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3. Trusting on the sacrisice of Christ for your salve, tion from sin and wrath, upon the ground of Gojjf faithfulness in the covenant, Acts xv. 11." We beliethat through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, '\^i shall be saved." The soul renounceth all considence h itself, or any other, and relies wholly on the sacrisice of Christ, the fulsilled condition of the covenant, for the promises of the covenant being fulsilled to itself, becausi God has so engaged in his proclaimed covenant, and he cannot but be faithful in his covenant.
Thus the foul is formally entered into the covenant, receiving Christ in his priestly ossice, and so uniting with him.
And this necessarily brings along with it the covenanter's,
1. Receiving Christ as his Prophet, renouncing his own wisdom and the wisdom of the world, giving up himself to be guided by his word and Spirit, Matth. xvi. 24. Acts xiii. 22. Uniting with him, he must needs be our head for direction and guidance.
2. Receiving him as his King and Lord, renouncing the dominion of sin, the devil, and the world, and wholly giving up himself to be ruled by him as his head for government, Psal. ii. ult. Isa. xxvi. 13.
And thus the foul entering into the covenant, taking Christ in all his ossices, takes God in Christ for his God, and gives up himself to be one of his people for ever, consenting to the offer made, Heb. viii. 10. "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Whoso thus enters into the covenant now, shall be joyfully gathered to him at the last day, as those that have entered into his covenant on a sacrisice.
Thirdly, The last thing on this head is the prosession and declaration of that entering into Christ's covenant, by some sit sign. This is a solemn declared entering into the covenant, in which one mn.y be either sincere or hypocritical, Deut. xxix. ie, 12. " Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God;—that
■ ■thou stiouldst enter into covenant with the Lord thy "God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day." And so it will not of itself, if it he separate from the former, secure our gai thering to him at the last day. Mean while it is a duty required of us now for God's honour, and requisite for our comfort, Deut.xxvi. 17. It is done three ways. i. By words spoken, Psal. xvi. 2. either in prayer to God, wherein a person solemnly and in express words declares unto God in secret his acceptance of and entering into the covenant; or before men, where the thing being proposed by one, others signify their acquiescing by some sit gesture, as bowing of the head, Exod. iv.30,31, a. By writing under their hand, declaring their accepting of the covenant, Isa. xliv. 5. "One mall say, I am the Lord's ; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and sirname himself by the name of Israel." This has been an useful practice of many in their lise, and comfortable to their relations when they were gone, when they found their written acceptance of God's covenant of grace.
3. By instituted signisicant actions. Such is the partaking of the Lord's table. The very taking of the bread and wine at the Lord's table, and eating and drinking the fame, being a solemn declaration before the world, angels, and men, that we enter into Christ's covenant. So in case it be separate from believing, tlio'it cannot savingly enter us,we will be treated as covenant-breakers.
Use. To conclude, I beseech you by your gathering together to Christ at the last day, that you now gather to him in his covenant. For this cause I recommend to your consideration,
1. That this is a special gathering time, wherein the great trumpet of the gospel is sounding, and double sounding, a gathering; a time wherein the Lord is sending out the angels of the churches, ministers, to gather you. Let not the trumpet of the gospel sound in vain for you, nor the angels of the churches attempt in vain to gather you. They bring Christ's voice and the osser of the covenant to you.
2. As sure as the trumpet of the gospel is founding now in your ears, and the angels of the churches are at work to gather you to Christ now, whose attempts you may render vain; so sure will the last trumpet sound in the same ears, and the angels of heaven gather them joyfully to Christ who now come unto him, to meet him in the air, while they will leave the rest on the earth.
3. What will you think to see at that day, others taken as within the bond of the covenant, and yourselves left as without it? With what pale faces, and trembling hearts, will ye look up to the Judge Coming in the clouds of heaven, and to your neighbours, Christ's covenant people, carried by angels, and flying above you, away to meet the Lord in the air, with a shining glory on them?
Lajily, How will ye brook your last sight of them, when they having in the sirst place received their welcome to their kingdom from the Judge on the throne, ye shall get vour sentence to depart from him into everlasting sire, prepared for the devil and his angels; and so must turn your backs, and make away to your place, they being then the spectators of your begun misery, and your beloved world being set on sire?
Think on these things in time, and whatever ye are, or have been, know that you are allowed free access into the covenant; and therefore enter into it sincerely. Go alone by yourselves, think on your lost state by nature, examine yourselves as to your liking of the covenant, and if you sind your heart pleased with it, go to your knees, and solemnly declare before God, your accepting and entering into it, taking Christ in all his ossices, and God in Christ for your Godandportionforever. And so be persuaded, that on this yonr gathering to Christ m the bond of his covenant now, depends your being gathered to him in glory. at the last day.
Their Expectation Of The Day's Breaking In The Other World, And The Shadows Fleeing AWay; And Their Great Concern For Christ's Presence Till That Happy Season Come.
The substance of several Sermons preached at Etterick in the year 1730.
Sons ii. 17. Until the day break, and the JbadowJ Jiee away; turn my Beloved, and be thou Hke a roe, or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
TN these words you have the breathing of a gracious ■* foul, with respect to the time that may pass in this world, before one comes to enter into the other world; it is to have his countenance and thexommunications of his grace by the way, until they come there, where there will be nothing to intercept it. And it would be a good sign of meeting with a kindly reception from Christ into that world at last, that we were now saying from the heart, "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away; turn my Beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether." Where observe,
1. The connection of these words with the preceding verse, whereby they appear to be the breathing of a soul really married to Christ, having a sense of the marriage bond, and not ashamed of it, but resolutely owning it.
"My Beloved is mine, and 1 am his Until the day
break, and the shadows flee away; turn my Beloved," \£c. The spouse of Christ looks on herself as one that is married to a husband whom she dearly loves, but is not yet ready to take her home; she desires therefore, that until the time come of his taking her home, he will «ot be a stranger to her, but give her the comfort of D d 2 his his presence with her, that the present situation will at low; thereby intimating, that (he is not to look for the comfort of her lise from any other, hut him, whether he he absent from or present with her.
2. The words themselves: in which consider,
jjt, The happy term that Christ's spouse lives in expectation ofj which is expressed by two things, the latter consequential on the former, the "breaking of the day," and the "fleeing away of the shadows." By the day here is meant the day of eternity, that will break in the other world, in the light of glory arising to those thatare married to Christhere. That is the or that daj/hy way ofeminency, aTim.i. 18. This implies twothings.
(1.) That she looked on her lisetime in this world as a night-time; else why mould she have expected the day breaking? and that in that night-time there were many shadows, darkening things to her, and allowing her but obscure views of them; else why would she expect their fleeing away? as one travelling by nigbr, in a mountainous or woody country, if the night were jiever so clear, it is no wise comparable to broad daylight; arid besides there are many dark and gloomy steps caused by the shadows that the hills and woods cast; which though they amount not to a total darkness, yet the light by their means is but a very faint one. Such is the believer's travelling through this to the ether world.
(2.) That she believed and expected, that that night would not last, and that the shadows would vanistt at length. She looks for the breaking, Heb. blowing of the day, because however dead a calm there may be through the night, ordinarily at break of day a gale of wind rises ; and that break or blowing of the day will quickly chase away all the shadows, that they (hall not be to be seen more. That blowing will be of the Spirit of Christ, in a full communication of influences to the believer, at the day's breaking to him in the other