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on which this particular truft may be warrant-
Object. 2. Many truft in Chrift as their Saviour
with a particular confidence that he will fave
them; and yet are grofly ignorant, profane,
Chap. I. OF religious fafting and humiliation
Chap. II. Of perfonal fafting in particular
Sect. 1. Of the divine warrant for it
Sect. 2. Of a providential call to perfonal
fafting and humiliation, in twelve particu-
Sect. 3. Directions for managing the duty
Advices for the right managing of it
The form of a perfonal covenant
Chap. III. Of family fafting in particular
Directions for the managing of it
COVENANT of GRACE, &c.
PSALM IXXXIX. 3.
I have made a covenant with my Chofen.
I COR. XV. 45.
The laft man was made a quickening Spirit.
S man's ruin was originally owing to the breaking of the covenant of works, fo his recovery, from the first to the last step thereof, is owing purely to the fulfilling of the covenant of grace; which covenant, being that wherein the whole mystery of our falvation lies, I am to effay the opening of, as the Lord fhall be pleased to affift. And there is the more need of humble dependance on the Father of lights, through Jefus Chrift his Son, for the manifeftation of his Spirit in this manner, that whereas the first cove, ant is known, in part by the light of nature, the knowledge of this fecond is owing entirely to revelation.
It was from this covenant the Pfalmift, in the verfe immediately preceeding the firft text, took a comfortable view of a glorious building, infallibly going up in the midst of ruins; even a building of mercy: For I have faid, Mercy fhall be built up for ever; the ground of which confident affertion is, in our text, pointed out to be God's covenant with his Chofen. From the type of the covenant of grace, namely the covenant of royalty made unto David, he faw a building up of mercy for the royal family of Judah, when they were brought exceeding low. From
the fubftance of it, he faw a building of mercy for finners of mankind, who were laid in ruins by the breach of the first covenant. This is that new building, free grace fet on foot for us; into which they that believe are inftantly thereupon received, and where once received, they fhall 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 fhall 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 Jefus Chrift, Eph. iii. Ir. The objects of mercy, the time and place, the way and means, of conferring it on them, were defigned particularly, before man was miferable, yea, before he was at all. 2. The builder is God himself, the Father, Son and holy Ghoft, I Cor. iii. 9. Ye are God's building. All hands of the glorious Trinity are at work in this building. The Father chofe 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 purchafed 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 whofe name is the BRANCH- He fhall 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 counfel; beyond the reach of the eyes of men and angels. Paul confidering it, cries out, O the depth! Rom. xi. 33. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counfellor? verfe 34. 4. It is more than five thousand years fince this building rofe above ground. And the firft ftone of it that appeared, was a promise, a promise of a Saviour, made in Paradife after the fall, Gen. iii. 15.;
namely, That the feed of the woman should bruise the head of the ferpent. Here was mercy. And mercy was laid upon mercy. Upon promifing mercy was laid quickening mercy, whereby our loft first parents were enabled to believe the promife; 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 Jefus Chrift the Medi. ator, which is the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. No faving 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 confifts, and ftands firm for ever, Heb. ix. 22, 23. and vii. 24, 25. 6. Ever fince the time it appeared above ground, it has been going on. And many hands have been employed, to ferve in carrying on the work. In the first ages of the world, Patriarchs were employed in it, fuch as Adam, Enoch, and Noah; in the middle ages, prophets, priests and Levites; in these the last ages, the apoftles, and other extraordinary officers, and ordinary minifters of the gospel. Great has been the oppofition 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 still. And now it is come far above mid-height; it is drawing towards the top, and the time when the laft ftone fhall be laid thereon; for it is evident, we are far advanced in the days of the voice of the feventh angel, wherein the mystery of God is to be fi nifhed, Rev. x. 7. 7. The cope ftone will be laid on it at the last day: at what time the promife will receive its full accomplishment, in the compleat falvation of all the objects of mercy, then to be advanced unto the measure of the ftature of the fulness off Chrift, Eph. iv. 13. In that day our Lord Jefus Chrift, the great builder, fhall bring forth the head
Stone thereof with fhoutings, even the last and crowning mercy, faying, Come ye bleffed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. And then fhall they dwell in the building of mercy perfected, and fing of mercies for ever and ever. 8. Lastly, The foundation on which it ftands, is a firm one. It is necessary that it be fo: for a building of mercy to finners, from a holy just God, is a building of huge weight, more weighty than the whole fabric of heaven and earth: and if it fhould fall, all is ruined a fecond time, without any more hope of relief. But it is a fure foundation, being God's everlasting covenant: I have made a covenant with my Chofen.
In which words, together with the fecond text, there are four things to be confidered. 1. The foundation on which the building of mercy ftands; to wit, A covenant. 2. The parties-contractors in that covenant. 3. The making of it. And, 4. The nature of it.
I. The foundation on which the building of mercy. ftands, is a covenant, a divine covenant, a fure one. The 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 inftant. 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, fecuring 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 fpiritual feed of the head thereof, to be given them in the way of free grace and mercy, Pfalm lxxxix.