Robert South

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Everlasting Covenant of Grace

The ground and cause of Christ's sufferings, was God's propriety in, and relation to the persons for whom Christ suffered, specified in these words – my people; “for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” {Is.53:8} If it be here asked, upon what account the persons here spoken were denominated and made God's people? I answer, that they were so by an Eternal Covenant and Transaction between the Father and the Son; by which the Father, upon certain conditions to be performed by the Son, consigned over some persons to Him to be his people. For our better understanding of which we are to observe that the business of man's Redemption proceeds from this Covenant. An Eternal Covenant made between the Father and the Son, by which the Father agreed to give both grace and glory to a certain number of sinners, upon condition that Christ would assume their nature and pay down such a Ransom to his Justice as should both satisfy for their sin, and withal merit such a measure of grace as should effectually work in them all things necessary to their salvation; and this Covenant may be properly called a Covenant of Suretyship or Redemption; upon which alone and not upon any covenant made between God and men in their own persons is built the infallibility of the future believing, repenting and final preservation of such as Christ from all eternity undertook to make his people. Now by that Eternal Compact or Transaction between the Father and the Son was this donation of a certain determinate number of persons made to Christ to be his people; by virtue of which agreement or transaction he was in the fullness of time to suffer for them, and to accomplish the whole work of their Redemption from First to Last. For to affirm that Christ died only to verify a proposition {that whosoever believed should be saved} but in the meantime to leave the whole issue of things in reference to persons so loose and undetermined, that it was a question, whether ever anyone should actually believe, and very possible that none ever might; and consequently that after Christ had suffered, had been stricken, and died for transgression; yet, for anything that he had done, in all this, he might never have had a people. This certainly is a strange and new Gospel, and such as the doctrine of our Church seems utterly unacquainted with. Robert South {Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, 1692}


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Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle
and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Hebrews 3:1