Recommendation Editor's Foreword Contents Chapter 1
Covenant of GRACE:
The gradual breakings out of Gospel-grace
from Adam to Christ are clearly discovered,
the differences betwixt the old and new Testament are
laid open, divers errors of Arminians and others are
confuted; the nature of Uprightness, and the way
of Christ in bringing the soul into Communion
Together with many other Points, both doctrinally and
practically profitable, are solidly handled.
By that faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and Minister
of the Gospel, JOHN BALL.
Published by SIMEON ASH.
I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will
keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.
But ye are come unto mount Sion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant, and to the blood of
sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Heb. 12. 22, 24.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his
Covenant. Psalm 25.14.
L O N D O N,
Printed by G. Miller for Edward Brewster on Ludgate hill near
Fleet-bridge at the Sign of the Bible. 1645.
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To the Christian Reader.
We do not conceive it necessary, to give credit unto the ensuing Treatise by our Testimony, seeing the learned, and holy works of the Reverend Author do abundantly praise him in the gate. His Catechism, with the exposition thereof; his Treatise of the life of Faith, together with other Books more lately published, tending to reconcile the differences of these times, do sufficiently witness to the world, both his great abilities and Piety. And if God had been pleased to lengthen his life, we believe, he might have been very servicable, in seeking to reconcile our present sad differences about Church-Government, because (as we understand) he had thoroughly studied all those Controversies. But seeing the Lord hath deprived us of his help in that kind, we are right glad, that the Church shall have the benefit of any labours, which he hath left for public use, and in special of this subject (the Covenant of Grace) so needful and profitable. And that acquaintance which we had with this faithful servant of Jesus Christ, doth incline us with all willingness, to give our approbation of this piece, although our manifold employments have not suffered us to peruse it, so exactly, as otherwise we should have done.
We shall desire, that by thy faithful improvement hereof, thy knowledge of the federal transactions betwixt God and his people, through Jesus Christ, may be much augmented, unto his honour, and thine everlasting happiness in him, in whom we are,
Thy faithful Friends,
EDWARD REYNOLDS THOMAS HILL
DANIEL CAWDREY ANTHONY BURGESS
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To the reader
The worthy Author of this Treatise (who was my very dear and much honoured friend) bequeathed unto me, as a legacy of his love, this, with the rest of his Manuscripts. This piece he prepared for the Press, purposing the enlargement of it, if the Lord had continued his life and health: and I am confident, it would have come abroad better polished; if he having completed it, had then surveyed the whole fabric, when set together. Although at the first I was unsatisfied in mine own thoughts, whether I should adventure the printing of it, because imperfect, yet upon the importunity of Friends, being encouraged by the judgment of some Reverend Divines, who had perused it, I have now made it public, without any addition, diminution, or alteration. The subject of the book is excellent, profitable and necessary; even, the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the Saints.R That blessed Apostle, who experimentally understood the utmost worth of humane learning, did yet contemn it, in comparison of that knowledge which is taught in this Treatise. I determined not (saith he) to know anything among you (among you, knowing Corinthians,) save Jesus Christ.R Yea, doubtless, I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.R Oh how incomparably sweet and satisfying is it unto a self-studying Christian soul, to be acquainted with the faithful engagements of the Almighty Majesty, unto the poor penitent sinner, through that Son of his loves, in a Covenant of free, rich, everlasting grace! This Covenant being transacted betwixt Christ and God, here, here lies the first and most firm foundation of a Christian's comfort. I will give thee for a Covenant of the people, and will establish the earth &c.R All the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him Amen, to the glory of God.R Therefore the Servants of the most High (notwithstanding their own changeableness and unworthiness) may hold up their hearts and hopes to enjoy all Gospel-Prerogatives through him, because God hath said, I will make an everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.R The right understanding and the fruitful improvement hereof, will be seasonably supporting and solacing to God's people in these doleful distracted times. We have, through God's mercy, a glorious work, the work of Church-Reformation under hand, now, though difficulties, delays, and oppositions, do cast discouragements upon our hearts, yet from hence, we have heartening. The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the Covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, and tossed with tempests, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with Sapphires, &c.R And when bloody oppressors prevail and prosper, we may thus plead with our God, Have respect unto the Covenant: for the dark paces of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.R For the tenor of the Covenant which God makes with Christ and his spiritual seed, runs thus, If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments: Then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him: nor suffer my faithfulnes to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips, &c.R And, As for thee also, by the blood of the Covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water.R How precious beyond all expressions are the treasures of God's love in the Covenant of Promise! These mines are digged up and discovered in this discourse, many obscure Scriptures, full of rich Gospel-Grace are here interpreted from the original languages, and by a judicious comparing of one place with another. The book (I believe) will commend itself unto the considerate Reader: and because so many godly, learned, well-approved brethren, have been pleased to honour it with their attestation, therefore my further testimony would be altogether needless and unseasonable. If the phrase of speech seem sometimes knotty and unusual, I desire that sserious attention may take off that discouragement. A little diligence doth often conquer great-appearing difficulties, and love of truth will make laborious in searching after the knowledge of it. The Lord direct and prosper thy perusal of this Treatise, that thereby thy soul may be edified in grace and comfort, through the accomplishment of his glorious Promises in the Lord our Saviour, in whom, and for whom, I will endeavour to approve myself,
Thy faithful Friend and Servant,
S I M E O N A S H.
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The Contents of the several Chapters.
Of the first part.1. OF the significations of the word Covenant.
The second part.1. Of the New Testament, or Covenant, and how God hath revealed himself herein.
[References for the Editor's Foreword: when clicking on a link the relevant reference should be the first appearing on the screen. Notes appeared in the margin in the original edition.]
Col 1:26 <BACK>
1 Cor. 2:2 <BACK>
2 Cor 1:10<BACK>
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