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containing a difpofition of the benefits of the covenant, in favour of poor finners, Gen. iii. 15. and typically went in under that weight of wrath, which was preffing down all: and fo he established the earth again. In this form it was, that they of the first ages of the world had the teftament. But it was repeated and renewed to Abraham, to whom the promifes were made, Gal. iii. 16. comprehended under the name of the covenants or teftaments of promife, Eph. ii. 12. As alfo to Ifrael in the wildernefs, whom Mofes fprinkled with blood, saying, This is the blood. of the teftament, Heb. ix. 19, 20. And this was Christ's old teftament, upon which all that believed, from Adam to Christ, built their faith, and hope of obtaining the legacies left therein; though it was upwards of four thousand years, from the first making of the teftament, unto the death of the Teftator, by which the new teftament was confirmed.
Now, the Apostle faith, that a teftament is of force after men are dead; otherwife it is of no Strength at all whilst the teftator liveth, Heb. ix. 17.
Was Chrift's teftament then of no forcé all that time? Yea, it was of force; and that by means of a preconfirmation, being confirmed before, Gal. iii. 17. The confirmation of a teftament, in the fenfe of the holy Scripture, is by the death of the teftator, as the Apostle, in the forecited text, teacheth the Hebrews. And in fcripture-reckoning, there was a twofold death of the Teftator here: one typical, another real. In respect of the former of thefe, Chrift was the Lamb flain from the foundation of the world, Rom. xiii. 8. having died typically in the facrifices then offered, Gen. iii. 21. and thereafter all along under the Old Teftament. And by that death of the Teftator, was the pre-confirmation of the testament: fo that from the day it was first made, it was of force, for the legatees obtaining the legacies therein be
bequeathed; forafmuch as it was then alfo confirmed. Wherefore the Apostle obferves, that, in full confiftency with that known maxim anent teftaments, Heb. ix. 17. above cited. Neither the firft teftament was dedicated without blood, verfe 18. What the Apostle means by the dedication of the teftament will be plain, if it is confidered, that what our verfion of the Bible calls dedication, is, in the fcriptureufe of words fo rendered therein, nothing else but an entering on, or a firft, or new ufing of a perfon, or thing, to what they were defigned for: infomuch that the very dedication of the temple was no more but that, as appears by comparing 2 Chron. v. 13. Chap. vi. and vii. 1. with 4, 5. Wherefore, by the dedication of the testament, must be meant the le gatees beginning to claim and obtain their legacies, upon the testament. And this, the Apostle faith, was not done without the testament's being confirmed by blood, or death: the which, though really the blood or death of beafts facrificed; yet, according to the Apostle's reafoning, were reckoned the blood or death of the Teftator, they being facrificed as types of him.
And hence it appears, that whatever have been the different circumstances wherewith the teftament in different periods hath been vefted; the Old and New Testament, nuncupative and written, are for fubftance but the One Teftament of Jefus Chrift the fame yesterday, and to day, and for ever, Heb. xiii. 8. having the fame force and effect for full remiffion of fin and eternal falvation, legacies claimed and obtained by faith, in virtue of the teftament, Acts xv. 11. Rom. iv. 13.: only, what was first declared by word of mouth, the fame was thereafter written. The legacies at firft bequeathed in general comprehenfive terms, were afterward particularly nominated: and in the New Testament they are more clearly expreffed than in the Old. The former was a
copy of the testament, fitted for the time before the Teftator really died; the latter, fitted for all times thereafter, to the end of the world; and therefore no other copy is to be accepted after it.
Secondly, It is to be inquired, Who are the legatees, the parties in whofe favour the teftament was made, and who may, in the method of the testament, claim and obtain the legacies therein bequeath. ed? Chrift's making his testament being the foundamental act of his administration of the covenant, as we have already feen; the legatees in the teftament must needs be the fame as the objects of his adminiftration of the covenant, that is to fay, finners of mankind indefinitely: for if Chrift is authorised by the Father to administer the covenant to mankindfinners indefinitely: and hath accordingly made his teftament for that effect, furely none can be excepted out of the teftament, that are not excepted out of his adminiftration. Therefore the apoftle lays down, for the foundation of faith to thofe who had even imbrued their hands in the blood of the Lord of glory, their intereft in the promise, Acts ii. 39. For the promife is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God hall call. To whomfoever then the gofpel comes, we may warrantably fay, the promise is to you, and to you, and every one of you; even the promife of the teftament: and ye have accefs to claim it by faith, as your own legacy, your own mercy, Jonas ii. 8. And all the arguments aduced on the head of the object of Chrift's adminiftration, which need not to be repeated here, do prove this.
And it is most agreeable to the nature of the thing. In Chrift's teftament, the legatees are not expreffed by their names, as in teftaments where the teftator hath his children and friends about him, to whom he leaves his legacies: but it is here as in the cafe,
wherein fome of the children or friends of the testator are not come into the world at the time of the making of the teftament; who must therefore have their legacies left to them under fome general defignation. Multitudes, multitudes of Chrift's legatees were not born when he died; and multitudes of them have not to this day feen the fun: nay, when Chrift firft made his teftament, there were but two perfons in the world. Therefore the legatees have been expreffed in it under a general defignation, as thofe of fuch a family. Now, this general defigna. tion of the legatees in Chrift's teftament, is not actual believers, that is fuch as have already believed: for actual believing is the legatees claiming of the legacies left them, whereby they are put in poffeffion thereof; the which claim muft of neceffity have a foundation in the testament prior unto it. And indeed the teftament is the ground of faith. There fore it was made before there was one actual believer in the world, being made in Paradife, and there recited in the hearing of our guilty first parents, who upon the hearing of it, Gen. iii. 15. believed, and fo were put in poffeffion of their legacies. And thus will it be to the end of the world: faith will come by hearing of the testament, Rom. x. 17. Gal. iii. 2. Neither is it the elect: for howbeit in them only is the testament effectual, yet it is not to them only the legacies are left; they are not the only perfons in whofe favour the teftament was made. For election being a fecret not to be known by us, until once we believe, cannot be the ground and warrant of believing, or embracing the teftament, and claiming the legacies. Befides, at that rate unbelievers continuing fo to the end, could not be juftly reckoned refusers and flighters of Christ's teftament, as having no portion nor concern in it, more than fallen angels. But the general defignation of the legatees in Christ's teftament, is mankind-finners indefinitely:
definitely to thofe of the family. of Adam are the legacies left, to be claimed and poffeffed of them by faith: Prov. viii. 4. Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the fons of men. Rev. xxii. 17. Whofoever will, let him take the water of life freely. John iv. 37. Him that cometh to me, I will in no wife caft out.
Put the cafe, that a rich man fhould, for the love and favour he bears to a particular family, leave his fubftance to them by teftament, to be divided among them: in this cafe it is evident, that however numerous that family be, all and every one of them are this man's legatees, howbeit their names are not particularly expreffed in the testament; and they need no more to clear their claim, each to his fhare of the legacy, but that they are of that family. And upon the executor's making lawful intimation to that family, that, fuch a testament being made in favour of them, they come, claim, and get their legacies, in the method of the teftament: it is manifeft, that all of them, who accordingly come and make their claim, as members of that family, wili obtain a fhare of the legacy: but in cafe there be any of them, who will not come and make any claim thereto, they will justly lose the benefit thereof, and may die of want for all the legacy that was left to them in that testament. Our Lord Jefus Chrift has made such a teftament the loft family of Adam, is the family conftitute his legatees: and the gofpel is the lawful intimation made to them, to come to the executor and receive their legacies All that believe get the legacy all unbelievers lose it, and' perish under the want thereof; and they perish without all excufe. They cannot pretend, that there was nothing left. them by the Teftator; which is the tafe of the fallén angels: nor yet, that it was not intimate unto them; which is the cafe of those that never heard the gofpel. But they perish, because, howbeit there