Thomas Boston on the Vital Connection between the New Life & Christ’s Resurrection as Mediated through the Covenant of Grace

“The promise of the resurrection, like the oil on Aaron’s head, runs down to the skirts of his garments, in the promise of quickening his members too. Herein the Scripture is very plain, Isa. xxvi. 19, ” Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” Eph. ii. 5, ” Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” Our Lord Jesus, in the eternal covenant, became the head of a dead body, to wit, of the body of elect sinners dead in sin ; and that to the end he might restore it to life. And being legally united with that body, that so death might have access to spread itself from it-unto him in due time, he had the promise of a resurrection, both for himself and his members, made onto him. The appointed time being come, death drew together its whole forces, and made an attack upon the head of the body, which alone remained alive. It stung him to the heart upon the cross, and laid him too in the dust of death: and so it had them all dead together, head and members. Thus the condition of the covenant was fulfilled. Now, the promise comes next, in its turn to be fulfilled, particularly the promise of a resurrection: namely, that, death having exhausted all its force and vigour on the head, lie should be raised again from the dead ; and that as death had spread itself from the members into the head, so life, in its turn, should spread itself from the head into the members, they together with his dead body arising. It was in virtue hereof, that the spirit or soul that animated Christ’s body, and which he yielded up upon the cross, (Matth. xvii. 25,) shewed by his breathing out his last there, (Luke xxiii. 46, Gr.) was returned again into his blessed body; whereupon he came forth out of the grave. And it is in virtue of the same, that the Spirit of life returns into the dead souls of the elect again ; upon which they live and believe. The time of the return of the Spirit, both into the head and into the members, was prefixed in the covenant, respectively ; so that as it was not possible Christ should be held in the grave after three days; even so it is not possible that the elect should be held in the bonds of spiritual death, after the time prefixed for their delivery: Hos. vi. 2, “After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” And thus the promise of eternal life to the elect works in this dark period of their days; which dark period ends here. It appears now, and runs above ground ever after.”[1]

1. Boston, Thomas. A View of the Covenant of Grace. Choteau, MT: Old Paths Gospel Press (no year given), page 108.

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