mighty, Pfalm lxxxix 19. Here the fecond Adam builds the temple, without our laying one ftone therein in our own perfons; even as the first Adam laid it in ruins, without our pulling down of one stone of it in our perfons: and Chrift bears the perfonal glory of the reparation, even as Adam the perfonal blame of the ruin, Zech. vi. 13. And at this rate, the foul doth in time, for her own part, give her folemn approbation of the covenant made from eternity, and a perfonal confsent to what Christ from everlasting confented to in her name; even as the princess married by proxy in her childhood, ratifies all when she is come to age, by receiving her hufband. Likeas all Adam's children, as fuch, taking falvation to heart, and therefore covenanting with God, do in effect repeat the covenant of works made with Adam their reprefentative; fo all the fecond Adam's feed, as fuch, taking falvation to heart, and therefore covenanting with God, do in effect repeat the covenant of grace made with Chrift their reprefentative. In the making of the covenant before the world began, the Father proposed to Chrift as fecond Adam, their head and reprefentative, that he fhould take burden upon him for them, and be their Kinfman-redeemer, their furety for their debt of punishment and duty, and their priest; and Christ confented thereto from eternity. Amen, for my part, fays the elect foul in time, in the covenanting day :' it is infinitely well ordered: I am a loft finner, a debtor to divine juftice, a guilty creature; he is, with my whole heart and foul, MY Kinfman redeemer, MY Surety, мx Prieft: my part of the punishment incurred, and of the duty owing, is a vast and exceeding great part of that debt; but my foul is well content of, and refts in that method of paying it 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, (Heb. He hath put to me an

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everlasting covenant)—this is all my falvation, and all my defire. The Father faid to Chrift as their reprefentative, for thy fo doing and fuffering, I will be their God, and they fhall be my people. Amen, faid Chrift from eternity; All'mine are thine, John xvii. 10. Amen, for my part, fays the elect foul in the time of perfonal covenanting. This heart of mine must have fome God, I must belong to one or other; and too long have I been for another: but now, timber of the houfe, and ftones of the wall, bear witnefs, my foul is content with, confents to, and refts in this method of difpofing of me; name. ly that the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift be my God in Chrift, and I one of his people from henceforth and for ever.

This manner of covenanting is inconsistent with a purpose or defire of continuing in fin: even as one's committing himself for cure into the hands of a phyfician who cures infallibly, is inconfiftent with a defire to keep his difeafe hanging about him. Christ being made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, fanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor i. 30. it neceflarily carries along with it, a taking of Chrift for a Prophet, and a King, and Lord unto us; as fuch a one doth neceffarily yield himself to the physician's management. In it one joins himself to Chrift as his covenant head, who alfo is the administrator of the covenant; and fo fubjects himfelf to his teaching and government. And it is fuch a way of covenanting, as no profane perfon, nor hypocrite, continuing fo, ever did or can fall in with. For (1.) it speaks a heart content to part with all fin, well pleafed with Christ's whole falvation, whereof the principle part is to fave his people from their fins, Matth. i. 21.; whereas unfound covenanters are always offended with fome one thing or other in Chrift, chap. xi. 6. (2.) It speaks a foul carried out of all confidence in itself, its own working and doing for life and falvation, and bot



tomed only upon Christ's doing and fuffering for that end. And thus, fuch a covenanter, being poor in fpirit, Matth. v. 3. and rejoicing in Chrift Jefus, and having no confidence in the flesh, Philip. iii. 3. diftinguished from the prefumptuous hypocrite, whose confidence for life and falvation is ever upon his own doing and working, either in whole or in part; as alfo from the defpairing unbeliever, who hath no confidence, neither in Chrift, nor in himself, that he fhall have life and falvation, however he may believe firmly that others fhall. So this faith, this covenanting, is quite another thing, than either the falfe faith of the prefumptuous profane, and prefumptuous hypocrite, or the no-faith of the defperate, or the wavering doubter, who can never fix in greater or leffer measure of confidence in Christ, for falvation to himself: James i. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth, is like a wave of the fea, driven with the wind, and toffed. Verfe 7. For let not that man think that he Thall receive any thing of the Lord.

If any think this to be an eafy way of believing or covenanting, either they mistake it, or they try it not. To believe upon fome ground we fee in ourfelves, is very natural; but to believe merely upon a ground in another, namely, righteoufnefs in Chrift, and faithfulness in God, while all in our felves tends to make us despair, is above the reach of nature. A confcience thoroughly awakened, will convince a finner, that it is a matter of greatest difficulty.

Inf. 2. Juftifying faith, though it receives Chrift in all his offices as Prophet, Prieft, and King; yet as it enters us perfonally into the covenant, and juftifies, it eyes him in his priestly office particularly; namely, as the great High-prieft, who hath made atonement for fin, by the facrifice of himself; as the Surety who undertook and completed the payment of the debt of punishment and duty; and as the Kinf

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