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condition ; and in end died an ignominious death : Psalm xxii. 4. Our fathers trusted in thee; they trusted, and thou didft, deliver them. He paid the price of the redemption of finners, while as yet many of the redeemed were not born, nay, nor as yet are ; and feveral of them imbrewed their hands in his blood: but he rested on the promise of the covenant. He pleaded it when he was just entering into the swell.. ing waves of death, where he was, like Jonah, to be swallowed up, John xvii. 5. Now, O Father, glorify me with thyself. And in the faith of the accomplishment of the promise, he completed his performance of the condition; for the joy that was set before him in the promises, he endured the cross, despising the Jbame, Heb: xii. 2.
7. Lastly, God hath sworn the promises of the covenant: I have made a covenant with my chofen: 1 have sworn unto David my fervant. The apostle tells us, that God willing more abundantly to thew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counfel, confirmed it by an oath, Heb. vi. 17. A render man will not fwear a promise, 'but in a matter of weight. Of what unspeakable weight and importance then must the promise of the covenant be, which the God of truth hath confirmed with his oath ?
Now, for clearing of this part of the covenant, we shall, 1. Consider the promises in general; and, 2. Take a more particular view of them.
of the Promises in general.
S to the promises in general, two things are to
inquired into 1. kinds of them? And, 2. To whom they are made,
I. As to the general kinds of the promises; consi. dering the parties on whom the promises of the covenant of
grace have their direct and iminediate effeet, they appear to be of two general Kinds.
1. Some of them have their direct and immediate effect on Christ himself, the head of the covenant ; such as the promise of assistance in his work, and the promise of a name above every name. So in the first covenant, there were promises which were to have their direct and immediate effect on Adam himself, and looked not, but mediately and indirectly, to his posterity, such of them, at least, as should have lived after the compleat fulfilling of the condition of that covenant: namely, the promises of natural life con• tinued in vigour and comfort, and of spiritual life continued in favour and fellowship with God, during the course of his probationary obedience.
2. Others of them have their direct and immediate effect on Christ's fpiritual feed, comprehended with him in the covenant; such as the promises of rege.. nération, of the new heart, and cleansing from the defilement of sin. So in the first Adam's covenant, the promise of life contained a promise of the holy conception and birth of his natural seed: in respect of which the promise would have had its direct and immediate effect, not on Adam himself, but on his posterity.
II. The next thing to be considered, is, To whom they were made? And we may take up this point in two things.
First, The promises of the first fort, namely, those having their direct and immediate effect on the person of Christ, were made to Christ himself. Of this no doubt can be moved. And they were made to him as the head of the covenant, the second Adam, the representative of his feed. This appears from our text, wherein he is called the Chofen, the headelect, and representative of the election, David God's servant: in which capacity the covenant was cut off or made, to him, by the Father. It is evident, that all the promises of aslistance in his work, and of his subsequent reward, were made to him in view of his performance of the condition: and therefore, fine
he performed the condition, as head of the covenant, fecond Adam, and representative of his feed, these promises were made to him in that capacity.
The promises of this kind then were made to Christ only. And that was the peculiar honour put upon the head of the covenant, in the promiffory part; as it was his peculiar burden to fulfil the conditionary part. So he hath the name which is above every name, and is anointed with the oil of gladness above bis fellows. In the election, whereof he is the head, he shines above the rest, as the sun in his meridian brightness, above the twinkling stars. He is the Benjamin at God's table with his brethren, whose mess of promises in the covenant is five times so much as any of theirs; the Joseph who was separate from his brethren, in fulfilling the condition of the covenant, and had a double portion in the promised land made over to him, as the first born amongst many brethren.
Nevertheless, as the honour and prosperity of the head redound to the members, their interest, in respect of their union and communion, being a joint interest; so the glory and honour settled on Christ by promise, are a spring of grace and glory to his members, an enriching treasure, their glory and crown. He is that head of gold which puts a glory on the body: and the ointment poured upon the head, cannot miss to go down to the skirts of his garments. And hence is, (1.) The continual cry of prayer by the whole company of the faithful, for the accomplishing of the promises made to the Mediator, Pfal. Ixxii. 15. Prayer alfo foall be made for him continuelly. It is evident that Pfalm concerns the Messias. Bur prayer made continually for Christ! how can that be? Why, till the world end, that cry in prayer fhall never cease among the faithful, Thy kingdom come, Matth. vi. 10. It began with Adam's embraca ing the promise of faith, was carried on all along
the time of the Old Testament: and now it hath
Secondly, The promises of the other fort, namely, those having their direct and immediate effect on the elect, are made to Chrift primarily, and to them fecondarily : first to the head; then to the members, through him.
I. The promises having their immediate effect on the elect, are made to Christ immediately, primari. ly, and chiefly. God hath in the covenant promised grace and glory, all that pertains to life and godliness, unto a select company of mankind: but the promise of all these was first and chiefly made to Chrift their head: so that he hath not only an interest in these promises, but the chief interest in them. This ap. pears by feveral documents from the word of God.
ist, The Apostle testifies, that the promises were made to the feed, which is Christ, Gal, iii. 16. And the promises he speaks of, are the promise of the bleffing, of the Spirit, ver. 14. ; of the inheritance. ver. 18.; the promises received through faith, ver. 14. Even these are made to Christ the head of the body. This is confirmed by those passages which thew God's covenant to be made with Christ, and in I 2
the mean time explain it by a promise of the happinefs of his seed, Palm lxxxix. 3. with 4. verse 28. and 29. verse 35. and 36. And what is more natu. ral, than to make a promise to a father in favour of his children ?
2dly, Our Lord Jesus is constitute the heir of all things, (Heb. i. 2.), in virtue of the promise of the covenant, I will make him my firft born, Pfal. Ixxxix. 27. Now, if Christ, as the second Adam, be heir of all things, by his Father's promise, the promises of all things are made to him; and consequently, the promise of eternal life, comprehending all happiness to his people, is made to him in the first place. So Christ is the firft and chief heir; and they are secondary heirs in and through him. Hence, in view of the great promise of the covenant, I will be their God, our Saviour hath that endearing expression, I afcend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God, John xx. 17. Compare Rom. viii. 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
3dly, As in the covenant of works, God promised life to Adam's natural feed, upon condition of his perfect obedience ; which is evident from death's coming on them by his disobedience; so in the covenant of grace, he hath promised life to Christ's spiritual seed, upon condition of his obedience ; for as in Adam all die, even fo in Chrift shall all be made alive, I Cor. xv. 22. But that promise of life for A. dam's natural feed, was primarily made to Adam himself, while as yet none of them were in being; and they were to partake of it only through him, to whom it was made as their reprefentative. Therefore the promise of life to Christ's spiritual seed, was made chiefly to Christ himself; and to them only in and through him. Accordingly we are told, that the promise of eternal life, upon which the hope of believers is built, was made before the world