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upon the instrument of their ruin, with a solemn promise of restoration to divine favour, and of acceptance through that seed of the woman,- to be born in the human nature but supernaturally, who had been “ pre-ordained before the foundation of the world” to bruise the serpent's head,- to destroy the dominion of that mortal enemy, the “ murderer from the beginning," who had succeeded in defacing the bright image of original righteousness, and introducing sin and death into this lower world; and who should still be permitted to bruise the heel of man, to tempt and injure him in a less degree. .
$ 2. In order to satisfy the justice of God, and to deliver mankind from that lost estate, whence the general terms of the first Covenant could not raise them by reason of the depravation of their nature, which now rendered an entire compliance with such terms utterly impossible; it was necessary that a new and better Covenant should be established. It was not in the power of the sinner to make satisfaction for his own sin, either by contrition for the past, or amendment for the future:-implicit obedience was required of Adam; repentance was not so much as named. No other creature was qualified to expiate the sin of man: “ for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin,” and God spared not the Angels that sinned. Man therefore must have endured the full execution of his sentence, had not his benevolent Creator provided an all-suffi. cient sacrifice for sin, even that of his only-begotten Son, who, in the union of the divine and human natures, should become the meritorious and accepted Mediator ; by whom it was mercifully proposed, in
furtherance of the divine decrees, to restore mankind to a state of salvation, and to renew to them the conditional promises of blessedness and life eternal.
§ 3. In the Promise made to Adam immediately - upon the breach of the prescribed term of the First - Covenant, was implied the establishment of the Se
cond, denominated the New Covenant,—that of Grace,—of Promise,-of Life,—of Salvation. This was also to include all mankind, all that human race
who had, in their progenitor, sinned and become ob. - noxious to condemnation : and by it redemption and
salvation were to be obtained upon condition of practical faith in the promised Messias, the Second Adam, - the Mediator of the New Testament. No time
elapsed, therefore, between the condemnation of
fallen man to temporal evil and to death, and the ap7 pointment of effectual means for his procuring pardon
and eternal life. $ $ 4. The Covenant of Grace, “ the free gift of God,”-in which the Second Person of the glorious Trinity by voluntarily taking on himself the nature and obligations of sinful man, engaged to effect a re, conciliation between God and Man;—this Second Covenant was superior to the First, inasmuch as under * its provisions, sincere, though imperfect, obedience is
accepted, on account of the perfect righteousness of
our representative and surety ;--divine aid and suci cour are granted to enable us to perform the required es conditions, to withstand the enemies of our Salvation; and forgiveness is offered, when through the corruption of our nature we offend, with restoration to the best hopes and privileges, upon true repent.
Covenant, the Son of God; finally, the rewards proposed are such as surpass the conception of the human mind. Whereas, under the former Covenant, a rigid obedience was enforced, to be performed by the force of rectitude with which man was at first endued; the penalties were known, absolute, and without appeal; natural strength and free-will, however inclined to good, were still liable to dangerous trials, and were unsupported by Almighty aid ;-neither were the joys of an earthly Paradise to be compared with the heavenly " glory that shall be revealed.”
$5. The gracious assurance by which mankind became possessed of the promise of Salvation for the sake of their Redeemer, was repeated, explained, and confirmed, at various times and in different degrees, to those who were selected to preserve the line of the promised seed, or were distinguished by superior piety: To Noah was the blessing of increase given, çertain typical observances were appointed, and with him and with his seed was a Covenant established; to Abraham the promises of the Messias were distinctly renewed, and received the seal of the rite of circumcision; to Isaac, to Jacob, and to David, further re. velations were vouchsafed, till at length as the period drew nigh for the accomplishment of the primæval promise, the intimations of this great event given by the Spirit through the mouth of the Holy Prophets were more frequent and more explicit.
$ 6. The Law was given to Moses, and to the Children of Israel, who were much encreased in numbers in the Land of Egypt, in the intermediate time between the declaration and the accomplishment of the Promise of a Saviour; in order that a Church in
o whom alt this natiohe kept from. rth ; and the him.
which the one true God should be worshipped accordi ing to his will, might be preserved in that nation, s from whom according to the flesh the Messias should = be born; that this nation being the depositary of the da Oracles of God, might be kept from the idolatry and i wickedness which overspread the earth ; and that by.
the Decalogue, written with the finger of God him.
self, the Law of Nature, of which it is a transcript, F might be re-instated in its original force and obliga- tion.
$7. The particular Covenant which God made with = his chosen people, by no means superseded or altered } the Covenant of Grace which God had made with 3. Adam, and in him with all his descendants both Jews
and Gentiles to the end of time. This subsidiary * agreement instituted for especial purposes, according
to the counsels of infinite wisdom, was destined to
endure only till the promised seed should come. í That part, therefore, of the Law of Moses which re
lated to the ritual observances imposed upon the 5 Jewish Nation, and its civil code,—the ceremonial and is judicial Law,- was abrogated when its intended obD ject was effected: but that part which contains the
precepts of general Religion, of our duty towards p God and our Neighbour,-the moral Law,-being of
universal obligation, and having been written originally in the heart of man, was not abolished at the coming of the Saviour, although the curse and condemnation attached to those who in the smallest particular infringed it, were removed.
$ 8. Thus the Second Covenant, of Grace, origi
of the woman should bruise the serpent's head,-kept in remembrance by the institution of sacrifices, by revelations of the divinity, and by appointed signs and seals,-continued under different sanctions and dispensations, all calculated to confirm the great promise, and to prepare for its fulfilment;-this Second Covenant is that on which depends the Salvation of every human being, born naturally into the world, both before and after the Advent of the Messias ; and is inclusive of all others, such as those with Noah, Abraham, and Moses, which were subservient in dif. ferent ways to the promotion of the Divine Glory, and the Redemption of Mankind, through the mediation of the incarnate Son of God.