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promise, as the Apostle citing part of that context, as the voice of the gospel shews, Rom. X.--vi. viii. with Deut. xxx. 11.-xiv, and it reacheth to the Jews in the latter days, ver. 1--5.
Ja. lxv. 23. In the most glorious gospelstate of the church, ver. 17-19, the blessing of the Lord is the promised portion of the offspring or children, as well as of the faithful parents, so Isai. xliv. 3, 4. Isai. lix. 20, 21. Ezek. xxxvii. 25, 26. at the future calling of the Jews, which those texts have reference to (Rom. xi. 26. Ezek. xxxvii. 19—22, 23, 24, their chil. dren shall be under the promise or covenant of special grace to be conveyed to them in the ordinances, Isai. lix. 21, and be subjects of David, i. e. Christ their King. Ezek. xxxvii. 25, and have a portion in his sanctuary, ver. 26, and this according to the tenor of the ancient covenant of Abraham, whereby God will be their God, (vizz both of parents and children) and they shall be his people, ver. 26, 27. Now although more abundant fruits of the covenant may be seen in those times, and the Jews then may have more abundant grace given to the body of them to continue in the covenant; yet the tenor and frame of the covenant itself, is one and the same, both to Jews and Gentiles under the New Testament, Gal. iii. 28. Col. iii. 11. Heb. viii. 10. The house of Israel, i. e. the church of God both among Jews and Gentiles under the New Testament, have that cov. enant made with them; the sum whereof is, I will be their God, and they shall be my people ;
which is a renewing of that covenant of Abraham, in Gen. xvii. (as the same is very often over in those terms renewed in scripture, and is distinguished from the law, Gal. iii. 16, 17, Heb. viii. 9,) wherein is implied Gods being a God to the seed, as well as parents, and taking both to be his people, though it be not expressed; even as it is often plainly implied in that expression of the covenant in other places of scripture, Deut. xxix. 13. Jer. xxxi. 1, and 32, 38, 39, and xxiv. 7, and xxx. 22, 20. Ezek. xxxvii. 27, 25. Also the writing of the law in the heart, in Heb. viii. 10, is that heart-circumcision which Deut. xxx. 6, extends both to parents and seed. And the term house of Israel, doth according to scripture-use fitly express and take in (especially as to the external administration of the covenant) both parents and children, among both which are found that elect and saved number, that make up the visible Israel, compare Jer. xiii. 11, and ix. 26. Isai. v. 7. Hos. i. 6. Ezek. xxxix. 25. Neither may we exclude the least in age from the good of that promise, Heb, viii. 11, (they being sometimes pointed to by that phrase, from the least to the greatest, Jer. xliv. 12, with verse 7,) no more than the least in other respects; compare Isai. liv. 13.
In Acts ii. 39, at the passing of those Jews into New Testament church-estate, the Lord is so far from repealing the covenant interest that was granted unto children in the former Testament, or from making the children than
dosers by their parents faith, that he doth expressly renew the old grant, and tells them that the promise or covenant (for the promise and the covenant are terms that do mutually infer each other ; compare Acts iii. 25.
Gal. iii. 16, 17, 18, 29. Rom. iv. 16. Heb. vj. 17,) is to them and to their children, and the sanie is asserted to be the appointed portion of the far off Gentiles, when they should be called. By all which it appeareth, that the covenant of Abraham, Gen. xvii. 7, whereby God is the God of the faithful and their seed, continues under the gospel.
Now if the seed of the faithful be still in the covenant of Abraham, then they are members of the visible church. 1. Because that covenant of Abraham, Gen. xvii. 7. was properly church-covenant, or the covenant which God makes with his visible church, i. e. the covenant of grace considered in the external dispensation of it, and in the promises and privileges that belong to that dispensation : For many were taken into that covenant, that were never of the invsible church : And by that covenant, the family of Abraham, as also by the renewing thereof, the house of Israel, were afterward established the visible church of God, Gen. xvii. and Deut. xxix. 12, 13, and from that covenant men might be broken off, Gen. xvii. 14. Rom. xi. 17, 19, and to that covenant, circumcision, the badge of church-membership was annexed. Therefore the covenanters therein were and are church-members. 2. Because in that cov.
enant the seed are spoken of in terms describing or inferring church-membership, as well as their parents; for they have God for their God, and are his people, as well as the parents, Gen. xvii. 7, 8, with Deut. xxix. 11, 13. They have the covenant made with them, Deut. xxix. 14, 15, and the covenant is said to be between God and them (between me and thee, and between thy seed after thee : So the Hebrew runs) Gen. xvii. 7. They are also in that covenant appointed to be the subjects of the initiatory seal of the covenant, the seal of membership, Gen. xvii. 9, 10, 11. Therefore the seed are according to that covenant, members of the visible church, as well as their parents.
ARG. 2. Such seed or children are federally holy, 1 Cor. vii. 14. The word holy as applied to any sort of persons, is never in scripture used in a lower sense, than for federal or covenant-holiness, (the covenant holiness of the visible church) but very often in that sense, Ezra ix. 2. Deut. vii. 6, and xiv. 2, 21, and xxvi. 19, and xxviii. 9. Exod. xix. 6. Dan. vii. 24, and xii. 7. Rom. xi. 16. so that to say they are holy in this sense, viz, by covenant, relation, and separation to God in his church, is as much as to say, they are in the covenant of the visible church, or members of it.
ARG. 3. From Mark x. 14, 15, 16. Mat. xix. 14, childrens membership in the visible church, is either the next and immediate sense of those words of Christ, Of such is the kingdon, of beaven; and so the kingdom of heaven, or of
God, is not rarely used in other scriptures to express the visible church, or church-estate, Mat. xxv. 1, and xxi. 43, and viii. 11, 12, or it evidently follows from any other sense that can rationally be given of the words. For those may not be denied a place and portion in the visible church, whom Christ affirms to have a portion in the kingdom, either of invisible grace, or of eternal glory: Nor do any in ordinary course pass into the kingdom of glory hereafter, but through the kingdom of grace in the visi. ble church here. Add also, that Christ there graciously invites and calls little children to him, is greatly displeased with those that would hinder them, asserts them, notwithstanding their infancy, to be exemplary in receiving the kingdom of God, embraceth them in his arms, and blesseth them; all which shews Christ's dear affection to, and owning of the children of the church, as a part of his kingdom 's whom we therefore may not disown, lest we incur his displeasure, as the disciples did.
ARG. 4. Such seed or children are disciples according to Mat. xxviii. 19, as appears, 1. Because subjects of Christ's kingdom are equiva lent with disciples there, as the frame of that text shews, verse 18, 19, 20, but such children. are subjects of Christ's kingdom, or of the kingdom of heaven, Mat. xix. 14. In the discipling of all nations intended in Mat. xxviii. 19, the kingdom of God, which had been the
portion of the Jews, was communicated to the Gentiles, according to Mat. xxi. 43. But in the