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single day. His firm belief that his iniquities were forgiven, and not marked, appears to have been the thing which emboldened him to continue his approaches to the throne of grace. It is certainly possible that the same Divine Agent, who has begun a good work in the saints, should perform it until the day of Jesus Christ : for he can work in them both to will and to do. Phil. i. 6, and ii. 13. The same power that can raise the dead sinner, can quicken the languishing saint : and the latter is as consistent a display of divine power as the former. How often, in the 119th Psalm, does holy David ask the favor of quickening grace: “Quicken me according to thy word :” “Quicken me in thy righteousness :” “Quicken me after thy loving kindness.” In the last verse of this Psalm he acknowledges he had gone astray like a lost sheep; and as such he prayed his Shepherd to look after him, and bring him back to the fold. Such an acknowledgment and petition are in the spirit of that new covenant, in which believers are all interested. One of the chief blessings contained in this covenant, is an effectual healing for our backslidings. Hos. xiv. 4.

What I particularly wish to establish by the present argument is this ; that such is the nature of the covenant of grace, there is nothing which makes it inconsistent for God (should he see fit to do it,) to preserve from fatal apostacy the whole family of his new born sons and daugh. ters. It would not be any infraction upon his law, nor would it be any way inconsistent with his holiness, should his mercy endure forever ; not only in extending forgiveness to them whenever they repent, but also in giving them repentance whenever they sin.

2. There are divine promises, which infallibly secure the saints' perseverance to the end of life. Promises of this nature are found, both in the covenant of redemption, and in the covenant of grace.

First. In the covenant of redemption. In this covenant the parties are none other than the Persons of the Godhead. It was made before the foundation of the world, and relates to our redemption from sin and hell by the atonement of Christ. Now if it can be shown, that this covenant contains promises which insure the salvation of those who are united to Christ, it will prove the point in question : for it is certain that sueb Covenanters will not fail to fulfill their engagements. The confidence which the apostle had, that he should at length enjoy the heavenly inheritance, was strengthened by a view of this early cove. nant: “ In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." Tit. i. 2. God made no promise to Paul before the world began, but he then made a promise to his Redeemer in relation to him; which was developed at the time of his conversion. The grace which he now received was, in a sense, given him in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Tim. i. 9.

In the covenant of redemption, the Father promised to reward his Son for his obedience unto death. Isa. liii. 12. On the fulfillment of this promise the Son made an entire dependence. He said, “ All the Father giveth me shall come to me." Nor was there any less cer. lainty that the Son would fulfill his engagement, in their reception and preservation ; for he says, “And, him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” He then proceeds to a further disclosure of the stipu. lations of this eternal covenant : “ For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me; that of all he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son and be. lieveth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John vi. 37–40. Here the Son of God tells us, that he came to do the will of his Father; he also informs us, it was his Father's will, that, of those who were given to him and believed on him, he should lose none, but raise them up at the last day; that is, that he should perfect their salvation to its last and finishing stroke. In this covenant the Holy Spirit has a part. He engages to make a saving revelation of the Son to such as the Father has given him, and thence. forth to abide in them forever. See John xiv. 16, 17, and xvi. 7-15. 2 Tim. i. 14.

What we term the covenant of redemption is, I think, clearly re. vealed in the scriptures, and is it not evident, that its conditions can not be performed by the three Divine Persons, without effecting the everlasting salvation of every one who becomes a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? It is true, that in this covenant there are no promises made to believers themselves : but there are promises in relation to them, which can not be kept without securing their perseverance in holiness unto eternal life. The promises the Lord made to David concerning his Son, gave the same security for the prosperous reign of Solomon, which was afterwards given by the promise made immediately to Solomon himself. If the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has promised his Son, that his spiritual seed, when they break his laws, shall be chastised and reclaimed, but not disinherited, it must secure their permanent standing in the covenant, as completely as if the promises were made to themselves. Ps. lxxxix. 28–37.

Secondly. The covenant of grace secures the saints' perseverance. This exists between God and men. It embraces all those who have returned unto God through Jesus Christ. To them God has made promises which insure their perseverance to the end of life; and these promises are all confirmed in Christ. The covenant of grace, made with believers, is the exact counterpart of the covenant of redemption, which had before been made with Christ concerning them. The cov. enant with the father of the faithful is declared to have been confirmed of God in Christ. He is the surety of the covenant which God makes with us. The promises are made to us through Him; hence it is they can be depended on : for in Him they are all yea and amen, unto the glory of God. Heb. vii. 22. 2 Cor. i. 20.

The promises of God to his children are of two sorts, namely, such as relate to his approbation of their renovated character; and such as secure the preservation of that character, and also its progressive im. provement.

He engages not only to hear their humble prayers, but also to prepare their hearts to pray. Ps. x. 17. He promises not only to reward their fruitfulness, but also to render them increasingly fruitful. John xv. 2. He promises a crown to such as overcome, and also victory to all who are trnly engaged in the Christian warfare. Satan is at the head of the opposition; and yet the soldiers of Christ are assu. red of their victory over him : “ And the God of peace shall bruise

Satan under your feet shortly.” Rom. xvi. 20. What a support, in this ensnaring world, is such a promise as this, which I will now repeat : “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. x. 13. Had the covenant of works contained such a promise, the fall of man would have been ren.

a dered impossible : for it would have been an ample security against all the seductive influence of the tempter. And to them who are interested in the covenant of grace, such a promise must imply an engagement, either that they shall be kept from being assailed by temptation, or be strengthened wholly to resist its influence, or have help to recover themselves from the snare into which they have been drawn.

There is scarcely anything on earth which more endangers the per. severance of the saints, than false teachers. Christ himself, speaking of their baneful influence, says, “ They shall deceive, if it were possible, the very elect.” But it is not possible, because God has made a promise to secure them against this evil. “ These things (says the apostle John) have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you," i.e. as an effectual preventive against their seductions. 1 John, ii. 26,27.

The afflictions with which the people of God are visited are called temptations, since they seem to jeopardize their religion ; but it is declared, that to take away sin, is the fruit, yea, all the fruit which they shall produce. See Isa. xxvii. 9. The apostle represents God as always chastising his children for their profit

, to make them partakers of his holiness. Heb. xii. 10. In another place he says, “ We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Rom. viii. 28. But should any event, or series of events, so operate as to cause an eternal separation between them and their Saviour, and place them back in the enemy's hands, these would be infinitely far from working for their good.

Were the perseverance of the saints to depend on their own sufficiency, either inherent or acquired, it would be precarious indeed; but if the all-sufficient God has promised to bestow that grace which is necessary to insure their continuance in well doing, they are safe. On this promised grace they rely. This, and this alone, was the thing on which Paul relied, though he probably had more holiness than any other man living. When under a sore trial he besought the Lord to be delivered from it, but he received this answer, “ My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” With this assurance he declares himself satisfied : “ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor. xii. 9. With his regenerated people God makes an everlasting covenant that he will not turn away from them to do them good, but that he will put his fear in their hearts that they shall not depart from him. Jer. xxxii. 40. If their perseverance in holiness were the very thing, concerning which he intended to give them security, how could he have made a promise more directly to the purpose ? It is the Almighty God, the God of truth who says, “ I will put my fear in their hearts,” (the very place where it needs to be) " that they shall not depart from me.”

Christians, as they are in themselves, make but a feeble flock; but they have a shepherd whose grace and strength are infinite. And he has said, “ I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” John X. 28. ' “ But may not this promise be kept, and yet some of them perish by plucking themselves out of his hand ?" To this it may be replied, There never could be any other possible way, by which an invading foe could succeed in effecting their apostacy, but by gaining their consent. If, then, the promise, “ Neither shall any pluck them out of my hand,” contains in it no security against their being so seduced as to give their consent to forsake their shepherd, it amounts to just nothing. We know that the righteous, in order to reach the promised land, must hold on their way; that they must keep their hearts with all diligence ; and keep themselves in the love of God. And the good Shepherd, who is the keeper of Israel, has engaged for them that they shall do all this. They are kept by the power of God through faith (which is a volun. tary exercise of their own) unto salvation. The power of God is employed in preserving and strengthening that faith by which, as Christians, they live and move and have their being.

If the promises which have been referred to (and many others of a like nature might be introduced,) do not secure the perseverance of those who are brought into the bonds of the new covenant, how could any be made strong enough to do it? Such promises as these make it evident, that God was willing to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel concerning their salvation, that they might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them. Heb. vi. 17, 18.

3. The historical account which the scriptures give us of "the generation of God's children,” helps confirm us in the belief of the saints' perseverance. They who are there spoken of as once becoming the children of God, seem to have retained their place in his holy family through all the vicissitudes of life. Though none of them are represented as spotless characters; yet they all endured to the end. Some of them were guilty of flagrant offences; yet they arose from their falls, held on their way, and died in the Lord. And to this agree the words of that inspired proverb, “ A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” Prov. xxiv. 16. In the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, the apostle begins to give us a catalogue of Old Testament believers, which he tells us time would have failed him, had he attempted to fill it up; and it is evident he speaks of them all as men, whose faith did not fail, even to the last. They all died in faith. Enoch and Noah walked with God all the while they remained on the earth. So did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ca. leb, Joshua, Samuel, David, and the whole company of Bible saints.

Such a uniformity in the perseverance of those saints, whose history is given by the pen of inspiration, is certainly caleulated to induce the belief that the holy character of the children of God, though not per. fect is nevertheless permanent. It very naturally leads us to conclude, that the covenant which God has established with them, has provided for the preservation and improvement of their renovated character.

4. The perseverance of all real saints, may be conclusively inferred

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from the reason which the scriptures assign, why all professed saints do not persevere ; namely, some original defect in their religion. They are represented as uncircumcised in heart, when they were circumcised in the flesh; and as not having their heart right with God, even at the time when they sought him and inquired early after him. They are represented as building their house without any foundation ; as taking no root in the ground, even when they seem to have an upward growth; as having a lamp without even taking any oil; and as coming to the wedding without the wedding garment. To all those who shall be on the left hand of the Judge at the last day, and who shall claim his favor on the ground of the relation which subsisted between Him and them in the present world, he will return one answer, “I never knew you ; depart from me ye that work iniquity.” When any of the visible church apostatize to infidelity, damnable heresies, or any other course of wickedness, the scripture gives this concise reason for it, But they were not of us. If we are told of heretics whose word has eaten like a canker, and which has overthrown the faith of some, our minds are immediately relieved with the assurance, that the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. Ps. lxxvii. 37. Luke vi. 49. Matt. xiii. 20, 21; xxv. 3; xxü. 11; vii. 23. 1 John ii. 19. 2 Tim. ii. 19.

5. The instructions of Christ, solemnly enjoining upon us such an entrance on our religious course, as to insure its continuance, proves that there is an established connexion between beginning right, and holding out to the end. He advises, as we are entering on a life of religion, that we should imitate that prudent man, who, before he begins a build. ding, examines into the state of his funds, to determine whether he has sufficient to finish it. Nor does our divine teacher leave us, without giving us the needed information on this interesting point ; he tells us what it will cost to finish the spiritual building which he would have us undertake: “ So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he can not be my disciple.” Self-denial and supreme love to Christ are the lowest conditions of discipleship ; and we are here taught that no one, whose religion has such a basis, will fail of en. enduring to the end ; that no one, who thus begins to build, will be disgraced for not being able to finish. Luke xiv. 25—33.

6. An argument of some weight, in establishing the doctrine of this Article, is derived from the resemblance which the scriptures trace between the headship of the first and second Adam. Paul informs us that the first Adam was a figure (a type) of him that was to come. Rom. v. 14. In the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corin. thians, Adam is called the first man,” and Christ the “ second man," and the “ last Adam.” Christ is represented to be the head of his redeemed family, as Adam was of the human race. Now it is evident, that on the conduct of the first Adam depended, according to the tenor of the original covenant, the character and state of his whole race. His fidelity and persevering obedience during his term of trial, would have secured the obedient character and consequent blessedness of his posterity. Now all who are regenerated and justified, have become members of the spiritual body of Christ. And may we not from analogy reason thus : Since the fidelity of the first Adam would have secured

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