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thing, it is not that here intended. For they are all actually pardoned with whom this covenant is made. And the indefinite declaration of the nature and terms of the covenant, is not the making of a covenant with any. And what should be the condition of this grace here promised of the pardon of sin ? It is, say they, that men repent and believe, and turn to God, and yield obedience unto the gospel. If so, then men must do all these things, before they receive the remission of sins : yes. Then must they do them while they are under the law, and the curse of it, for so are all men whose sins are not pardoned. This is to make obedience unto the law, and that performed by men whilst under the curse of it, to be the condition of gospel-mercy, which is to overthrow both the law and gospel.
But then, on the other hand, it will follow, they say, that men are pardoned before they do believe, which is expressly contrary unto the Scripture. I answer, 1. The communication and donation of faith unto us, is an effect of the same grace whereby our sins are pardoned, and they are both bestowed on us by virtue of the same covenant. 2. The application of pardoning mercy unto our souls, is, in order of nature, consequent unto believing, but in time they go together. 3. Faith is not required unto the procuring of the pardon of our sins, but unto the receiving of it; " that they may receive the remission of sins.' But that which we shall observe from hence is, that,
Obs. XXIX. The new covenant is made only with them, who effectually and eventually are made partakers of the grace of it.• This is my covenant that I will make with them, I will be merciful unto their unrighteousness,' &c. Those with whom the old covenant was made, were all of them actual partakers of the benefits of it, and if they are not so with whom the new is made, it comes short of the old in efficacy, and may be utterly frustrated. Neither doth the indefinite proposal of the terms of the covenant, prove that the covenant is made with any who enjoy not the benefits of it. Indeed this is the excellency of this covenant, and so it is here declared, that it doth effectually communicate all the grace and mercy contained in it unto all and every one with whom it is made; with whomsoever it is made, his sins are pardoned,
Secondly, The subject matter of this promise, is the pardon of sin. And that which we have to consider for the exposition of the words, is, 1. What is meant by sins. 2. What by the pardon of them. 3. What is the reason of the peculiar expression in this place.
First, Sin is spoken of with respect unto its guilt especially, so is it the object of mercy and grace. Guilt is ihe desert of pu. nishment, or the obligation of the sinner unto punishment, by and according to the sentence of the law. Pardon is the disso, is wanting . But they are elsewhere all פשע ; עון and חטאה
את כל עונת ואת כל פשעיהם לכל ,Aaron shall confess over him
lution of that obligation. Sin is here expressed by three terms, xdixim, eu cegais, avouez, “unrighteousness,' sin' and transgres. sion, as we render the words. In the prophet there is only
; . three used, where mention is made of the pardon of sin, or the causes of it. As, 1. In the declaration of the name of God with respect thereunto, Exod. xxxiv. 7. ONONI YU]" Xi', pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin.' 2. In the contession of sin for the removal of it, by the expiatory sacrifice, Lev. xvi. 21.
, Onxon, all their iniquities, all their transgressions, in all their
3. In the expression of the forgiveness of sin in justification, Psal. xxxii. 1,2. Wherefore the apostle might justly make up the expression, and general enumeration of sins, here defective in the prophet, seeing it is elsewbere so constantly used to the same purpose, and on the like occasion.
Nor are those terms needlessly multiplied, but sundry things we are taught thereby. As, 1. That those whom God graciously takes into covenant, are many of them antecedently obnoxi. ous unto all sorts of sins. 2. That in the grace of the covenant there is mercy provided for the pardon of them all, even of them from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses,' Acts xiii. 39. And that, 3. Therefore none should be discouraged from resting on the faithfulness of God, in this covenant, who are invited unto a compliance therewith.
But there is yet more intended in the use of these words. For they do distinctly express all those respects of sin in general, by which the conscience of a sinner is affected, burdened and terri. fied; as also whereon the equity of the curse and punishment for sin doth depend. The first is adıxıb, “unrighteousness ;' This adskiais autW.
This is usually taken for sins against the second table, or the transgression of that rule of righteousness amongst men, which is given by the moral law. But here, as in many other places, it expresseth a general affection of sin with respect unto God. A thing unequal and unrighteous it is, that man should sin against Cod his sovereign Ruler and Benefactor. As God is the supreme Lord and Governor of all, as he is our only Benefactor and Rewarder, as all his laws and ways towards us are just and equal, the first notion of righteousness in us is the rendering unto God what is due unto him, that is, universal obedience unto all his commands. Righteousness towards man is but a branch springing from this root; and where this is not, there is no righteousness amongst men, whatever is pretended. If we give not unto God the things that are God's, it will not avail us to give unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's, nor unto other men what is their own. And this is the first consideration of sin, that ren. ders the sinner obnoxious unto punishment, and manifests the equity of the sanction of the law. It is an unrighteous thing. Herewith the conscience of the sinner is affected, if he be convinced of sin in a due manner. The original perfection of his nature consisted in this righteousness towards God, by rendering his due unto him in a way of obedience. This is overthrown by sin, which is therefore both shameful and ruinous, which distresseth the conscience when awakened by conviction.
The second is αμαρτια και των αμαρτιων αυτων. This is properly a missing of, an erring from, that end and scope which it is our duty to aim at. There is a certain end for which we were made, and a certain rule proper unto us whereby we may attain it. And this end being our only blessedness, it is our interest, as it was in the principles of our natures, to be always in a tendency towards it. This is the glory of God, and our eternal salvation in the enjoyment of him. Thereunto the law of God is a perfect guide. To sin therefore, is to forsake that rule, and to forego therein our aim at that end. It is to place itself and the world as our end, in the place of God and his glory, and to take the imagina. tions of our hearts for our rule. Wherefore the perverse folly that is in sin, in wandering away from the chief good as our end, and the best guide as our rule, einbracing the greatest evils in their stead, is époseçtic, rendering punishment righteous, and fill. ing the sinner with shame and fear. The third is ανομια και των ανομιών αυτών.
We have no one word in our language properly to express the sense hereof, nor is there so in the Latin. 'We render it transgression of the law.' Aroues is a " lawless person ;' whom the Hebrews call a son of Belial; one who owns no yoke nor rule. And avojuse is a voluntary unconformity unto the law.' Herein the formal nature of sin consists, as the apostle tells us, 1 John iii. 4. And this is that which in the first place passeth on the conscience of a sinner. Wherefore, as all sorts of particular sins are included in these multiplied names of sin ; so the general nature of sin, in all its causes and respects, terrifying the sinner, and manifesting the righteousness of the curse of the law, are declared and represented by them. And we may learn,
Obs. XXX. That the aggravations of sin are great and many, which the consciences of convinced sinners ought to have regard unto.
Obs. XXXI. There is grace and mercy in the new covenant provided for all sorts of sins, and all aggravations of them, if this grace and mercy be received in a due manner.
Obs. XXXII. Aggravations of sin do glorify grace in pardon.Therefore doth God here so express them, that he may declare the glory of his grace in their remission.
Obs. XXXIII. We cannot understand aright the glory and excellency of pardoning mercy, unless we are convinced of the greatness and vileness of our sins, in all their aggravations.
Secondly, That which is promised with respect unto these sins, is two ways expressed, l. inews irausst, • I will be merciful ;' 2. * non pornoJw itu, I will remember no more.' It is pardon of sin that is intended in both these expressions; the one respecting the cause of it, the other its perfection and assurance. And two things are considered to be in the pardon of sin. 1. A respect unto the mediator of the covenant,
and the propitiation for sin made by him. Without this, there can be no remission, nor is any promised.
2. The dissolution of the obligation of the law, binding over the guilty sinner unto punishment. These are the essential parts of evangelical pardon, and respect is had in these words unto them both.
1. 'lnsws, which we translate merciful,' is propitious,''gracious,' through a propitiation. But the Lord Christ is the only inaoingies, or propitiation under the New Testament, Rom. iii. 25. 1 John ü. 2. And he died, sis to incorectav, to propitiate God for sin ; to render him propitious unto sinners, Heb. ii. 17. : in him alone God is insos, merciful unto our sins.
2. The law, with the sanction of it, was the means appointed of God to bring sin to a judicial remembrance and trial. Wherefore the dissolution of the obligation unto punishment, arising from the law, which is an act of God the supreme Rector and Judge of all, belongeth unto the pardon of sin. This is variously expressed in the Scripture; here by remembering sin no more.' The assertion whereof is fortified by a double negative. Sin shall never be called legally to remembrance. But the whole doctrine of the pardon of sin, I have so largely handled in the exposition of Psalm cxxx. that I must not here again resume the same argument. VER. 13.-Εν τω λεγειν καινην, πεπαλαιωκε την πρωτην: το δε παλαις
μενον και γηρασκoν, εγ[υς αφανισμε. In the foregoing verses, the apostle had proved, in general, the insufficiency of the old covenant, the necessity of the new, the difference between the one and the other, with the preference of the latter above the former, in all confirming the excellency of the priesthood of Christ, above that of Aaron. In this last verse of the chapter, he maketh an especial inference from one word in the prophetical testimony, wherein the main truth which he endeavoured to confirm with respect unto these Hebrews, was asserted. It was their persuasion, that of what sort soever this promised covenant should be, yet the former was still to continue in force, obliging the church unto all the institutions of wor, ship thereunto appertaining. Hereon depended the main con
troversy that the apostle had with them; for he knew that this persuasion was destructive to the faith of the gospel, and would, it pertinaciously adhered unto, prove ruinous unto their own souls. Wherefore the contrary hereunto, or the total cessation of the first covenant, he presseth on them, with all sorts of argumenis, as from the nature, use and end of it, from its insufficiency to consecrate or make perfect the state of the church; from the various prefigurations, and certain predictions of the introduction of another covenant, priesthood and ordinances of worship, which were better than those that belonged unto it, and inconsistent with them, with many other cogent evidences to the same purpose. Here he fixeth on a new argument in particular, to prove the necessity and certainty of its abolition ; and hereby, according to his wonted manner, he makes a transition unto his following discourses, wherein he proves the same truth from the distinct consideration of the use and end of the institutions, ordinances and sacrifices belonging unto that coveDant. This he pursues unto the 24th verse of the tenth chapter, and so returns unto the parænetical part of the epistle, making due applications of what he had now fully evinced. Ver. 13. In that he saith a new (covenant), he hath made the first
old. Now that which decayeth and waxelh old, is ready to
A double argument the apostle here maketh use of. 1. From a special word or testimony. 2. From a general maxim of truth in all kinds.
In the former we may consider, 1. The testimony he makes use of. 2. The inference unto his own purpose which he makes from it.
1. The first consisteth in the adjunct of this other promised covenant. It is by God himself called new ; SV TH Asysiv xairny,
in that, or whereas it is said a new,' or in that he calleth it, a new. So it is expressly in the prophet, · Behold I will make a new covenant.' Thus every word of the Iloly Ghost, though but occasional unto the principal subject spoken of, is a sufficient evid, nce of what may be deduced from it. And by this kind of arguing are we taught, that the word of God is full of Holy my teries, if' with humility, and under the conduct of his Holy Spirit, we do, as we ought, diligently inquire into them. This tliereiore lie layeth down as the foundation of his present argument, that God himself doth not call this promised covenait another covenant, or a second, nor only declare the excellency of it, but signally calls it a new covenant. 2. That which he inters from hence, is, that aikad.0XE 779
, che hath made the first old.' . The force of the argument doch not lie in this, that be calleth the second new ; but that lie would not have done so, had not he made the firoi old. For