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are afar off, and to as many as the Lord our God mall call."
6. This covenant of grace may be considered in the application and execution of it; and this is either initial, progressive or consummate. 1. I say there is the initial application, or the soul's first entry into the bond of the covenant, or rather the spirit of the great new covenant head taking hold of the poor soul, and the soul at the same moment taking hold of the covenant by faith, receives it as a good and sufficient security for that life and happiness, which was lost by the fin of the first Adam. This is in scripture called the day of espousals, wherein the soul does as it were sign and subscribe the marriage-contract, saying, I am the Lord's. 2. There is the further improvement of this covenant of grace, for the soul's daily supply in a way of believing, whereby it is made to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is called a drawing water with joy out of the wells of salvation. The believer finding himself under this and the other want, improves the promises of the covenant, as they are suited and adapted to his case. And thus the work of sanctification is daily advanced, thy Mall go from strength to strength. 3. There is the full execution of the designs of this covenant, when the soul is brought to glory, and presented faultless before the presence of God, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then mall we appear with him in glory. At that day, the covenant, and all the concerns of it, is fully executed and performed, even the day of Jesus Chris, Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing, that be who hath begun á good work in you, will perform it to the day of Jesus
Christ. So much for the first thing proposed, which was to give you some views of the covenant of grace.
The second thing was to speak a little of the faithfulness of God engaged in the covenant, which is here resembled to the rainbow about the throne in colour like an emerald. For the illustration of this head, I shall 1. enquire what the faithfulness of God implies. 2. How far this faithfulness is engaged in the covenant.
For the first, I shall clear it in the following particulars. 1. God's covenant of grace or promise is no hasty or indeliberate deed, but the result of his eternal purpose and council. Men many times speak before they think, and when they have past their word, they would be content to eat it in again, because they speak frequently before they consider matters truly." But no such thing is incident to God ; his promise is nothing else but a revelation of his council and purpose of grace before the world began ; and therefore every word he speaks is sure, and stable, like mountains of brass which cannot be shaken. 2. God thinks as he speaks in his covenant and promise. · I remember it is given as the character of a true citizen of Zion, that he speaks the truth in his heart, Psal. xv. that is, his words and his thoughts agree together, the one is the exact transcript or copy of the other : And if this be the character of the citizens of Zion, much more is it so of Zion's God and King, whó desires truth in the inward part: He does not say one thing and think another, he hates all disingenuity in others, and therefore cannot be guilty of it himself: His words are so much the picture of his heart, that
we may lawfully and warrantably look into his heart in and by the words of his mouth.
3. God cannot forget his covenant and promise. Men will many times make promises, and forget them as soon as they are made; but it cannot be fo with God, ke is ever mindful of his covenant, his mercy and truth is ever before his face; and therefore it is an unjust reflection on a God of truth, to say, or think that he has forgotten to be gracious. A woman may sooner forget her sucking child, than God can forget his children, or his promise made to them; he remembers every good word or thought of ours, and has a book of remembrance for them ; surely then he will not, he cannot forget his own word of promise. Tis true, Isa, xliii. 26. we are commanded to put him in remembrance ; and accordingly David, Pfal.cxix. 49. says to God, Remember the word, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. But this is not to be understood, as if God needed to have his memory helped by us; but only to put us to our duty, to quicken us to faith and fervency in prayer, according to the direction, Ezek. xxxvi. 37. For ihese things will I be enquired of by the house of Israel, that I may do it for them.
4. God cannot change his mind : our unbelieving hearts are ready sometimes to suggest, that when God made the promise, he might have thoughts of grace and love in his heart, but perhaps now he has altered his way of thinking; his thoughts have taken another turn: but this cannot be, for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? There is no variableness, or so much as a padow of turning with him, he is the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever. Pfal. cii. 25, 26, 27. Of 'old tlou kást laid the frundation of the eartbi and the Leavens are the work of VOL. II.
the hands: they all peris, but thou shalt endure; all of them mall wax old as a garment ; as a vesture skalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the fame, and of thy years there is no end. Whatever changes there may be in his carriage towards us, yet there can be no change in his heart, consequently no change or alteration in his covenant.
5. As God never changes his mind, so he never broke his word; he always performs what he promises. Many a time the believer has found him better than his word, but never worse than his word. This is what Joshua observed in his last speech to Fojn. xxiii. 14. And ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing bath failed of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning you, but all are come to pass to you, and not one thing bath failed thereof. As if he had faid, I appeal to your consciences, if he has not been a faithful God in performing his promise to you. Thus you see wherein the faithfulness of God confifts.
For the second, to wit, How far the faithfulness of God is engaged in the covenant of grace? I answer, it is so far engaged, that he has given all the security that it is possible for God to give. For, 1. his covenant is subscribed, even with his own blood. God, as it were, dips his pen in the heart-blood of his own Son, and therewith subscribes the covenant. Hence the blood of Christ is called the blood of the testament. This is the New Testament in my blood. 2. The covenant of grace is not only subscribed but attested by a glorious Trinity in the capacity of three witnesses, i John v. 7. There are three that bear record in beaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Gloft : and these three are one. 3. It is a sealed
bargain, bargain, sealed with the oath of God, wherein he hath pledged his very life for the performance of it: he gave his oath to the covenant-head, Psal. Ixxxix. 35. Once bave I sworn by my holiness, I will not lie unto David. He gives his oath to the seed of Christ, Heb. vi. 17. God willing more abundantly to new to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. It is sealed with the death of the testator, Heb. ix. 16, 17, 18. It is sealed with the facraments of baptism and the supper, which are like the delivering of earth and stone upon an infeftment: and that moment that a finner takes hold of it, he seals it upon the heart by his holy Spirit, Eph. i. 23. In whom after ye believed, ye were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. 4. This covenant or testament has the faithfulness of God so far engaged in it, that for further security it is registred in heaven amongst the antiquities of the land afar off, Pfal. cxix. 89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven, registered upon earth, in the volume of his book, which is a more sure word of prophecy than an immediate voice from heaven; and therefore, we do well to take heed to it, as to a light shining in
a dark place. This much for the second thing pro• posed.
The third thing in the method was to take a view of this covenant of grace, and the faithfulness of God engaged therein, under the similitude and representation of a rainbow surrounding the throne in colour like an emerald. And here I shall endeavour to do these three things: 1. View the covenant under the fimilitude of a rainbow. 2. Enquire why this bow is said to be round about the Kk2