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nessed their demerit of death; and that therefore they would be very slow to believe the good news from heaven, touching the covenant of peace : and for this cause he would give them one competent to witness the truth thereof; and pitched upon Jesus Christ for that effect. He was a son of Adam ; ; so the more fit to atteft it unto men: he was the eternal Son of God; and therefore not liable to error or mistake in his testimony: he was an eye-witness to the eternal tranfaction, and so he could speak in the matter that which he had seen with his father, John viii. 38. He came down from heaven, where the covenant was made, unto the earth, in favour of which it was made : wherefore he could witness in carth, what he had seen in heaven about it, chap. iii. 31. He that cometh from heaven, is above all. verse 32. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth. In him we have a twofold witness, which is full evidence in law. He is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, Rev. iii. 14. In him we have the witness of man; in respect whereof he is the faithful witness : and the witness of God; in respect whereof he is the true witness, even truth, itself, Compare John viji. 18. I am one that bear witness of myself ; where Christ as a divine witness, in respect of his Godhead, is said to bear witness of himself, as a man appearing in the world, revealing the covenant. And in respect of both these, he is the Amen, whose witness confirms and determines the truth of the matter in law.
3. He is in the fame capacity constitute the interpreter of the covenant, Job xxxiii. 23, to teach it
We are not only fow to believe the covenant, but it is hard for us to understand it. It lies so far beyond the reach of our natural understanding, that we cannot understand it in a faving manner, unless the Son of God hath given us an' un. derstanding (a supernatural one) that we may know
him that is true, 1 John v. 20. And whosoever shall so understand it, must be all taught of God, John vi. 45. that is, of Jesus Christ, ver. 46. So he is by the Father constitute interpreter, and great teacher of the mystery of the covenant: and all the children of the covenant must be his disciples, and learn of him.
Now, Christ's administration of the covenant, as the Prophet thereof, may be taken up in these three things following.
1. His intimating and offering the covenant to finners by his word, for bringing them personally into it. This he did from the time of Adam's fall, is now doing, and will do even unto the end of time, that the mystery of God shall be finished. He began the Old Testament dispensation thereof, in person. Appearing in human shape, with his own mouth he gave the first notice of the covenant that ever there was in the world, and made the first offer of it in paradise, Gen. iii. 8, 15. He carried it on by prophets and ordinary teachers, whom he commission. ated for that effect, and furnished with gifts for the work. The former of thefe he employed to write in his name, as well as to speak therein, in that mat. ter: and by both he spoke to finners, intimating and offering the covenant unto them, by their means; whether through the word written or speken. And thus he managed that work, to the falvation of those who believed, in the patriarchal ages before and after the flood; and all along the time of the Jewish church, from Moses to the end of that dispensation. Then he also began the New Testament dispensation in his own person. Having by his incarnation become man, he applied himself to this work. Though he was born king of the Jews, Matth. ii. 2. and many of them would have had him to have mounted their throne, John vi. 15.; yet he chused rather to appear in the character of a prophet, and betake himself unto the work of the ministry, for to preach the
gospel, and intimate and offer the covenant to perishing finners; and so he was a minister of the circumcision, Rom. xv. 8. Of him in this capacity particularly, Solomon, that king-preacher, was a type, Eccl.
And this also he did, and still doth carry on mediately and by proxy, especially after his ascenfion into heaven ; and that partly by his apostles and other extraordinary officers, whom he employed to write, as well as to speak, in his name; and partly by ordinary ministers of the gospel, to be continued in the church to the end of the world, Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. Thus he is now administering the covenant unto us, by putting his written word of the Old and New Testament in our hands, and fending men in his name to preach the gospel unto us. By these means he speaks to finners, intimating and offering them the covenant: and so he carries on the work, to the falvation of those that believe, and rendering unbelievers inexcusable, 2 Cor. v. 20. Rev.ji. 22. Luke x. 16. Wherefore the offer of the covenant made to us in the gospel, is his offer : and though the word is sent to us by men, they are but his voice in the matter, he is the speaker. Then see that ye refuse him not that speaketh, Heb. xii. 25.
2. His making the intimation and offer of the covenant effectual to the elect, by the Spirit, 1 Pet. i. 12 By them that have preached the gospel unto you, with the holy Ghost fent down from heaven. The great Prophet of the covenant can effectually teach the most unteachable finners of mankind; causing light not only to break forth in a dark world, by his word, but in dark hearts, by his Spirit: for the fulness of the Spirit of light is in him, and he hath eyesalve for the spiritually blind, Rev. iii. 18. He knoweth who are his, in whose name he contracted with the Father, and received the promise of the Spirit: and, sooner or latter, he so enlightens them, that he rescues them from under the power of their
Spiritual fpiritual darkness, and renders the administration of the covenant effectual to them, however ineffectual it be to others, Col. i. 13. And this he doth, by bringing his word to them with power, through the efficacy of his Spirit opening their eyes. In the first place, by his Spirit acting upon them, as a Spirit of bondage, he sets home on their consciences, the ho. ly law in the commands and curse thereof, as of di. vine authority, and binding on them in particular. Hereby they are convinced of their sin and misery, feeing their sin is heinous in the sight of God, and his wrath due to them for their sin: they are filled with remorfe, terror and anxiety; are made to pant for relief, feel an absolute need of Christ and his righteousness, and despair of relief by any other way, Aets ii. 37. and xvi. 29, 30. And then, by the same Spirit acting within them as a Spirit of life, and cominunicated unto them froin himself, in the word of the gospel, he fet3 home on their hearts and consciences, the glorious gospel in its free promife of life and falvation to finners through Jesus Christ, as it stands in the holy Scriptures; clearing and demonftrating the fame unto them, to be the infallible word of the eternal God, and his word to them in particular : 1 Thess. ii. 13. re received it not as the word of men, but, (as it is in truth) the word of God. Chap. i. 5. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the holy Ghoft, and in much assurance. This demon. ftration of the Spirit is that which immediately cleareth to them the ground of their believing in particular ; as faith the apostle, 1. Cor. ii. 4, 5. My preaching was in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wir dom of men, but in the power of God. And it is an internal attestation of the word of the gospel unto them, distinct from the clearest external or ministerial attestation of it; according to the laying of our
Saviour, John xv. 26. The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, Verse 27. And ye also shall bear witness. By the power hereof, getting, by way of spiritual sight, John vi. 40. a knowledge of Christ in his transcend ent glory and excellency, exhibited to them in the free promise of the gospel, they are infallibly brought to believe. The Spirit thus applying the word of the gospel to them, they greedily embrace it, and apply it to themselves by faith ; as may be seen in these converts, Acts ii. 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Chrift, for the remiffion of sins. Ver. 39. For the promise is unto you. Ver. 41. Then they that gladly received bis word, were baptized.
3. Lastly, His teaching and instructing them by his word and Spirit, from thenceforth, as children of the covenant, his own disciples. The whole plan of sal. vation is laid down in the covenant, being a mystery of the manifold wisdom of God, wherefore there is still more and more to be learned: and Christ is the great Prophet to teach it. And the fecret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will fbew them his covenant, Psalm xxv. 14. The faints, by reason of the remains of darkness in their minds while here, are apt to lose fight of the parties in the covenant : but the great Prophet is to fhew them the Father, and to manifest himself unto them, by the Spirit. The condition of the covenant, the Mediator's own righteousness, the sole ground of all their hopes, cannot be kept in view, but by means of the light of life from himself. And in his light only can they have a believing view of the promises and privileges of the covenant. The duties of the covenant, whereof the exceeding broad law of the ten commands is the rule, are many: and though they be clear in themselves, yet they are often lo dark and perplexed to us, that we cannot distinguish between sin and R