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FOEDERAL TRANSACTIONS, &c.

INTRODUCTION.

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T is the peculiar excellence of Gospel

revelation, to discover the origin of

evil; as.also, that deliverance from it which God has provided for his people. Ever since sin entered into this world, nature's light, in its most cultivated state, has not only been altogether unsatisfactory, but even totally silent on each of these most interesting subjects: The Holy Scriptures, however, are full and perspicuous on both; they discover not only the cause of our deftruction, but likeways the source of our help.' It is not the design of the following Differtations to consider that transaction which obtained between God and Adam, in his innocent state, the violation of which is the teeming source of all evil; nor the eternal contract between the Father and the Son, which is the fountain of life unto the guilty foul : Yet, as the difpenfations of Grace are among the immediate causes of the Church's engagements to be the Lord's, we must premise a few things concerning that Covenant to which they belong. By way of preliminary, then, we shall first take a short survey of that Covenant which obtained, from. eternity, between God the Father and his Eternal Son.

-Then we shall consider the connection between the Covenant of Grace and the Church's Covenant of Duty. Afterwards, we shall attend unto the State of the Church, from the Fall of Adam until the Federal Transaction between God and Noah.

FIRST, I am to take a short furvey of the Eternal Compact between God the Father and his only begotten Son. To remove ambiguity, and prevent repetition, I shall run over the various significations of the terms by which it is expressed in both

the

the Old and New Testament.

The term Covenant *, in the language of the Old Testament, is derived from a word which signifies to choose t: and is expressive of the nature of a Federal Transaction, for a Covenant is that which both parties choose, and in which they agree. All God's promises, for example, are free and sovereign acts of his will, manifested unto men ; and all genuine obedience on the part of his children is a free-will offering unto the Lord,

The term Covenant is used both in a facred and civil sense. It is used in a civil sense to express such leagues as obtained between Princes in ancient times †; but on this sense we need not insist. When it is used in a sacred sense it exprefleth,

1. The Covenant which took place between God and Adam in Paradise,-which was broken by Adam ; “ But they like men have transgressed the Covenant :” So

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* 0973. +7972, elegit. This derivation is vindicated, Appendix No. I. I For example, Gen. xiv. 13.xxi. 27, 33.-xxvi. 28.-xxxi. 44. &c.

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