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not henceforth trufted 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 whofe overfight the ftrays once returned are committed, 1 Pet. ii. 25. Whatever they need, they must receive from him: he is to difpenfe all the benefits of the covenant, of whatever kind, unto them. Are they to be juftified? he is to pafs 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, fanctify, and cleanse them, John xii. 8. Eph. v. 26.; and to give them repenttance, as well as forgiveness of fins, Acts v. 31. Are they to be caused to perfevere? he is to keep them, and to account for each one of them to his Father, John xvii. 12. Are they to be feen to in all their temporal concerns? the care of them all lies upon him, 1 Pet. v. 7. He is our Jofeph, who hath all the ftores of the covenant in his hand: and of him God hath faid, as Pharaoh faid to his famifhing people, crying unto him for bread, Go to Jofeph, Gen. xli. 55. Moreover, they must receive all their orders from him, touching their duty in all points. They must receive the law at his mouth; fince it is by him God fpeaks unto them, according to the conftitution of the covenant: for which cause God hath given a folemn charge to all the covenant-people, faying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleafed hear 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 fuch thing. It is the comfort of believers, that Jefus Chrift administers the covenant in this world; fo that what
every part thereof they may be driven to, they can never be driven to any part unto which his adminiftration 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 paffag betwixt the two worlds is a dark, dangerous, and gloomy one! Who can without horror "think of the Jordan of death, and the darkfome region of the grave!" But withal, God's covenant-people fhould remember, that their Lord hath bulinefs in that paffage, as well as on either fide of it. The line of the covenant is drawn through it, making a path by which the redeemed fafely pafs. So there alfo 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, ftand on the other fide of the river, directing the believer in his paffage, and ready to receive him when come afhore: 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 between him and the ftream, to break the force thereof unto him, and to bring him fafe afhore: Pfalm xxiii. 4. Though I walk through the valley of the fhadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me. In the Ifraelites paffing over to Canaan, the ark went first into Jordan, and was laft in coming out, being there till all the people were paffed clean over, Josh. chap. iii. 4. The ark, being a type of Chrift, as Canaan was of heaven, this teacheth us, that our Lord Jefus will have business in the paffage between the two worlds, as long as there is one of his people to pafs that way; and that his adminiftration there will never be at an end, until the last man within the bond of the covenant is fafely landed on the other fide. This done, he is to
adminifter the covenant to them there alfo, completing their happiness by a perfect accomplishment of all the promises thereof unto them. As Jefus is the author, fo he is the finisher of our faith, Heb. xii. 2. In which texts there is an allufion to the races 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 fet on a throne at the end of the race, and gave the prize to fuch as won it. In the fpiritual race, Chrift acts both thefe parts. As performer of the condition of the covenant, in the courfe of his obedience, wherein he endured the cross, defpifing the fhame, he is the author of our faith, or the chief leader, exprefly 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 adminiftrator of the covenant, he is the finisher of our faith, or the our fa 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 bufinefs 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 righteoufnefs, which the Lord the righteous Judge (to wit, Chrift the Judge of the world) fhall 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 fafely be read without the fupplement, 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 ufed exceptively, 2 Cor. ii. 5. for fave, Mark ix. 8. The fulmefs of power given to the Mediator, comprehends all power in heaven, as well as in earth: accordingly he prepares the place for his feveral people in his Father's houfer having the whole at his difpofal as adminiftrator of the co
venant. And he is to adminifter the covenant to them, not only at their first entrance into the regions of blifs, 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 adminiftration 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 feen, how that Christ became the Mediator of the covenant, both fubftantial and official; and have obferved 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 Kinfman-redeemer in it; 2. The Surety of it; and, 3. The Priest, the facrificing priest of it; the which parts of his mediation, respecting the condition of the covenant, do belong to the making of it. We fhall now confider his other relations thereto, bearing those parts of his mediation, which refpecting the promifes of the covenant, do belong to the adminiftration of it. And they are these five. I. He is the Trustee of the covenant; 2. The Tefta tor of the covenant; 3. The Prophet of the covenant; 4. The King of the covenant; and, 5. The Interceffor 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 viewing of these in order, the nature of the administration of the covenant will plainly appear.
I. Chrift the Trustee of the Covenant.
Our Lord Jefus as adminiftrator, is, in the first place, the Trustee of the covenant; having the cove.
nant, and all the benefits thereof, committed to his truft: Col. i. 19. For it pleafed the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. This greatest of all trufts, too great for any mere man or angel, our blessed Redeemer was perfectly qualified for; and fo was fet over the house of God, the most precious things thereof being put under his hand. What is fealed up from the highest angel, he hath access to; he is trufted to loofe the feals, for he is worthy, Rev. v. 2,-5. A holy jealous God put no truft in his fervants, and his angels he charged with folly: for they were fallible; there was a poffibility of their betraying their truft, Job iv. 18. But it pleafed him to truft the bleffed Jefus, that in him, as an infallible administrator, all fullness should dwell.
This high truft was a neceffary prerequifite of the administration: and therefore, upon his engagement to fulfil the condition of the covenant, reputed in heaven as fure 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 poffeffion, that he might difpenfe them to finners, 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 foon as there was any place for the adminiftering thereof, which was in Paradife after the fall: though the folemnity of his inveftiture, and taking poffeffion, was referved unto his afcenfion into heaven, when the man Christ was fet at God's right hand, Gen. iii. 8. 15. with Pfalm lxviii. 18. Eph. i. 20, 21, 22.
Thus the fulness of the covenant is in him: and this truft makes the unfearchable riches of Chrift, not