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not henceforth trusted with the management of themselves and their stock : but their stock being lodged with him, they are put under his hand as their folemn manager, the chief Shepherd and Bishop of fouls, unto whose oversight the strays once returned are committed, 1 Pet. ii. 25. Whatever they need, they must receive from him: he is to dispense all the benefits of the covenant, of whatever kind, unto them. Are they to be justified ? he is to pass the sentence, thy fins be forgiven thee, Matth. ix. 2, 6. Are they to be brought into a new faving relation to God? he is to give them power to become the fons of God, John i. 12. Are they to be fanctified ? he is to wash, sanctify, and cleanse them, John xiti. 8. Eph. v. 26.; and to give them repenttance, as well as forgiveness of sins, Acts v. 31. Are they to be caused to persevere? he is to keep them, and to account for each one of them to his Father, John xvii. 12. Are they to be seen to in all their te'nporal concerns? the care of them all lies upon him, 1 Pet. y. 7. He is our Joseph, who hath all the stores of the covenant in his hand : and of him God hath faid, as Pharaoh said to his famishing people, crying unto him for bread, Go to fofeph, Gen. xli. 55. Moreover, they mult receive all their orders from him, touching their duty in all points. They must receive the law at his mouth ; since it is by him God speaks unto them, according to the constitution of the covenant: for which cause God hath given a solemn charge to all the covenant-people, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased : bear ye him, Matth. xvii. 5.
3. And lastly, The completing of their happiness, according to the covenant, in the other world: Eph. V. 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. It is the comfort of believers, that Jesus Christ ad. ministers the covenant in this world ; so that whatevery part thereof they may be driven to, they can never be driven to any part unto which his admini.. ftration doth not extend. Howbeit, the most glorious part of his administration takes its place in the other world: for it is in heaven that the promises of the covenant have their perfect accomplishment: the which makes heaven home to believers. « O! but “the paslap betwixt the two worlds is a dark, dan
gerous, and gloomy one! Who can without horror “ think of the Jordan of death, and the darksome
region of the grave !" But withal, God's covenant-people should remember, that their Lord hath buliness in that passage, as well as on either side of is. The line of the covenant is drawn through it, making a path by which the redeemed safely pass. So there also is the scene of Christ's administration of the covenant; he hath the keys of hell and of death, Rev. i. 18. It is great weakness, to think that he doth only, as it were, stand on the other fide of the river, directing the believer in his passage, and ready to receive him when come alhore: nay, it lies on him, as administrator of the covenant, even to go into the water with the passenger, to take him by the arm, and going berweep him and the Itream, to break the force thereof unto him, and to bring him fafe alhore: Plalm xxiii. 4. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me. In the Israelites passing over to Canaan, the ark went first into Jordan, and was last in coming out, being there till all the people were passed clean over, Joth. chap. iii. 4. The ark, being a type of Christ, as Canaan was of heaven, this teacheth us, that our Lord Jesus will have business in the passage between the two worlds, as long as there is one of his people to pass that way; and that his adminiftration there will never be at an end,
un. cil the last man within the bond of the covenant is lafely landed on the other side. This done, he is to
administer the covenant to them there also, completing their happiness by a perfect accomplishment of all the promises thereof unto them. As Jesus is the author, so he is the finisher of our faith, Heb. xii. 2.
In which texts there is an allusion to the Taces famous among the ancient Greeks, wherein there was one that opened the race, ran it, and went on the head of all the reft; another who was set on a throne at the end of the race, and gave the prize to such as won it. In the spiritual race, Christ acts both these parts. As performer of the condition of the covenant, in the course of his obedience, wherein he endured the cross, despising the shame, he is the author of our faith, or the chief leader, expresly called the forerunner, chap. vi. 20. in bringing many fons unto glory, going on their head as captain or chief leader, chap. ii. 10. Then, as administrator of the covenant, he is the finisher of our faith, or the perfecter that gives the crown to the runners, and is fet down at the right hand of the throne of God. And thus it is his business to put the crown of glory on the heads of those whom by his grace he hath made conquerors. From his hand Paul expecteth it, 2 Tim. iv. 8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge (to. wit, Christ the Judge of the world) Mall give me at that day. To him it belongs to grant to the overcomers to fit with him in his throne, Rev. iii. 21. And therefore I cannot help thinking, that the text, Mat. XX. 23. may safely be read without the supplement, To fit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give, but for whom it is prepared of my Father, So the particle but is used exceptively, 2 Cor. il. 5 for save, Mark ix. 8. The fulness of power given to the Mediator, comprehends all power in heaven, as well as in earth: accordingly he prepares the place for his several people in bis Father's houses having the whole at his dispofal as administrator of the com
venant. And he is to administer the covenant to them, not only at their first entrance into the regi. ons of bliss, but all along through the ages of eternity, being to remain the eternal bond of union and mean of communication betwixt God and the faints for ever, Heb. vii. 25. Rev. vi. 17.
And these are the ends of the administration of the covenant. Follows, IV. The Nature of the administration of the Covenant,
The nature of this administration offers itself to our view, in the relations Christ hath to the covenant as he is administrator thereof. We have already seen, how that Christ became the Mediator of the covenant, both substantial and official; and have ob. ferved that his official mediation runs through the whole of the covenant: and we have taken notice of a threefold relation of his unto it, namely, his being 1. The Kinsman-redeemer in it; 2. The Surety of it; and, 3. The Priest, the sacrificing priest of, it; the which parts of his mediation, respecting the condition of the covenant, do belong to the making of it. We shall now consider his other relations thereto, bearing those parts of his mediation, which respecting the promises of the covenant, do belong to the administration of it. And they are these five. 1. He is the Trustee of the covenant; 2. The Testad tor of the covenant; 3. The Prophet of the covenant; 4. The King of the covenant ; and, 5. The Intercessor of the covenant: each of which is a fyllable of the name above every name, given him of the Father, as the reward of his work. And in view. ing of these in order, the nature of the administration of the covenant will plainly appear.
I. Christ the Trustee of the Covenant. Our Lord Jesus as administrator, is, in the first place, the Trustee of the covenant; having the cove.
nant, and all the benefits thereof, committed to his trust: Col. i. 19. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. This greatest of all trusts, too great for any mere man or angel, our blessed Redeemer was perfectly qualified for; and so was set over the house of God, the most precious things thereof being put under his hand. What is sealed up from the highest angel, he hath access to ; he trusted to loose the feals, for he is worthy, Rev. v. 2,-5. A holy jealous God put no trust in his fer. vants, and his angels he charged with folly: for they were fallible; there was a possibility of their betraying their trust, Job iv. 18. But it pleased him to trust the blessed Jesus, that in him, as an infallible administrator, all fullness should dwell.
This high trust was a necessary prerequisite of the administration: and therefore, upon his engagement to fulfil the condition of the covenant, reputed in heaven as sure as if it had been actually performed, all the benefits of the covenant were not only made over to him in point of right, but were delivered over into his hand in actual possession, that he might difpenfe them to sinners, according to the method therein stated and agreed upon: John iii. 35. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. Matth. xi. 27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father. Verse 28. Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft. Hence it was that he entered upon the administration of the covenant, long before his incarnation : even as soon as there was any place for the administering thereof, which was in Paradise after the fall: though the folemnity of his investiture, and taking possession, was referved unto his ascension into heaven, when the man Christ was set at God's right hand, Gen. iii. 8. 15. with Pfalm Ixviii. 18. Eph. i. 20, 21, 22.
Thus the fulnefs of the covenant is in him : and this trust makes the unsearchable riches of Christ, not