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النشر الإلكتروني

OF THE

SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE.

HEAD I. Our woful condition by nature.

II. The remedy provided in Chrift Jesus.

III. The means provided in the covenant of grace.
IV. The bleffings conveyed by these means.

The use of Saving Knowledge.

1. For convincing of fin by the law.

2. Of righteousness by the law.

3. Of judgment by the law.

For convincing of fin, righteousness and judgment by the gospel.
Of righteoufnefs to be had only by faith in Chrift.
For ftrengthning a man's faith, &c.

Warrants and motives to believe.

1. God's hearty invitation.

2. His earnest request to be reconciled.

3. His command, charging all to believe.
4. Much affurance of life given to believers, &c.

Evidences of true faith.

1. Conviction of the believer's obligation to keep the moral law. 2. That the believer practise the rules of godliness and righteousness. 3. That obedience to the law run in the right channel of faith in Chrift. 4. The keeping of ftrait communion with Chrift, the fountain of all grat and good works.

For ftrengthning the believer in faith and obedience, by these evi

dences.

THE

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The fum of faving knowledge may be taken up in thefe four heads; 1. The woful condition wherein all men are by nature, through breaking of the covenant of works. 2. The remedy provided for the elect in Jefus Chrift by the covenant of grace. 3. The means appointed to make them partakers of this covenant. 4. The blessings which are effectually conveyed unto the elect by thefe means. Which four beads are fet down each of them in fome few propofitions.

HEAD I

Our woful condition by nature, through breaking the covenant of works, Hof. xiii. 9. O Ifrael, thou hast destroyed thyself.

THE

'HE almighty and eternal God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three distinct perfons in the one and the fame undivided Godhead, equally infinite in all perfections, did, before time, moft wifely decree, for his own glory, whatsoever cometh to pass in time; and doth most kolily and infallibly execute all his decrees, without being partaker of the fin of any creature.

II. This God, in fix days, made all things of nothing, very good in their own kind: in fpecial, he made all the angels holy; and he made our first parents, Adam and Eve, the root of mankind, both upright and able to keep the law written in their heart. Which law they were naturally bound to obey Ee 3 under

under pain of death; but God was not bound to reward their fervice, till he entered into a covenant or contract with them, and their posterity in them, to give them eternal life upon condition of perfect perfonal obedience; withal threatning death in case they should fail. This is the covenant of works.

III. Both angels and men were fubject to the change of their own free-will, as experience proved (God having reserved to himself the incommunicable property of being naturally unchangeable:) for many angels of their own accord fell by fin from their first estate, and became devils. Our first parents, being enticed by Satan, one of thefe devils fpeaking in a ferpent, did break the covenant of works, in eating the forbidden fruit; whereby they, and their pofterity being in their loins, as branches in the root, and comprehended in the fame covenant with them, became not only liable to eternal death, but alfo loft all ability to please God; yea, did become by nature enemies to God, and to all fpiritual good, and inclined only to evil continually. This is our original fin, the bitter root of all our actual tranfgreffions, in thought, word, and deed.

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HEAD II.

The remedy provided in Jefus Chrift for the elect by the covenant of grace, Hof. xiii. 9. O Ifrael, thou haft deftroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.

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man, having brought himself into this woful con

dition, be neither able to help himfelf, nor willing to be helped by God out of it, but rather inclined to ly ftill unfenfible of it, till he perifh; yet God, for the glory of his rich grace, hath revealed in his word a way to fave finners, to wit, by faith in Jefus Chrift, the eternal Son of God, by virtue of, and according to, the tenor of the covenant of redempti on, made and agreed upon between God the Father and God the Son, in the council of the Trinity, before the world began. II. The fum of the covenant of redemption is this; God

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having freely chofen unto life, a certain number of loft mankind, for the glory of his rich grace, did give them, before the world began, unto God the Son, appointed Redeemer, that, upon condition he would humble himself so far as to àffume the human nature, of a foul and a body, unto perfonal union with his divine nature, and fubmit himself to the law, as furety for them, and fatisfy juftice for them, by giving obedience in their name, even unto the fuffering of the curfed death of the crofs, he fhould ransom and redeem them all from fin and death, and purchase unto them righteousness and eternal life, with all faving graces leading thereunto, to be effectually, by means of his own appointment, applied in due time to every one of them. This condition the Son of God (who is Jefus Chrift our Lord) did accept before the world began, and in the fulness of time came into the world, was born of the Virgin Mary, subjected himself to the law, and compleatly paid the ranfom on the crofs: But by virtue of the forefaid bargain, made before the world began, he is in all ages, fince the fall of Adam, ftill upon the work of applying actually the purchased benefits unto the elect: And that he doth by way of entertaining a covenant of free grace and reconciliation with them, through faith in himself; by which covenant, he makes over to every believer a right and interest to himself, and to all his bleffings.

III. For the accomplishment of this covenant of redemption, and making the elect partakers of the benefits thereof in the covenant of grace, Chrift Jefus was clad with the threefold office of a prophet, priest, and king. Made a prophet, to reveal all faving knowledge to his people, and to perfuade them to believe and obey the fame; made a priest, to offer up himself a facrifice once for them all, and to interceed continually with the Father, for making their perfons and fervices acceptable to him; and made a king, to fubdue them to himself, to feed and rule them by his own appointed ordimances, and to defend them from their enemies.

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HEAD

HEAD III.

The outward means appointed to make the elect partakers of this cove nant, and all the reft that are called to be inexcufable, Mat, xxii. 14. Many are called:

THE

HE outward means and ordinances for making men partakers of the covenant of grace, are fo wifely difpenfed, as the elect fhall be infallibly converted and faved by them; and the reprobate, among whom they are, not to be justly stumbled. The means are especially thefe tour; 1. The word of God. 2. The facraments. 3. Kirk-government. 4. Prayer. In the word of God preached by fent meffengers, the Lord makes offer of grace to all finners, upon condition of faith in Jefus Chrift; and whofoever do confefs their fin, accept of Christ offered, and fubmit themfelves to his ordinances, he will have both them and their children received into the honour and privileges of the covenant of grace. By the facraments, God will have the covenant fealed for confirming the bargain, on the forefaid condition. By kirk-government, he will have them hedged in, and helped forward unto the keeping of the covenant. And by prayer, he will have his own glorious grace, promised in the covenant, to be daily drawn forth, acknowledged, and employed. All which means are followed either really, or in profeffion only, according to the quality of the covenanters, as they are true or counterfeit believers.

II. The covenant of grace, fet down in the Old Testament before Chrift came, and in the New fince he came, is one and the fame in fubftance, albeit different in outward adminiftra tion: For the covenant in the Old Teftament, being fealed with the facraments of circumcifion and the pafchal-lamb, did fet forth Chrift's death to come, and the benefits purchased thereby, under the fhadow of bloody facrifices, and fundry ceremonies; but, fince Chrift came, the covenant being fealed by the facraments of baptifm and the Lord's fupper, doth

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