Grace is not born in us. … Even the children of saints are born in sin. Grace doth not run in the blood. Inherent holiness is not propagated, which yet doth not impede the propagation of federal holiness. Though the seed of believers are born polluted it doth not therefore follow that they are not born privileged. David who acknowledgeth the corruption his mother bore him in (Ps. 51:5) yet pleads the privilege his mother bore him to (Ps. 116:16, the son of thy handmaiden; so Ps. 86:16). Though a wise man do not beget a wise man, yet a freeman begets a freeman. I was born free, saith Paul.

We are all born diseased and impotent, but being born of believers we are born by the pool-side, not always under the internal but always under the external administration of the covenant. Israel as the seed of Abraham were transgressors from the womb, but as the seed of Abraham, to them pertained the adoption (Rom. 9:4). Those who will not admit this blessing of Abraham to come upon the Gentiles must expunge it out of their Bibles (Gal. 3:7, 14; Acts 2:39).

Matthew Henry, Sermons on the Covenant of Grace, ed. Allan Harman (1692; Fearn: Christian Focus, 2002), pp 139-40.

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