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could not have been an eternal covenant otherwise; the promise of eternal life, which is undoubtedly a promise of that covenant, could not otherwise have been of so ancient a date, as the apostle says it was. Tit. i. 2. ‘before the world began.”—And how could an eternal covenant be made with time-creatures originally, but in their eternal head and representative? Or how could an eternal covenant be made personally with them, by way of personal application to them, had it not been from eternity made with another as their head and representative: 2. Because otherwise it could not have been made a conditional covenant at all, to answer the design of it. This covenant took place on the breach of the first covenant; and it is a covenant of life, Mal. ii. 5. life to dead sinners; the last Adam being made a quickening spirit. It was the great design of it, that dead sinners might have life, Tit, i. 2. Now, in order to this, a holy just God stood, upon conditions, without the performing of which that life was not to be given; and they were high conditions, Psal. xl. 6, 1 Thess. v. 10. Now, how could an effectual conditional covenant for life be made with dead sinners, otherwise than in a re. presentative Can dead souls perform any condition for life pleasing to God? They must have life before they can do any thing, if it were ever so small a condition. Therefore a conditional covenant for life could not be made with sinners in their own persons; especially considering that the conditions were so high for life to the sinner, that man at his best state was not able for them, far less in his sinful state. Therefore, if such a covenant was made at all, it behoved to be made with Christ as the sinner's representative, Rom. viii. 3, 4. - - 3. That it might be a covenant of grace indeed, and not a covenant of works, to sinners themselves. It is evident, that the design of this covenant was to exalt free grace, and that it is framed so as to be a covenant of pure grace, and not of works to us, whatever it was to Christ, Rom. iv. 16. Eph. ii. 9... And thus indeed it is a covenant of pure grace, the Lord Jesus Christ himself, as representative, being the sole undertaker for, and performer of all the conditions of the covenant in the sinner's name; whereby all ground of boasting is taken from the creature. But this is marred upon the supposition of the covenants being made with the sinner in and by himself, standing as principal party contracting with God, undertaking and performing the conditions of the covenant for life: for how low soever these conditions undertaken and wrought by the sinner himself be, the promise of the covenant is made to them, and so, according to the scripture, it is a covenant of works, Rom. iv. 4, 5. And there is no difference between Adam's covenant and such a covenant, but in degree, which alters not the kind of covenant. - 4. That the communication of righteousness and life to sinners might be in as compendious a way as the communication of death and sin was, Rom. v. 19. God having made the covenant of works with Adam as the representative of his seed, sin and death was communicated to them all from him as a deadly head, having broken the covenant." This being so, it was not agreeable to the method of divine procedure, to treat with every one to be saved, by themselves as principal parties in the new covenant for life; but with one public person for them all, who should be, by his ful. filling the covenant, a quickening head to them, from whom life might be derived unto them, in as compendious a way as death from the first Adam. This was most agreeable to the way of him whose mercy is above all his other works. 5. That it might be a sure covenant, as entered into with a sure hand, Rom. iv. 16. The first covenant was made with a mere creature as principal party and contractor; and though he was a holy and righteous creature, yet he was so unstable in performing the condition laid on him, that the promise was lost. Wherefore the fallen creature was not fit to be the principal party, or party contractor in the new covenant, wherein the promises were to be sure to poor sinmers, and not to misgive. Therefore the Lord seeing them all a broken company, not to be trusted in this matter, he proposes to his own Son to be head of the new covenant, and therein to act for and in name of those given him for a a seed; which being accepted, the business is made sure. God looked only to him for the performance of the con. dition, and the promises were made to him, and so are sure to all the seed, Gal. iii. 16. Compare Psal. lxxxix. 28. * My mercy will I keep for him, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.” - Inf 1. What a spring of unspeakable comfort is it to be.
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lievers, to look back into eternity, before the world was made, and to behold the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, standing as the last Adam, contracting with God in thesecond covenant ' This may move them to cry, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !” Rom. xi. 33. and to shout, Grace, grace to the glorious contrivance, so full of grace. Here they may see, 1. The covenant on which their salvation depends made with a near relation of theirs, even as was the first cove, mant by the breaking of which they were ruined. In the one stood the first Adam for them, in the other the second Adam. Why should they look as strangers towards the covenant of grace : The party contracting in it with God is their near kinsman, their elder brother, flesh of their flesh, and bone of their bone, Eph. v. 30. ; nay, their Father, who is nearer to and has a more natural concern in them thana brother; even the second Adam, who is their second Father; in respect of which I think he is called “ the ever, lasting Father, Isa. ix. 6. compare Heb. ii. 13. 2. Their nature highly dignified; the human nature, however corrupt it is in the multitude that partake of it, yet pure and spotless in the second Adam, fit to enter into a new covenant with an offended God. Man's nature, as it was defiled by Adam, became so abominable, that it could never again appear before God immediately to covenant with him; but in Christ it is so perfectly pure, that it was capable of an immediate union with the Godhead in his person, and so of covenanting with him immediately. 3. The covenant so stable and firm, that it cannot be broken, the Son of God himself being the second Adam, con: tractor in this covenant, The first Adam being a mere crea: ture, not confirmed, his covenant was liable to breaking, he was capable of failing, and did fail, in the performance of the condition : and so are all the covenants made with God upon conditions to be performed by sinful men: but in regurd of the party-contractor, viz. the Lord Jesus, the cove. nant of grace is an everlasting covenant, it cannot be bro. ken, Isa. lv. 3. Psal. lxxxix. 30,-33, 34. 4. The covenant well ordered in all things, as for the honour of God, so for their good in time and eternity. The second Adam, manager for them, was the Son of God, in
whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid; he managed for his own family, his own children: so there was neither affection nor wisdom wanting in him. We may be sure then there is nothing in the covenant that their good would have required to have been kept out; and nothing out that their case required to be in. What remains then, but that by believing they approve of the covenant, and take the comfort of it 2 Inf 2. The covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace are not two distinct covenants, but one and the same covenant, I know some great and good men have taught otherwise, alleging the covenant of redemption to have been made with Christ, and the covenant of grace to be made with believers; though they were far from designing or approving the ill use some have made of that principle. However, the doctrine of this church, in the Larger Catechism, is in express words, “The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.” From whence it necessarily follows, that the covenant made with Christ and with believers, or the covenant of grace and redemption, are one and the same covenant. Only, in respect of Christ, it is called the covenant of redemptian, forasmuch as in it he engaged to pay the price of our redemption; but in respect of us, the covenant of grace, forasmuch as the whole of it is of free grace to us, God himself having provided the ransom, and thereupon made over life and salvation to poor sinners, his chosen by free promise, without respect to any work of theirs to entitle them thereto". Inf. 3. As all mankind sinned in Adam, so believers obeyed and suffered in Christ the second Adam. For as the covenant of works being made with Adam as a public person and representative, when he broke the covenant, all sinned in him; so the covenant of grace being inade with Christ as a public person and representative, all believers obeyed and suffered in him, when he fulfilled the covenant, Rom. viii. 3, 4. Gal. ii. 20. Inf. 4. Believers are justified immediately by the righteousness of Christ, without any righteousness of their own
* The illustration of this point may be seen in the author's View of the Covenant of Grace, under the title, of the party-contractor on man's wide inf. 1. a work posterior to
intervening, as all men are condemed from their birth upon the sin of Adam, before they have done good or evil in their own persons. So that they are righteous before God with the self-same righteousness, which was wrought by Christin his fulfilling of this covenant; which righteousness is imputed to them, not in its effects only, so as their faith, repentance, and sincere obedience, are accepted as their evangelical righteousness, on which they are justified; but in it. self. For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified: and faith, repentance, and new obedience, considered as conditions performed, are works and cannot found a title to justification. - * Inf. 5. The covenant of grace is absolute, and not conditional to us. For being made with Christ as representative of his seed, all the conditions of it were laid on him, and he has fulfilled the same. So what remains of the covenant to be accomplished is only the fulfilling of the promises to him and his spiritual seed; even as it would have been with the first Adam's seed, if once he had fulfilled the condition of the covenant. Inf. 6. The way to attain to the enjoyment of all the bene: fits of the covenant of grace, is to unite with Christ the head of the covenant by faith. Being thus ingrafted into him, ye shall partake of all that happiness secured to mystical Christ in the everlasting covenant; even as by your becoming sons of Adam by your natural generation, ye fall under that sin and death which passeth on all by the breaking of the first covenant, Rom. v. 12. Inf. 7. The offer of Christ made to you in the gospel, is the offer of the covenant of grace to you, and of all the benefits thereof; and the embracing of Christ is the embracing of the covenant, and the personal entering into it. The covenant of grace held forth in the gospel, is the cord of love let down from heaven to perishing sinners shipwrecked in Adam, to save them from sinking into the bottom of the gulf, and to hale them to land. It is their duty to lay hold on the covenant by faith, Isa. lvi. 4, 6. And that is done by taking hold of Christ in the free promise, believing that he is held forth to you in particular, confiding and trusting in him for your salvation from sin and wrath, upon the ground of God's faithfulness in the promise, ‘Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life, John iii. 16.