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of its fting, and bring about a glorious refurrection, 1, faith he, have the keys of hell and death, Rev. i, 18. Death goes through the world as a mighty conqueror, whom none is able to refift; the grave follows, and none can keep back its prey, nor caufe it to give it up again. But the Mediator hath an effectual check upon them both. They are not ab. folute potentates, as mighty as they are: there is one above them, to whofe orders they muft precisely ftick. Death may indeed enter in within the boundaries of the covenant, and carry off the covenant peo ́ple as well as others: but at the border it must drop its fting, and enter without it; for the power of death is now in Christ's hand, and he will not suffer it to enter there with it. And the time cometh, wherein he will fay to the grave, Give up; and then the bars thereof will be broken afunder, the gates thereof fly open, and it will deliver up to him its lodgers: for he is intrufted as Administrator of the covenant, with full power over death and the grave.
9. Laftly, The eternal confummate happiness of the covenant is in his hand, whereby to render the fouls of his people happy immediately after death, and then foul and body together happy at the last day: for all power in heaven is given him. The Father hath made him the great repofitory of eternal life, the fountain from whence it shall stream forth to all the heirs of life: and the difpenfing of it is intrufted to him: 1 John v. 11. God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in his Son. John xvi. 2. As thou haft given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou haft given him. Wherefore his dying people do in faith commit their fouls to him, as Stephen, Acts vii. 59. Saying, Lord Jefus, receive my fpirit. And at the laft day he pronounceth the fentence, and folemnly receives them into the kingdom of heaven, Matth. xxv. 24. And thus Chrift is the Trustee of the Covenant.
II. Chrift the teftator of the covenant.
In the next place, our Lord Jefus is the teftatorof the covenant, as the Apoftle teacheth, Heb. ix. 15, 16, 17. By the conditionary part of the covenant, God had a compenfation of the wrong done to his glory by finners: and by the promissory part, Christ had unfearchable riches to communicate unto them, whereby they might be made happy; and being to die in the cause according to his covenant, he timely made his teftament, as a deed of conveyance thereof unto them; turning the promiffory part of the covenant, refpecting loft finners, into a restament in their favour, 1.Cor. xi. 25. This cup is the new teftament in my blood.
Hence it appears, that this belongs to the adminiftration of the covenant, committed to him, for making finners partakers of the covenant-benefits; yea, and that it is the firft and foundamental act of that his administration, laid as a foundation of all the other acts thereof, which are but fo many means of executing the teftament. Upon the Mediator's undertaking to fulfil the condition of the covenant, the Father made to him a difpofition of the covenantbenefits contained in the promissory part: and the benefits fo difponed, were actually delivered over into his hand, as the appointed Trustee of the covenant, as we have already feen. Now, he having them all thus in his hand, hath made a difpofition of them to poor finners, by way of teftament, Luke xxii. 29. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. Or, And I difpone to you, as my Father difponed unto me, a kingdom. The word here used, fignifies to difpone; and hath in it the notion of a federal or covenant difpofition, and a teftamentary difpofition too. Of the former fort was the difpofition made by the Father to Christ, namely, a federal difpofition; as being made on a
most onerous cause, a condition properly fo called, to wit, his making his foul an offering for fin: and it can by no means be a teftamentary difpofition, fince where a teftament is, there must also of neceffity be the death of the teftator, Heb ix. 16.; the which it is evident, could have no place in the case of the Father. Of the latter fort is the difpofition made by Jefus Chrift to finners, namely, a teftamentary difpofition, which, of its own nature, is a deed or conveyance of grace and liberality, without conditions properly fo called; and forafmuch as finners were under an utter disability to perform conditions properly fo called; it was therefore neceffary for their behoof, to make it a teftamentary difpofition or teftament.
For clearing of the nature of this teftament, which is of fo great importance for all to know, who have any concern for their falvation, we fhall confider, 1. The making thereof; 2. The legates; 3. The executor; and, 4. The legacies.
Firft, As to the making of Chrift's teftament, it is first of all to be obferved, that though the covenant was indeed from eternity, the teftament was not fo For Chrift made his teftament as Administrator of the covenant; which administration he did not enter upon but in time. He was from eternity the trustee of the covenant, which grand truft was a neceffary prerequifite of his administration: yet forafmuch as his commencing Teftator of the covenant, was an act of his administration thereof, there could be no place for it until there was place for adminiftering the covenant, which there was not, till once the covenant of works was broken. And hereto best agreeth the nature of a teftament, which is not fimply a will, but a will declared, teftified, and fig nified by word or writ, or fome one or other exter. nal fign pleadable by the legatees in order to their obtaining of the legacies bequeathed.
Chrift's teftament, which for fubstance is but one, is yet twofold, in refpect of different circumstances wherewith it hath been vested; namely, the old or first teftament, and the new testament, 2 Cor iii. 14. Heb. ix. 15.
Chrift's old testament is the declaration of the last will of our dying Saviour, touching his unsearchable riches, confirmed by flain facrifices of divine inftitution, fealed with the feals of circumcifion and the paffover and enduring in the church till the fulness of time, and the manifestation of himself to Ifrael in the flesh, Heb. ix. 20. Rom. iv. 11. 1 Cor. v. 7. Luke xvi. 16 This his teftament was originally made by word of mouth; which kind of testament is called a nuncupative teftament: but it was afterwards committed to writting; fo that there was not only a word of the teftament to be heard, but a book, of the teftament to be read, by the legatees, Heb. ix. 16. 20. And fo we have it a written teftament, in that part of the holy Scripture called by the name of the Old Testament.
Chrift's new teftament is the declaration of the fame laft will of our dying Saviour, touching his unfearchable riches, confirmed by his own death on the cross, fealed with the feals of baptifm and the Lord's fupper, and to continue for evermore, 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25. Matth. xxviii. 19, Heb. vii. 12, 16, 17. This alfo was originally made by word of mouth, in the time of his public miniftry, wherein he declared his will anent the great falvation which, as the Apostle obferves, at firft began to be spoken by the Lord, Heb ii. 3. And it was in like manner afterwards committed to writing: and we have it too a written testament, in that part of the holy Scripture called by the name of the New Testament.
If we look for the original date of Chrift's old or firft teftament, we find his testament to be of a date as early as the nature of the thing could bear; being
made in paradife, on the day of Adam's fall, in the
Some, through an unwillingness to think of their death, do put off the making of their teftaments unto a death-bed: but fo very willing was Chrift, the fecond Adam, to die for us, that he fet his house in order, and so prepared himself for death, that very day wherein the firft Adam fell. The bufinefs of the great King, and the bufinefs of the ruined world of mankind, required hafte. The whole fabric of the world was by Adam's fall fo unhinged, that it was haftening to a total diffolution, and mankind about to perish in the ruins; till the second Adam went in, and bore up the pillars thereof, in virtue of his death to establish the earth again, Ifa xlix. 8. Wherefore in paradife he made his teftament in a few words,