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the point in hand : and, in this case, such as understand the originals will not be displeased to meet with it; while, to others, the general sense will, in most places, be found sufficiently plain. I confess, I think we are losers, in the present day, from not having followed the example of our old divines more closely, in this respect; though some of them carried their liberty to excess.
I have thrown into the shape of notes a few remarks on topics, either of some difficulty, or of particular interest, arising out of the subject. On some of these points I cannot expect that all will take exactly the view which I have done: but I trust that any difference of sentiment herein will not affect the general usefulness of the work itself. I have advanced nothing but what I am deeply persuaded is the truth of God; and, in this conviction, compromise would be sinful. Such as it is, I commend it humbly, to the divine blessing. May it be the means of refreshing the people of the Lord in their warfare, of establishing their faith and hope in Christ, and of leading them into larger enjoyment of the “fulness of blessing” of “the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure !"
Clapham, May 14, 1833.
THE BETTER COVENANT.
HEBREWS viii. 6.
But now hath he obtained a more excellent minis
try, by how much also he is the mediator of A BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon better promises.
An inquiry of infinite moment naturally suggests itself to the mind of every man who is awakened to a real concern about his soul. On what terms may
I draw near to God? What are the principles by which he regulates his dealings with me, and by which it is therefore my wisdom to regulate my hopes?
To satisfy this inquiry is the leading object of the few following discourses :, to point out the “ everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace,” which God has given to us in his word : the sure foundation laid therein on which a guilty troubled soul may rest, under a sense of sin to be removed, in its present conflict with evil, and in the awful prospect of death and judgment.
Men in general concern themselves but little with any terms of salvation which God has made known to them in the Scriptures; but every one hopes to be saved according to some scheme of his own contriving, on certain conditions which may approve themselves to his mind as reasonable and
proper; never considering that the God to whom“ salvation belongeth” (Ps. iii. 8,) has himself absolutely fixed the methods of it, and demands our conformity to them if we would attain it. But there are others who do concern themselves, and that deeply, in this important inquiry, whose views are yet exceedingly obscure. They see little of the riches of redeeming grace in the gospel—its freeness, its fulness; and still less the sure and unchangeable grounds of its enjoyment, as laid in the everlasting purpose and faithful promises of a covenant God in ChrisJesus. They take not these as their warrant for expecting the unmerited bestowal of all spiritual blessings. They have heard of this grace, and they like to hear of it; but their hearts misgive them when they would appropriate it. Sensible feelings of spiritual comfort, pleasant frames in prayer and other divine ordinances, duties well performed, comparative quietness of consciencethese are the wretched (because ever varying) grounds on which too many of God's dear children rest their hopes of his favour ; by these they
THE BETTER COVENANT.
3.6.2, 1.t deem it reasonable to conclude their interest, or
MY otherwise, in his salvation. In a word, some meetness in themselves for covenant blessing is thought to be necessary, as a title for its enjoyment;
and this subtle form of self-righteousness effectually takes them off from resting simply one when some the grace and truth of God revealed in the gos- ja on se, emaks, pel.
If then we would give to God the glory of his hifcié doen own salvation, if we would attain to any thing but like a settled peace in believing, or joy in the top Holy Ghost, or other fruits of righteousness, if we na would know how to manage aright our painful warfare against the “ sin that dwelleth in us, (Romans vii. 17,) nothing is more necessary than to get clear and steady views of the nature of that dispensation of grace under which we live; to know well in what that grace consists, whence it springs, how it is communicated, and by whom it may be enjoyed.
Such is the subject which is at present to occupy our attention. May the good Spirit of Jesus, “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,” bless the consideration of it to our souls, enlightening the eyes of our understanding, “ that we may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe.”