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previously promised to Abraham, and shown from the very period of the Fall, prescribes to “the remnant according to the election of grace” “ faith in the righteousness of God our Saviour,” and “not works of righteousness which we have done,”-imputed, not inherent, righteousness, as the means of our being accepted and preserved in the covenant of life eternal; not indeed to possess the land of Canaan, but that heavenly country and the new Jerusalem which is to come down from God out of heaven.
In this Berith, Christ, “both God and man, one Christ,” uniting in his one undivided person the Godhead and the manhood, is set forth as the “purification sacrifice,” a piacular victim cut off for those whose sins he bore, that they “ may obtain remission of sins through his precious blood :” a “whole burnt offering” is he offered on their behalf, “ without spot to God, ” “an ascending sacrifice" coming up before
a sweet smelling savour;" and he hath left “a peace offering” behind him, that believers “baptized by his Spirit” “into his death,” and “into his resurrection,” may be fed by the same Spirit, “with the flesh and blood of this sacrificed passover,” that they may “eat the bread of life, and live for ever, ” -that Christ“ may dwell in us, and we in him; that we may be one with Christ and Christ one with us ;" that he may “raise us up in the last day" as “the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”—Ay, that we may
“ sit with him on his throne, and inherit all things."
To enter into this covenant, whether promised or
put in force and proclaimed by him who now speaketh from heaven, there never was any other means appointed, on our part, but faith, and this is the gift of God, “no man can come to me, except my Father that has sent me draw him.” And, therefore, in whatever sense it can be held forth as conditional, inasmuch as Christ is preached in the wide world, and the proclamation is gone forth,
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned,” and “the condemnation of the world” is, that “they love darkness rather than light;" yet the transaction assumes not the nature of a covenant, till by a lively faith we are united unto Christ; then all the promises in him are not“ yea and nay,” but “yea and amen. “He that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness :” and “he is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last day.' Christ, moreover, is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,”-so far as the Spirit of Christ moves and operates in the believer, he subdues carnal self, resists temptation, and overcomes the world—is influenced by that love which is the fulfilling of the law....
But he is not moved to fulfil this as the terms of a covenant of life, it is “the gift of eternal life,” through the righteousness of Christ, begun to be manifested in him, the earnest and first-fruits of that “ divine nature” of which, in some sort, he will be shewn to have been made a partaker, when he is
fully “conformed to the image of the only begotten Son,” and “perfected with Christ in glory.” He is now imputed-estimated in the view of the Fatherto be what Christ is; he will then be made such. An inherent righteousness far above the conditions of a mere creature's obedience, will be then his everlasting endowment. He will “ be like minded” with Christ Jesus, and so a meet companion for the Lord of glory, in his “heavenly places.”
The believer in Jesus, however, is not now savedl by the infusion of inherent righteousness, which is an error that lies at the basis of the Papacy, and of all kindred corruptions of the truth, and of all pretended gospels, which “ beginning in the Spirit," would teach us “to be made perfect in the flesh.” “ To us Christ is the only righteousness, and faith, the only hand that receives him, and puts him on. “ Christ is all in all.”
Through this Berith or covenant, also, in subserviency to its higher objects, are the restored Israelites with the inhabiters of the new earth” to be reconciled and brought under the dominion, of Christ; and the circumstances of their being “ brought” as a nation within the bonds of this new and better covenant, will afford the antitype of that former covenant made with their fathers when they came out of Egypt, which has been annulled, “ found fault with,” and removed "for the unprofitableness thereof:” but with this great difference, the victims actually slain to sanction that former covenant, were bulls and goats and the firstlings of the flock; but the blood which sanctions this new
covenant, is that of the Lord himself, “who suffered without their gate;" and who being raised from the dead, and constituted “a priest for ever," has “entered with his own blood into the Holiest,” and himself been presented in the heavenly tabernacle, as “the mediator of this better covenant."
This new covenant is also “established upon better promises.” He writes not the law, “the words of the covenant,” upon tables of stone, as “ the letter that killeth,” but “
upon the fleshy tables of the heart." He promises to the church below, in “ the world to come, of which we speak,” that “all her children shall be taught of God;" that “ he will circumcise their ears and their hearts, to hearken, and to love the Lord their God,” removing the “superfluity of naughtiness” which is found in all the children of fallen Adam, so that their “ carnal heart is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Granting them remission of sins, for Christ's sake, “ once for all,” so that “no mention of them is made any more,”—they are no more remembered as in the former covenant. He will put his Spirit within them for ever,” to the effect of inclining their hearts to keep his laws, and to walk in all his ordinances blameless. Satan will be restrained from tempting, “the son of wickedness shall hurt them no more," “ there shall be no more curse," “no more death,” “no more sickness or sorrow.”
So shall they be the happy subjects upon earth of “the Prince of Peace,” and “ King of Righteousness." “ Their land,” as we have seen,
shall give her increase, and God, even their own
God, shall give them his blessing. God shall bless them, and all the ends of the world shall fear him.' “ This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
Such will Jacob be at the head of the nations on the renovated earth. And though they attain not to the dignity of the remnants according to the election of grace," the saints in light,” “the children of the resurrection,” who are above them in the glory of the only begotten of the Father,-yet their blessedness is great; and through their holy places, as will be seen," the new Jerusalem, which cometh down from God out of heaven,” communicates with the nations of the redeemed upon earth.”