Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof.
1. The Covenant of Works being broken by Sin, and
made unprofitable unto Life; God was pleased to give forth the promise
of Christ, (a) the Seed of
the Woman, as the means of calling the Elect, and begetting in them Faith
and Repentance; in this Promise, the (b)
Gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and therein Effectual,
for the Conversion and Salvation of Sinners.
a Gen. 3.15.
2. This Promise of Christ, and Salvation
by him, is revealed only by (c) the
Word of God; neither do the Works of Creation, or Providence, with the
light of Nature, (d) make discovery
of Christ, or of Grace by him; so much as in a general, or
obscure way; much less that men destitute of the Revelation of him by the
Promise, or Gospel; (e) should be
enabled thereby, to attain saving Faith, or Repentance.
c Rom. 1.17.
3. The Revelation of the Gospel unto Sinners, made
in divers times, and by sundry parts; with the addition of Promises, and
Precepts for the Obedience required therein, as to the Nations, and Persons,
to whom it is granted, is meerly of the (f)
Soveraign Will and good Pleasure of God; not being annexed by vertue of
any Promise, to the due improvement of mens natural abilities, by vertue
of Common light received, without it; which none ever did (g)
make, or can so do: And therefore in all Ages the preaching of the Gospel
hath been granted unto persons and Nations, as to the extent, or streightning
of it, in great variety, according to the Councell of the Will of God.
f Ps. 147,20. Act. 16.7.
4. Although the Gospel be the only outward means,
of revealing Christ, and saving Grace; and is, as such, abundantly
sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in Trespasses, may be born
again, Quickned or Regenerated; there is moreover necessary, an effectual,
work of the Holy Spirit, upon the whole Soul, for the producing
in them a new spiritual Life; without which no other means will effect
(i) their Conversion unto God.
h Ps. 110.3. 1 Cor. 2.14. Eph. 1.19