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for us; into which they that believe are instantly thereupo' on received, and where once received, they shall dwell for ever: a building of mercy, in which every stone, from the bottom to the top, from the foundation ftone to the copeftone, is pure mercy, rich and free mercy to us.
Of this building of mercy I shall drop a few words.
And, 1. The plan of it was drawn from all eternity, in the council of the Trinity : for it is according to the eternal purpose purposed in Jesus Chrijl, Eph. iii. 11. The objects of mercy, the time and place, the way and means of conferring it on them, were designed particularly, before man was miserable, yea, before he was at all.
2. The builder is God himself, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. iii. 9. Ye are God's building. All hands of the glorious Trinity are at work in this building. The Fa. ther chose the objects of mercy, and gave them to the Son to be redeemed: the Son purchased redemption for them; and the Holy Ghost applies the purchased redemption unto them. But it is specially attributed to the Son, on the account of his fingular agency in the work : Zech. vi. 12. Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH- He shall build the temple of the Lord. Verse 13. Even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory. 3. The foundation was laid deep in the eternal council; beyond the reach of the eyes of men and angels. Paul considering it, cries out, the depth! Rom. xi. 33. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor ? verse 34. 4. It is more than five thousand years since this building role above ground. And the firft ftone of it that appeared, was a promise, a promise of a Saviour, made in Paradise after the fall, Gen. iii. 15. namely, That the feed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. Here was mercy.
And mercy was laid upon mercy. Upon promising mercy was laid quickening mercy, whereby our loft first parents were enabled to believe the promise : and upon quickening mercy was laid pardoning mercy to them; and upon that again fanctifying and establishing mercy : and at length glorifying mercy, 5. The cement is blood: the blood of Jesus Christ the Mediator, which is the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. No saving mercy for finners could confift, nor could one mercy lie firm upon another in the
building, without being cemented with that precious blood: but by it the whole building coufils, and lands firm for ever, Heb. ix. 22, 23. and vii: 24, 25. 6. Ever since the tine it appeared above ground, it has been going n. And many hands have been employed, to serve in carrying on the work. In the first ages of the world, Patriarchs were employed in it, such as Adam, Enoch, and Noah: in the middle ages, propheis, priests and Levites : in these the laf ages, the apostles, and other extraordinary officers, and ordinary minifters of the gospel. Great has been the oppcation made to the building from the beginning, by Satan and his agents, both in the way of violence and deceit; yet has it all along been going on fill. And now it is come far above mid-height; it is drawing towards the top, and the time when the last fone shall be laid there. on; for it is evident, we are far advanced in the days of the voice of the seventh argel, wherein the night of God is to be finished, Rev. x. 7.
ftone will be laid on it at the last day: at what time the promise will receive its full accomplishment, in the complete falvation of all the objects of mercy, then to be advanced unto the measure of the ficture of the funefs of Chril, Eph. iv. 13. In that day our Lord Jesus Christ the great builder, fall bring forth the head stone thereof with shoutings, even the last and crowning mercy, faxing, Come ye blefjed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prevared for you from the foundation of the arorli. And then all they dwell in the building of merey perfected, and fing of mercies for ever and ever. 8. lafily, The foundation on which it ftands, is a firm one. It is neccffary that it be fo; for a building of mercy to Enners, from a holy juft God, is a building of huge weight, more weighty than the whole fabric of heaven and earth: and if it should fall, all is ruined a second time, without any more hope of relief. Eut it is a sure foundation, being God's everlafing covenant: 1 huve made a cortina with my Chofen.
In which words, together with the second text, they are four things to be considered. 1. The foundation which the building of mercy ftands; to wit, A Cb2cant. 2. The parties cuntraclors in that covenani. making of it. 4. The nature of it.
1. The foundation on which the building of mercy ftands, is a covenant, a divine covenant, a sure one. Th first building for man's happiness was a building of bounty and goodness, but not of mercy; for man was not in mifery, when it was a rearing up. And it was founded on a covenant too; namely on the covenant of works, made with the first Adam : but he broke the covenant, and the whole building tumbled down in an instant. But this is another covenant, and of another nature. In the type indeed and shadow, it is the covenant of royalty with David, 2 Sam. vii. 11,- -17. which was a foundation of mercy to his family, securing the continuance of it, and that as a royal family. Howbeit, in the antitype and truth, it is the covenant of grace, the covenant of eternal life and falvation to finners the spiritual seed of the head thereof, to be given them in the way of free grace and mercy, Psalm lxxxix. 24, 29, 36. and in which they are freed from the curse, so that it cannot reach them, notwithftanding of their failures: but the Lord deals with them as his children Atill, though offending children ; ver. 30. -53. and all by the means of Jesus Christ the Saviour, the mighty One, ver. 19. This is the foundation of the whole building of mercy to finners in their low eftate, into which they were brought by Adam's fall. The revelation, promulgation, and offer made unto the sons of men, of this covenant which lay hid in the depths of the eternal council, is called the gospel; the glad tidings of a new covenant for life and salvation to finners.
11. The parties contractors in this covenant are, God, and his Chosen, the last Adam: for it is evident from the nature of the things here spoken of ver. 3, 4. and from 2 Sam. vii. 8. that these words, I have made a covenant with my Chofer, are the Lord's own words. Both heaven and earth were concerned in this covenant; for it was a covenant of peace between them; and accordingly the interelts of both are seen to by the parties contractors. On heaven's side is God himseli, the party proposer of the covenant, I have made a covenant with my Chofen. He was the offended party, yet the motion for a covenant of peace comes froin him : a certain indication of the good will of the whole glorious Trinity towards the re
covery of loft (inders. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, beholding a loft world, his mercy seeks a vent, that it may be lhown to the miserable: but justice stands in the way of the egress and building of mercy, without there be a covenant whereby it may be satisfied. Then faith the Father, “The “ first covenant will not serve the purpose of mercy : there “ must be a new bargain : but the loft creatures have no" thing left, to contract for themselves : unless another " take the burden upon him for them, there is no remedy " in the case: they cannot chose such an ope for them. “ selves; I will make a choice for them, and make the co. * venant with my Chofen.” 2. On man's fide, then is God's Chosen, or chosen One; for the word is fingular. This chosen One, in the type, the covenant of royalty, is David: but in the antitype, the covenant of grace, it is the Son of God, the last Adam, even Christ the chosen of God, Luke xxiii. 35. The truth is, such great things
this party with whom this covenant was made, of bis seed, and of the efficacy of this covenant, as can fully agree to none but Christ and his spiritual seed, verse 4, 27, 29, 39, 37. The royal family of Judah, the house cf David never recovered their ancient splendor, after the Babylonish captivity; with a view to which time, this Plalm' seems to have been penned. Their kingdom is extinct many ages ago ; and the grandeur of that family, according to the Ach, is quite lunk. But the promise made to David in the covenant of royalty, will flourisheth, and will flourish for ever in Jesus Christ, the topbranch of the family of David. How then can it be, but that, in the perpetual building of mercy, mentioned verse 2. and the establishing of David's feed, and building up his throne to all generations, verse 4. Christ himself is chiefly aimed at ? And indeed he only was the mighty One, fit for the vaft undertaking in this covenant, verse 19. and him the Father points out to us, as his elect or chosen One, Ifa. xliia I.
III. As to the making of this covenant between the contracting parties : The Father made it with his own Son, I have made a covenant with my Chofen, and that before the world began, Tit. i. 2. By their mutual agree
ment thereto, this covenant was completely made from eternity, even as the coverant of works with the first Adam was, before we weră in being. The original text calls it cutting off a covenant; which phrase is taken from that ancient usage of cutting off a beart, by cutting it alunder, at the making of a covenant, Jer. xxxiv. 18. It intimates this covenant to be a covenant by sacrifice ; wherein the party-contractor on man's fide was the facrifice, and difine Justice the sword tha: cut it alunder, according to Zech. xiii. 8. Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, frith the Lord of hofis ; smite the frepherd. And withal it imports, the invio. lableness and perpetuity of the covenant made :. no more for ever to be dissolved, than the parts of the beast cut off one from the other, to be joined together as formerly.
IV. For the nature of the covenant: There are five things belonging thereto that appear from the texts ; Tiamely, 1. The being of a representation in it ; 2. The design for which it was set on foot ; 3. That there are in it a condition, and 4. A promise ; and 5. Ioto whose lands the administration' of it is put.
1. There is a representation taking place in this cove. nant. As it was in the first covenant, fo it was likewise in the second; the party-contractor and undertaker on man's fide, was a representative, representing and fulaining the persons of others. This appears, in that the chosen One with whom the covenant was made, is called the last Adam : for it is plain, he is so called in relation to the first Adam, who was the figure (or type) of him, Rom. v. 14. namely, in that likeas the first Adam representing bis feed in the coverant of works, brought fin and death on them; so he representing his, brings righteousness and life to them: as the apostle teacheth at large in that chapter.
2. The design of this covenant was life, the most valu. able interest of mankind. The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit, to wit, to give life to his feed. So it is a covenant of life, as the covenant of Levi, a type thereof, is expressiy called, Mal. ii. 5. The first covenant was a corenant of life too ; but there is this difference, to wit, that the fire was for life in perfection to upright man