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monnels of interest, and thence a mutual fympathy, among confederates. And this fympathy among the confederates of heaven, regards both the head and the people of the covenant.
(i.) They have a native and kindly fympathy with the God and head of the covenant. It is true, his essential glory can never be liable to diminution; nor can his eternal rest in himself be in the least disturb. ed, by whatsoever men or angels may do or suffer: and the man Christ is now beyond the reach of suffering. Nevertheless, his declarative glory in the world hath its times of shining clear, and of being under a cloud. Now, as he hath a sympathy with them, in all their concerns, their distrelles and their enlargements, their joys and their griefs, Ifa. lxiii. 9. Luke xv. 5. ; which is a very tender sympathy, insomuch that the touching of them is the touching of the apple of his eye, Zech. ii. 8.; fo they allo have a very tender sympathy with him in the con. cerns of his glory. They are glad and rejoice in the prosperity of his kingdom, Acts xi, 23, 24. They pray for it continually, Pfalm Ixxii. 15.; and contribute their endeavours in their stations, to ad. vance it, Philip. i. 21. For to me to live is Christ. They have a feeling of the indignities done to his Majesty, as done to themselves, Pfalm Ixix. 2. The reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me. And they are mourners for the fins of o. thers, as well as for their own; on the account of the dishonour they do to God, because they keep not his law, Psalm cxix. 136. The children of the covenant will neither be opposers of the kingdom of Christ, nor will they be neuters; but will put their shoulders to the work of their Lord, to help it forward, according to their vocation: and without such a public spirit, in greater or lesser meafure, no man Thall be able to prove his faving interest in the covenant; for fo hath our Lord himself determined the matter,
Matth. xii. 30. He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.
(2.) They have a native and kindly sympathy with the people of the covenant: for they are members one of another, Eph. iy. 25. The grace of the covenant disposeth men to be loving and beneficial to mankind, but in a peculiar manner to holy men; to do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the houshold of faith, Gal. vi. 10. The common bond of the covenant engageth them in a peculiar love to one another; even as in that bond they are the common object of the world's hatred. They bear the fame image with Christ their common head; and that image will recommend all who bear it, unto one that is within the covenant himself, so far as he can discern it. Wherefore their love is a love to: all the faints, Eph. i. 15. And hence ariseth the sympathy which every true Christian hath with the church of Christ throughout the world, and with the several members thereof known to them : their joint interest in the covenant challengeth it: for by the covenant there is a near relation among them ; and from their union under the same head, results their communion, 1 Cor. xi. 12, 26. 'Therefore a spirit of selfishness, whereby mens concerns are all swallowed up in their own things, leaving them no sympathy with the church and people of God, is a shrewd lign of a graceless state. How much more, a spirit of reigning enmity against religion, and the professors thereof; where religion, and what concerns it, make men the special objects of their enmity, spite and resentment? An habitual course of this is none of the spots of God's people; but it declares men to be of the world, John xv. 19. I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. the Spirit of the covenant will carry men quite another way; since, taking hold of the covenant, they have embarked in the fame bottom with those whose
head Christ is, and who have declared war against the devil's kingdom. To them they will say, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you, Zech. viii. 23.
IX. In the last place, The laws of the covenant are in their hearts, namely, the laws of the ten commandments, the eternal rule of righteousness, Heb. viii. 10. That law, in all parts, is a copy of the divine nature, which in regeneration is transcribed into the heart of every one brought into the covenant: and the whole of it is written there, tho' every part is not written alike clear, nor any part perfect. As is the image of God restored in us, so is the law written in our hearts: in fanctification there is a new man created; which speaks a perfection of parts, though there is not a perfection of degrees in these parts, Eph. iv. 24. 2 Cor. v. 17..1 Cor. xiii. 12. This may be taken up in these four things.
1. They approve of the whole law, so far as it is known to them: Pfalm cxix. 128. I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right. They love God : and every part of the law is a line of his image : wherefore loving the law is expressing the image of his holiness, they must needs love the whole law ; since there is nothing in it but what is a transcript of that holiness. And as the head of the covenant is in their eyes altogether lovely, Cant. v. 16. the laws of the covenant being like him, must be so
Why do not believers love the holy law, but because they do not love a holy God? Rom. viii. 7. But believers loving a holy God in Chrift, must love the law also, since in it the image of his holiness is expressed. The holy law condemns many things in them ; yea every thing of theirs, fo far as it is morally imperfect ; and so they do themselves, confenting unto the law that it is good, chap. vii. 16. It con. demns every sin, even one's beloved sin, the evil he is most easily led afide into: and for that very . 291 cause the unrenewed heart hates the law. But the grace of the covenant makes a man to leave his complaint on himself; to approve the law, and condemn his own lust contrary thereto: Rom. vii. 12. The law is holy; and the commandment hily, and just, and good. Verse 14. But I am carnal.
2. They have an inclination of heart towards the whole law, so far as they know it: Pfalm cxix. 5. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes ? There is in them a fixed principle, which lies the same way with the holy law; bending away from what the law forbids, and towards what the law directs unto. True, there is a contrary principle in them too, which fights against it: but fo do they against that contrary principle, breathing, longing, and lusting for the complete victory over it, and for fuli conformity to the holy law, Gal, v. 17. This is a new set of heart given in the new birth ; exerting itself, not in lazy wishes for conformity to the law, but in a resolute struggle for it, enduring to the end. Hence,
3. They will habitually endeavour to conform in their practice to the whole law, so far as they know, Psalm cxix. 6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. If the law is written in one's heart, he will write it out again in his conversation : and a fanctified heart, will certainly make a holy life: Matth. vi. 22. If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Where is the efficacy of the holy covenant, if men may be within the covenant, and yet live like those that are without it? Nay, but to whomsoever the grace of God hath effectually appeared, it will have taught them effectually to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit. ii. 11, 12: If the grace of the covenant bring you not to the duties of piety towards God, you have no saving part in it. If you are T2
brought unto these, but withal left at liberty from the duties of righteousness toward your neighbour, that you do not loath, but dare to be unjust in smaller or greater matters; you are yet in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity : Luke xvi. 11. If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you are brought forward unto both these, and yet not sober, but left Naves to your sensual appetite and fleshly affections, you are no better : for they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lufts, Gal. v. 24. But whoso have fled to the covenant of grace in Christ for life and falvation, and withal are honestly endeavouring confor. mity to the whole law in their practice, they, howbeit in many things they miss their mark, do fhew theinfelves to be within the bond of the holy covenant, and ought to take the comfort thereof, as the divine allowance to them: 2 Cor. i. 12. Our rejoice ing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in fim. plicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.
4. Lastly, Their souls ly open to what of the laws of the covenant they know not. They are content to know them, defirous to be taught them, that they may conform unto them: Psalm cxix. 26. Teach me thy statutes. There are many sins of ours hid unto us; because there is much of the laws of the covenant we do not discern. And hypocrites do not defire to know the whole law: they are willingly ig. norant of some things thereof, because they have no inclination to entertain them. But the fincere, be. ing content to part with every falfe way, and to take upon them the whole yoke of Christ, hating fin as contrary to God's nature and will, and loving duty as agreeable thereto, do of course ly open to fur. ther discoveries of fin and duty: they come to the