Now let us notice these words as they come. First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it is divine in its origin. “Yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” O that great word HE. Who is that? It is not my odd-father or my odd mother who has made a covenant for me—none of that nonsense. It is not a covenant man has made for me, or with me; but yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” It is divine in its origin, not human. The covenant on which the Christian rests, is not the covenant of his infant sprinkling: he has altogether broken that scores of times, for he has not “renounced the pomps and vanities of this wicked world,” as he should have done, nor “all the lusts of the flesh.” Nor has he really become regenerate through those holy drops of water which a cassocked priest cast on his face. The covenant on which he rests and stands secure, is that covenant which God has made with him. “Yet hath HE made.” Stop, my soul. God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with thee; yes, that God, who in the thickest darkness dwells and reigns for ever in his majesty alone; that God, who spake the world into existence by a word; who holds it, like an Atlas, upon his shoulders, who poises the destiny of all creation upon his finger; that God, stooping from his majesty, takes hold of thy hand and makes a covenant with thee. Oh! is it not a deed, the stupendous condescension of which might ravish our hearts for ever if we could really understand it? Oh! the depths! “HE hath made with me a covenant.” A king has not made a covenant with me—that were somewhat: an emperor has not entered into a compact with me; but the Prince of the kings of the earth, the Shaddai, the Lord of all flesh, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim. “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” O blessed thought! it is of divine origin.
But notice its particular application. “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant.” Here lies the sweetness of it to me, as an individual.
“Oh how sweet to view the flowing
Of Christ’s soul-redeeming blood,
With divine assurance knowing,
That he made my peace with God.”
It is nought for me that he made peace for the world; I want to know whether he made peace for me: it is little that he hath made a covenant, I want to know whether he has made a covenant with ME. David could put his hand upon his heart and say, “Yet hath he made a covenant with ME.” I fear I shall not be wrong in condemning the fashionable religion of the day, for it is a religion which belongs to the crowd; and not a personal one which is enjoyed by the individual. You will hear persons say, “Well, I believe the doctrine of justification; I think that men are justified through faith.” Yes, but are you justified by faith? “I believe,” says another, “that we are sanctified by the Spirit.” Yes, all very well, but are you sanctified by the Spirit? Mark you, if ever you talk about personal piety very much, you will always be run down as extravagant. If you really say from your heart, “I know I am forgiven; I am certain that I am a pardoned sinner;”—and every Christian will at times be able to say it, and would always, were it not for his unbelief—if you say, “I know in whom I have believed; I am confident that I have not a sin now recorded in the black roll; that I am free from sin as if I had never transgressed, through the pardoning blood of Jesus,” men will say it is extravagant. Well, it is a delightful extravagance, it is the extravagance of God’s Word; and I would to God more of us could indulge in that holy, blessed extravagance. For we may well be extravagant when we have an infinite sum to spend; we may well be lavish when we know we never can exhaust the treasure. Oh! how sweet it is to say, “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant. It is nought that you talk to me of my brother being saved. I am very glad that my friend should get to glory, and I shall rejoice to meet you all; but after all, the thing is, “Shall I be there?”
“Shall I amongst them stand,
To see his smiling face?”
Now, Christian, thou canst apply this personally. The covenant is made with thee. Man, open thine eyes; there is thy name in the covenant. What is it? It is some plain English name, perhaps. It never had an M.P. nor an M.A. after it, nor a “Sir,” before it. Never mind, that name is in the covenant. If you could take down your Father’s family Bible in heaven, you would find your name put in the register. O blessed thought! my name—positively mine! not another’s. So, then, these eyes shall see him, and not another’s for me. Rejoice, Christian; it is a personal covenant. “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.”
Furthermore, this covenant is not only divine in its origin, but it is everlasting in its duration. I have had some very pretty letters sent me from anonymous writers who have listened to me; and being great cowards (whom I always abhor) they cannot sign their names. They may know what fate they receive; the condign punishment I appoint to them. I cut them asunder, and thrust them into the fire. I hope the authors will not have a similar fate. Some of them, however, quarrel with me, because I preach the everlasting gospel. I dare not preach another, for I would not have another if it were offered to me. An everlasting gospel is the only one which I think worthy of an everlasting God. I am sure it is the only one which can give comfort to a soul that is to live throughout eternity. Now, you know what an “everlasting covenant” signifies. It meant a covenant which had no beginning, and which shall never, never end. Some do not believe in the everlasting nature of God’s love to his people. They think that God begins to love his people when they begin to love him. My Arminian friends, did you ever sing that verse in your meeting?—of course you have—
“O yes, I do love Jesus,
Because he first lov’d me.”
That is a glorious Calvinistic hymn, though we know whose hymn book it is in. Well, then, if Jesus loved you before you loved him, why cannot you believe that he always did love you? Besides, how stupid it is to talk so, when you know God does not change. There is no such thing as time with him; there is no past with him. If you say, “he loves me now,” you have in fact said, “he loved me yesterday, and he will love me for ever.” There is nothing but now with God. There is no such thing as past or future; and to dispute about eternal election and so on, is all of no avail; because, if God did choose his people at all—and we all admit that he chooses them now—I do not care about whether you say he did so ten thousand, thousand years ago, because there is no such thing as the past with God; with him it is all now. He sees things, past and future, as present in his eye. Only tell me that he loves me now; that word “now,” in God’s dictionary, means everlasting. Tell me that God has now pardoned my sins; it means, that he always has, for his acts are eternal acts. Oh how sweet to know an everlasting covenant! I would not barter my gospel for fifty thousand other gospels. I love a certain salvation; and when I first heard it preached, that if I believed, God’s grace would keep me all my life long, and would never let me fall into hell, but that I should preserve my character unblemished, and walk among my fellow-creatures pure and holy, then said I, “That is the gospel for me; an everlasting gospel.” As for that sandy gospel, which bets you fall away and then come back again, it is the wickedest falsehood on earth. If I believed it, I would preach the gospel and be holy on the Sunday, and fall away on the Monday, and be a Christian again on the Tuesday; and I should say, “I have fallen from grace and have got up again.” But now, as a true Calvinistic Christian, I desire to have in myself, and see in others, a life of constant consistency; nor can I think it possible to fall away, and then return, after the many passages which assert the impossibility of such a thing. That is the greatest safeguard on earth—that I have something within me that never can be quenched; that I put on the regimentals of a service which I never must leave, which I cannot leave without having proved that I never was enlisted at all. Oh! that keeps me near my God. But once make me doubt that, and you will see me the vilest character living under the sun. Take from me the everlastingness of the gospel, and you have taken all. Dear old Watts Wilkinson once said to Joseph Irons, when he said, “I love you to preach the covenant everlasting nature of God’s love,”—“ Ah!” said the old saint, “What is there else in the gospel if you do not preach it?” Brother, what is there else? If we do not preach an everlasting gospel, the gospel is not worth twopence. You may get anything uncertain anywhere else; it is in the Bible alone that we get everlasting things.