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OF THE GOSPEL AND CHRISTIAN LIBERTY.
The Gospel is the new dispensation of the covenant of grace, far more excellent and perfect than the law, announced first obscurely by Moses and the prophets, afterwards in the clearest terms by Christ himself, and his apostles and evangelists,* written since by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers, and ordained to continue even to the end of the world, containing a promise of eternal life to all in all nations who shall believe in Christ when revealed to them, and a threat of eternal death to such as shall not believe.
The new dispensation. Jer. xxxi. 31-33, compared with Heb. viii. 8, 9. 'I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with
* .........Thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise
+ He to his own a Comforter shall send,
their fathers. It is called the new testament.' Matt. xxvi. 28. Mark xiv. 24. Luke xxii. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 25. 2 Cor. iii. 6. But the word diæbønn, in the Hebrew 17a, is generally used by the inspired writers for ouvdýnn, covenant, and is rendered in Latin by the word pactum, 2 Cor. iii. 14. Gal. iv. 24. veteris pacti.* The Gospel is only once called testament in a proper sense, for a particular reason which is there subjoined. Heb. ix. 15, 16, &c. for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance ; for where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.'
More excellent and perfect than the law. Matt. xiii. 17. many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.' 2 Cor. iii. 11, &c. • if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; and not as Moses'. Heb. vii. 18—20, 22. the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God: and inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest; for those priests were made without an oath, but this with an oath.....by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better covenant. viii. 6, &c. "by how much more also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which
* Beza's Translation. menti. Vulgate.
Testamentum vetus. Tremellius. Veteris tes!ae
was established upon better promises, &C...... I will put my laws into their mind.' James i. 25. whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.' 1 Pet. i. 10, &c. "of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you...... with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. The Gospel is also called
the ministry' and word of reconciliation,' 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. whereas on the contrary the law worketh wrath. Rom. iv. 15.
By Moses and the prophets. John v. 39. they are they which testify of me.' v. 46. “had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me;' namely Gen. iii. 15. xxii. 18. xlix. 10. Deut. xviii. 15. Luke xxiv. 27. beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.' Acts xvii. 11. searching the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.' xxvi. 22, 23. saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come. Rom. iii. 21. being witnessed by the law and the prophets.' 1 Pet. i. 10. "who prophesied of the grace which should come unto you.'
Written in the hearts of believers. Isai. lix. 21. 'as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah ; My Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith Jehovah, from benceforth and for ever.' Jer. xxxi. 31–33. "behold
the days come......but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith Jehovah,' (a declaration particularly worthy of attention, as it specifies in what respect the new covenant is more excellent than the old) • I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts', compared with Heb. viii. 10, &c. this is the covenant.....I will put my laws into their mind.... and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.' Joel i. 28. . it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh....and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. To these may be added, from the chapter of Jeremiah quoted above, v. 34. they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. Joel ii. 28. your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.' Compare Acts ii. 16–18. For although all real believers have not the gift of prophecy, the Holy Spirit is to them an equivalent and substitute for prophecy, dreams, and visions. 2 Cor. iii. 3. ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.' v. 6. ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.' James i. 21. receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
By the Holy Spirit, the gift of God, and peculiar to the gospel. John vii. 39. “the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.'
xiv. 26. the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.' See also Luke xii. 12. Acts i. 8. “ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.' See also ii. 1, &c. v. 38. repent,' &c. ....and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost'. Rom. v. 5. by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.' 1 Cor. i. 13. in words which the Holy Ghost teacheth.' 2 Cor. xiii. 14. “the communion of the Holy Ghost.' 1 Thess. iv. 8. who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.' See also Rom. viii. 9. 1 Cor. xii. 3. 1 Pet. i. 12. 1 John iv. 13.
Ordained to continue even to the end of the world. 2 Cor. iii. 11. much more that which remaineth is glorious. Eph. iv. 13. till we all come.....unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'
A promise of eternal life. Mark xvi. 15, 16. 'go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel..... he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Rom. i. 16. the power of God unto salvation.'
To all who shall believe. John iii. 15, 16. whosoever believeth in him,' &c. Rom. i. 16, 17. to every one that believeth.' 1 John ii. 25. this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. See other passages to the same effect above, in the chapter on faith and its objects. Under the name of believers the penitent are comprehended, inasmuch as in the original annunciation of the gospel repentance and faith are jointly proposed as conditions of salvation. Matt. iji. 1, &c. iv. 17. Mark i. 15. Luke xxiv. 47. Acts ii. 39-41. x. 35. he that feareth him and