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nant is by the particle óti. The Hebrew which is rendered by it, is variously used, and is sometimes redundant. In the prophet some translate it by an exceptive sed; some by an illative, quoniam. And in this place, ito is rendered by some quamobrem, 'wherefore;'and by others nam, or enim, as we render ít by •for.' And it doth intimate a reason of what was spoken before, namely, that the covenant which God would now make, should not be according to that,” like to that which was before made and broken.
Secondly, The thing promised is a covenant, in the prophet 0992, bere dic9nem : and the way of making it in the prophet 070x, which is the usual word whereby the making of a covenant is expressed. For signifying to cut,'" to strike,' to divide, respect is had in it to the sacrifices wherewith covenants were confirmed. Thence also were fædus percutere, and fædus ferire. See Gen. xv. 9. 10. 18. Ok, or by, that is, cum, which is joined in construction with it, Gen. xv. 18. Deut. v. 2. The apostle
renders it by doce Inpopeces, and that with a dative case, without • a preposition, Tə oxw, I will make,' or 'confirm' unto. He had used before oulsnow, to the same purpose.
We render the words n'ga and once Inxn in this place by a covenant,' though afterward the same word is translated by a testament.' A covenant properly is a compact or agreement on certain terms mutually stipulated by two or more parties. As promises are the foundation and rise of it, as it is between God and man; so it compriseth also precepts or laws of obedience which are prescribed to man on his part to be observed. But in the description of the covenant here annexed, there is no mention of any condition on the part of man, of any terms of obedience prescribed to bim, but the whole consists in free gratuitous promises, as we shall see in the explication of it. Some hence conclude that it is only one part of the covenant that is here described. Others observe from hence, that the whole covenant of grace, as a covenant, is absolute, without any condi. tions on our part, which sense Estius on this place contends for. But these things must be farther inquired into.
First, The word berith used by the prophet, doth not only signify a covenant or compact properly so called, but a free, gratuitous promise also. Yea, sometimes it is used for such & free purpose of God with respect to other things, which in their own nature are incapable of being obliged by any moral condition. Such is God's covenant with day and night, Jer. xxxiii. 20. 25. And so he says, that he made his covenant, not to destroy the world by water any more, with every living creature,' Gen. ix. 10, 11. Nothing therefore can be argued for the necessity of conditions to belong to this covenant, from the name or term whereby it is expressed in the prophet. A coveBut yet
nant properly is our.Inxn, but there is no word in the whole Hebrew language of that precise signification.
The making of this covenant is declared by '07), neither doth this require a mutual stipulation, on terms and conditions prescribed to an entrance into covenant. For it refers to the sacrifices wherewith covenants were confirmed. And it is applied to a mere gratuitous promise, Gen. xv. 18. • In that day did God make a covenant with Abraham, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land.'
As to the word die.I nxn, it signifies a covenant improperly ; properly it is a testamentary disposition. And this may be without any conditions on the part of them, to whom any thing is bequeathed.
Secondly, The whole of the covenant intended is expressed in the ensuing description of it. For if it were otherwise, it could not be proved from thence, that this covenant was more excellent than the former ; especially as to security, that the covenant-relation between God and the people should not be broken or disanaulled. For this is the principal thing which the apostle desigus to prove in this place, and the want of an observation thercof, batir led many out of the way in their exposition of it. If therefore this be not an entire description of the covenant, there might yet be something reserved essentially belonging thereunto which might frustrate this end. For some such conditions niight yet be required in it, as we are not able to observe, or could have no sécurity that we should abide in the observation of them. And thereon this covenant might be frustrated of its end, as well as the former, which is directly contrary to God's declaration of his design in it.
Thirdly, It is evident that there can be no condition previously required, to our entering into, or participation of the benefits of this covenant, antecedent to the making of it with us. For none think there are any such with respect to its original constitution ; nor can there be so in respect of its making with us, or our entering into it. For,
1. This would render this covenant inferior in a way of grace to that which God made with the people in Iloreb. For he declares that there was not any thing in them that inoved him either to make that covenant, or to take them into it with himself. Every where he asserts this to be an act of his mere grace and favour. Yea, he frequently declares, that he took them into covenant, not only without respect to any thing of good in them, but although they were evil and stubborn. See Deut. vii. 7, 8. ix. 4, 5.
2. It is contrary to the nature, ends and express properties of this covenant. For there is nothing that can be thought, or supposed to be such a condition, but it is comprehended in the promise of the covenant itself. For all that God requireth in us, is proposed as that which he himself will effect by virtue of this covenant.
Fourthly, It is certain that in the outward dispensation of the covenant, wherein the grace, mercy and terms of it are proposed to us, many things are required of us in order to a participation of the benefits of it. For God hath ordained, that all the mercy and grace that is prepared in it, shall be communicated to us ordinarily in the use of outward means, wherewith a compliance is required of us in a way of duty. To this end hath he appointed all the ordinances of the gospel, the word and sacraments, with all those duties public and private, which are needful to render them effectual to us. For he will take us ordinarily into this covenant in and by the rational faculties of our natures, that he may be glorified in them and by them. Wherefore these things are required of us, in order to the participation of the benefits of this covenant. And if therefore any one will call our attendance to such duties the condition of the covenant, it is not to be contended about, though properly it is not so. For,
1. God doth work the grace of the covenant, and communicate the mercy of it, antecedently to all ability for the perforn:ance of any such duty; as it is with elect infants.
2. Amongst those who are equally diligent in the performance of the duties intended, he makes a discrimination, preferring one before another. Many are called, but few are chosen ; and what hath any one that he hath not received ?
3. He actually takes some into the grace of the covenant, whilst they are engaged in an opposition to the outward dispensation of it. An example of this grace he gave in Paul.
Fifihly, It is evident that the first grace of the covenant, or God's putting his law in our hearts, can depend on no condition on our part. For whatever is antecedent ihereunto, being only a work or act of corrupted nature, can be no condition whereon the dispensation of spiritual grace is superadded. And this is the great ground of them who absolutely deny the covenant of grace to be conditional ; namely, that the first grace is absoJutely promised, on which, and on the exercise of which, the whole of it doth depend.
Sixthly, To a full and complete interest in all the promises of the covenant, faith on our part, from which evangelical repentance is inseparable, is required. But whereas these also are wrought in us by virtue of that promise and grace of the covenant which are absolute, it is a mere strife about words to contend whether they may be called conditions or not. Let it be granted on the one hand, that we cannot have an actual par. ticipation of the relative grace of this covenant in adoption and justification, without faith or believing; and on the other, that this faith is wrought in us, given to us, bestowed on us, by that
grace of the covenant which depends on no condition in us as unto its discriminating administration; and I shall not concern myself what men will call it.
Seventhly, Though there are no conditions properly so called of the whole grace of the covenant, yet there are conditions in the covenant, taking that term in a large sense, for that which by the order of divine constitution precedeth some other things, and hath an influence to their existence. For God requireth many things of them whom he actually takes into covenant, and makes partakers of the promises and benefits of it. Of this nature is that whole obedience which is prescribed unto us in the gospel, in our walking before God in uprightness; and there being an order in the things that belong hereunto, some acts, duties and parts of our gracious obedience, being appointed to be means of the farther additional supplies of the grace and mercies of the covenant, they may be called conditions required of us in the covenant, as well as duties prescribed unto us.
Eighthly, The benefits of the covenant are of two sorts: 1. The grace and mercy which it doth collate. 2. The future reward of glory which it doth promise. Those of the former sort are all of them means appointed of God, which we are to use and improve unto the obtaining of the latter, and so may be called conditions required on our part. They are only collated on us, but conditions as used and improved by us.
Ninthly, Although doc2nxn, the word here used, may signify, and be rightly rendered a covenant, in the same manner as nina doth, yet that which is intended is properly a testament, or a testamentary disposition of good things. It is the will of God in and by Jesus Christ, his death and blood-shedding, to give freely unto us the whole inheritance of grace and glory. And under this notion the covenant hath no condition, nor are any. such either expressed or intimated in this place.
Obs. I. The covenant of grace, as reduced into the form of a testament, confirmed by the blood of Christ, doth not depend on any condition or qualification in our persons, but in a free grant and donation of God, and so are all the good things prepared in it.
Obs. II. The precepts of the old covenant, are all turned into promises under the new.. Their preceptive commanding power is not taken away, but grace is promised for the performance of them. So the apostle, having declared that the people brake the old covenant, adds that in the new, grace shall be supplied for all the duties of obedience that are required of us.
Obs. III. All things in the new covenant, being proposed unto us by the way of promise, it is by faith alone that we may attain a participation of them.-- For faith only is the grace we ought to exercise, the duty we ought to perform, to render he promises of God effectual to us, Heb. iii. 1,
Obs. IV. Sense of the loss of an interest in, and participation of, the benefits of the old covenant, is the best preparation for receiving the mercies of the new.
Thirdly, The Author of this covenant is God himself. "I will make it, asyai Kugros, saith the Lord.' This is the third time that this expression, saith the Lord,' is repeated in this testimony. The work expressed in both the parts of it, the disan, nulling of the old covenant, and the establishment of the new, is such as calls for this solemn interposition of the authority, veracity and grace of God. I will do it, saith the Lord.' And the mention hereof is thus frequently inculcated, to beget a reverence in us of the work which he so emphatically assumes unto himself. And it teacheth us, that,
Obs. V. God himself, in and by his own sovereign wisdom; grace, goodness, all-sufficiency and power, is to be considered as the only cause and author of the new covenant.
Or the abo. lishing of the old covenant, with the introduction and establishment of the new, is an act of the mere sovereign wisdom, grace and authority of God. It is his gracious disposal of us, and of his own grace ; that whereof we had no contrivance, nor indeed the least desire.
Fourthly, It is declared with whom this new covenant is made; TW osmw logand, ' with the house of Israel,' ver. 8. They are cala led distinctly the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. The distribution of the posterity of Abraham into 'Israel and Judah ensued upon the division that fell among the people in the days of Rehoboam. Before they were called Israel only. And as before they were mentioned distinctly, to testify that none of the seed of Abraham should be absolutely excluded from the grace of the covenant, however they were divided among themselves ; so here they are all jointly expressed by their ancient name of Israel, to manifest that all distinctions on the account of precedent privileges, should be now taken away, that all Israel might be saved.' But we have shewed before, that the whole Israel of God, or the church of the elect, are principally intended hereby.
Fifthly, The time of the accomplishment of this promise, or making of this covenant, is expressed, pesta tees npesques szeives, after those days. There are various conjectures about the sense of these words, or the determination of the time limited in them. Some suppose respect is had unto the time of giving the law on mount Sinai. Then was the old covenant made with the fa. thers. But after those days' another should be made. But whereas that time,' those days,' were so long past before this prophecy was given out by Jeremiah, namely, about eight hundred years, it was impossible but that the new covenant, which was not yet given, must be after those days. Wherefore it was to no purpose so to express it that it should be after those days, seeing it was impossible that otherwise it should be.