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How may I know that I have an Eternal standing in the Covenant of Grace ?
Heavy laden and weary Pilgrim-, with them that fear him; and he will Come and sit down for a moment, and I shew them his covenant:" By this sheet, will tell thee how this solemn question God shewed unto Peter his covenant; was answered in my own soul; it may and if thou art a child of his by adoption be that the Lord may hereby encourage and grace, he will shew it unto thee. you to hope in his mercy. The COVE- Secondly, I will, (please the Lord,) say NANT OF GRACE was brought before the a word or two about the diversity of eye of my mind. I was led to see most character in this sheet, and so close up certainly that every fallen son and this feeble attempt to confirm you in the daughter of Adam is either in the cove-truth. First-what is to be understood nant of grace, or under a covenant of by the term covenant?-And how may I works. God doth deal with sinners ac- know I am within its compass? These cording to the covenant they stand in. are great questions. But read carefully It then became an important question as and prayerfully (if you can) what follows. to what are safe evidences of a sinner's The term Covenant is derived from being in the covenant of grace? While that which signifies to purge out, to sepamy mind was hovering over this matter, rate—to make clean and clear. Such the vision which Peter had, was brought was the design which God had in view before me. In the eleventh of the acts, in making the Covenant, as Paul declares the Holy Ghost makes this record, as in heavenly things (or places) in the Cove. the language of Peter—"I was in the nant of grace, the Father blessed us with city of Joppa praying: and in a trance all spiritual blessings, according as he I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, had chosen us in Christ that we should as it had been a great sheet, let down be holy and without blame, before him in from heaven by four corners; and it came love. God's elect are chosen out-reeven to me. 'Upon the which, when Ideemed out-called out-and delivered had fastened mine eyes, I considered out from all other men. They shall not and saw four-footed beasts of the earth, be reckoned among the nations. Read and wild beasts, and creeping things, and Exod xix. 5, 6. Read also the end of fowls of the air.”
the 15th of Genesis ; and there see when Here is .first, a representation of the God made a covenant with Abraham he covenant of grace; secondly, the diversity commanded him to take an heifer, and a of character of which the church is com- she-goat, and a ram, and to divide them, posed. And, thirdly, the eternal standing and to lay each piece one against another: and safety of the whole election of grace" and, behold a smoking furnace and a in the covenant.
burning lamp passing between those I believe that this vessel or sheet re- pieces :" foreshewing that in the sacri. presented that everlasting covenant of fice which Christ would make, the wrath grace in which stands the safety of the of God and divine justice would fall upon church of God. I am confirmed in him, and by his coming down, and enthis, from the fact, that the three princi- during these, in the Church's stead, he pal things meant by the term covenant, should for ever purge out-separate, and were spoken to Peter, when the vessel make clean, the church from the world, came down before his eyes: these were from all her sins; and free her from all the words— Arise-slay-and eat. condemnation. This was the great design
I shall then only labour to shew you of the covenant; and, if thou art a new two things. First-what is to be under-covenant man, when this covenant comes stood by the term covenant; and that as even to thee, it will speak to thee as it Peter most emphatically says, ' IT CAME did to Peter, “ ARISE.” It will not only EVEN TO ME'-so I must insist upon it, call thee out from the world, and from that if thou art a new covenant man, the service of the devil; but it will purge this covenant will come even unto thee. thee out: so that thy delight, thy pleaFor the coming down of this sheet out sure, thy rest, thy hope, thy companions, of heaven, laying open the mind of God shall no more be found in the beggarly to Peter, was but the exact fulfilment of elements of the world. What sayest that word— the secret of the Lord is thou to this ? Has grace purged thee out?
SEPTEMBER, PART XXXII, Vol. III.
Then thou art in the covenant. Nothing digged a well, he called it Sheba, an oath, short of the Holy Ghost letting down therefore the name of the city is Beerthis covenant into thy heart can effect a sheba, the well of an oath." That well radical change. Is it done? Ponder well may typify the secret indwelling of the this weighty point. I say again, if thou Holy Ghost, as the covenant typified art really purged out from thy old service, Christ. Isaac's servants digged after from thy old sins, from thy old ignorance, the well, as Christ's ministers dig into from thy old pursuits—then thou art in the mysteries of the Gospel Kingdomthe covenant-CHRIST and HEAVEN are and the substance of their preaching thine.
should bem" We have found water.” Again-others derive covenant from See Genesis xxvi. 27-33; Genesis Berith : ie. to smite or to cut. This points xxxi. 54; 2 Sam. iii, 20. While then, to the transactions of the covenant. to purge out, signifies the design of the Christ was smitten, and cut off ; so, his covenant; this, to eat, denoteth the benepeople are smitten by the law, through fits coming out of the covenant to all for The power of the Holy Ghost. But, read whom it is made. Before eating, there Isaiah liji. 4, 5. • }łe was stricken, must be slaying. These two shew much smitten of God, and afflicted. He was what the covenant will do for covenant wounded for our transgressions, &c. and men; it will separate them; it will sup. with his stripes we are healed.” The port them.
fact is, if thou art a new covenant man, Coming into the New Testament, - it was thy sin that drove the spear into the word Covenant or Testament there
the Saviour's heart; you—as the very is derived from Diatheke—which at least, man that did smite him. And when this signifies three things—1. to set things in covenant comes even to thee, then shall order. 2. to pacify, and give satisfaction. that scripture be fulfilled in you—“They 3. to dispose of things according to the shall look upon me, whom they hare will. All these things are accomplished pierced; and they shall mourn for him, by the Gospel. It sets out the truth as as one that mourneth for his only son." I it is in Christ-thereby sinners are reask yon, then, have you been led to Cal- conciled and satisfied; and by the Gospel, vary's cross? Have you, by faith, looked there is a disposing, or giving out of upon Jesus as your God, and your Savi- new covenant mercies, such as the parour ? Have you felt, as Watts declares don of sin, peace with God, and a comhe did, when he says,
fortable communion with the saints.
If, then, thou art a new.covenant man, My soul looks back to see
thou dost sometimes feed upon and reThe burdens thou didst bear, When hanging on th'accursed tree,
joice in the gospel of the grace of God; And hopes her guilt was there?
and it will be thy meat and drink to do
thy Father's will, which is, to honor the Have you, with a broken heart, and Son, by taking up thy cross daily, and a contrite spirit, mourned for this, with following him. Now, secondly, just look bitterness of soul? And have you, sin- | inside of the covenant. Surely you will cerely cried out, as from the bottom of say, it is a strange sight indeed! “All your soul_" Oh, give me Christ, or else manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, Í die?” Then, I am bold to say-Thou wild beasts, and creeping things, and art in the covenant For Christ says so fowls of the air.” Why, what can it
“This is the will of him that sent me, mean? that every one that seeth the Son, and I. That the church is made up of sinbelieveth on him, shall have everlasting ners of all kinds—“Four-footed beasts, life, and I will raise him up at the last wild beasts, creeping things, and fowls
of the air." I believe this shews variety Again, some derive corenant from of character. But the four-fold condition Barah, comedit-signifying-to eat :- of the church is also pointed out. because in Eastern Countries, covenants First-Clean beasts, or living creawere established and confirmed by eating |tures, denoting God's elect as they ever bread and salt, denoting life and com. stood in Christ, viewed and accepted, and munion; and preservation and sanctity. made honorable in him. “ Thou art all When Ísaac and Abimelech made a fair." covenant, they had a feast; they did eat 2.-Wild beasts. The church in her and drink. And when Isaac's servants fallen state-every vessel of mercy in un
regeneracy is like unto a wild beast, un-, The Plan of Salvation-the darling tamed-caring not for God or man.
Scheme of Deity. What wild beasts were that Manasseh, that Saul, that Bunyan, you and me !
The going hither and thither.' and feeding WHAT a striking sentence is this ! upon the things of the earth.
I plan of salvation, ihe darling scheme of Deity!'
Where, (say you) • did you find it ?' I will 3.-Creeping things; denoting, a low |
"tell you. Among some other parcels which and weak state; the sinner under the
| caine to hand, there was one which contained law, broken down, and laid in the dust. la bouk entitled - The Book of LIFE; There was a grand distinction made be- | being the substance of a Sermon preached at tween creeping things under the law. Zion Chapel, Chatteris, by Willian Palmer,' See Leviticus xi. 21, 23. There were published by Hall and Co., Paternoster Row, creeping things of two kinds. Such as (price Six-pence). And in the very opening went upon all fours, and such as had legs of the discourse I found the sentence which above their feet; so that they leaped upon I have placed at the head of this article. the earth. The first denoteth man in his
This beautiful, comprehensive, and soulfallen state, yoing with all his powers in stirring sentence struck in with such force sin-laying himself out in wickedness,
and sweetness upon my heart, that I seemed
in an instant fastened to the discourse, and wallowing and delighting, living and
knit in a most comfortable manner to the dying in it. Such are to be an abomi.
author ; and I must confess that among all nation, and they are so. But the second the works which I have either glanced at or kind of creeping things, which have legs perused (of a modern date,) I have met with above the feet, leaping upon the earth, none so full of golden speeches—so fraught denoteth a living soul, who, though it with deep gospel matter — or, so dernonstrais yet on the earth, and creeping, it may tive of sterling talent, as is this sermon by he, in weakness, in contempt, and con
Mr. William Palmer. Here, the grand demnation ; yet it has legs above its feet. foundation truths of our faith and hope are The legs bear and carry up the body; so
thrown out with such boldness and consisthe living soul has powers which carry
tency; interwoven with so many little fine
features of the christian's experience of those it up above sin, and above the world, and
truths, that I verily believe no child of God above delusions and hypocrisies ; so that
can read it without being in some measure it cannot lie down in sin, in the world, blessed. nor in dead empty forms: it leapeth after But, I am the father of a family, and I God in his love and power-after Christ never can enjoy any dainty, without my in his blood and righteousness-after the children participate with me in partaking of Holy Ghost in his sweet anointings and it. I am the pastor of a church, and I never sanctifyings-after the gospel, in all its get a sacred immersion in the precious love precious doctrines. promises and pre- and blood of my dear Lord and Master, but cepts-after the church of Christ, in all
| my soul desires to communicate the same to her privileges and ordinances-after vic- l the people ; and in like manner, when (as
Editor) I am favoured to pick up anything tory over death, and an abundant en
likely to be of real benefit to the church of trance into heaven.
Christ, I cannot rest until I carefully pack These living souls — flying, though it up and enclose it in the Vessel. creeping-of them thou mayest eat: that for the present, I can only take a leaf or is, with these thou mayest commune, two out of this' Book of Life.' May be, I these you may receive, for these are in shall send another packet next month. the covenant.
| It is but just to premise that the follow4.-Fowls of the air ; denoting, souls ing extracts are hastily drawn; and present lifted up on the wings of faith and love,
but a faint idea of the value of the work. flying by faith into the fulness and glory
| The author describes the various books of the kingdom of grace.
spoken of in the word; and saysAnd now, poor weary pilgrim, I must,
m. I must. “God keeps his books. Among them for the present, say farewell. If thou art | there is ‘ the book of life ;' and on the pages really following after the Lord of life and
of this book, are exactly represented the
distinguished sons of God, 'whose names are glory, be of good cheer; our way may be
written in heaven, rough, our trials may be great, but the
Earthly parents have door into the kingdom will soon be Here the spiritual family are registered, -all
their family registers, and God has his. opened; we shall enter in, and find our- the family, and none but the family. Omisselves in the presence of Him who fills sions, additions, and erasures, in this volume all heaven with endless praise.-C.W.B. are alike unknown. Their names are written, 073709 not on loose sheets, much less on slips of ter is not yet completed. One registered paper, which are frequently lost, burnt, or them as chosen, the other registers them as otherwise destroyed. Their names are written called, yet not all of them. In the book in Heaven-in a book-in the Lamb's book- above not a single name is blotted out, but in in the Lamb's book of life ; which book, we the book below erasures frequently occur.” may be perfectly certain, is well taken care of.” “We thus see how names can be blotted
"Is, then, my name written in heaven ? out of the book of life, and how they cannot. For this, after all, is a prime consideration. There are two books of life ; one in heaven and It matters but little where it may be seen, if one on earth. The upper record was preit is not seen there, in what book it may be pared by Christ, and is founded upon an written, if it is not written in the book of life ; election concerning which no mistake could in what earthly register it may be found, if it occur : the lower record is prepared by the is not found in the heavenly one. I might church, and is founded upon a vocation, figure on the list of heroes, of statesmen, or concerning which many mistakes have ocof monarchs, but if I am not written among curred, and will occur.” the living in Jerusalem,' in the highest sense “ This is that book the apostle referred to of that phraseology, what would it all amount in our text, as implying distinguished honour to in that day when the book of life shall be and privilege. Without it all is death ; withlaid open ?”
in it all is life; spiritual life, heavenly life, “From the custom of registering civil | immortal life. Life in the fountain, life in citizens, and having Jewish genealogies, the the streams, and life in its effects, are here christian church became a city, a household, represented or implied. Life in the head, a new Jerusalem ; consequently christians and life in the members,-before time, in had their book, their canon, their church time, through time, and after time, is deregister, their book of life. When baptized noted by this book. Life desired, life beand admitted to the church, a person was stowed, and life secured, this document canonized, fraternized, citizenized, and en- records. Nothing but life reigns here: sofranchized. He was booked as a christian, vereign life, secret life, settled life. All the canonized as a saint, fraternized as a brother, persons in God, reveal, declare, and confirm enfranchized as a citizen, and enrolled as a this life : life in the person of the Father, soldier. So long as his conduct exemplified | life in the person of the Son, and life in the his principles he was entitled to all the person of the Holy Spirit; life in the will privileges and honours of his christian of the first, life in the blood of the second, estate; but in case of defective morality, and life in the operations of the third. We perverted attachments, or heretical views, he thus see life above blood, life through blood, was admonished; and in case of final depar- and life with blood :-life in the promise of ture from the faith, his name was erased; he blood, life in the shedding of blood, and life was blotted out of the book of life, and ex- in the sprinkling of blood. There are three cluded from all participation in church that bear record in heaven- the Father, the tellowship.
Word, and the Holy Ghost; and there are “Besides the books just enumerated, there three that bear witness on earth-the Spirit, is another, differing, in some respects, from the water, and the blood. And this is the all the rest. This is the saints' heavenly record that God hath given to us eternal register ; or rather, the ‘Lamb's book of life, and this life is in his Son.'" life,' in which are registered all the heirs of We must close with another short extract. salvation. All that ever have lived, are liv. We pray that the blessed truths herein proing, or will live; young and old, infants and claimed, and the spirit herein manifested, adults, male and female, Jews and Gentiles, may be spread far and wide. are written to life in this book.
The life that is from Christ, is a life that “ And this too is a church book.”
will tend to Christ, call for Christ and thirst " It thus appears, that there are two after Christ. He is the sweetness and the two church books ; one for heaven and one substance, the beauty and the blessedness, of for earth ; both belonging to Christ, and (inward life in its spiritual cravings, fervent both books of life. They differ, however, in longings, varied pursuits, and gradual devel. several respects : - one is in heaven, the opement. The life which he requested, was other is on earth :-one is in the custody of the life that he purchased ; the life which he Christ, the other is in the hands of the purchased was the life which he imparts; the church : one contains all the family, and life which he imparts is the life which he susnone but the family, the other contains only tains; and the life which he sustains finds some of the family, with some which are not nourishment in him, Hence, he is the bread of the family. In one, the names were of life, the tree of life, and the water of life. written by Christ, in the other the members Paul lived upon him ; Peter said he was prewrite their own names,-those of them at cious; and John affirmed that he who had the least who can. The heavenly register was Son had life, and that he who had not the made up instantaneously; the earthly regis- | Son hai not life.”
The Threshing Instrument. by, and became a worm and no man;'
and thus he descended into the depths
of the sea, that he might find the worm TO THE READERS OF THE “VESSEL.”
Jacob, and bring him up from those BRETHREN :-How kind is the Lord to depths, place his feet upon a rock, and his blood-bought family in giving them establish his goings. Yes; because man the lamp of his holy Word to illume was shut up, as in an iron furnace, he their path in this cloudy and dark day! went down into the belly of hell, where and how encouraging is the promise in the iron entered into his soul, and there which he says— Fear not thou worm he cried to the strong for strength, and Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I will help was heard, in that he feared ; and being thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, heard, he destroyed death, and him the Holy one of Israel. Behold, I will that had the power of death, that is the make thee a new sharp threshing instru- devil;' and tare away the gates, posts, ment, having teeth, and thou shalt thresh bars, and all from the dreadful prison the mountains, and beat them small, and house, and carried them to the top of shalt make them as chaff.' It is blessed the hill before Hebron, and made a shew to find it thus written in the page of of them openly, triumphing over them truth, as the Word of God to his own in it; and there those trophies stand to people, but more blessed still to have it this day to be looked at by all those who written on the heart, so as to know it to dwell in Hebron, i. e., the society and be the voice of God to us, encouraging friendship of the people of the Lord ; us to go forward with the assurance that and looking they may sing(though mountains of difficulty stand in
“ He hath triumph'd gloriously, our way, and we, like David, have no
The horse and his rider, weapon,) the Lord will meet us at the point of contest, and furnish us with a
He hath thrown into the sea !" sword, or jaw-bone, wherewith, through And having thus descended into the his power, to break our foes in pieces as lowest hell, and then ascended into the a potter's vessel is broken.—'This is the third heaven,' he cane and preached victory that overcometh the world, even peace to us who were afar off, that so we our faith.'
might be brought nigh, and sit with him In the promise above named we have on his throne, even as Esther was brought the nature of the person spoken to, and nigh, and sat on the throne of the kingit is the nature of a worm, a creeping dom of Persia. thing, so contemptible and feeble, that But this seems impossible! Why? it seems worthy of no note, and yet the Because we are such feeble, filthy, crawlmost high God deigns to regard it, and ing worms ! Surely, except the Lord make thereto a promise of great things ! I should make windows in heaven, this It is true, man was made upright, and so I cannot be! Well, that he has done, and in his origin was no worm, but a man; rained down righteousness !' Yea, more; having dominion over beasts, birds, and he has opened a door in heaven, on purfishes ; and standing erect in dignity, I pose for these poor worms to pass purity, and innocency before his Maker. Through, that all may find themselves But, presently he fell, became prone, and happy in the banquetting house. And crept into the earth; yea, more; for, lo! they pass through on eagles wings, like an infernal worm he crept into hell, on horses, in chariots, in litters, or and there abode in the horrible pit! coaches ! But, are they worms now? Then, 0, 'what is man, that the Lord Look and see. Behold they are cherubs, should be mindful of him ? or the son of all bearing the image of the heavenly man that God should visit him ? Blessed Adam! They are as the angels of God, be his name he had a glorious purpose being the children of the resurrection. to accomplish, and a wondrous end to be But how do they appear thus ? A migained, and for this reason man sunk racle has been wrought, by which man's like lead into the gulf of death. Like impossibility has been laughed to scorn. the axe-head, man sunk into the waters It is regeneration! Then, poor worm, if of Jordan, that so the Prophet of Israel thou hast, indeed passed from death to might make the iron to swim !
life, if thou art born again, thou hast a And this prophet came. Making him- name and a place among the spirits of self of no reputation, he laid his glory just men, made perfect; so that while