« السابقةمتابعة »
him ; and the throne on which he now fits is so high that I know not how to get at him. But, says the Lord, o finner, fay not so, think not fo; for all the fulness of Christ is nigh thee in the rainbow of my covenant. I give thee a word of faith, a faithful word of promise, lean to that, rest on that, and Christ, and all that is in him, and all the grace that is in my heart, shall come along with it into thy soul. What is it,' O sinner, thou wants, but thou may have it, either in title or possession, by resting on the veracity of him who has fet his bow in the clouds ?
I shall instance in a few of the many blessings that are to be had by taking hold of God's covenant, or by believing in Christ by virtue of the covenant.
1. Would you have Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be thy God, even thy own God, to be the strength of thy heart and thy portion for ever? Well, come within the rainbow by taking hold of God's covenant, or trusting the word of a promissing God in Christ, and it shall be fo: For this is the leading article of the covenant, I am the Lord thy God. I will be their God; I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward. O firs, you lost your claim to God by the first covenant, and while in a state of nature, under a covenant of works, you are without God in the world : But here is a God in Christ coming back into a new covenant, a co venant of grace and peace. O take him at his word, and take him in his word, for faithful is he that bath promised. Let thy soul say to the Lord upon the covenant ground and grant, This God is my God for ever and ever: And he mall be thy God even unto death, because he has said it in his covenant. But, say you, must I not first close with Christ before I can claim the Lord as my God. I answer to close with Christ is nothing else but to take a God in Christ as thy own God, by virtue of the covenant of grace and promise wherein his faithfulness is more deeply engaged, than ever it was in God's covenant with Noab, whereof the rainbow is a perpetual and standing sign. But O, say you, I am afraid it will be presumption for me to claim a God in Christ for my God, upon the covenantgrant, I will be their God. I answer it is so far from being presumption, that it is rebellion against the authority of the great God interposed in the very first command of the moral law, not to know and acknowledge him, and trust in him as God and as thy own God; and till thou take him as thy God in Chrift, thou art living in open rebellion against the authority of heaven; and wilt thou adventure to be a rebel against God to avoid the danger of presumption, and so rush upon the thick bosses of heaven's buckler. O that I could persuade you to obey the first command of the moral law, as it stands in a subserviency to the covenant of grace, contained in the preface of the ten commandments, which teaches us to believe that he is the Lord our God and redeemer, upon the ground of his own faithfulness pledged in these words, I am the Lord thy God. O firs, if you can but find in your hearts through grace to obey the first command in the law, you will find it easy to obey the rest ;, and if you can but find in your hearts through grace to believe this first and leading promise of the covenant of grace, I am the Lord thy God, you will find it easy to lay claim by faith to all the subsequent promises of the covenant; for it should be remembered, that the
the covendly linked .command
the thriech of this
first promise of the covenant, and the first command of the moral law, are inseparably linked together.
2. Take hold of the covenant, and come within the arch of this blessed bow that goes round about the throne, and there thou shalt find a sealed pardon of fin, an indemnity, an act of oblivion for all thy Gins, though they be innumerable as the stars, and great and heinous like the lofty mountains. Heb. viii. 12. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness : Their fins and iniquities will I remember no more. So fer. xxxi. 34. View him that fits upon the throne within the rainbow, and thou wilt hear him saying, I even I am be that blotteth out thine iniquities for my own name's sake, and will remember thy fins no more. O condemned sinner, trust a God in Chrift for this, by virtue of his covenant, or by virtue of his promise : For the strength of Israel will not lie nor repent.
3. Thou art by nature an alien, a stranger, a foreigner, a child of hell, would thou fain come back again to God's family, and have a God in Christ as thy father? Well, view the rainbow come within the circuit of it, and there thou Nalt find this; I will be to them a father, and they hall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. To as many as received him, by virtue of this covenant-grant, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his name, John i. 12.
4. Wants thou a principle of spiritual life, who art by nature dead in fins and trespasses? Well, believe in the Son of God, by virtue of the covenant, and thou shalt have it : For, says Christ, John xi. 25. he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet mall be live. Would thou have thy spiritual life more abundant? New quicknings under the lan
guishings of grace? Well, this is within the rainbow of the covenant. Thy life is hid with Chrif in God; and he has said that thou shalt revive as the corn, and grow as the vine.
Again wants thou to have thy beart sprinkled from an evil conscience? Here it is to be had, Ezek. xxxvi. 25. I will sprinkle them with clean water, from all their idols and filthiness will I cleanse them.
Would you have the power of sin broken in thy soul? Take hold of God's covenant, or believe in Christ by virtue of the covenant, and thou shalt have this also. Micab vii. 19. I will subdue their iniquities. Rom. vi. 14. Sin mall not bave dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace.
Would thou have thy stony heart softened, and turned into a heart of flesh? This also lies within the rainbow of the covenant. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. A new beart also will I give them, a new spirit will I put within them; I will take away the sony beari out of your heart, and give you a heart of flesh.
Would you have the spirit of God within you as a spirit of wisdom and revelation, as a quickning, guiding and fanctifying spirit? Well, this is within the covenant also. Ezek xxxvi. 27. I will put mig spirit within them, and cause them to walk in my Ratutes.
Would you have protection against all enemies and dangers? This also is to be had within the circuit of this rainbow. The man Christ, who fits up on the throne, is a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempeft.
Would thou have strength to encounter thy enemy, strength to grapple with difficulties and to manage thy work and warfare? This is within the
e foirit of
rainbow of the covenant, Zech. x. 12. And I will Atrengthen them in the Lord, and they all walk up and down in my name, faith the Lord. Isa. xli. 10. I will strengthen them, I will help and uphold them with the right hand of my righteousness. .
Lastly, Would thou have grace to keep in the Lord's way to the end, till the good work be perfetted? Well, this is in the covenant. The righteous Mall hold on their way, and be that hath clean bands shall wax stronger and stronger. He that bath begun the good work in you, will perform it to the day of Jesus Cbrift. All these and innumerable other blessings lie within the circuit of this rainbow, which goes round about the throne of grace.
The fourth thing proposed was to enquire, who are they that may warrantably come within the compass of this rainbow? Who are they that may take hold of God's covenant ? An aniwer to this question is the more necessary, that it is one of the main engines whereby the devil keeps sinners under the power of unbelief, to tell them that God's covenant and promise belong to others and not to them. Will the poor finner be ready to say, Indeed if I were a believer, I might confidently come within this rainbow, and intermeddle with Christ and the blessings of his covenant: But till then I must not presume to meddle; and thus I say finners are many times discouraged from coming to Christ to take hold of his covenant. But, firs, allow me to tell you, that none are excluded from coming within this rainbow, or from coming to Christ who fits on the throne of grace by virtue of this covenant of grace, but only they who exclude themielves by their unbelief. Every one hath free liberty to look Vol. II. Mm