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in is no water, mayest be justified and sanctified, and at last enter into the holy place, Heb. ix. 12. Rev. i. 5. These are the two Covenants, and as thou art subjected to the one, or interested in the other, at a dying hour, so shall be thine eternal state.
COVENANTS OF WORKS AND GRACE.
GAL. iv. 24.
The one from the mount Sinai.
HAVING shown what is meant by the two covenants, and wherein they differ; we come now to the fourth general head of discourse, which was to show which was the covenant from Sinai. These, saith the text, are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai. Having been so copious on the first head, we shall enlarge the less on this. To confirm, illustrate, and apply two propositions, shall finish what we have to say concerning it, viz. That the covenant of works was delivered on mount Sinai, and that it was delivered as subservient to the covenant of grace. As to the first proposition, viz. That the covenant of works was delivered on mount Sinai, we offer the following arguments.
1st. All that was adduced under the second head proves this. For if the two covenants be those of works and of grace, it follows that the one from Sinai, can be no other than the covenant of works. It is one of the two. The covenant of grace it is not, for it gendereth bond children, excluded from the in
heritance, verse 30th. Therefore it must be the covenant of works.
2dly. Life and death, blessing and cursing, good and evil, were, in the most solemn manner, set before the Israelites, Deut. xxx. 19, 20. That the life set before them was eternal life, cannot be denied, for it consisted in the enjoyment of God himself. He is thy Jife, said Moses to them. And he was so in virtue of the Abrahamic covenant only. Witness its gracious tenour, Gen. xvii. 7. I will establish my covenant be. tween me and thee, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Though the express words, eternal life, do not occur in all the Mosaic writings, yet that bears no more prejudice, to the covenant. promise of eternal life, than the word resurrection not occuring there, does to that important doctrine. These were as truly, though not as fully, revealed to the Israelites as to us. They knew of Enoch's translation, and therefore of a better state than this present life. They knew that he in his whole man was already gone to the better country, that is an heavenly; and by parity of reason, that all the godly should at last get thither too. As often as they read Gen. v. 24. they could not but conclude that Enoch was happy in the enjoyment of the living God. Enoch walked with God, and he was not: for God took him. The last clause shews the sense of the second. He was no more among men, no more in this world: for God took him: took him to himself.
They who credited the Mosaic revelation, could not possibly believe that Enoch ceased to be, when he ceased to be seen. That would have made God not a rewarder, but, with reverence be it spoken, a pun. isher of them that diligently seek him. As little could they think, that one godly man should be happy, and not all, in God's own time. As Enoch was an in. stance of a happy state; as God covenanted to be a God to Abraham and to his seed, so the life set before them could be no less than life eternal. And of consequence that was the covenant of grace, wherein this
life was exhibited unto them. And if the life was eternal that was set before them, so also was the death, To say that it was only temporal, is blunting the edge of the threatening with a witness, confining the curse and the evil within very narrow limits. To cut the matter short, their final disobedience to the divine law was either to be punished with eternal death, or not. If the former, then they behoved to know so much, and therefore to understand the threatening in its most extensive sense: If the latter, then they had no reason to dread eternal punishment. That would have been to fear where no fear was. Therefore we judge that the death set before them was eternal death; and consequently that the covenant of works was held up to their view. Eternal death could not belong to the covenant of grace. For nothing
the purest grace reigns there, while there is nothing but justice, inexorable justice, and fiery indignation in eternal death.
Thus the two things set before the Israelites here, stand related to the two covenants mentioned in the beginning of the preceding chapter. The life and the blessing to the covenant made in the land of Moab; the death and the curse to that made in Horeb. That the life and the blessing stood related to the covenant made in the land of Moab is evident: for God becoming the God and life of poor sinners in virtue of the Abrahamic covenant only, Gen. xv. 1. xvii. 7. Psalm xlii. 8. John xvii. 3. Col. iii. 3, 4.; and the covenant in the land of Moab being the same with it, chap. xxix. 10, 13. and xxx. 6, 11, 13. compared with Rom. x. 6—9, the life and blessing must needs bear the self-same relation to both. Now if the one of the two things pertain to the one covenant, it seems highly probable that the other pertains to the other, and that therefore it is the covenant of works. To a covenant the curse mentioned, chap. xxix. 21. does pertain. To that made in the land of Moab it could not. For being the same with the Abrahamic, there could be no curses in it. The covenant made with Abraham consisted of bless
ings only, Gen. xii. 2, 3. Gal. iii. 8, 9. was heard of there unless against his enemies, and that was part of the blessing promised to him, just as the curse denounced against the serpent, was a blessing to our first parents. To no other covenant can the curse belong but to that of works. For it is a most undoubted truth, that as none are blessed, but by the covenant of grace; so none are obnoxious to the curse, but by the covenant of works. They who are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham: but as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse, Gal. iii. 9, 10. But the covenant at Horeb was that law. It was not the covenant made with the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Deut. v. 2, 3. and therefore it was not the covenant of grace. But if not the covenant of grace, then it was certainly the covenant of works: for any other covenant than these two, God never revealed to man.
man. And let the unprejudiced, weighing things as in an even balance, and comparing scripture with scripture, say, if the covenant in Horeb was any other thing than the law which was given four hundred and thirty years after the covenant of grace was confirmed of God in Christ to Abraham, Gal. iii. 17. But if it was the law, then certainly the curse set before the Israelites, Deut. xxx. 19. pertained to it. For that curse was nothing else but the curse of the law *.
3dly. The various parts of the covenant of works are most expressly in the New Testament, brought
* It may not be improper to subjoin Ainsworth's testimony in this matter,
On Exod. xix. 1. He saith, “ The covenant of the law now given, could not disannul the covenant of grace that was confirmed afore of God in respect of Christ," Gal. iii. 17.
On Deut. v. 3. “ All the patriarchs had the promise of the covenant of Christ; but the covenant of the law came after. As the apostle observeth,” Gal. iii. 17.
On Deut. xxix. 28. “ Thus the law of Moses leaveth sinners under the curse, and rooted out of the Lord's land: but grace in Christ towards repentant and believing sinners, planteth thein upon the land, and they shall no more be plucked up," Amos ix. 15.
On Deut. xxx. 19. “ The life and blessing set before them was by the faith of Christ, Gal. ii. 16. and iii: 9. The death and curse was by refusing Christ; and seeking to be justified by the works of the law," Gal. ii. 10.