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David's way, “Remember the word upon which thou hast caused me to hope.”

Study to know and be persuaded, that the promise of God is a notable and excellent security. And this appears from this consideration; it is the word of God, “ who cannot lie," &c.; it is his registered word, &c., it is his sealed word, &c.; he has given caution that his word shall be good, &c.; he gives the earnest of his word, the Holy Spirit of promise, &c.; he has added his oath to it, &c.; he has attested it by the three that bear record in heaven, &c.

I advise you to take up the promise as delivered and endorsed unto you:


is the word of this salvation sent: The promise is unto you, and to your seed, and to all that are afar off," Heb. iv. 1 : “Let us fear, lest a promise being left us, any of us should seem to come short."

Take up the promise as the genuine thought and picture of his heart, and that he really thinks as he speaks; for unbelief is ready to suggest, that he says one thing, and thinks another. Beware of this, it is an imputation upon man to do so, and the use of words is lost if men do not think as they speak: far less are we to imagine that there is any disingenuousness in a God of truth; no, no, his words correspond to his mind.

Be persuaded that it is an easy thing for God to fulfil his promise. There is no such distance between God's saying and working, as we are ready to imagine, Psal. xxxiii. 9: “ He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Unbelief represents the promise as a thing difficult or hard to be performed; but it is quite otherwise : saying and working is all one with God; he commands "things that are not, as if they were.”

In pleading the promise, beware of limiting the holy One of Israel. To clear this, take these two cautions: i. Beware of being peremptory in expecting what is not absolutely promised. 2. Do not always expect a present accomplishment of the promise, but wait; for “the vision is for an appointed time." “ He that believeth does not make haste.'

When faith cannot get fixed upon the conditional promise, then let it go to the absolute, where the condition mentioned is always to be found, &c.

Take care that, in acting faith upon the promise, you always remember the relation between Christ and the promise; for “all the promises are in him yea, and in him amen." Many break their necks upon the promise, by separating between Christ and the promise; Christ is the Alpha and Omega of all the promises.


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Quest. What is the relation between Christ and the

promise ?

Answ. 1. Christ is to be considered as the first heir of all the promises. Adam was the heir of the promise of life made in the first covenant, while he continued in his obedience; but he lost his heirship to himself and his whole race by the fall: Christ, as the second Adam, steps in, and fulfils the command of the first covenant, and undergoes its penalty in our room: and so he becomes a new heir to the promise of eternal life, and of every thing pertaining to it. Now, our title to the promise comes in through him, through his obedience, and death, his everlasting righteousness; so that in believing the promise, we must at the same time submit to his righteousness.

2. Christ is to be considered as the great blessing contained in all the promises; hence called in a way of eminence, “The mercy promised to the fathers.” What was the first promise in paradise, but Christ the seed of the woman? What was the promise to Abraham, but Christ, “ in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed ?" And when he is promised, all is promised; for he is all in all. There is not a promise in the Bible, but has less or more of Christ in it. In a word, Christ himself, as contained in the word of faith, draws all the blessings of heaven and a long eternity after him.

Christ is to be considered as the glorious fountain and treasury, in whom all the promised blessings are hid. He it is in whom all the treasures of grace and glory are hid; and it is out of his fulness that we receive all promised grace.

4. Christ is the foundation and ground upon which they all stand. The believer and the promise stand upon foundation : “ Behold, I lay in Zion a foundation.” And all the promises are founded upon him, upon his blood and satisfaction, without which never had a promise been given out by God to any of the children of men. And faith, in im. proving the promise, leans upon this foundation, stands upon this ground: just as a man, leaning upon a staff, sets the staff upon the ground, and so leans upon the staff: for except the staff lean to the ground, it will not support us; so unless the staff of the promise be set upon Christ as its proper ground, it will do us no service. And I fear a defect here is the ruin of many gospel-hearers: they pretend to lean to God's promise, but in the mean time they do not set the staff of the promise upon Christ, and his satisfaction and intercession; and so they and their faith fall into hell together in the end. Thus I have given you some advices, in order to your im. provement of the promises in a way of believing,

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Quest. 2. How is faith to act upon Christ in the promise, or by virtue of the promise ? for, as I told you, all the promises are in him, and he is in all the promises.

For answer to this, I would have you know, that in every promise of the word, Christ is represented as clothed or invested with one or other of his mediatory offices of prophet, priest, or king; he is made of God unto us wisdom, as a prophet, righteousness as a priest, and sanctification as a king; and in one or other of these offices he gives out all the sure mercies of David, all the blessings of a covenant of grace. And therefore, in order to your living by faith upon Christ in the promise, take the few following advices :

1. Study to be well acquaited with the person and offices of Christ. Study, I say, to be well acquainted with the dig. nity and excellency of his person as he is “ Emmanuel, the Word made flesh, God manifested in the flesh;" for


the excellency of his person depends the validity of the whole of his undertaking as our Redeemer. Unless this be kept in the soul's view, it cannot but wander in the dark, without knowing where to fix: we will be fair to mistake a shadow instead of a substance, unless we have becoming views of the excellency of a Redeemer's person. But then, I say, we must study to know him, not only in his person, but in his offices with which he is invested; for faith, or trust, has a respect to a person vested with some office or other. As when you employ an advocate, you trust the person as clothed with that office: and when you employ a physician, you trust the person as clothed with that office; and when you employ a minister, you trust his person as clothed with the ministerial office: so, here, when we employ Christ, or lean upon him, we trust him as clothed with his prophetical, priestly, or kingly offices. And therefore, in order to the life of faith, study to be well acquainted with the person of Christ as vested with these offices, and what it is that we are to expect from him as clothed with these offices.

Quest. What has faith to expect from Christ as a prophet?

Answ. As a prophet he reveals his Father's will by his word externally, and by his Spirit internally; and therefore faith eyes him for instruction in the things of God. As a prophet, “ he received gifts for men, and gives apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers ;” and therefore faith looks to him for “ pastors according to his heart,” and for his blessing upon the word and ordinances dispensed by them, for the edification of his body, the church. As a prophet, he received the Spirit, and all his influences; and therefore faith looks to him in this office for the Spirit to “ lead into all

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truth,” to rend the veil, dispel darkness, and to lead in the way we know not.

Quest. What has faith to expect from Christ, as a priest?

Answ. As a priest, he satisfies justice, redeems from the curse of the law, from hell and wrath. As a priest, he

brings in everlasting righteousness, and makes intercession for the transgressors, opens the way to the holiest.” And hence faith has ground to expect from him the benefits of his purchase, every mercy of the covenant, as the price of his blood, and the fruit of his intercession.

Quest. What has faith to expect from Christ as a king?

Answ. As a king, he gives forth his laws, and a heart to obey them; and therefore faith expects that he will mould heart and life in a conformity to his will, according to that promise, “I will write my laws in their hearts." As a king, he subdues his and his people's enemies; and therefore faith looks to him for victory over sin, Satan, the world, &c. As a king, “the government is upon his shoulder," and he rules in the midst of his enemies: and therefore faith expects that all shall be well, according to his promise, Rom. viii. 28 : “ All things shall work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." As a king, he gives peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end; and therefore faith expects all these things from him, as vested with a kingly office. Thus you see what excellent matter faith has to work upon, when it views the person of Christ, as clothed with his prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices. Now, in order to your living by faith on him, study to have a clear uptaking of his person, God-man clothed with these offices.

2. Another advice I give you, consequential to the former, is this: Study to know and be persuaded, that these offices of Christ are purely relative, that is, they are not for his own, but for our advantage; it was for us that he took these offices upon him, and it is for our benefit that he exercises them, Yea, in some respects, these offices depend on us as one rela, tion depends upon another; for as there cannot be a father without a child, so Christ could not be a prophet, unless there were ignorant sinners to instruct; he could not be a priest, unless there were guilty transgressors for whom he might satisfy and intercede; he could not be a king, without subjects to govern. So that these offices of Christ are purely relative; he is a prophet for us, a priest for us, and a king for us: Hence, 1 Cor. i. 30, he is made of God unto us (not to himself, but to us) wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." Oh what strong ground has faith to lean


upon, when these offices of Christ are taken up in this view and relation to us! Oh, will faith say, I will trust him for illumination and instruction, because he is a prophet to instruct the ignorant; I will trust him for pardon, peace, and reconciliation, because he is a "priest ordained for men in things pertaining to God;" I will trust him for sanctification, and victory over death, and sin, and Satan, and the world, because he is given for a commander and king to the people: he will instruct me, he will justify me, he will sanctify, and subdue mine iniquities, because he is my prophet, priest, and king.

3. Be persuaded, that Christ executes all these offices as a duty or a trust committed to him. When a man is clothed with any office, he is obliged to discharge the duties of that office; and he is unfaithful to his trust, if he do it not. His Father's commandment is upon him to this purpose, and therefore called his Father's 6 servant: This commandment (as a servant,) he received from the Father.” And not only his Father's command, but his own voluntary engagement, Psal. xl. 6: “Mine ears hast thou bored.” Now, is it to be once thought or imagined, that Christ will fail in the duties of his offices, which the Father commanded him, and in which he himself has voluntarily engaged?

4. Let faith begin first to act upon the priestly office of Christ; for this is the basis and foundation of the other two, Is. liii. at the close, Phil. ii. 8-10. Psal. cx. last. The priest under the law had the Urim and Thummim in his breast. plate, and a crown upon his head; to learn us, that the kingly and prophetical offices, of which these were the badges, were both founded on the sacerdotal or priestly office. So then, study to improve Christ, as a priest and propitiation, set forth in the glorious gospel, to be applied by faith; and then it will be easy to believe that he is thy prophet and king. If thou canst believe that he suffered and satisfied for thy sins, it will be easy for thee to believe, that as a prophet he will wash thee, and as a king he will sanctify, and subdue thine iniquities. Yea, know, sirs, for your encouragement, that the very end for which Christ purchased grace and glory by his blood was, that it might be offered to all, and actually applied to every soul that believes in him. So, then, let faith ground first upon the priestly office of Christ, and upon that foundation claim the benefit of his other offices.

5. Remember how affectionately Christ executed these of. fices upon earth, and this will be a strong ground to believe that he will not neglect them, now that he is ascended into heaven. He had a great desire to be sacrificed, Luke xii. 50: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I

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