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CHAP. as it is subservient to the covenant of

grace. XVII.

(32.]

VIII. And hence methinks, that much-tos,
VIII.
The gos. sed question may be easily decided; whether
pel, in a

the covenant of grace, or the gospel, has also a
larger
sense, has law peculiar to itself? Indeed, if by the gos-
also its

pel we understand the whole body of that law,

doctrine which was preached by Christ and
the Apostles, there is no doubt but that what-
ever belongs to any duty, is not only repeat-
ed, but also more clearly delivered in the
gospel, and with stronger exhortations, than
was ever done by Moses and the prophets.
And so far that part of evangelic doctrine,
may be called the command of Christ, the law
of Christ, and the perfeet law of liberty. For
why may we not boldly say, what the Spirit
of God has said before us? Certainly it wants
not its own weight, what Paul said of the
New Testament, επι κρειτoσιν επαγγελιαις νεημοθησεται,
“ It was brought into the form of a law by bet-
ter promises," Heb. viii. 6. For even the
doctrine of faith is sometimes inculated un-
der the form of a command, Mark i. 14, 15.
Acts xvi. 31.

IX. But if we take the word gospel in a
IX. But
most strict-strict sense, as it is the form of the testament
ly taken, it

of grace, which consists of mere promises, or
consists
of mere the absolute exhibition of salvation in Christ,
promises.

then it properly prescribes nothing as duty,
it requires nothing, it commands nothing, no

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not so much as to believe, trust, hope in the Lord, and the like. But it relates, declares, and signifies to us, what God in Christ promises, what he willeth, and is about to do. Every prescription of duty belongs to the law, as the venerable Voetius, after others, hath inculcated to excellent purpose. Disa put. Tom. 4, page 24, &c. And this we must firmly maintain, if with all the reformed, we would constantly defend the perfection of the law, as containing in it, all virtues, and all the duties of holiness. [33.] Yet, the law as adapted to the covenant of grace, and according to it, written in the hearts of the elect, commands them to embrace with an unfeigned faith, all things proposed to them in the gospel, and to order their lives agreeably to that grace and glory. And therefore, when God, in the covenant of grace, promises to an elect sinner, faith, repentance, and consequently eternal life; then the law whose obligation can never be dissolved, and which extends itself to every duty, obliges the man to assent to that truth, highly to esteem the good things promised, earnestly to desire, seek, and embrace them. Further, since the wonderful providence of God has ranged the promises in that order, that faith and repentance shall precede, and salvation follow; man is bound by the same law, to approve of, and to love, this Divine disposal, nor may he promise CHAP. himself salvation, but in a way agreeable to XVII.

СНАР.

Note (33.]

it. And accepting the promises of the covenant in that order in which they are proposed, he obliges himself, by that acceptance, to apply to the duties contained in the preceding promises, before he can hope to obtain the enjoyment of the latter. And in this respect, the covenant is mutual. God proposes his promises in the gospel, in a certain order. Man, by virtue of the law, subservient to the covenant of grace, is bound to embrace these promises in that order. While faith does that, the believer obliges himself to study newness of life, before he forms hopes of a blessed life. And in this manner the compact is between two parties. [34.]

X. Since therefore we now understand, vangelical how the law is subservient to the covenant of economy,

grace and the gospel, there is no doubt but the law should be these truths ought also to be preached under preached the evangelical economy of the New Testa

And that not slightly indeed, but in a diligent and serious manner: that the soul struck with a deep sense of sin, may pant after the grace of Christ: acknowledge the excellence of that most perfect obedience which he fulfilled for his people: properly esteem the benefit of the law written in the mind: be inflamed with love to that unspotted purity which is delineated in the law: explore the duties of that gratitude which it owes: be an honour and a praise to God, an example to

X Under the e

Note (34.]

uses.

ment.

1

XVII.

XI. But

all the

others; and in fine, may apply to its own sal- CHAY. vation with all becoming diligence.

XI. Mean while, the gospel must also be preached in all the riches of its grace. That also the the soul may be .convinced that its salvation gospel with is placed entirely in the grace of God, and in riches of its the satisfaction of Christ; that nothing is ei

grace, , ther done by itself, or ever can be done, whereby it may procure even the smallest particle of a right to life: that Christ, by his powerful grace prevents sinners; and often in that very moment, wherein they are incredibly mad in their wickedness, with an outstretched hand, apprehends them as his own property; and without any previous laudable disposition, by the first communication of his Spirit unites them to himself in order to a new life. A life which he undertakes to cherish, excite, preserve, and prolong to a blessed eternity. And though it is not possible, that he who is quickened by Christ should not live to Christ; yet there is nothing in which eyen he who lives most circumspectly can glory, nothing of which he can boast, or which he can show to God; or, in fine, which he ought not to renounce, as far as it is of himself; and as far as it is of the Spirit of God, impute it entirely to Divine grace. For these things are both so great, and truths of such importance, that they cannot be sufficiently inculcated.

XII. And thus both law and gospel should Both in the be preached in the highest point of perfec- highest de

XII.

fection.

We must

OUS con

CHAP. tion, under the evangelical economy, so that XVII.

by the gospel nothing may be detracted from gree of per

the obligation of the law, in as far as it enjoins holiness becoming God; nor by the law any thing in the least derogated from the su

perabundant grace of the gospel. XIII.

XIII. But in what order is this preaching

to be conducted? To me the question seems not be very solicit- almost superfluous and unprofitable, since

the preaching of both should always be concerning the order, since joined. For who will approve of such an imboth should be preach prudent judge of matters, who resolves, by ed togeth- the continual proclamation of the law for

some months, to soften souls, and to prepare them for Christ, and in the mean time, makes no mention of Christ? Or who, for a remarkable

space of time, soothes the ears with the allurements of the gospel only, and does not at the same time inculcate, that we must live as becometh the gospel? In vain do you strike the mind with the terror of the law, yea, you will not 'even do this, unless you also point out Jesus, to whom we must flee for refuge. Neither does ever the saving grace of God shine upon men, but it immediately teaches them, " that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world.” With one breath, Christ proclaimed, Repent and believe the gospel. And said Pcter, « Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins:" and in that first discourse,

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