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the Israelites; or he can send the ravens to bring me bread and flesh, as they did his prophet Elijah. Am I thirsty ? God can broach the rocks, and dissolve the Aivts into floods of water, as he did for Israel. Am I cast into a fiery furnace? He can suspend the fury of the raging flames, as he did for Shadrach, Meshacb, and Abednego. Am I thrown amongst the devouring lions ? He can stop their mouths, and make them as harmless lambs, as he did for Daniel. Am I ready to be swallowed up by the merciless waves of the tempestuous ocean? God can command a fish to come and ship me safe to land, and that in its own belly, as he did for his prophet Jonah. Am I in prison? God can but speak the word, as he did for St. Peter, and the chains shall immediately fall off, and the doors fy open, and I shall be set at liberty, as he was. And thus I can have no wants, but God can supply them; no doubts, but God can resolve them; no fears, but God can dispel them; no dangers, but God can prevent them.
And it is as certain that he will, as that he can, do these things for me, himself having by covenant engaged and given himself unto me.
And as in God's giving himself, he liath given whatsoever he is and wliatsoever he hath unto me, and will do whatsoever he can for me, soin my giving myself to him, whatsoever I have I am to give to him, and whatsoever I do I am to do for him. But now, though we should thus give ourselves up wholly to God, and do whatever he requires of us, which none, I fear, without some degree of presumption, can say he has done, yet there is an infinite disproportion betwixt the grant ou God's part and that on ours, in that he is God, and we but creatures, the workmanship of his own hands; to whom it was our duty to give ourselves, whether he had ever given himself to us or no. He is ours by covenant only, not by nature; we are his both by covenant and nature too.
Hence we may infer, that it is not only our duty to do what he hath commanded us, because he hath said, Do this and live, but because he hath said, Do this; yea, though he should say Do this and die, it would still be our duty to do it, because we are his, wholly of bis making, and therefore wholly at his disposing; insomuch that should he put me upon doing that which would inevitably bring ruin upon me, I am not to neglect obeying him for fear of destroying myself; bis will and pleasure being infinitely to be preferred before my life and salvation.
But if it were my duty to obey his commands though I should die for it, how much more when he hath promised I shall live by it? Nay, I shall not only live if I obey, but my obedience itself shall be my life and happivess; for if I be obedient unto bim, he is pleased to account himself as glorified by me; for Herein is my Father glorified, says Christ, that ye bear much fruit. Now what greater glory can possibly be desired, than to glorify my Maker? How can I be more glorified by God, than to have God glorified by me? It is the glory of God to glorify himself; and what higher glory can a creature aspire after, than that which is the infinite glory of its all-glorious Creator? It is not therefore my duty only, but my glory, to give myself, and whatsoever I am, unto him, to glorify him both in my body and in my spirit, which are his ; to lay out whatsoever I have for him; to honor him with all my substance; and whether I eat or drink or whatsoever I do, to do all to his glory. Not as if it was possible for God to receive more glory from me now, than he had himself from all eternity. No; he was infinitely glorious then, and it is impossible for him to be more glorious now. All that we can do is, duly to acknowledge that glory which he hath in himself and to manifest it, as we ought, before others; which, though it be no addition to his glory, yet it is the perfection of ours, which he is pleased to account as his. As for the grant, therefore, in the covenant of
grace, I believe it to be the same on our parts, with that in the covenant of works; that is, that we Christians are as much bound to obey the commands he lays upon us now, as the Jews under the old covenant were. What difference there is, is wholly and solely on God's part; who, instead of expecting obedience from us, is pleased in this new covenant to give this obedience to us. Instead of saying, Do this and live, he bath in effect said, “I will enable you to do this, that so you may live." I will put my laws into your minds, and write them in your hearts; and I
will be to you a God, and you shall be to me a people. Not, “ I will, if you will;" but, “I will, and you shall,” -not, “ If you will do this, you shall live;" but, shall do this, and live.” So that God doth not require less from us, but only hath promised more to us, in the new, than he did in the old covenant. There, we were to perform obedience to God, but it was by our own strength; here, we are to perform the same obedience still, but it is by his strength. Nay, as we have more obligations to obedience upon us now than we had before, by reason of God's expressing more grace and favor to us than formerly he did, so I believe God expects more from us under the new, than he did under the old covenant. In that, he expected the obedience of men; in this he expects the obedience of Christians, such as are by faith united unto Christ, and in Christ, unto himself; and so are to do what they do, not by the strength of man as before, but by the strength of the eternal God himself; who, as he at first created me for himself, so he hath now purchased me to himself, received me into covenant with him, and promised to enable me with grace to perform that obedience he requires from me; and, therefore, he now expects I should lay out myself, even whatsoever I have or am, wholly for him and his glory.
This therefore being the tenor of this covenant of grace, it follows that I am now none of my own, but wholly God's. I am his by creation, and his by redemption, and therefore ought to be his by conversation. Why therefore should I live any longer to myself, who am not mine own but God's ? And why should I grudge to give myself to him, who did not grudge to give bimself for me? Or rather, why should I steal myself from him, who have already given myself to him? But did I say I have giveu myself to my God? Alas! it is but the restoring myself to him, whose I was ever since I had a being, and to whom I am still infinitely more engaged, that I can thus cordially engage myself to him; for, as I am not my own but his, so the very giving of myself to him is not from myself but from him. I could not have given myself to him, had he not first given himself to me, and even wrought my mind into this resolution of giving my. self to him.
But having thus solemnly, by covenant, given myself to him, how doth it behove me to improve myself for him? My soul is his, my body his, my parts bis, iny gifts bis, my graces his, and whatsover is mine is his ; for without him I could not have been, and therefore could have had nothing.
So that I have no more cause to be proud of any thing I have or am, than a page hath to be proud of his fine clothes, which are not his, but his master's, who bestows all his finery upon bim, not for bis page's honor or credit, but for his owni. And thus it is with the best of us in respect of God. He gives men parts, and learning, and riches, and grace ; and desires and expects that we should make a due use of them : but to what end ? Not to gain honor and esteem to ourselves, to make us proud and baughty; but to give him the honor due to his name, and so employ them as instruments in promoting his glory and service. So that whensoever we do not lay out ourselves to the utmost of our power for him, it is downright sacrilege; it is robbing God of that which is more properly his, than any man in the world can call any thing he hath his own.
Having therefore thus wholly surrendered and given up myself to God, so long as it shall please bis Majesty to entrust me with myself, to lend me my being in the lower world, or to put any thing else into my hands, as time, health, strength, paris, or the like; I am resolved, by his grace, to lay out all for his glory. All the faculties of my soul, as I have given them to him, so will I endeavour to improve them for him. They shall still be at bis most noble service. My understanding shall be his, to know him ; my will his, to choose him; my affections his, to embrace him; and all the members of my body shall act in subserviency to him.
And thus having given myself to God on earth, I hope God, in a short time, will take me to himself in heaven ; where, as I gave myself to him in time, he will give himself to me unto all eteruity.
ARTICLE X. I believe, that as God entered into a covenant of grace
with us, so hath he signed this covenant to us by a double seal, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
As the covenant of works had two sacraments, namely, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the first signifying and sealing life and happiness to the performance, the other death and misery to the breach, of it; so the covenant of grace was likewise sealed with two typical sacraments, circumcision and the passover. The former was annexed at God's first making bis covenant with Abraham's person; the other was added at his fulfilling the promises of it to his seed or posterity, which were therefore styled the promised seed. But these being only typical of the true and spiritual sacraments that were afterwards to take place upon the coming of the Messiah, there were then, in the fulness of time, two other sacraments substituted in their stead, namely, baptism, and the supper of the Lord. And these sacraments were both correspondent to the types, by which they were represented.
As to the first, namely, circumcision, whether I consider the time of conferring it or the end of its institution, I find it exactly answers to the sacrament of baptism in both these respects; for as the children under the law were to be circumcised in their infavcy at eight days old, so are the children under the gospel to be baptized in their infancy too. And as the principal thing intended in the rite of circumcision was to initiate or admit the children of the faithful into the Jewish church, so the chief design of baptism now is, to admit the children of such as profess themselves Christians into the church of Christ. And for this reason, I believe, that as, under the Old Testament, children had the grant of covenant-privileges and church-membership as really as their parents had, so this grant was not repealed, as is intimated, Acts ii, 39, but farther confirmed in the New Testament, in that the apostle calls the children of believing parents holy, which cannot be understood of a real and inherent,