Page images
PDF
EPUB

you of all the eternal mercy of chat everlasting cove. nant. Ochen draw healing and refreshing waters out of the wells of salvation. Make serious preparation for this ordinance, and give holy attendance on it. Then may you hope, that God will there put joy and gladness into gour hearts, which will serve to carry you through all che troubles of this life, and at last through death itself, and which then shall terminate in fulness of joy and rivers of pleasures for evermore.

Doct. II. God bestows fure inercies, on all chem that are interested in the covenant of grace..... Those with whom God makes an everlasting covenant, he confers upon them che sure mercies promised to David, and purchased by Jesus Christ, of whom David was a type.

Quest. i. What are the mercies, which God bestows on them that are interested in the covenang of grace ?

Answ. Spiritual and eternal mercies. Not merely temporal mercies, which are only common mercies, chat others partake of as well as they, and oftentimes in greater abundance chan they do ; but special and fa. ving mercies, which are peculiar unto them that are really in covenant with God. Now these mercies are manifold. Mercies are spoken of, in the plural number, to denote the variety of them. Such as these fol. lowing....

1. Pardon of all their sins. This is one of the mer: cies of the covenant, promised to them, and bestowed upon them. Thus we read, Heb. viii. 12. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their fins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Here is a promise of full and everlasting pardon of fin. Full pardon, for God will be merciful to their ünrighteousness, cheir fins and their iniquities, which comprehend all the sorts and degrees of fin, they have been guilty of, how ag. gravated soever. They shall all be pardoned, not one unpardoned. And as the pardon is full, so it is everlafting. God will remember their fins and iniquiries no more for ever, so as to impute their fins to them, or” bring them into condemnation for them. This is one of the choice blessings which God's covenant people are made to partake of. And how great a mercy this is, we have David bearing bis testimony---- Psal. xxxii. 1, 2. Blested is the man whose transgreflion is forgiven, whose sinisicovered. Blelled is the man, to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity. :

mor!

2. Adoption of jons. This is another of the mercies promised and granted to God's covenant-people. 2 Cori vi. 18. I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. They stand in relation to God as his children, partaking in the glorious dignity of fonship to God. This is a most wonderful mercy and favour, that we who were by nature children of wrath, children of the devil, and children of disobedience, thould be made the children of God. The apostle John speaks of this as a most excellent privilege, and a fruit of the astonishing love of God. į Joh. iii. I. Behold, what manner of love the Father hash bestowed upon us, that we should be called the fons of God! No relation to the greateít persons on earth, is so high, and honourable, and beneficial, as this relation of fons to God.

3. Saving knowledge of God. This is another mercy promised to, and beltowed upon, all that are really in terested in the covenant of grace. Heb. viji. II. They fhall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man bis brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from ibe least to the greatest. To is not a knowledge of God merely hüinans, fuch as one man may reach another ; but a divine knowledge, such as God himself will reach them. He will inlighten their minds, open their understandings, and give chem a faving knowledge of himfelf : Such a knowledge of himself, as in all humble and abase them before God, as shall draw forth their love to God, as fhall be obediential and fruieful in everv good work, as shall at lait issue in the full and eternal vision of God and Christ in glory,

4. Renewin:

N

4. Renewing and fanctifying grace. This is another mercy promised, and bestowed on God's covenani-peo. ple. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. Then will I Sprinkle clean wis. ter upon you, and ye sball be clean : from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give unto you, and a new fpirit will I put within you. God will purify them from all their spiritual polluri. ons, subdue all their corruptions, put a new principle of grace into them, whereby they shall be made to live to God, in newness of life. Their understanding, will, and affections shall be renewed, fo as that they shall become new creatures. They shall no more be the Jame creatures that they were before, but quire other creatures. They fhall have new i houghts, huly, spiri. tual, heavenly thoughes : new wills, io will the ibings that please God, and that are conformed in the will cf God: new desires, after righteousness, grace, God, 'Chrift, and the kingdom of heaven : 90w delights, delighting in God, and in his word, and ordinances, and people : new griefs, grieving for their own lins, and the sins of others : new ends, aiming at the glory of God in Christ, the salvation of their own souls, and the good of others. Thus all old things are done away in them, and every thing is become now.

5. Perseverance in grace to the end. This is another mercy promised co and bestowed upon God's corepanipeople. Jer. xxxii. 40. I will make an everlasting couenart with them, that I will not turn away from thein to do them good; but I will put my foar in their bearts, that they shall not depart away from me. They shall not wholly and finally deparc away from God, and fall away from that state of grace and favour with God, which they are brought into. Adam might, and did, fall from his state of primitive holiness ; but believers' fhall never fail from chat stare of holiness which they are restored unto. They may fall from fome degrees of grace receired, but not from all grace. They shall never return again, out of a state of grace, into a state and way of lin. They may fall into fins, great and scandalous

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fuccers prevalent with

Tins ; but they shall not lie in them impenitently, and
go on in them customarily and finally. No, God will
bring them to repentance and reformation, that they
perith not. in the covenant of grace, the believers
preservation in grace, is every way secured. They
Thall be preserved by the power of God unto salvation,
i Pet. i. 5. The divine power is engaged for their
preservarion, and nothing shall be able to defeat Om-
nipotency..... Jesus Christ continually intercedes für
iheir preservation in holiness, through this evil and
{empring world. Joh. xvii. 15. I pray not, that thou
jouldest take them out of the world, but that ihou shouldest
keep them from the evil. And since he ever lives lo
make intercession for them, they shall be saved to the
utteringt, Heb. vii. 25. His intercession for them is
always prevalent with God, and cannot poflibly fail of
success. God always bears himn in his requests.
... 6. Eternal life. This is another thing promised, and
that shall be granted, to them that are intercsted in
che covenani of grace. This eternal life is made oveć
to ihem by divine promise. I Joh. ii. 25. This is
i he promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. And
the God who has made this promise to chem, is a God
thai cannut lie. Tit. i. 2. In hope of eternal life, which
God that cannot lie, hath promised. They can therefore
no more miss of eternal life, than God can fail of being
the God of cruih. God may as soon lie, as they fall
Thort of glory. Evernal life is theirs now by fure pro-
mise, and ic shall ere long be theirs by actual enjoy-
meni. And therefore Jefus Christ, in whom all the
promises of God are yea, and amen, has said, that he
will give them eternal life, and that they all never perill,
nor shall any be able to pluck them out of his bands. Joh.
X. 28.... Thus for the first ching, mewing what are
covanant-mercies.

Quest. 2. Why are there covenanc-blessings called mercies ?

Answ. Because they flow from the pure mercy of God. The new covenant is a corepani of grace and mercy. N2

15€

The first covenant, was a covenant of justice. Man was, in that covenant, to earn life by his own works. If he had perfectly and perpetually obeyed God, life had been due to him as a deb!. Rom. iv. 4. Now to hien that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Whereas now under che second covenant, all the blessings of grace and glory, are conferred on men, in a way of free and rich mercy. And this is implied in their being called mercies. For this supposes these two things, viz.

1. That the subjects of these blessings do stand in need of divine inercy. The object of mercy, is a creature in misery. Thus all men, by the breach of the first covenant, are brought into a most miserable condition. Sin has plunged them into the depths of woe and misery. And in this stare, they are no ways able to help themselves. They cannot, by any power of their own, deliver themselves out of their deplorable condi:ion. Nor is ihere any help for them to be had. from any, or all, meer creatures. None of them all, can deliver the souls of sinners, out of their unhappy and doleful circumstances. If therefore they obrain any relief, it must be from the pure mercy of God. If his eye do not pity them, and his hand help them, they must lie and die in their mistry. . Believers therefore must say, as in Lam. iii. 22. It is of the Lord's inercies, that we are not consumed, even because his compassions fail not.

2. That the subjects of these blessings are undejero. ing creatures. The subjects of mercy, are such as have no merit. For mercy excludes all meric of good. Those then that are made partakers of the blessings of the covenant of grace, are unworthy of those blessings. Yes, they are not only undeserving creatures, but illdeserving creatures. They deserve to have all evils inflicted upon them, instead of good things. They were so far from being lovely, that they were in themselves molt loathsome, such whom God might most juftly have abhorred for ever. Whatever bleflings therefore God

bestows

his eye costrust be fr.ces. If in

« PreviousContinue »