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and ceremonies of the old dispensation, is as external a covenant as Mr. Mather's. For it requires that we not only believe in our hearts, but also confess with our mouths; that we not only believe, but also are baptised and attend the Lord's supper, doing this in remembrance of him. Yea, the Gospel requires of professors all external duties to God and man; and particularly, every external duty relative to church order, with much greater plainness than did the Old Testament; and even descends so low, as to require church members to work with their hands. The name of an external covenant, therefore, is not at all adapted to distinguish Mr. M.'s covenant from the covenant of works, or from the covenant of grace. And yet what he means is really and essentially different from both. For they both require holiness, and nothing else, as qualifications to the enjoyment of the blessings promised in both. But this covenant requires no holiness at all to qualify for the enjoyment of all its peculiar blessings. It requires to this end nothing but graceless duties. The name, therefore, of a graceless covenant, is the most natural, expressive, and distinguishing name in the world. Mr. M. seems to think, that it might do to call it by the name of
the externals of the covenant of grace.' But I think this name by no means will do. For the faith and obedience of the covenant of grace is a holy faith and obedience. In order therefore for any faith and obedience to be the externals of the covenant of grace, they must be professedly and to appearance, a holy faith and obedience. But the faith and obedience of Mr. M.'s covenant, requisite to a title to all its blessings, are professedly such as a graceless man may have, which is professedly a graceless faith and obedience. For he affirms, that all unregenerate sinners are totally depraved.' Again, Mr. M. although in his former book he had said, p. 7. that ' after my most careful inquiry, I must own myself at a loss in determining what they' (protestant divines in general) 'mean, by being under the external administration of the covenant of grace:' yet now in his second book, p. 61. he is even willing, if this would give content, to call his covenant. by the name of the external administration of the covenant of grace.' But this is a very improper name: for when he
takes a man into the church and administers the covenant, the covenant which he administers to the man, is not the covenant of but professedly grace, a covenant distinct from the covenant of grace.' It ought, therefore, by no means, to be called the external administration of the covenant of grace. However, it may with no small propriety be called, the external administration of a graceless covenant.
Objection. The external covenant ought not to be called a graceless covenant, because it is designed as a means of the conversion of sinners; and tends in its own nature to promote their conversion.
Answer. The external covenant in its own nature does not tend to promote the conversion of sinners, but the contrary; for sinners are never converted without conviction of sin: for there can be no sound conversion without true repentance. And there can be no true repentance without true conviction of sin. But there can be no true conviction of sin, without a knowledge of the true rule of duty. And the law of God, which requires holiness, and nothing but holiness, is the only rule of duty that God ever gave to man: by this law is the knowledge of sin. This law is the school-master, which God has appointed to bring us to Christ. Now to send us to school to another school-master than that which God has appointed, tends not to our conversion, but to our delusion. But. Mr. M's external covenant is another school-master than that which God has appointed, essentially different from it, and in its own nature inconsistent with it.
The perfection of the divine law, and total depravity, inconsistent with the notion of an external covenant appointed by God for the unregenerate, as such, to enter into, requiring graceless qualifications, and nothing else, as the conditions of its blessings.
A LAW, which is a universal rule of life, to saints and to sinners, extending to the whole of our moral conduct, at all times, which forbids all sin, and requires us to be holy as God is holy, is inconsistent with any law, or rule, or covenant, which requires any sin, in matter or manner, at any time, of any man, saint, or sinner, on any pretence whatsoever. If, therefore, God has given such a holy law as above, he cannot be the author of such an unholy covenant. For it is written, Jam. iii. 11. Doth a fountain send forth, at the same place, sweet water and bitter? And again it is written, Jam. i. 13. Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any But for God to require sin, and bind his creatures by a most solemn covenant to sin, and promise them peculiar blessings if they will sin, in the manner his covenant requires, is tempting to sin in a most powerful manner, with great and strong temptations. But,
1. As to the perfection of the divine law, the assembly of divines at Westminster say, ' That the law is perfect, and bindeth every one to a full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience FOR EVER; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.' Larger Cat. in answer to Q. 99, proved by Psalm. xix. 7. Jam. ii. 10. Mat v. 21—48.
2. As to total depravity, they say,The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature; whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good: and wholly inclined to all evil, and that conti
nually; which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions. Rom. v. 12-19. and iii. 10-19. Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3. Rom. v. 6. and viii. 7, 8. Gen. vi. 5. Jam. i. 14, 15. Mat. xv. 19.' Answ. to Q. 25.
As to the doings of the unregenerate, they say,' works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet, because they proceeded not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the word, nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God. 1 Cor. xiii. 3. Isai. i. 12, &c. Conf. faith, chap. 16. To which agree the 39 articles of the Church of England Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his spirit, are not pleasant to God, &c. Yea, rather, for that they are unt done as God hath commanded and willed them to be done, we doubt not but that they have the nature of sin.' Article 13. To which also agrees Mr. Stoddard. 'If men do not act from gracious motives and for gracious ends, they do not the thing that God commands; there is no obedience to God in what they do; they don't attend the will of God.' Nature of conversion, p 7. Yea, he adds, (p. 9.) 'There is an opposition between saving grace and common grace. If one be opposite to the other, then they differ specifically. Those dispositions that have contrariety one to the other, that are at war one with the other, and would destroy one another, are not of the same kind: and truly these are so. Common graces are lusts, and do oppose saving grace.' So again in his Safety, (3d. edit.) p. 106. Man in his natural state is an enemy to this the gospel-way of salvation. As man is an enemy to the law of God, so to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' And in p. 146. All those religious frames and dispositions that are in natural men, are nothing else but the various shapings of self-love.' And again, p. 148. Self-love is the very root of original sin.' And again, p., 162. Every unhumbled sinner is striving against the work of humiliation : They are opposing of it, either by endeavours to set up a
righteousness of their own; seeking in that way to escape condemnation, instead of yielding to God they are flying to their strong holds, sheltering themselves in their prayers, reformations, desires, &c. or else by wrangling, as a person pursued runs away till overtaken, and then he fights: So the sinner, when he sees that he cannot save himself, is contending with God, objecting against divine proceedings, thinks that God's dealings are very hard measure. Rom. ix. 19.' And (p. 168.) 'Their best works are not only sinful, but properly sins. Thus far Mr. Stoddard. And thus we see what the 'old divinity' is, as to the perfection of the divine law, total depravity, and works done by unregenerate men.
Yea, Mr. M. himself, in words at least, grants each of these points. For, 1. As to the perfection of the divine law, he sets himself to prove, (p. 27.) that the law is not abated." 'And therefore nothing short of perfection may be looked upon as the whole of what is required.' And, 2. As to total depravity, he repeatedly asserts it through sect. 2. and 3. and particularly says, (p. 8.) That Adam did totally deprave his nature, by his first sin, and wholly lost the moral image of God in which he was created.' And he says, (p. 18.) 'Mankind at this day, antecedent to their exercising faith in Christ, are in much the same condition as Adam was after he had sinned. The unregenerate sinner is in the likeness of fallen Adam.' And he speaks of them, (p. 52.) as ' such whose hearts are in a state of enmity against God.' And, 3. As to the doings of the unregenerate, he says, (p. 17.) As love to God is the leading principle of all acceptable obedience; so Adam having rendered himself incapable of loving God, he was of course incapable of yielding any truly holy and acceptable obedience to the will of God.' And, (p. 55.) 'Sinners under conviction really aim to establish their own righteousness which is of the law.' Which no doubt he will grant is a very wicked thing, being the great sin of the unbelieving Jews, for which, among other things, they were finally cast off by God. Rom. ix. 32. Now, therefore,
1. The question is not, whether all the holy commands of God's law, and holy exhortations of the Gospel, are given to the unregenerate, and binding on them; so as that they