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say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” He speaks of the believer, as being already in possession of this never-ending life. If the believer's faith were to be changed into unbelief, and his crown of glory exchanged for an eternal weight of wrath, how could it be said of him with truth, at any time, He that believeth on me bath everlasting life? Such an event would prove, that the life which he had was not everlasting life, because it did not last forever. It is true, that the believer is not now in heaven, but he is sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of the inheritance.
The 5th and last question in the public Debate was to this amount, Will any one who is united to Christ by a vital union, so fall away as to perish ? Hear Christ's answer, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” The truth contained in the text appears to be this, that The true believer in Christ cannot fall away so as to fail of eternal blessedness : or, in other words, Every true believer will persevere unto the end.
I shall attempt to prove this by attending, first, to the nature of the covenant of redemption, which subsists between the persons of the God. head, concerning the redemption of men ; and then to the covenant of grace, which God has made with believers in Christ.
I, That every true believer will persevere to the end and be saved, may be proved by attend. ing to the covenant of redemption. The scriptures evidently bring into view such a covenant, though they do not give it a name : But since the covenant directly relates to the redemption of sinners, it has been thought suitable to give. it the name of the covenant of redemption. This covenant is between the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, those three bear record in heav. en, who are one. In this covenant, which was before the foundation of the world, the Father engages to give up his Son to become a propi. tiation for sin, and also to give him some of this sinful race, as the reward of his undertaking: the Son engages to lay down his life for sinners, and to save to the uttermost all whom the Father has given him. The holy Spirit engages to reveal Christ to those who were given him of the Father, and abide in them forever. For light concerning this covenant, let me refer you to sev. eral passages of scripture. This covenant is brought into view Psal. cx. 3, “ Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." This supposes that in our rebellious world there is a people given unto the Redeemer, concerning whom there is an engagement, that they shall become reconciled, by the power of the Holy Ghost. This covenant is evidently brought in. to view in the 53d chapter of Isaiah. " When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed :------He shall see the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” It is evident from this passage, that the Father stood engaged that his Son should not die in vain. The covenant of redemption is brought more fully into view ; in the chapter out of which our text is taken ; in which we hear the Son of God saying, “ All
that the Father giveth me shall come to me ; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will that hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this
is the will of him that sent me, that cvery one , which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may . have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” In this passage of scripture, there
is nothing explicitly said about the Holy Ghost, : though his agency is understood ; but the covenant transaction between the Father and the Son, is clearly stated. Here we notice, that some of the children of Adam are given by the Father to his Son ;---that all these will come to him ;--that the Son on his part will cheerfully receive them, not casting out a single individual who comes to him. We also notice, that Christ de. clares there is a perfect agreement between him and his Father ; that he did not come to do his own will, but the will of him who sent him. He then declares that this was his Father's will, that of all which was given him he should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. We are in another place told concerning Christ, that he is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. His Father's will is, that he should lose nothing which was given him; if there. fore he is able to save to the uttermost, and yet should lose some of his sheep, how can he be said to be faithful to his father? It is his Father's will, that every one that believeth on the Son should
have everlasting life,---the Saviour adds, 66 and I will raise him up at the last day."* This is as much as to say, that he will go perfectly through with the work of saving sinners. Raising up the saints at the last day, is the finishing stroke of their salvation. When Christ declared, that this was the will of his Father, that of all given to him he should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day, it fully implied, that it was his Father's will that the salvation of each believer should be perfected, even to the finishing stroke, the top stone of the building.
Now, if we have a right view of the covenant of redemption, the glorious Three in One cannot keep covenant with each other, without its making sure the final salvation of every believer in Christ. This covenant was made in eternity, between the three equal persons of the Godhead. It did not depend on any conditions to be performed by man. The Son did not engage to be. come a Saviour, provided the children of men should consent to receive him in that character ; the Father did not engage to give his Son some of the children of men, as the reward of his dying love, on condition they could be persuaded to accept of him for their Saviour; but he promised him that he should see of the travail of his soul; that his people should become willing. In his covenant with his Father, Christ did not engage conditionally that he would keep believers from falling, provided they were willing to be kept; but he engaged that of all which the Fa
* The promise of being raised up at the last day implies a lapty resurrection,
ther should give him, he would lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day. In this blessed covenant, which is the spring of all our hopes, the Holy Spirit covenanted, without any conditions to be performed by men, to renew and sanctify the hearts of all those whom the Father gave to the Son. In this covenant, there were no parties except the Divine Trinity. If God is faithful and true, and cannot deny himself, then true be. lievers cannot, any of them, be finally lost.
II. The same thing can be proved from the covenant of grace, or, as it is styled in scripture, the covenant of promise, and the covenant of peace. This is distinct from the covenant of redemption. The covenant of redemption is between the persons of the Godhead; the covenant of grace, or promise, is between God and men. The Lord says to Abraham, “ I will establish my covenant between me and thee.” The cov. enant of grace is the fruit of the covenant of redemption. It necessarily results from it, and is perfectly harmonious with it. As Christ cove. nanted with his father, to keep all which were given him and brought to him, and to lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day ; so he covenants with believers themselves, that he will keep them, and redeem them from all iniquity. This gracious covenant is held out to the view of sinners to induce them to seek the Lord. It is of. fered to them; they are invited, and commanded to accept of it. In the 55th chapter of Isaiah, the Lord calls to those who spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not; “ Incline your ear, and