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Direct. 3. Let us accept of Jesus Christ, as the only mediator of reconciliation between God and us. Since we are become sinners, there is no possible tranfacting with God, but by a mediator. Now the alone mediator between God and man, is the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Tim. j. 5. We must therefore receive him as the sole mediator, heartily consenting that he should mediate between God and us, and bring us together in the bond of a covenant of friendship, never to be broken. We should plead with God his sacrifice for the reconciling: us to himself, begging that it may be the atonement for our sins. We should beg of Christ that it may be a day of his power, wherein he may make us iruly willing to become the people of God. We should put our souls over into his hands, crying to him, and trusting in him, for the bringing them into che favour of God, and friendship with God. Thus let us go to him as the great peace-maker between God and us, relying upon him to make up the difference between God and us, by turning away the anger of God from us, and by taking away the enmity against God in us. If we come unto him upon this errand, he will in no wise cast us out. If we come unto God by him, he will assuredly save us to the uttermost, with a compleat and everlasting fal. vation.
USE 3. Of Exhortation to those that are really interested in the covenant of grace ; with whom God has already made an everlasting covenant. In several words.--
Exhort. I. Admire and magnify che grace of God in making such a covenant with you. This is a just matter of admiration : and it will appear to be so, if we consider these following things, which point out to us the properties of divine grace in this dispensation of his.
1. Ic is condescending grace. It was an act of glorious condescension in God, to make a covenant with innocent Adam. For the infinite Creator, to bind himself to a finite creature, though ever so excellent, is
most astonishing condescension. So high is God above all creatures, as chat he is said to humble himself to behold the things that are in heaven, as well as in the earth, Plül. cxiii. 56. It is a stoop in the most high God, to take the least favourable notice of the glorious Angels in heaven. How condescending then was it in God, not only to take a favourable notice of Adam, who was lower than the Angels ; but also to lay himselt under
covenant obligation to Adam ? He as well bound himself co reward Adam's obedience, as bound Adam co yield obedience. O how did God condescend, thus to treat with upright man, when he might have demanded obedience of him, without binding himself to reward ic ! And if it were condescension in God federally to transact with man in innocency, how much more is it to do fo with man fince his apostacy? And if we consider (as before was noted) the way and manner in which God applies himself to finners, in order to his making a covenant of grace with them, his condescension will still appear more surprizing to us. He does not address himself to finners, merely in a way of fovereignty, , ítrictly commanding and requiring them, to enter into covenanc with him ; nor does he apply himself to them, merely in a way of justice and severity, threatning them with wrath and deitruction, if they refuse to enter into covenant with him: but he applies himself unto them also in a way of intreaty ; even beseeching them to enter into a covenant of peace with him.
2. It is most free grace. The riches and freeness of divine grace, are most illustrious in making a covenant of grace with us. This may be seen evidently from these three following things.
(1.) We were the enemies of God, with whom he made this covenant. Adam, with whom God made the first covenant, was the friend of God. He had nothing of enmity against God in his heart, but had in him a friendly disposicion towards God. And yet it was an act of free grace and favour in God, to make 2 covenant with him. How much more is it an act
of sovereign grace in God to make a covenant willa us, whose hearts were full of enmity against him, and whose lives were filled up with acts of hostility against þim ? Glorious grace herein appears. He might justly have destroyed us as his enemies, which he could easily have done. But instead thereof he becomes reconciled to us, and renews an everlasting covenant of peace with us.
O what grace is this !! (2.) We were rebels against God, with whom he made this covenant of grace. We were not merely God's enemies, but were also rebels againft God, which aggravates our guilt, and heightens the displeasure of God. A prince may be offended' at foreigners, who prove enemies to him, and make war with him. But when his own subjects rise up in rebellion against him, this is justly more offensive and provoking to him. Now this was our case with reference to God. He was our rightful King, and we owed subjection to bim. For us therefore to rise up against God, is to act the part of Tebels, which are the worst fort of enemies. How justly therefore might God have stretched forth his band, against such rebellious creatures, and have consumed us uuerly? Nevertheless, he received us into his favour and establithed an everlasting covenant of friendthip with us. O rich grace!
(3.) God was first in making the offer of a covenant of friendship with us. He began with us, and not we with him. We did not first move for a reconciliation to God, but he made the first motion in this matter. 'Tis he that sends the word of reconciliation to us, wherein are made known to us the terms of reconciliation to himself. And he invites us to accept of reconciliation on those terms. He did not tarry till we send an amballage to bim, defiring conditions of he fends an embassy to us, declaring and offering the conditions of peace. He also sends his holy Spirit, to convince us of fin, to shew us our danger, to awaken us out of our security, to put us upon flying to the great mediacor, and seeking peace with God through bim.
peace. But Had not the great God thus began with us, we should have abode in our state of distance from God, and enmity against God, all our days. O the wondrous grace of God !
3. It is very distinguishing grace, in that God has made a covenant of grace with us. The sovereign grace of God, has herein made a marvellous difference between us and others. In ihis dispensation of his, he has most signally distinguished us from others, and extended a discriminating favour to us. For,
1. There are but few, comparatively, that belong to God's visible covenant people. I'hose that live under the outward administration of the covenant of grace, and are the people of God by profession, are but few, compared with the rest of mankind, who are strangers to the covenants of promise. Under the Old Testament, the řation of the Jews, were the only covenant-people of God, to whom he gave his laws, statutes and judgments, (Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. Roin. ix. 4.) and they were an exceeding small number, compared with the other nations on the earth. And though the covenant of grace, in the external dispensation of it, is far more extended now, than it was heretofore, and reaches far and wide among the Gentiles, yet still the number of God's federate people is but small, in comparison of those multitudes of men, that are without the covenant and
pro mises of God. It is then a distinguishing favour of God, to have the covenant of grace revealed and offered to us, and to live under the administration of the ordinances and means of grace. And on this account, the gracious providence of God, is to be adored by us.
2. There are but few of the visible covenant-people of God, that are really and savingly interested in the covenant of grace. Many there be that partake of the external privileges of the new covenant. They enjoy the holy word and worship of God; they have been baptized, and admitted, it may be, to the holy cable of the Lord. Yet however, the most of these, who par. take of the outward privileges of the covenant, are not partakers of the faving grace of the covenant. God is not really their God, nor are they his holy people, who truly love, fear and obey him. Of the many that are called, there are but few chosen, Matth. xx. 16. Few of them are ordained to eternal life, few of them do sincerely believe and walk in the way that leads to eternal life. Now, if we are of the number of those few, whom God, of his grace, has savingly brought into covenant with himself, how diftinguilhing is his grace ? He has not only distinguished us from them that are not his visible people, but also from the most of them that are his visible people. And why has God made such a difference between us and others ? Tis not because we were better, or more worthy than they ; but only because it pleased him fo to do. O how should this glorious grace of God be admired and praised by us !... Thus for the first Exhortation.
Exburt. 2. To such as are really interested in the covenant of grace, O be careful to keep covenant with God. This was the charge which God gave to Abraham. Gen. xvii. 9. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my bovenant. We should fee to it, that we comply with the terms of the covenant. As God has bound himself to us, so he has bound us to himself. As there are blessings which he promises to us, so are there duties which he requires of us.
And thefe duties we should be careful to perform. Particularly,
1. Live a life of faith in Jesus Christ: This is the great command of God under the gospel-covenant. 1 Job. iii. 23. And this is his commandment, that we believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faich in Christ, as expresly required throughout the whole gospel. On him must our trust and dependance be for life and falpation, and on no other. And this reliance on Christ, must be kept up by us, through the whole course of our lives. Such a life of faith in Christ, was that which the apostle Paul led in this world. Gal. ii. 20. The life abich I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of