Benjamin Keach, The Everlasting Covenant (Complete)

An Elegy Upon the Death of That Reverend and Faithful Minister of the Gospel Mr. Henry Forty, Late Pastor of a Church of Christ at Abingdon, in the County of Berks, who departed this Life in the 67th. Year of his Age, and was Interred in Southwark, Jan. 27th. 1692/3.

Mourn, mourn, O Sion! thou hast Forty lost,
Wave upon wave, with Tempest thou art tost
Our Sorrow’s great, and worser things draw near,
Sad Symptoms of most dismal Days appear:

Christ’s blest Ambassadors are call’d away,
And few these things unto their hearts do lay.
Many we lost before, for which we mourn,
And shall we Forty lose without a Groan?

Shall we not sigh for him who lately fell?
Or not deem him a Prince in Israel?
Say if you can, what cause gave he to fear,
He was not ev’ry way a Man sincere?

How many years did he his Master serve?
And never from Christ’s Truth did start or swerve
Shall Envy then his Name or Glory stain?
Or Prejudice wound him to death again?

O let his Name! his precious Name still live,
And to his Ashes no Abuses give.
Near Twelve long Years he did in Prison lie,
As Exeter can fully testify,

For witnessing unto God’s holy Truth,
Which he most dearly loved from his Youth;
An Instrument was he in Jesus Hand
In his Converting many in this Land:

Nay, his own Father and his Mother were
Ev’n both Converted by…

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First by way of Reprehension.

First. This reproves those (and may serve to convince them of their horrid Blindness and Unbelief) that look on Sin as a trivial thing, a small matter; and so go on in a wicked and ungodly course of life, who add Drunkenness to Thirst; and yet say they shall have Peace: O Souls! do you not tremble to think of the evil of sin? When you hear nothing but the Blood of the Son of God can atone for it, nor satisfy God’s offended Justice and injured Law, do you think God will spare you? pardon you while you live in your sins, and make Provision for the flesh to fulfil the Lusts thereof, did he not spare his own Son, when he stood in our place, charged with our Iniquities? but let out his Wrath upon him, and will he spare you? that have your own sins and horrid guilt and pollution charged upon your own Souls? if you refuse the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Merits of his blood, and do not fly to him, cleave to him, embrace him, and the tender of God’s Grace in and by him, but do neglect so great Salvation, and the means of it, down to Hell you will be brought every Soul of you with vengeance. Nothing shews the evil of sin more than the bleeding Sides, bleeding Heart, and bleeding Hands, and bleeding Feet of the Son of God: and did he suffer thus to satisfy for our sins? for your sins? and shall any Soul alive think, if they slight him, believe not in him, he shall escape Divine Wrath; how can your hands be strong in any way of Wickedness, whilst you look up and see Jesus Christ hang languishing on the Cross, and crying out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

2. This reproves all those (and may tend to convince them of their Folly and Ignorance) whose hopes lies in something else, and not in this Covenant. Those whose hope lies in their sober and civil Lives, they conclude all is well with them, because they are not guilty of those immoral Impieties and greatest Wickedness which others are defiled with: Alas! what good will this do you? when one evil Thought is a breach of that Holy Law that lays you under Wrath and the fearful Curse thereof; will you trust to your honest moral Lives, and sober Conversations, and so slight and neglect the Grace of God offer’d by Jesus Christ in this Covenant: Why Sirs, do you think God sent his Son into the World? if by leading a moral and sober Life Men might be saved.

3. This reproves also those who mixt their own Inherent Holiness and Evangelical Obedience with Christ’s Righteousness, in point of Justification and Acceptation with God, who make Faith in the large Extent, i. e. Faith withal the Concomitants of it, a Condition of Justification, who distinguish between Christ doing for us, as a Redeemer in the Flesh by dying, and render that more extensive, than what he does by the Spirit; as if he was the Head of all Mankind in dying, and all, as so consisidered, have Union with him: but that many of those he died for, shall never be saved by his Life; because they do not answer the Condition of Faith and sincere Obedience; intimating, that Faith is not a Fruit of Christ’s Death, but is wrought out by the Creature through the help of the Spirit; tho’ we have Faith for Christ’s sake, for Christ’s Merits (in a remote sense) as we have fair weather, Pacific paper, p. 5. For had not Christ atoned an satisfied for sin, and the breach of the Law of Works, we could not have had any Blessings either temporal or spiritual: but if it were only thus, then the Covenant of Grace is not so well ordered and sure as we believe it is, but how do they understand that Text, Rom. 5.10. for if when we were Enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being now reconciled, we shall be saved by his Life. Were not all the Elect, or all Christ died for, virtually (as in our Head) reconciled to God by the Death of Christ? and doth not the Apostle assure us that we shall much more be saved by Christ’s Life, if he reconciled us to God by his Death? was not the Gift of Christ in his death for us a greater gift than the gift of the Spirit to us? Did not we all rise from the dead with Christ, virtually when he was raised? And doth not that give us Assurance that we shall be actually quickened and raised, First from a death in sin, respecting our souls; and also be all raised to Eternal Life and Glory, at the last day respecting our Bodies. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not freely give us all things, Rom. 8 32. may it not from these two Scriptures be confident∣ly asserted, that all Christ dyed for shall be saved, i. e. shall have Grace here and Glory hereafter? doth not the Apostle argue from the greater Gift of God’s Grace to the lesser Gift? and that he that gave the greater will not stick to give the lesser.

Were not all that Christ died for, chosen in him before the foundation of the World? that they should be holy, and without blame before him in love, Eph. 1.4, 5. and did not the…

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Thirdly, I shall shew you how this Covenant is all the Hope, Desire, Salvation and Consolation of every True Believer in Life and Death.

By what I have already said, all may perceive how, or which way, all their Salvation and Comfort lies in this Covenant, so that I need say but little to this. But to proceed.

1. ‘Tis all our Hope, Desire, Salvation and Consolation; because this Covenant was the Contrivance of the Infinite Wisdom of God, the Top Glory of all his Transactions, for, and in the behalf of Man from all Eter∣nity: Nay, such manifold Wisdom, such depth of Wisdom shines forth in it, that the glorious Angels desir’d to pry into it, 1 Pet. 1.12. the Word signifies (as our Annotators intimate) a bowing down the Head, or stoop∣ing to look into a thing; O! they behold this Mystery of Salvation by Christ, in this Covenant with holy Amazement, and are willing to learn by the Church: and this Mystery is to this end, in part, manifest by the Gospel, that they might make it the Subject of their Thoughts, Contemplation and Meditation and Wonderment (as I may so say) ’tis to affect those glorious Spirits; to the intent that now unto the Principalities and Powers in heavenly Places might be known by the Church, the manifold Wisdom of God, Eph. 3.10. Angels, Sirs, do attend our Assemblies, to know, and hear, and understand the Mysteries of this Covenant and Redemption by Christ: Is it then any wonder? ’tis all the Desire, Hope and Delight of Believers, who are so eminently concerned in this Salvation, Christ is not a Redeemer of the Angels, for they who stood needed none. Yet as our Divines shew, he is their Confirmer, he is the Head of Angels, as well as of the Church, and they Worship Him, as well as we.

2. ‘Tis the Saint’s Desire and Delight, because ’tis suited so admirably to Exalt God in all his Holy Attributes, and abase, sinful Man; to Exalt Christ, put the Crown on his Head, and lay us at his Feet: this is that Jehovah, design’d and aim’d at, and this all Believers and truly gracious Souls aim at also; this is all their Desire, and therefore they are so taken with this Covenant. O let such look to it, that any ways go about to lessen or eclipse the Glory of God’s Grace in this Covenant, or magnify and exalt sorry man in the least degree.

3. ‘Tis because ’tis a great, a full, and complete Salvation that is contained in this Covenant: This is all my Salvation, ’tis not a part of it; Christ in this Covenant did not work out a piece of it, and leave us to work out the rest: all our Salvation is of Grace, whatever we as Sinners, or as Saints do want, ’tis contain’d in this Covenant. Christ is not only given for us, but also given to us; not only the Medicine, and but a…

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2dly. I shall open the Excellent Nature of this Glorious and Everlasting Covenant.

1. ‘Tis, you have heard, all of Grace, as it respecteth us, tho’ Jesus Christ paid dear for it; he procured all the Blessings of it for us, by his Merits, i. e. by his Perfect Obedience and Suffering: By Grace ye are saved through Faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God, Eph. 2.8. not of Works; lest any man should boast: for we are his Workmanship created in Christ Jesus to good Works, v. 10. not by Works of Righteousness that we have done, but by his Mercy he saved us, Tit. 3.5.

2. ‘Tis as it appears from hence, an Absolute, and not a Conditional Covenant: not if we do this and that, viz get a new Heart, and perform the Condition of Gospel-Holiness and Obedience, we shall have pardon and be justified; no, but otherwise: He that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith is counted for Righteousness, Rom. 4.5. all is freely of Grace through Christ’s Merit, I will take away the Heart of Stone, and give them a Heart of Flesh, a new Heart I will give them, and new Spirit I will put within them: I will be their God, and they shall be my People.

Now ’tis question’d, (saith Reverend Cotton,) whether the Promise wherein the Lord giveth himself, be Absolute or Conditional? Faith to receive Christ is ever upon an Absolute Promise. If you will say, it is a Promise to a Condition, what kind of Condition was it? There is no Condition before Faith, but a Condition of Misery, a lost Condition; or if a gracious Condition, it is a Condition subsequent, not pre-existant, no Condition before it, whereby a Man can close with Christ: and if it was a Condition after Faith unto which the Promise was made, then Faith was before; and thatsoever followeth Conversion, is no ground of Faith, but a fruit and Effect of it: therefore I say, our first coming to Christ can∣not be upon a Conditional, but an Absolute Promise.

And indeed (saith he) if ever the Lord minister Comfort unto any Man, true Comfort upon good grounds, it is built upon a Promise of Free Grace, be unto Justification received: it is true indeed, a gracious Question and a Promise to it, may give a good Evidence of its Aposteriore: Cotton’s Treatise of the New Covenant, p. 56, 57. and again (he saith) God doth give himself in working Faith, before Faith can be there; and therefore it is the Fruit of the Spirit that Faith is wrought in the Soul, and this Faith doth receive the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ himself by his Spirit, and doth receive also Justification and Adoption: Again (saith he) a man is passive in his Regeneration as in Generation, only the Lord giveth us his Spirit and that doth unite us unto Christ, which is received by Faith, together with Justification; and yet by the Act of Believing we are justified, also Gal. 2.26. that is manifested to be justified in our own Consciences, p. 55. thus far Mr. Cotton. What are we able to do, when dead in Sin and Trespasses? Can we believe before the Habit is infused from whence the Act proceedeth? or move before we have Life or are quickened?

3. It is a well ordered Covenant: for that Covenant that is ordered in all things, is well ordered, &c. but to make this further manifest, I shall shew you that ’tis well ordered, 1. In respect of God (I mean) for his Glory, in all his glorious Attributes. 2. ‘Tis well order’d in respect of the Glory clear Revelation, and Manifestation of the Three Persons in the God-Head, that bear witness in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Spirit; these Three are One in Essence, yet three Subsistances. 3. ‘Tis well order’d to confound and destroy the grand Works and Design of the Devil. 4. ‘Tis well order’d in respect of God’s Holy Law, that the Sanction and Honour of the Law might not be lost or suffer the least Eclipse. 5. And lastly, ’tis well order’d for our good. A little briefly to each of these.

First, His Covenant is well order’d, in respect had to the Glory of all God’s Attributes.

1. The Sovereignty of God shines forth gloriously in the Contrivance and bringing in this Covenant; for God he having Absolute Dominion for ever over the Works of his Hands, to dispose and…

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Beloved, This Covenant was Primarily made with Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the blessed Trinity, as Mediator, and as the Root, common Head and Representative of all the Elect, or all that the Father hath given to Christ, we read of Two Covenants, an Old, and a New, a First, and a Second, a Covenant of Works, and a Covenant of Grace.

The First Covenant was made with the First Adam, for himself and his Posterity, as the common Head of all Mankind, and so also there was a Covenant made with the Second Adam for himself, and all those chosen in him, or all his Seed; and though this Covenant (as to Revelation of it) is called the Second Covenant, yet it was made with Christ for all the Elect Seed, before the World began; God foreseeing Man would fall from his First Estate, and break his Covenant, and so plunge himself and all his Posterity under Divine Wrath and Misery.

Now that there was some Gracious Covenant Transactions, between the Father and the Son, from before all Worlds, about the bringing in and establishment of this blessed Covenant of Grace, for the Redemption of Fallen Man, appears evident from many Texts of Holy Scripture; see that in Zach 6:12,13. And speak unto him, saying, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the man called the branch, and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the Temple of the Lord, ver. 12. Even he shall build the Temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and he shall sit and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a Priest upon his throne, and the counsel of Peace shall be between them both, ver. 13.

I know, some understand by them both, the Kingly, and Priestly Office of Jesus Christ; First, That as our great High-Priest, he should offer the great Sacrifice to God, to make an Atonement and Reconciliation for us, and rule as King, and give Laws; and thus (say they) the Peace made for God’s People, shall rest between these two, viz. The Kingly, and Priestly Office of Christ; by his Priestly Office, he shall make their Peace with God, and by his Kingly Office, he shall deliver them from the Tyran∣ny of Sin, and Satan, &c. By Priestly Operation and Undertakings, he shall expiate Sin, and by his Kingly Office he shall subdue and extirpate Sin; as a Priest he makes Peace, and as a King he maintains that Peace he purchased as a Priest, and protects as a King; and thus say they, the Co∣venant of Peace is between them both.—I will not deny, but that this may in part, be intended in the Text,— yet I doubt not but by them both, is also meant the Persons spoken of, viz. The Father and the Son, the Lord of Hosts, and the Man called the Branch; for, by them, ’tis most Congruous certainly, to take it for the Persons, or the two Parties mentioned; and the Covenant of Peace, it is plain from other Texts of Scripture, was between the Father and the Son; although I grant the Son on his part, brings it about by his being a Priest, and as a King, sitting and ruling on his Throne, he maintains our Interest: com∣pare this with Is 49:3,4,5,6. God calls Christ forth by the name of Israel, ver. 3. Thou art my Servant O Israel, in whom I will be glorified, (the Name of the Body being given here to the Head, as sometimes the Church bears Christ’s Name, so here he bears the Name of the Church, that the Church in Union with Christ, is called Christ; see 1 Cor 12:12.) as if the Father should so say to the Son, I have fix’d my Thoughts upon thee to be the great Sponsor, and Surety for my Chosen; and I will enter into a Covenant no more with them, without thou wilt undertake for them, and in their Nature and Stead, satisfy for their Sins, and accomplish all my Pleasure; so Is 42:6. I the Lord have called thee, and will hold thy Hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the People, for a light of the Gentiles, to declare my Righteousness; or, as ’tis said, Rom 3:26. That God might be Just, and the Justifier of him that believes in Jesus; that I (as if God should say) may appear a Pure, Just, and Righteous God, and so magnifie the attribute of my infinite Holiness, which shines forth in my just and righteous Law, and yet appear also, as I am a merciful and gracious God; therefore I have called thee whom I long ago entered into a Covenant with, for, and in behalf of them, whether Jews or Gentiles, who are chosen; and I will give thee to be for a Covenant, or, the Angel of the Covenant, and the Mediator and Surety thereof, in and by whom the Covenant of my Grace is made and confirmed with my People. To this purpose, speaks also Reverend Mr. Pool, in his Annotations on this Place.

2dly. Also, Christ declares his Agreement and hearty Consent, to undertake in this Covenant as ’tis hinted, Heb 10:7. Then said I, lo I come (in the volume of thy book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God, thy law is in…

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13 Dec 2022, by

The Everlasting Covenant, A Sweet Cordial for a drooping Soul: Or, The Blessed Nature Of The Covenant Of Grace Opened


The Solemn Occasion of this Assembly, may put us all in mind of our Mortality, Death is certain; all must die (as the Psalmist says) What Man is he that liveth and shall not see Death? Can he deliver his Soul from the Hand of the Grave? Ps 89:48.

Wicked Men die, so do the Godly, and as do the People, so do their Ministers, The Fathers, where are they? and the Prophets, do they live for ever? Yet there is a vast Difference between the Death of the Ungodly, and the Death of the Godly, &c. But to proceed, the Text I am to speak to, was left me by our Honoured Brother deceas’d, which shews the comfortable Hopes he had in Death, which is that in the 2 of Samuel 23:5. Although my House be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting Covenant, ordered on all things and sure: for this is all my Salvation, and all my Desire, although he make it not to grow.

My Text contains some of David’s dying Words, or Words which he uttered upon the near approach of his Death, see vers. 1. Now these be the last Words of David the Son of Jesse, and the Man who was raised up on high, the Anoin∣ted of the God of Jacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel. Tho’ it may be doubted, whether these Words, contained in the First verse, were uttered by David or not, but rather by the sacred Pen-man of this Book, yet the Words following, ’tis evident, were spoke by him, verse 2. The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his Word was in my Tongue. I utter not these Words (as if he should say) as by my own Spirit, but the Matter is dictated and given to me, by God’s Spirit, which is the great Teacher of his Prophets and People. vers. 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me; he that ruleth over Men must be Just, ruling in the Fear of God. Here are laid down the Two great and principal Parts of the Duty of Kings, and Supreme Rulers of People and Nations, Justice towards Men, and Piety towards God. vers. 4. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the Sun riseth, even a morning without Clouds; as the tender Grass springing out of the Earth by clear shining after Rain. These Words may be applied to the Good and Righteous Government of any Godly King, &c. but chiefly, no doubt they contain a Prediction of the blessed Effects of the Reign and Kingdom of the Messias, of whom David (but more-especially Solomon his Son and his Peaceable Kingdom) was a Type or Figure of.

And thus I hasten in order to my Text, with what speed I well could. Although my House be not so with God; a little first by way of Explication: Although my House be not so with God, how is that? i. e. ‘Tis not as a Morning without Clouds, nor as the tender Grass springing out of the Earth, by clear shining after Rain; for my Morning (as if he should so say) has been over-cast, dark and dismal Clouds seem to attend my Kingdom, and my Children have not hitherto been like the tender Grass springing out of the Earth, by the sweet Influences of the Sun, and distillation of Rain, but rather like the Grass that withereth away, or is cut down before its due time: I have not so walked with God, as his infinite Mercies obligeth me to do; but have had many Weaknesses and Infirmities attending me, Yet he has made with me an everlasting Covenant. Tho’ I have broke Cove∣nant with God on my part, yet God will perform his Covenant with me, my Sins (as if he should so say) he hath pardoned, his Covenant is everlasting, on his part he will keep it, and the Messiah shall come of the Fruit of my Loins, whose Kingdom shall be as a Morning without Clouds, &c. And his Covenant with me he will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of his Mouth, see Ps 89:32,33,34. He intimateth, that his House or Family, God had not made to grow, increase, or flourish with that Glory, Peace and Prosperity, as he expected; nor had he such clear Evidences of God’s gracious Presences, and Communion with him in his Soul, as he might have had, had he not sinned, and grieved his Spirit; but tho’ it was thus, yet he saw he was in Covenant with God, and in an everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things, for God’s Glory, and for his eternal Good; and this was all his Hope, he foresaw Christ’s Blessed Day, with whom this Covenant stands fast, and this was all his Desire, my Soul only hath Comfort in this Covenant, and desires to build alone upon it: For it is (saith he) all my Salvation, I expect Salvation no other ways; ’tis not a part of it, but the whole of it from First to Last; here began my Hope, and here I stay my self, and will close my Days in the Faith of a dear Redeemer, that shall in due time be revealed, who is my Lord as well as he, shall be, according to the Flesh, my Son, or Off-spring, and this shall be accomplished, although it do not seem to grow, or but small Appearances are manifested as yet, either in me, or in my House or Family. In the Words are Three Parts.

1. Something supposed, (or taken for granted) wherein is implied David’s great Grief and Trouble, viz. Although my House be not so with God.

2. Something asserted, which signifies his Faith and Confidence in God, Yet he hath made with me an everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure.

3. A comfortable Inference, or Conclusion from thence; for this is all my Salvation, and all my Desire, although he make it not to grow.

And from hence I shall observe Three Points of Doctrine,

1. Doct. That Darkness, Troubles, and Afflictions, with a decay of Grace, or spiritual Liveliness, may attend the State of Christians sometimes, while in his Life, which they cannot but acknowledge and mourn under the sight and sence of.

2. Doct. That God hath made with True Believers a blessed and well ordered Covenant.

3. Doct. That the Covenant of Grace which is made with Believers in Christ, is an everlasting Covenant, order’d in all things, and sure, and is the only Spring or Fountain of their Salvation, Hope, Desire and Consolation, both in Life and Death.

It is the last Proposition or Point of Doctrine I shall now Prosecute, (judging it may most fitly Answer that which was the chief Design and end of our Honoured Brother deceas’d, in choosing this Text to be opened at his Funeral, from whence he doubtless found so much Comfort under those grievous Afflictions and Trials in his Life, and also at the time of his Death)

Four Things I purpose to do.

First, Shew you what this Covenant is, and with whom it was primarily made, and for whom.

Secondly, Open the Excellent Nature of the Covenant of Grace.

Thirdly, Shew how all a Believer’s Salvation, Hope, Desire and Consolation in Life and Death, lies in this Covenant.

Fourthly, Shall make some Application of it.

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Original Preface

7 Dec 2022, by

To the Congregation at Horsly-down, who were the Auditors of this Sermon, the Author wishes all the Blessings of the Everlasting Covenant, even the sure Mercies of David.


The Subject treated on, in this ensuing Discourse, is of the highest Concernment; and tho’ the Substance of what is herein contained, you have heard from the Pulpit, yet I am persuaded, it will not be unpleasing to you, to see those great Truths presented to your view from the Press. Some of you know, that I had not time to go through the Whole of my Work the first time, therefore I insisted again on it, the Lord’s Day following; and yet some Things I have added, which was at neither of those seasons delivered, the better to perfect the Work. I told you, the Text was left me by our honoured Brother deceas’d, on his Death-Bed; this Covenant being all his Support, Salvation, and Consolation, (as it was David’s) both in his Life, and at his Death. Nothing like Experience, no Doctrine like to this to die in, (as some of the Papists themselves have confessed.) Men may talk of their own Righteousness, and Gospel-Holiness; yet I am persuaded, they will not dare to plead, in Point of Justification, on their Death-Beds, nor in the Judgment-Day: No, no, ’tis nothing but Christ, and his Righteousness, his Merits, can give Relief to a wounded, and distressed Conscience. I have endeavoured to shew, That the Distinction some Men make between the Covenant of Redemption, and the Covenant of Grace, is without Ground, being but one and the same Covenant; and, That the Covenant of Grace, comprehendeth that between God, and Christ for us, as Mediator about our Redemption, which was as full of Grace, in the first making of it, as in the Revelation, and Application thereof, according to what was promised thereupon, 2 Tim 1:9; Tit 1,2, its Rise, and Constitution, was from Eternity, tho’ the Revelation, and Publication, was in Time: Christ did not (as one observes) purchase a Covenant of Grace for us, to enter into with God; for the Covenant itself, Christ, and all the Grace, and Glory thereof, lay in the eternal Counsel of God’s Will, and accordingly transacted with Christ, as the Representative of all the Elect.

This Covenant is the only City of Refuge, for a distressed Soul, to fly to for Sanctuary, when all the the billows and waves of Temptations run over him, or Satan doth furiously assault him: If We fly to this Armory, We can ne∣ver want Weapons to resist the Devil, nor doubt of Success against him. And now that it may be of Use to you all who shall read it, shall be the Prayers of your un∣worthy Servant, in the Gospel,

Benjamin Keach

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29 Nov 2022, by

The 1646 Westminster Confession Of Faith, Article 7, Paragraphs 2&3:

”The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein he freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.”

The 1689 Second London Baptist Confession Of Faith, Article 7, Paragraph 1:

“Man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.”

The language of the 1646 Confession is representative of the Presbyterian view of covenant theology, whereas that of the 1689 Confession represents the view of the Reformed Baptists. Both groups subscribe to a conditional covenant of grace, believing that God has made a covenant with sinners in time, requiring of them faith in Christ in order to be saved. This teaching sometimes goes by the name of Duty-Faith, and is often accompanied by the free offer of the gospel. It is on the basis of this conditional covenant that the foregoing groups have constructed their frameworks of covenant theology.

Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), one of the leading Strict and Particular Baptist pastors in London, endorsed the 1689 Confession, as his name appears with thirty-six other representatives “in the name of and on the behalf of the whole assembly”. However, three years later, he preached two sermons rejecting the notion of a conditional covenant of grace. In so doing, he destroyed the foundation upon which the Presbyterians and the Reformed Baptists have built their covenant theology.

The sermons were occasioned by the death of…

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The Title Page

29 Nov 2022, by

The Everlasting Covenant, A Sweet Cordial For A Drooping Soul, Or, The Excellent Nature Of The Covenant Of Grace Opened

Psalm 89:33: “My Covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my Lips.”

In A Sermon Preached January the 29th, At Abingdon, In The County Of Berks,

At The Funeral Of Mr. Henry Forty, Late Pastor Of A Church Of Christ, Who Departed This Life Jan. 25th 1692, And Was Interred At Southwark

Wherein The Arguments Urged To Prove The Covenant Of Redemption A Distinct Covenant From The Covenant Of Grace, Are Examined, Weighed, And Found Wanting

To which Is Added, An Elegy On The Death Of The Said Minister

By Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), Pastor Of A Church Of Christ, Meeting At Horsly-down, Southwark, 1693

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