Thomas Shepard on the Christian’s comfort in the covenant of grace

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
What is a Christian’s comfort, and where doth it chiefly lie, but in this, That the Lord hath made with him an everlasting Covenant, in all things stablished and sure? Which were the last breathings of the sweet Singer of Israel, and the last bubblings up of the joy of his heart, 2 Sam. 23.5. God the Father’s eternal purposes are sealed secrets, not immediately seen, and the full and blessed accomplishments of those purposes are not yet experimentally felt; the Covenant is the midst between both God’s purposes and performances, by which and in which we come to see the one, before the world began, and by a blessed Faith (which makes things absent, present) to enjoy the other, which shall be our glory, when this world shall be burnt up, and all things in it shall have an end.

For in God’s Covenant and promise we see with open face God’s secret purpose for time past. God’s purposes toward his people being as it were nothing else but promises concealed, and God’s promises in the Covenant being nothing else but his purposes revealed; as also in the same Covenant and promises we see performances for future, as if they were accomplishments at present. Where then is a Christian’s comfort, but in that Covenant wherein two Eternities (as it were) meet together, & whereby he may see accomplishments (made sure to him) of eternal glory, arising from blessed purposes of eternal Grace? In a word, wherein he fastens upon God, and hath him from everlasting to everlasting, comprehended at hand near and obvious in his words of a gracious Covenant?

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