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Rev. A. D’ARBLAY

BISHOP OF LONDON
DR. NIBLOCK
F. G. CROSSMAN

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B. Noel . J. E. TYLER

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On the Worldly Anxiety
The value of an established Church
Necessity of Spiritual Knowledge
Christ is all, and must be in all for our

Salvation
Our souls must be fed by the Spirit
Faithfulness of God, as displayed in the

afflictive dispensations of Providence . Dufficulties in Doctrine, and in Scrip

ture, not a ground for rejecting them Spiritual Joy The efficacy of Faith Having been with Jesus, the mark of a

Christian An introductory Sermon-The duty of

Minister and People Our Saviour's mercy-Effect of grace Union between Christ and the soul of a

Christian, is love Motive of Christian duty-The amount

of service required Reason for Holiness—Nature of Holi

ness The Promised comfort to

they that mourn" David's affecting recollections—His ar

dent desires The wedding garment:-Faith and our

own personal righteousness necessary

to salvation The hoary head of the righteous is a

crown of glory The Lord our righteousness God visits the iniquity of the Fathers

upon the Children :-Justness of that

economy The blessedness of studying the Bible

aright . Service to God the Christian's security

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J. HAMBLETON

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DR. THORPE

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Hebrews, ix. 16, 17.-" For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death

of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead : otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testutor liveth."

There are few portions of Scripture, tioned, that the English titles “ the on which men's opinions are more old covenant,” and “the new covedivided, than on that which we have nant” would better express it, and just read. The difficulty lies in the such definition would agree more acmeaning which should be affixed to curately with the things which are the word which is here translated defined. If the writings of the Gospel " testament.” The word is one of dispensation may be styled a testafrequent occurrence, but bears gene- ment, or will, as consigning to the rally the sense of a covenant; and Christian an inheritance procured by no other verse can be adduced in the death of the testator, it might be which it expressly signifies the last hard to show that those of the Jewish, will of a person. We divide the possessed the nature of a testamenBible, indeed, into the Old Testament, tary document. The notion of a coand the New Testament, deriving the venant accords well with both; the titles from St. Paul's account of the law was strictly the covenant of Jewish and Christian dispensations. works, whilst the Gospel is as strictly In the third chapter of his second the covenant of grace; and nothing, epistle to the Corinthians, he speaks therefore, can be more accurate than of himself as “a minister of the New the defining as “the old covenant,” Testament;" and of the Jew as having and “the new covenant,” the in“a veil on his heart in reading the spired writings which had mainly Old Testament.” From these ex- to do, the one with a legal justifipressions of the Apostle, the church, cation, the other with justification by in very early times, applied the terms faith. to those sacred writings which be- But whatever the reasons for using long respectively to the two dispen- “ testament,” and not “ covenant,” sations ; but it is hardly to be ques. I in the titles and divisions of the

VOL. VI.

B

new

Bible, we must examine, on inde-time of the party whose document it pendent grounds, which translation is. It is certain, indeed, that coveis most accurate in the passage on nants which are to be ratified by sawhich we are to meditate. It is some-crifice, require the slaying of the what singular, that so far as we can victim in order to their validity. In judge, there may be adduced nearly this sense it may be possible to mainas much reason for the one as the tain that where a covenant is, there other. If you look, indeed, at the must be the death of the covenantor. verse preceding our text, you will If the covenant be one which must be observe, that though the word “ tes- ratified by sacrifice, and if that satament is there used, certainly “co-crifice, moreover, must be a covevenant” would be more correct: nanting party, then of such coveChrist is there asserted to be “the nant it will hold good, that it is of mediator of the

testament.” no force at all while the covenantor Now, though we can all understand liveth. But it can hardly, we think, the sense in which Christ was the be fair thus to load and limit the mediator of the covenant, it seems idea of a covenant; and where the quite unintelligible that he was the Apostle is speaking generally, to inmediator of a will or testament. You troduce a particular case requiring can attach no idea to such a phrase ; such a variety of suppositions. And and accordingly it is generally con- thus we may be said to have two ceded, that in this verse, the word difficulties between which to choose. “ covenant" should be used, and that If we use the word “ testament" in Christ should be described as the our text, we have a violent transition mediator of the new covenant.” But, in sense, because in the foregoing then, undoubtedly, it will appear verse the same word means “ coveharsh and unnatural that the word nant;" but if to avoid this transition which in the fifteenth verse means we use the word “ covenant," we “ covenant,” should in the sixteenth turn our text into a proposition which

“ testament.” We cannot deny is not generally true, and which can that such a change in sepse, without only be substantiated by the most reany direct intimation, is forced and fined species of reasoning. Of these unusual, and that the common rules two difficulties, we are free to own, of translation would require us to that we think it least to retain the use the same word in both cases; word “ testament in our text. yet, on the other hand, if you exa- We always object, unless the nemine our text, you will observe strong cessity is most urgent, to the adoptreasons against the introduction of ing any alteration in the established the word “covenant."

version of the Bible. We are far It is a true, and an allowed pro-enough, indeed, from a blind reveposition, that where a testament is, rence to this version, as though we there must be the death of the tes- considered it in no respect capable tator; we are all aware that from the of improvement: the marginal readvery nature of the case until the will- ings themselves are a sufficient proof maker is dead the will is not in force. that our translators were not satisfied But it is not an equally true proposi- of its unvarying accuracy, and theretion, that where a covenant is, there fore, they left to the reader's judgmust be the death of the covenantor; ment a choice of the sense which a covenant, though not a testament, should, in some cases be attributed. may be quite valid during the life- But it is undeniable that for the most

mean

part the translation is wonderfully, any great forcing of language, the correct, and that the unlearned reader covenant may be considered as the may with perfectconfidence depend on testament or will of the sacrificed it; and in the present instance, where individual. there is as much in favour of the ver- Thus it may be, that our text will sion as against, we should think it be best understood if we combine the strongly to be deprecated that our notion of a covenant and a testament; text should be preached under any it is certainly only by such a comform but that of the authorized trans- bination that we can keep up with lation. In fact, it seems to us that the idea of a testament under the St. Paul took advantage of the double Jewish, as well as the Christian dismeaning of the Greek word which pensation. God made a covenant he uses, and illustrates his subject with the Israelites, but then this cothe more copiously by employing it venant was ratified by the shedding in one place for a “ covenant,” and of blood; in other words, there must in another for a “ testament ;” and be death to give the covenant its vawe shall possibly, as we advance, find lidity; and the covenant which rereason to conclude, that the full sense quired death in order to its comof the passage is only to be evolved pleteness, might, as we have shown by our attaching to the word its double you, without any thing overstrained signification---by bearing in mind that in language, be designated a “testaa “ covenant” and “ testament” are ment.” So that under these limitaalike designated by the word which tions and under these conditions, we the Apostle employs.

can attach the name of a “testaWe would briefly explain this pointment to that covenant which God before we proceed further. If a co-made with Israel at Sina. In the venant be of such a nature that it re- verse following our text, it is asserted quires the shedding of blood in order according to our translation, “whereto its ratification, it may be said, in upon neither the first testament was certain respects, to resemble a testa- dedicated with blood ;” and then ment or will. The great peculiarity again, Moses having taken the blood of a testament is, that there must be of calves and goats is stated to have death before it can be valid. Hence said, “ This is the blood of the tesif the covenant be so constructed, tament which God hath enjoined that it is of no effect without a death, unto you.” On the ordinary notion such a covenant would possess th

testament” there is something great peculiarity of a testament. harsh and almost unintelligible in After all, there is not the wide differ- these phrases; but when you reence which, at the first sight, we may member, that the thing made was, suppose between a covenant and a indeed a covenant, but a covenant testament. If I make a will, I may, not valid without bloodshedding, and in one sense, be said to covenant and that a covenant which requires death agree to give certain things to cer- for its validity partakes strongly of tain parties upon the condition of my the pature of a testament or will, the death ; so that a testament is virtu- seeming harshness is in a great deally a species of covenant. And if, gree removed, and the language beon the other hand, two parties enter comes sufficiently explicit. into a covenant, and the terms of this Now we trust that these remarks, covenant require that one of them which we have endeavoured to make should die, you all see,

that without as simple as the subject would allow,

of a

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you, there

seem

will help you to the understanding of which legacies could not be paid exa portion of Scripture which is con- cept after his death, then it may be fessedly difficult. If you read atten- said, that it was the fact, the simple tively the verses which have given historical fact of his death, and not rise to this discussion you cannot any merit which there was in that avoid being perplexed with the use death, which entailed the large blessof the word “ testament,” when the ings on the race of mankind. It is notion of a testament or will, seems certain that if a man makes a will in out of keeping with the argument in my favour, then the death of this hand; but when we inform you that man, his simple death, and not any the word translated“ testament,” | virtue which there is in his death, means equally “ covenant,” and is will put me into possession of the generally so rendered in our version goods which he bequeaths. And if of the New Testament, you then ask, by parity of reasoning the Redeemer whether covenant" ought to be is to be considered as a testator, or substituted for “ testament” in our will-maker, does not the representatext and its context? We think not. tion take away from the meritoriousThere are reasons in favour of its ness of his death, and, at least, show substitution, but, as we have shown that it was not because his sufferings

to be stronger were expiatory and precious, that such against it; but whilst we retain the and such blessings have been obtainword “testament” we prove to you ed for us? that in one case, and that, undoubt- A few words will suffice for the edly, a case most prominent in Scrip- removal of this objection. If a man ture, a covenant bears a close ana- is worth 10001, he may bequeath me logy to a testament. Hence it will that 1000l. ; and thus his death, conbe well, rather it will be necessary, sidered as the mere separation of his that, in expounding the passage before soul from his body, will make me the us, we lose not sight of either sig- owner of the money. But take the nification, but so combine the notion following case which is perfectly supof a testament and a covenant as to posable—a criminal is sentenced to consider Christ Jesus to have made die, but is allowed, if he can, to find the one in making the other.

a substitute. He offers 10001. for a We have now sufficiently cleared substitute ; and an individual comes the way, by a critical examination of forward and agrees on these terms to the difficulties of the verse, for enter- die in his stead. Now certainly this ing on those glorious truths which substitute may will away the 10001., they undoubtedly present. The ex- and yet nothing but his death entitles hibition which we are called upon to him to the 10001. He might, for exsurvey, is that of our Saviour under ample, have long striven in vain to the character of a testator; as the earn a livelihood for his family ; he maker, that is, of a will, which could might then, calculating that his family only become valid by the death of would be more benefitted by his death the party who made it. Now you will than his life, determine to sacrifice see at once, that there is a peculiarity himself in order to procure for them in this exhibition which marks it off the proper remuneration ; and, withfrom other representations of the out question, he might make a will scheme and the system of human sal- which would secure to his children vation. If Christ Jesus is displayed the property to which the value of his as bequeathing to the world legacies, death would alone give him right. He

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