« PreviousContinue »
that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the filesh, but after the spirit.'
3. That, albeit the apostle himself (brought in here for example's cause) and all other true believers in Christ, be by nature under the law of fin and death, or under the covenant of works (called the law of fin and death, because it bindech fin and death upon us, till Christ set us free) yet the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, or the covenant of grace, (so called, because it doth enable and quicken a man to a spiritual life thro' Christ) doth set the apostle, and all true believers,
free from the covenant of works, or the law of fin and death; į so that every man may say with him, “The law of the fpirit
of life,' or the covenant of grace, hath made me free from • the law of fin and death, or covenant of works.
4. That the fountain and first ground, from whence our freedom from the curse of the law doth flow, is the covenant of redemption, past betwixt God, and God the Son as incarnate, wherein Christ takes the curse of the law upon him for sin, that the believer, who could not otherwise be delivered from the covenant of works, may be delivered from it. And this doctrine the apostle holdeth forth in these four branches : (1.) That it was utterly impossible for the law, or the covenant of works, to bring righteousness and life to a sinner, because it was weak. (2.) That this weakness and inability of the law, or covenant of works, is not the fault of the law, but the faulo of finful flell, which is neither able to pay the penalty of fin, nor to give perfect obedience to the law (presuppose bygone fins were forgiven;) · The law was weak, saith he, through the flelh' (3.) That the righteousness and salvation of finners, which was impossible to be brought about by the law, is brought to pass by sending God's own son, Jesus Christ, in the flesh, in whose flesh fin is condemned and punished, for making fatisfaction in the behalf of the elect, that they might be set free. (4.) That, by his means, the law loteth nothing, because the righteousness of the law is best fulfilled this way; first, by
Christ's giving perfect active obedience in our name unto it in all things: next, by his paying, in our dame, the penalty (due to our sins) in his death: andalastly, by his working of sanctification in us, who are true believers, who strive to give new obedience unto the law, and walk nor after the flesh, but af
ter the Spirit.
WARRANTS TO BE L I E V E.
'OR building our confidence upon this solid ground, these
four warrants and special motives to believe in Christ
The first whereof is God's hearty invitation, holden forth,
Isa. 1v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and be that hath no money, come and buy without money, and without price. ver. 2. Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfietb net? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your foul delight itself in fatness. ver. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your foul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the suré mercies of David. ver. 4. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people, &c.
Here (after setting down the precious ransom of our redemption by the sufferings of Christ, and the rich blessings purchased to us thereby, in the two former chapters) the Lord, in this chapter,
1. Maketh open offer of Christ and his grace, by proclamation of a free and gracious market of righteousness and falvation, to be had through Christ to every soul, without excéption, that truly desires to be saved from sin and wrath; ! Ho, every one that thirstech,' saith he. 2. He inviteth all finners, that for any reason stand at di
Itance with God, to come and take from him riches of
grace, s running in Christ as a river, to wash away fin, and to flocken wrath; • Come ye to the waters,' Caith he.
3. Lest any should stand aback, in the sense of his own sinfulness or upworthiness, and inability to do any good, the Lord calleth upon such persons in special, saying, “ He that " hath no money, come.'
4. He craveth no more of his merchant, but that he be pleased with the wares offered, which are grace and more grace; and that he heartily consent unto, and embrace this offer of grace, that so he may close a bargain, and a formal covenant with God;. Come buy without money (faith he) come, • eat;' that is, consent to have, and take unto you all saving graces; make the wares your own, possess them, and make use of all blessings in Christ; whatsoever maketh for your spiritual life and comfort, use and enjoy it freely, without paying any thing for it: Come buy wine and milk, without money, • and without price,' saith he.
5. Because the Lord knoweth how much we are inclined to seek righteousness and life by our own performances and fatisfaction, to have righteousness and life as it were by the way of works; and how loth we are to embrace Christ Jefus, and to také life by way of free grace through Jesus Christ, upon the terms whereupon it is offered to us: therefore che Lord lovingly calls us off this our crooked and unhappy way, with a gentle and timeous admonition, giving us to understand, that we shall but lose our labour in this our way;,' Wherefore do ' ye spend your money (faith he) for that which is not bread? • and your labour for that which satisfieth not?' ;
The Lord promiseth to us solid satisfaction, in the way of beraking ourselves unto the grace of Christ, even true contentment, and fulness of spiritual pleasure, saying, 'Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let
your • soul delight itself in fatness.
7. Because faith cometh by hearing, he calleth for audience
unto the explication of the offer, and calleth for believing of, and listning to the truth, which is able to beget the application of saving faith, and to draw the soul to trust in God;' In
cline your ear, and come unto me,' saith he. To which end, the Lord promises, that this offer being received, shall quicken the dead sinner; and that, upon the welcoming of this offer, he will close the covenant of grace with the man that shall consent unto it, even an indissolveable covenant of perpetual reconciliation and peace; ' Hearken, and your soul shall live, • and I will make an everlasting covenant with you.' Which covenant, he declareth, shall be in fubstance the affignation, and the making over, of all the saving graces which David (who is Jelus Christ, Acts xiii. 34.) hath bought for us in the covenant of redemption; ' I will make a covenant with you (saith • he) even the sure mercies of David.' By sure mercies, he means saving graces, such as are righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Ghost, adoption, fantification and glorification, and whatsoever belongs to godliness and life eternal.
8. To confirm and assure us of the real grant of these saving mercies, and to perswade us of the reality of the covenant betwixt God and the believer of this word, the Father hath made a fourfold gift of his eternal and only begotten Son;
First, To be incarnate and born for our sake, of the seed of David his type; for which cause, he is called here, and Acts xiii. 34. David, the true and everlasting king of Israel. This is the great gift of God to man, Jobn iv, 10. And here, I have given him to be David, or born of David, to the people.
Secondly, He hath made a gift of Christ to be a witness to the people, both of the sure and saving mercies grapted to the redeemed in the covenant of redemption; and also of the Fa. ther's willingness and purpose to apply them, and to make them fast in the covenant of reconciliation, made with such as embrace the offer: · I have given him (faith the Lord here) ' to be a witness to the people. And truly he is a sufficiens witness in this matter, in many respects; 1/1, Because he is one
of the bleffed Trinity, and party contracter for us, in the covenant of redemption, before the world was. 2dly, He is by office, as mediátor, the messenger of the covenant, and hath gotten commission to reveal it. 3dly, He began actually to reveal itin paradise, where he promised, that the feed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. 4thly, He set forth his own death and sufferings, and the great benefits that thould come thereby to us, in the types and figures of sacrifices and ceremonies before his coming. 5thly, He gave more and more light about this covenant, speaking by his Spirit, from age to age, in the holy prophets. 6thly, He came himself in the fulness of time, and did bear witness of all things belonging to this covenant, and of God's willing mind to take believers into it; partly by uniting our nature in one person with the divine nature; partly by preaching the good tidings of the covenant with his own mouth ; partly by paying the price of redemption on the cross; and partly by dealing still with the people, from the beginning to this day, to draw in, and to hold in the redeemed in this covenant.
Thirdly, God hath made a gift of Christ, as a leader to the people, to bring us through all difficulties, all afflictions and tentations, unto life, by this covenant: and he it is, and noother, who doth indeed lead his own unto the covenant; and, in the covenant, all the way on unto salvation, 1. By the direction of his word and Spirit. 2. By the example of his own life, in faith and obedience, even to the death of the cross. 3. By his powerful working, bearing his redeemed ones in his arms, and causing them to lean on him, while they go up through the wilderness."
Fourthly, God hath made a gift of Christ unto his people, as a commander: which office he faithfully exerciseth, by giving to his kirk and people, laws and ordinances, pastors and governors, and all necessary officers; by keeping courts and a flemblies
among them, to see that his laws be obeyed; subduing, by his word, Spirit and discipline, his peoples corrup