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ters. For though the understanding may have never such clear apprehensions of spiritual good, yet the will is not at all affected with it, without the joint operations of the grace of God upon us; all of us too sadly experiencing what St. Paul long ago bewailed in himself, that what we do, we allow not; that though our judgments condemn what we do, yet we cannot choose but do it; though our understandings clearly discover to us the excellency of grace and glory, yet our wills, overpowered with their own corruptions, are strangely hurried into sin and misery. I must confess, it is a truth which I should scarcely have ever believed, if I had not such daily experience of it: but, alas! there is scarce an hour in a day, but I may go about lamenting, with Medea in Seneca, "Video meliora proboque; deteriora sequor"- though I see what is good, yea, and judge it to be the better, yet I very often choose the worse. And the reason of it is, because as by our fall from God the whole soul was desperately corrupted, so it is not the rectifying of one faculty which can make the whole straight; but as the whole was changed from holiness to sin, so must the whole be changed again from sin to holiness before it can be inserted into a state of grace, or so much as an act of grace be exerted by it.
Now, therefore, the understanding and will being two distinct faculties, or at least two distinct acts in the soul, it is possible for the understanding to be so enlightened, as to prefer the good before the evil, and yet for the will to remain so corrupt, as to choose the evil before the good. And hence it is, that where God intends to work over a soul to himself, he doth not only pass an enlightening act upon the understanding and its apprehensions, but likewise a sanctifying act upon the will and its affections; that when the soul perceives the glory of God, and the beauty of holiness, it may presently close with and entertain it with the choicest of its affections. And without God's thus drawing it, the understanding could never allure the soul to good.
And therefore it is, that for all the clear discoveries which the understanding may make to itself concerning the glories of the invisible world, yet God assures us it is himself alone that affects the soul with them by inclining
its will to them; for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. So that though God offers heaven to all that will accept of it in his holy scripture, yet none can accept of it, but such whom himself stirs up by his Holy Spirit to endeavour after it. And thus we find it was in Israel's return from Babylon to Jerusalem. Though king Cyrus made a proclamation, that whosoever would, might go up to worship at the holy city, yet there was none that accepted of the offer, but those whose spirit God had raised to go up, Ezra, i. 5. So here, though God doth, as it were, proclaim to all the world that whosoever will come to Christ shall certainly be saved, yet it doth not follow that all shall receive salvation from him, because it is certain all will not come, or rather none can will to come, unless God enables them.
I am sure to say, none shall be saved but those that will of themselves, would be sad news for me, whose will is naturally so backward to every thing that is good. But this is my comfort-I am as certain my salvation is of God, as I am certain it cannot be of myself. It is Christ who vouchsafed to die for me, who hath likewise promised to live within me; it is he that will work all my works both for me and in me too. In a word-it is to lim I am beholden not only for my spiritual blessings and enjoyments, but even for my temporal ones too, which in and through his name I daily put up my petitions for. So that I have not so much as a morsel of bread in mercy from God, but only upon the account of Christ; not a drop of drink, but what flows unto me in his blood. is he that is the very blessing of all my blessings, without whom my very mercies would prove but curses, and my prosperity would but work my ruin.
Whither therefore should I go, my dear and blessed Saviour, but unto thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And how shall I come, but by thee? Thou hast the treasures of all grace. O thou, that hast wrought out my salvation for me, be pleased likewise to work this salvation in me! Give me, I beseech thee, such a measure of thy grace, as to believe in thee here upon earth;
and then give me such degrees of glory, as fully to enjoy thee for ever in heaven!
I believe God entered into a double covenant with man-the covenant of works made with the first, and the covenant of grace made in the second Adam.
THAT the most high God should take a piece of earth, work it up into the frame and fashion of a man, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and then should enter into a covenant with it, and should say, Do this and live, when man was bound to do it, whether he could live by it or no, was, without doubt, a great and amazing act of love and condescension; but that, when this covenant was unhappily broken by the first, God should instantly vouchsafe to renew it in the second Adam, and that too upon better terms, and more easy conditions than the former, was yet a more surprising mercy; for the same day that Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, did God make him this promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. And this promise he afterwards explained and confirmed by the mouth of his prophet Jeremiah, saying, This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people, Jer. xxxi, 33. And again by St. Paul, under the new Testament, almost in the self-same words, Heb. viii, 10. A covenant so gracious and condescending, that it seems to be made up of nothing else but promises. The first was, properly speaking, a covenant of works, requiring on man's part a perfect and unsinning obedience, without any extraordinary grace or assistance from God, to enable him to perform it; but here, in the second, God undertakes both for himself and for man too, having digested the conditions to be performed by us into promises to be fulfilled by himself, namely, that he will not only pardon our sins if we do repent, but that he will give us repentance, that
so we may obtain his pardon; that he will not only give us life if we come to Christ, but even draw us to Christ, that so he may give us life; and so, not only make us happy if we will be holy, but make us holy, that so we may be happy; for the covenant is, not that he will be our God if we will be his people, but he will be our God and we shall be his people. But still, all this is in and through Christ, the Surety and Mediator of this covenant, in whom all the promises are Yea and Amen. So that Christ may be looked upon not only as a surety, but as a party in this covenant of grace, being not only bound to God, but likewise covenanting with him for us. As God-man he is a surety for us, but as man he must needs be a party with us, even our head in the covenant of grace, as Adam was in the covenant of works.
What, therefore, though I can do nothing in this covenant of myself? yet this is my comfort, that he hath undertaken for me who can do all things. And therefore is it called a covenant of grace, and not of works, because in it there is no work required from me, but what by grace I shall be enabled to perform.
And as for the tenor in which this covenant runs, or the Habendum and grant which each party covenants for, it is express in these words, I will be your God, and you shall be my people. God covenants with us, that we shall be his people; we covenant with God, that he shall be our God. And, what can God stipulate more to us, or we re-stipulate more to him, than this? What doth not God promise to us, when he promises to be our God? And what doth he not require from us, when he requires us to be his people?
First; he doth not say, "I will be your hope, your help, your light, your life, your sun, your shield, and your exceeding great reward," but I will be your God; which is ten thousand times more than possibly can be couched under any other expressions whatsoever, as containing under it whatsoever God is, whatsoever God hath, and whatsoever God can do. All his essential attributes are still engaged for us. We may lay claim to them, and take hold on them; so that what the prophet saith of his righteousness and strength, Surely shall one say, In the
Lord have I righteousness and strength, I may extend to all his other attributes, and say, Surely in the Lord have I mercy to pardon me, wisdom to instruct me, power to protect me, truth to direct me, grace to crown my heart on earth, and glory to crown my head in heaven. And if what he is, then much more what he hath, is here made over by covenant to me. He that spared not his own Son, saith the apostle, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? But what hath God to give me? Why, all he hath is briefly summed up in this short inventory; whatsoever is in heaven above, or in earth beneath, is his; and that this inventory is true, I have several witnesses to prove it-Melchisedech, Gen. xiv, 19; and Moses, Deut. x, 14; and David, 1 Chron. xxix, 11. Indeed reason itself will conclude this, that he that is the Creator and Preserver, must, of necessity, be the Owner and Possessor of all things; so that let me imagine what possibly I can in all the world, I may with the pen of reason write under it, This is God's; and if I take but the pen of faith with it, I may write, This is mine in Jesus Christ.
As for example-hath he a Son? He hath died for me. Hath he a Spirit? It shall live within me. Is earth his? It shall be my provision. Is heaven his? It shall be my portion. Hath he angels? They shall guard me. Hath he comforts? They shall support me. Hath he grace? That shall make me holy. Hath he glory? That shall make me happy. For the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
And as he is nothing but what he is unto us, so he doth nothing but what he doth for us. So that whatsoever God doth by his ordinary providence, or, if our necessity requires, whatsoever he can do by his extraordinary power, I may be sure he doth and will do for me. Now he hath given himself to me, and taken me unto himself, what will he not do for me that he can? And what can he not do for me that he will? Do I want food? God can drop down manna from the clouds; or bid the quails come down and feed me with their own flesh, as they did