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fum of all the promises therein, to finners; namely, the promise of life eternal: that is the order of the words in the original. The covenant is a covenant of life, designed for restoring dead finners to life : and so the promise of it is a promise of life: And that life is eternal. 2. The date of this promise, before the world began.' While as yet time was not, and the foundation of the world was not laid, it was made, and eternal life thereby secured to the elect. 3. The parties concerned in it. The maker of the promise' was God that cannat lie; whose promise therefore must needs take effect. And by special appropriation, it was the Father ; it was he that made it: verse 24. re also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. Verse 25. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, &c. The party it was made to, is (1.) and chiefly, Jesus Christ, the second Adam, head of the covenant: for there is no necessity to recede from the proper signification of the word here used, which is promising, to a catachrestical one, to wit, purposing since the promises were made to Christ, Gal. iii. 16. And he really was before the world began, and consequently then capable of hay. ing a promise made to him. (2.) The elect in him. He hath promised us, namely, us legally in him be. fore the world began ; that is, the elect who apply and plead the promise then, when they believe.

And hence ariseth this truth, viz. The great and

comprehensive promise to Christ's spiritual feed, in " the covenant, is the promise of life eternal, made from eternity to Christ, and to them in him.”

For opening of this promise of the covenant, we Thall view it (i.) more generally, (2.) more particularly.

1. In the general, it speaks two things, to wit, all true happiness, and the everlastingness of that happiness.

First, First, It comprehends, as the matter thereof, all true happiness. For life is used for happiness in the 1 holy language, i Sam. xxv. 6. So John iv. 50. And

it is so used in the style of both covenants: Rom. x. 5. The man that doth those things, Mall live (i. e. be happy) by them. Hab. ii. 4. The juf Mall live (i. e.' be happy) by his faith. The damned have a life in hell that will last for ever: but, in the style of the holy Ghost, they never see life, they are deprived of eternal life; because their life is not a hapa py life, but a miserable one. It is evident from the writings of the prophets and apostles, that the death threatened in the covenant of works, comprehended all misery, in this world, and in the world to come; and, consequently, that the life therein promised,

comprehended all happiness in time and eternity. Forafmuch then as the life promised in the covenant of grace, was designed for the retriving the loss finners fustained by the fall ; it must needs, in its comprehension, go as wide as the death which thereby they became liable unto. From all which we conclude, that God, in promising life to the elect in Christ, hath promised them all happiness; which accordingly goes under the name of life simply in the scripture, 1 John v. 12. He that hath the Son hath life. And thus the covenant life extends to all welfare of the whole man, and to all the means by which it is compassed.

1. The covenant life extends to all welfare of the whole man, foul and body; the latter, as well as the former. And therefore from the covenant our Lord proves the resurrection of the body against the Sadducees, Matth. xxii. 31, 32. Though the soul is the principal part, it is not the only part, therein provided for. In virtue of the covenant, the body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body; as well as the soul is for him, and he for it,' I Cor. vi. 13. As the body had its share in the death threatened in the first covenant, so it hath, and shall have its share in the life promised in the second. Since the price of the Redeemer's blood was paid for the bodies of his people, in his fulfilling the condition of the covenant: the life fecured in the promise, must extend to them, as well as to their souls.

2. It extends to all the means by which that wel. fare is to be compaffed, begun, advanced, and pers: fected, Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are yours, I Cor. iii. 22. For the lecuring of the benefit itself by promise, fecures all the means by which it is to be brought about. Hence the covenant defcends even to the bread and the water, neceffary for the support of natural life, Ifa. xxxiii. 16.

Secondly, The promise comprehends the everlast. ingness of that happiness. It is not only life that is promised, but life eternal, life for evermore, Psalm cxxxiii. 3. ; which, from the moment it is given, shall never be extinguished, through the ages of time and eternity. In the style of the scripture, eternal life is not restricted to the state of glory in heaven. But the life communicated to a finner, in the first moment of his union with Christ, is eternal: it is the eternal life promised in the covenant, according to the fcripture, John iii. 36. He that believeth on The Son, hath everlasting life. See chap. v. 24. 1 John v. 11, 12. Hence, from the promise of the covenant, The just shall live by faith, the apostle proves the perseverance of the saints, Heb. x: 38. A plain evidence, that perfeverance in grace, in this our state of imperfection, is a part of the eternal life promised in the covenant, as well as heaven's happiness. And thus the covenant-life extends to that which now is, and that which is to come, i Tim. iv. 8.

1. It extends to the life that now is in the world. And this is that eternal life begun in the several




parts thereof, with respect both to soul and body. If men measure happiness by the smiles and frowns of common providence, no man indeed can be counted happy before death. But the facred oracles teach us to take our measures of it another way, to wit, by a personal faving interest in the covenant; and do pronounce them happy whose God is the Lord, whatever be between them and the grave, Psal. cxliv. So there is promised in the covenant, happiness begun in this life, both as to soul and body; the happiness of the way to the kingdom ; falvation happi. ly begun, and infallibly to be carried on.

2. It extends to the life that is to come in the other world. And that is the same eternal life consummated and perfected, in respect both of soul and body, in heaven. There the promise of the covenant is to receive its full accomplishment ; of which believers now have the earnest, which is not only a part of the things promised, but an assurance of the whole.

II. For a more particular view of the promise of eternal life to the elect, it may be considered in three periods : (1.) Before their union with Chrift; (2.) From their union with Christ, until death; and (3.) From death, through eternity. Of the operation of the promises, in the first and the last of these periods, we know but little ; and indeed not much of it, in the middle period. For it is like a river issuing from a hidden spring, and running far under ground; then rising above ground, and running on, till it go forth into the ocean. The hidden spring from whence the promise of eternal life to the elect issueth forth, is God's free grace, which was given us irt Christ Jefus, before the world began, 2 Tim. i. 9. It runs underground, undiscernible even to the parties themselves, till the moment of their union with Christ in effectual calling; then rising, it runs on, as it were, above ground, in visible streams, until death;


and thereafter, it runs full and perspicuous through the ages of eternity. We shall take a view of the great lines of the promise, in these its several periods.

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Before Union with Christ.

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F we consider the promise of eternal life to the e.

plished to them, and having its effect on them, before their union with Christ, we may perceive two great lines in it; namely, a promise of their preservation, and a promise of the Spirit. Of which in order.

1. The Promise of Preservation. The promise of eternal life to the elect, in the covenant, comprehends a promise of their preservation, till the happy moment of their spiritual marriage with Jesus Christ, wherein they shall be setiled in a state of grace : Ezek. xvi. 6. And when I paled by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood. Live. Heb. I said to thee, Live in thy blood; as the feveral approven versions do read it. In this illustrious passage of scripture is shewed, under the similitude of an exposed or out.caft infant, the natural state and wretched condition in which God found Ifrael, and finds all the elect; the former being a type of the latter, There is a twofold passing by this wretched out-cast, and these are two very distant times, intimated by the holy Ghost. The first, on the day she was born and cast out, verse 4, 5, 6. . The second, after she was grown, and become marriageable ; at what time she was actually married, verse 7, 8. The former refers to the time of the elect's coming into the world, in their natural state, not only as born into it, but as beginning to act in it as ra


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