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fell, and declaring, that those who apoftatize, fall into the condemnation of the Devil; it feems not unlikely that this was the cafe. However that may be, we are at no uncertainty when the firft manifeftation of fovereign grace was made to man; and this more directly claims our attention.

The word informs us, that man was made lord of this lower creation, yet himself framed to live in abfolute dependance on his maker, as the author and giver of all things, and the fovereign of life and death; in the enjoyment of whofe favor he was completely happy, and had affurance that he should remain fo, while his dependance upon, and obedience to the word of his Sovereign, was preferved inviolable. His natural knowledge of God then must give him comfort, while confcious of having done the things that were well pleafing in his fight. He did not stand in need of any different revelation of God, to complete that happiness which he was framed to enjoy; fo that no intimation was, or confiftently could be given him, in his ftate of innocence, of the purpofe of grace. But when, thro' affecting independence, he became a tranfgreffor, and fo deferving of the threatened death;-when defiled, and fo incapable of communion with God;-when nothing but awful, aggravated guilt flew in his face,—nothing but fhame, terror, and almost despair filled and harraffed his confcience ;-when, in confequence of this, his former knowledge of God heightened, inftead of allaying the ftorm within, fo that nothing but a fearful looking for of judgment was before him ;-when emptinefs, vanity, confufion, diforder, and wrath was brought upon the whole creation ;when nothing from without Jehovah could move him, to fufpend the execution of the threatening, far lefs be a motive to manifeft his goodness;-then was the time that infinite wifdom chofe, for grace, in its rich aboundings, to make its welcome ap pearance; that its true nature and defign might apB 2



pear, and that it might be feen upon the earth, that fovereignty, wifdom, juftice, and mercy were in the purpose of grace perfectly united. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy feed and her feed: it shall bruife thy head, and thou shalt bruife his heel, were the blefled words that opened the grand mystery which had been hid with God.By this glorious fyftem of grace the honor of the divine government-the wifdom of God in the permiffion of fin-the destruction of fatan's kingdomthe abolishment of death-the establishment of the divine law--and the eternal falvation of the elect are infallibly fecured.

The way Jehovah has been pleased to make known his defigns of grace in its various ftages, is declared by the apostle Paul, Heb i. 1. God, who at fundry times, and in divers manners speak in t mes paft unto the fathers by the prophets, bath in thefe laft days spoken unto us by his Son-who is the brightness of his glory, and the exprefs image of his perfon.-Hence we fee, that though there has been but one way of falvation fince the fall, and that according to the purpose of God in Chrift, yet the manifeftation of it was given at fundry times, and in divers manners.—I shall not attempt here, to trace at large, the various openings of the mystery of grace, previous to the appearance of God our Saviour, but only obferve, that Paul ranks them under the general name of the old cover nant; by which I understand that temporary difpenfation, which God gave to the fathers, which under the veil of types, &c. reprefented the bleffings of the divine purpose, and were patterns of heavenly things, to remain in ufe until the SEED fhould come. Some are inclined to think the old covenant began, when the Lord took Ifrael by the hand, and led them forth out of Egypt; but it is plain from scripture, that it began immediately after the fall, for it appears from Gen iii. 21, and Chap. iv. 4, that facrifices were made, which,, without doubt, were intended


to fet forth the great atonement, through faith in which Abel's facrifice was accepted, Heb. xi. 4. Not to fay any thing particularly about Noah, and the manifeftation of grace to him under certain figns, fuch as the Ark, the Rainbow, &c. it may be obferved, that the nature of this covenant was more fully revealed to Abraham, and the bleffings of grace which it reprefented, more clearly manifefted to him, Gen. xii. 3. Gen. xxii. 6-19, John viii. 56, Gal. iii. 8, the Apostle Paul alfo confirms this thought, Heb.ix. 15. And for this caufe he is the Mediator of the new teftament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the tranfgreffions that were under the firft teftament, they which are called, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance, fee v. 26. The one atoning facrifice of Chrift extended itself to the tranfgreflion of Adam, and to all their tranfgreffions, who believed in the promised feed to the time that the facrifice was made at Calvary, with as much virtue as it docs to those who thro' grace believe in hmm now, as having finished his work, and received the great reward thereof. The old covenant therefore comprehends all ages, from Adam to the time that it waxed old and vanifhed away; tho' without doubt, under the miniftry of Mofes the former figns were renewed, greatly augmented, and formed into a complete fyftem of ceremonial worship. The facrifices in general-the cities of refuge-the year of jubilee-the land of Canaan the kings, prophets, and priests in Ifrael — the Temple, its utenfils, and every part of the worfhip thereof (of which things we cannot now speak particularly) were all fhadows of good things to come; but after having answered their end decayed, waxed old and then vaniflied away. But I have chiefly to fpeak of grace and truth as it came by Jefus Chrift. And indeed it is only in reference to this that we can behold grace manifefted under the old covenant, for we are not to imagine that any thing pertaining thereunto could take away fin; nor


yet that the privileges of the temporary covenant gave any right to that of the new and everlafting, The promife, that he should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his feed through the law, but through the righteoufnefs of faith: for if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void and the promife (that all nations of the earth fhould be bleffed in Chrift) made of none effect.

GOD-hath in these last days fpoken unto us by his fon. And indeed only the Son could make known the mystery which lay hid with GOD; for no man hath feen God at any time;-the only begotten Son, who is in the bofom of the Father, he hath declared him. It will not be amifs here, to take fome notice of the perfon of the Son, by whom the eternal purpose is made manifeft. He is frequently ftiled the Son of man, which points out that he is properly a man; and when this title is given him in the new. teftament, it leads us to think of him as a creature naturally inferior to the angels; and not a creature exifting before any other creatures were made, as fome most abfurdly fuppofe, Heb ii, 14. Yet under this title we are not to fuppofe him begotten of man; otherwife he could not have been called that HOLY THING. Concerning this important matter, the word of God thus teaches, Fear not, Mary, for thou haft found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a fon-and Mary faid unto the angel, how fhall this be, feeing I know not a man? And the angel anfwered and faid unto her, the Holy Ghoft fhall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest hall overfhadow thee: therefore alfo that holy thing which fhall be born of thee, fhall be called the Son of God. By the Holy Ghoft coming upon the virgin, &c. our attention is led to what is written in the Pfalms concerning him. A body haft thou prepared me. This body was fet apart for Jehovah in the highest degree; fo that God was manifested in the flesh: for though Jefus was made a little lower than the angels,


for the fuffering of death; yet he has a name above every name, at the mention of which all the angels of God worship him. The prophet foretold, that he who fhould make his appearance upon the earth, in the fu!nefs of time, was in fact no lefs a perfon than The mighty God! the everlasting Father!-the Lord God!—the God of the whole earth, &c!-Ifa. ix, 6, chap. xl, 10, chap. liv. 5. John alfo tells us, that the word that was in the beginning with God-was God; fo that when Immanuel made his appearance, he fcrupled not to fay, I am the Son of God; by which he meant the fame as when he faid I and my father are one. The father is in me and I in him. In this fenfe the Jews understood him, and counted what he faid blafphemy, for which they put him to death and in the refurrection of Chrift we fee the father, who was appealed to on both fides, interpofing and deciding the controverfy; by which he cleared Jefus from the charge of blafphemy when he made himfelf God. Immanuel then is a true and perfect image of the invifible God, the brightness of the father's glory, and the exprefs image of his perfon. As the Chrift of God, it hath pleased the father that in him all fulness should dwell, and those who knew him in the days of his flesh, beheld him. full of grace and truth, John i, 14. In agreement with this we are told, that the grace of God was upon him, and grace is poured into his lips. Mofes fpeaking of him as the great prophet who should reveal the father's grace, fays, him fhall ye hear; and that he was well qualified to open the grand myftery, will appear if we collect what has been already hinted of him. He is truly and properly man, and fo can hold converse with us, without his terrors making us afraid. He is holy, harmlefs, undefiled, and feparate from finners, and fo a fit perfon for Jehovah to enter into covenant with, and communicate his mind unto. He is above all, God bleffed for evermore, and fo poffeffed of all the treasures of wifdom and

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