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because the righteousnels of the law is best fulfilled this way; first, by Christ's giving perfect active obedience in our Dame unto it in all things : next, by his paying in our name, the penalty (due to our fins, in his death and lastly, by his working of lanctification in us, who are true believers, who lirive to give new obedience unto the law, and walk nor after the Acth, but after the Spirit.'
to B E L I E V E.
FOR POR building our confidence upon this folid ground, these four warrants and fpecial motives to believe in Christ
The first whereof is God's hearty invitation, holden forth, Ifa. lv. 1,
2, 3, 4, 5.
O, every one that thirlteth, come ye to the waters; and he that
hath oo money, come and buy without money and without price.' Ver. 2. Wherefore do ye ipend your money for that which * is not bread? and your labour for that which fatisfieth not? Herken ' diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul
delight itself in fatnels.' Ver. 3. • Inclioe your ear, and come un to me: hear, and your foul shall live, and I will make an evelasting covenant with you, even the sure 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 fufferings of Christ, and the rich bleflings purchased to us thereby, in the rwo 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 foul, without exception, that truly desires to be faved from sin and wrath; Ho, every one that thirsteth,' faith he.
2. He inviteth all finners, that for any reason ftand at distance with God, to come and take from him riches of grace, running in Christ as a river, to wash away sin, and to Nocken wrath; Come ye to the • waters,' faith he.
3. Lest any should stand aback, in the fease of his own fipfulness or unworthinels, and inability to do any good, the Lord calleth upon fuch perloos 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 content upto, and embrace this offer of grace, that so be may clole a bargain, and a formal covenant with God; Come buy with• out money,' faith he, come, eat;' that is, consent to have, and take unto you all saving graces; make the wares you own, possets them, and make use of all blessings in Christ; whatsoever maketh for your fpiritual life and comfort, use and enjoy it freely, without paying any thing for it: 'Come buy wine and milk, without money, and without price,' faith 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 Jesus, and to take life by way of free grace through Jesus Christ, upon the terms whereupon it is offered to us: therefore the Lord lovingly calls us off this our crooked and unhappy way, with a gentle and timeous admonition, giving us to under stand, that we shall but lose our labour in this our way; Where • fore do you speod your money,' faith he, • for that which is not • bread ? and your labour for that which fatisfieth not?'
6. The Lord promiseth to us folid satisfaction, in the way of betaking 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 listening to the truth, which is able to beget the application of saving faith, and to draw the soul to trust in God; • Iocline your ear, and come un' to me,' faith he. To which end, the Lord promises, that this offer being received, shall quicken the dead finner; and that, upon the welcoming of this offer, he will close the covenant of grace with the man that shall confent unto it, even an indissolveable covenant of perpetual reconciliation and peace; • Hearken and your foul shall live,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you.' Which covenant, he declareth, shall be in substance the assignation, and the making over, of all the saving graces which David (who is Jesus Christ, Aals xiii. 34 ) hath bought for us in the covenant of redemption ; "I will make a co
venant with you,' faith he, even the sure mercies of David' By fure mercies, he means saving graces, such as are righteousnels, peace, and joy in the holy Ghost, adoption, sanctification, and glorification, and whatfoever belongs to godliness and lite eternal.
8. To confirm and assure us of the real grant of these saving mercies, and to persuade 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 boro for our fake, of the feed of David his type; for which caole, he is called here, and Acts xiii. 35: David, the true and everlasting King of Israel. This is the great gift of God
to man, John 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 granted to the redeemed in the covenant of redemption; and also of the Father's willingness and purpole to apply them, and to make them falt in the covenant of recon. ciliation, made with such as embrace the offer: I have given him (faith the Lord here) to be a witness to the people. And ruly he is a fuffici. ent witness in this matter, in many respects; ift, Because he is one of the blessed I rinity, and party-contracter for us, in the covenant of re. demption, before the world was. 2dly. He is by office, as Mediator, the Messenger of the covenant, and hath gotten commission to reveal it 3dly. He began actually to reveal it in paradite, where he promis. ed, that the feed of the woman should bruile the head of the serpent, Hthiy, He let forth his own death and sufferiogs, and the great bene fits that should come thereby to us, in the types and figures of facrifices 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 caine him felt 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 redumption on the cross; and partly by dealing till with the people, From the beginning to this day, to draw in, and to hold in the redecmed in his 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 no other, 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 bis redeemed ones in his arms, and cauling them to lean on him, while they go op 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 neceffary officers; by keeping courts and assemblies among them, to see that his laws be obeyed; fubduing, by his word, Spirit and discipline, his people's corruptions; and, by his wisdom and power, guarding them against all their enemies whatsoever.
Hence he, who hath ciofed bargain with God, may strengthen his faitis, by reasoning afrer this manner: " Wholoever doth heartily receive the offer of free grace,
“ here to finners, thirsting for righteousness and falvation; unto him, 6. by an everlasting covenant, belongeth Christ, the true David, with “ all his lure and saving mercies.
“ But I (may the weak believer say) do heartily receive the offer of “ free grace made here to fioners, thirsting for righteousness and « salvation.
“ Therefore unto me, by an everlasting covenant, belongeth Christ “ Jesus, with all his sure and saving mercies.”
The second warrant and special motive to embrace Christ, and believe
in him, is the earneit request that God maketh to us to be reconciled to him in Chrift, holden forth, 2 Cor. v. verles 14, 19, 20, 21.
GOD was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not in
puting their trespasses unto them, and bath committed unto us the word of reconciliacion. Ver. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us ; we pray, you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Ver. 21. For he hath made him to be fin for us, who knew no fin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Wherein the apostle teacheth us these dine doctrines;
First, That the elect world, or world of redeemed fouls, are by nature in the estate of enmity against God : This is presupposed in the word reconciliation; for reconciliation, or renewing of friendship, canDot be, except betwixt those that have been at eomity.
Second, That-in all the time by-past, since the fall of Adam, Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God, as Mediator, and the Father in bim, hath been about the making friendship (by his word and Spirit) betwixt himself and the elect world; God, faith he, was in Chrift • reconciling the world to himself.'
Third, that the way of reconciliation was in all ages one and the fame in substance, viz. by forgiving the sins of them, who do acknowledge their sins and their enmity against God, and do fèek reconciliation and remission of sins ia Christ; "For God,' faith he, was in Christ
reconciling the world to himself, by way of not imputing their tref. passes upto them.
Fourth, That the end and scope of the gospel, and whole word of God, is threefold; 1. It serveth to make people sensible of their fios, and of their enmity agaiof God, and of their danger, if they should stand out, and not fear God's displeasure. 2. The word of God ferveth to make me acquainted with the course, which God hath prepared, for making friendship with him through Christ, viz. that if men skall acknowledge the comity, and shall be content to enter into
a covenant of friendship with God, through Chrift
, then God will be content to be reconciled with them freely. 3. The word of God ter veth to teach men how to carry themlelves towards God, as friends, after they are reconciled to him, viz to be loth to sin against him, and to strive heartily to obey his commandments : and therefore the word of God here is called the word of reconciliation, because it teacheth us what need we have of reconciliation, and how to make it, and how to keep the reconciliation or friendship, being made with God thiough Christ.
Fifth, That albeit the hearing, believing and obeying of this word, doth belong to all those to whom this gospel doth come: get the office of preachiog, of it, with authority, belongeth to done, but to tuch only as God doth call to his ministry, and sendeth out with commik fion for this work. This the apostle holdeth forth, v. 18. in these words, "He hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.'
Sixth, That the ministers of the gospel should behave themselves as Christ's messengers, and should closely follow their commission let down in the word, Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. and, when they do so, they should be received by the people as ambassadors from God; for here the apostle in all their names, faith, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did befeech you by us.'
Seventh, That ministers, in all earneliness of affections, should deal with people to acknowledge their fins, and their natural enmity a. gainst God, more and more fericully: and to consent to the covenant
and embassage of Christ more and more heartily; and to evidence more and more clearly their reconciliation, by a holy carriage before God. This he holdeth forth, when he faith, We pray you, be • reconciled to God.'. Eight, That, in the ministers affectionate dealing with the people
, the people should consider that they have to do with God and Chrill, requesting them by the ministers to be reconciled: now, there cannot be a greater inducement to break a finder's hard heart, than God's Inaking request to him for friendship; for when it became us, who have done to many wrongs to God, to seek friend thip of God, he preventeth us: and (o wonder of wonders!) he requesteth us to be como tent to be reconciled to him; and therefore most fearful wrath must abide them who do ser light' by this request, and do not yield when they hear ministers with commiffion, saying, "We are ambassadors for • Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you, in Cbrif's • stead, be ye reconciled to God.'
Ninth, To make it appear, how it cometh to pass that the covenant of reconciliation should be fo eafily made up betwixt God and a hum. ble finner Recing to Christ
, the apostle leads us unto the cause of it, holden fort in the covenant of redemption, the fum whereof is this ; * It is agreed berwixt God and the Mediator Jelus Chrif the Son of " Cod, surety for the redeemed, as parties.contacters, that the fins of