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suppression would argue the highest presumption in man, as setting his wisdom above the wisdom of God.

Right views of the covenant of redemption are important, as this covenant stands connected with other doctrines of the gospel, with the duties and hopes of the Christian. The covenant of redemption stands immediately connected, in the scheme of gospel grace, with the Divinity of Christ. It is the next and adjoining link, in the plan of grace. (See Rom. viii. 29, 30.) This is decided by the whole exhibition given of this covenant. But if the covenant of redemption were not true, the Divinity of Christ would be of no avail for salvation to lost


If then, the denial of the Divinity of Christ justly excites alarm; why ought the denial of the covenant of redemption less to excite alarm? As a sentiment, it involves consequences no less fatal, than does the denial of the Divinity of Christ. The question, whether many souls are not probably saved, who are of the community of those who deny the covenant of redemption, can be no test of the correctness of their sentiments. In how great errors men may, in certain cases, be found, and yet be finally saved, belongs not to this subject to decide. If some will be saved so as by fire," who, upon the true foundation, intermix with their materials "wood, hay, stubble," this proves not the goodness of such perishable materials for the building of the gospel temple.


The covenant of redemption lies at the foundation of the covenant of grace, as made with the believer. God says to lost men, who are "spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfi eth not," (Isaiah lv.) " Incline your ear and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David," (Christ.) This alludes to Psalm lxxxix.; and is as if God had said, If you will hear, as I direct, I will make with you my covenant of grace; which is but my covenant of redemption with Christ carried into effect with his seed for their salvation. To deny the covenant of redemption then, is to deny the covenant of grace, which rests upon it. Destroy the foundation, and the superstructure falls. It is then " preaching another gospel," than the true gospel of Christ.

A denial of this covenant is a denial of the following urgent Christian duty: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." Make the evidence of your personal election sure to yourselves, by making the evidence sure to yourselves of your effectual calling, or regeneration. The only alternative of this duty is, to build upon our own sandy foundation!

Such denial cuts off the triumph of the Christian's faith. Such triumph is the following: "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ?—Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." The faithful saint here rides in his triumphant chariot of salvation; which chariot is overturned by the denial of the covenant of redemption.

As this covenant holds an essential place in that system, called "the faith once delivered to the saints," it is, in no small degree, alarming, that the express, or virtual denial of it, is so prevalent, and so popular, in this age of innovation and infidelity! And the express command of Heaven is now direct in point ;-" It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that ye should contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."


The covenant of redemption, and this alone, gives to the salvation of the gospel an origin worthy of God, and safe for man. It was this, which enabled a prophet, when in darkness, to say of God, "He will bring me forth to the light; and I shall behold his righteousness." "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy! When I fall, I shall rise again; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will

be a light unto me." Here is the foundation of such addresses as the following: "Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and seeth no light let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." All the ground of such trust in the Lord, is taken away, if this covenant is taken away.

And such denial, it is believed, forms the character addressed in the following tremendous divine warning :— "Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks! Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled! lo, this shall ye have at my hands; ye shall lie down in sorrow!"

Ye children of God; having fled for refuge to the hope set before you; if you have made your calling and election sure to yourselves;—give glory to God in the highest, for this immutable foundation of your hope. Here is the rock, on which your anchor rests within the vail. With this, your feeble bark will stand firm against billows, tides, and tempests! So far as you find that you "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," so far you may also rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Fellow mortals out of Christ; fly instantly to this great salvation. To this duty, God invites, and commands. And, till you obey, you can have no evidence that you will not be vessels of wrath fitted for destruction! God will get his full glory of you, either in your salvation, or your eternal perdition. His justice and sovereignty may well fill your souls with amazement, while rejecting his salvation. "To-day, then, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." This moment Christ knocks at the door of your hearts. Open the door to him at once; and "be ye reconciled to God." Take heed that ye be not led away with any scheme of religion, which rejects, or builds not on the covenant of redemption which ye have heard! This alone gives strong consolation to those who flee for refuge to the hope set before them.



NO. 4.


"WE be slanderously reported, and some affirm that we say, Let us do evil that good may come." Rom. iii. 8. These words occur in the course of an argument, in which the apostle is defending the justice of God against an objection founded on the acknowledged fact, that the wickedness of men is, by an overruling providence, made subservient to the divine glory. He anticipates the objector as saying, "If our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God-if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, unto his glory-why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And why not rather let us do evil, that good may come?" This sentiment, hostile as it evidently is to the law and government of the Supreme Being, the apostle tells us in a parenthesis, was imputed, and most unfairly and slanderously imputed, to him and his brethren. Some affirmed that they held such language, and that they conducted, and encouraged others to conduct, on such a principle: whereas he allows, if they did so, their condemnation would be just. It appears from this passage, that religion has always suffered much from the misrepresentations of its enemies, and from the consequent misapprehensions and prejudices of those who are seeking a knowledge of its truths and obligations. And perhaps there never was a period when such misrepresentations, mistakes and prejudices were more prevalent than at the present day. When I read and hear the accounts which many give, of the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, I cease to wonder, that those who have not gained a more intimate acquaintance with them from the only authentic source, are most unfavorably impressed; and often tempted to desist from further


inquiry into a system so forbidding in its aspect. It must be acknowledged, that want of prudence and consistency in those who love, and endeavor to recommend, the doctrines of inspiration, contributes not a little to augment this evil; and, therefore, that we are not to regard every erroneous report" concerning these doctrines as being in the strictest sense of the word a " slanderous" one. I wish to keep this acknowledgment distinctly and steadily in view, in the following remarks: for I would not be understood to insinuate, that all who misrepresent the doctrines which we hold, do it knowingly, or with any wrong intention; but simply to state-what I presume will be generally allowed that these doctrines are very variously represented, and that some representations of them must therefore be incorrect; and hence we may learn the importance of forming our opinions of them from personal, and careful, and candid examination; and not from vague report, however plausible that report may be. I fear there are too few who search the scriptures for themselves, and too many who are contented with such information on religious subjects as they can gather in the course of their miscellaneous reading, and in the ordinary intercourse of society. Hence they are often prejudiced against the truth, in consequence of some mistatement of an important doctrine, or some unfair inference from a statement which was itself correct.

To take our first example from the subject referred to in the text, It is probable that some very honest inquirers after truth were prejudiced against the cause of primitive Christianity, by those who represented the apostles as avowing and acting upon the principle, that men may be excusable and even commendable in doing that which is, in itself, evil, on account of the good which is made to result from it in the wise and holy providence of God. Now this report, so far from being true, was founded in a mere inference-and a very unjustifiable inference too-from the doctrine of salvation by sovereign grace through faith, which the apostles held and published. Because they gratefully acknowledged that God had taken occasion from the abounding sins of men, to illustrate the riches of his superabounding grace, they were accused of apologizing for the unbelief and

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