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duty: but the children of the covenant have an infallible teacher, whom they may confult in all cafes, and of whom they may learn how to fteer their course in every point; and the meek will he guide in judgment, the meek will be teach his way, Pfal. xxv. 9.
The darkness brought on mankind by fin, nothing but the grace of the new covenant can effectually difpel. The true light is a benefit of that covenant, purchased by the blood of Chrift; and lodged with him among the rest of the benefits of his great truft: and he hath the difpenfing of it, as the great Prophet of the covenant. To him then must we have our recourfe for light in all cafes, whether we be under the midnight darkness of a natural ftate, or under the twilight-darkness of the prefent imperfection of a state of grace: yea, in the mid-day light of glory, the Lamb is the light of the heavenly city, Rev. xxi. 23.
And thus Chrift is the Prophet of the covenant.
IV. Chrift the King of the Covenant.
The Covenant of grace is a matter of so vast importance, both to the honour of God, and the good of fouls; and of fuch a diffusive and general concern to mankind, that the administration thereof required one invested with kingly power and authority for that effect. And the difpofition of the parties, objects of the adminiftration, together with the nature of the thing itself, which concerns the inner man chiefly, and the difpofal of the choiceft of Heaven's favours, 'at once laid afide the greatest of men, and the higheft of angels, as no more fit to bear that office, than } to produce another world out of nothing. Wherefore the Father's choice in that matter natively fell on his own Son, the second Adam: and he was made King of the covenant.
God, as Creator of the world, is King of the fame, by an original, underived right: and fo he hath the
fupreme power over it, of which he can no more diveft himself, than of his being. This is the effential kingdom, common to the three Perfons in the glorious Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost.
But the kingdom of the covenant, whereof we fpeak, is a derived, delegated one, which the Mediator Christ holds of his Father by the tenor of the covenant, for the adminiftration thereof; as is declared, Pfalm ii. 6. Yet have I fet my king upon my holy hill of Zion. Now, the great defign of that administration, is, to gather together finners of mankind into one body, under the bond of the covenant; and to make them happy, in the enjoyment of the privileges thereof, in grace and glory: the which body, the church, is the kingdom of the covenant, a kingdom that was to be won, and raised out of the rebel world of mankind, lying in wickedness; and whereof Chrift was, by his Father, conftitute the alone King and Head.
In fubferviency to this kingdom, the kingdom of providence throughout the world was alfo commit. ted to him, being made the head over all things to the church, which is his body, Eph. i. 22, 23. he was appointed to rule, not only over his willing fubjects, but in the midst of his enemies, Pfalm cx. 2. The management of the wheel of providence, throughout the whole world, was put into the hand of Zion's King. Into the fame hand that the Father hath committed the government of the church, he hath alfo committed the government of the world; for there is no exception. The Father hath committed all judg ment unto the Son, John v. 22. All power in heaven and in earth, Matth. xxviii. 18. So he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, Rev. xvii. 14. and by him kings reign princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth, Prov. viii. 15, 16. This head. fhip over the world was neceffary to his adminiR 2
stration of the covenant, as Head of the church; neceffary for compaffing the ends thereof. Being vefted therewith, he fets up and pulls down, in the world, as he fees meet for the great purposes of the covenant; and of what use this is, in the administration thereof, may be learned from Ifa. xliii. 14. For your fake (namely, for the fake of the church) I have fent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans. Verfe 15. I am your King. Thus the King and Head of the church manageth all things by his providence, as well without as within the church; though in a very different manner, becaufe in a very different relation, as to his own people, and to strangers. The which was typified in David, who for the benefit of his own kingdom, the kingdom of Ifrael was made the head of the Heathen, Pfalm xviii. 43. For David fmote the Philistines, and fubdued them, 2 Sam. viiì. 1. and the Moabites, verfe 2. and the Syrians, verse 6. and all they of Edom became David's fervants, verse 14. And David reigned over all Ifrael, and David executed judgment and juftice unto all his people, verfe 15.
Now, the chief acts of Chrift's administration of the covenant, as he is King thereof, are these.
1. His appointing ordinances of his kingdom, both for bringing of finners perfonally into the covenant, and for confirming and ftrengthening the covenanted; as alfo officers of his kingdom, to adminifter these ordinances in his name and authority. Both the one and the other were different, under the Old Teftament, and under the New; which hath made two different forms of external administration of the covenant; the old, which is paffed away, and the new, that will continue to the end of the world: but both were from the fame authority, and for compaffing the fame great defigns of the covenant, agree able to the different times for which they were ap
pointed; and are all of them to be found in the fcrip tures of the Old and New teftament, the book of the manner of the kingdom. It was the fame Lord. Jefus, the angel of the covenant which spake to Mofes in the mount Sinai, Acts vii. 38. who instituted the new teftament church and ordinances, and gave fome apoftles, and some prophets, and fome evangelifts, and fome paftors and teachers; for the perfecting of the faints, for the work of the miniftry, Eph iv. 11, 12. The faviour, King, and Lawgiver of the church, are one, Ifa. xxxiii. 22. The Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will fave us.
2. Emitting his royal proclamation into the world, by the hand of his messengers in the gospel; bearing, that whofoever will come unto him, and unite with him as the head of the covenant, by faith, shall be readily received into it, and have a right to all the privileges thereof, in him: Mark xvi. 15. Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Verse 16. He that believeth and is bap tized, fball be faved. Therein the covenant is publifhed, and offered in his name to every finner of mankind unto whofe ears this voice reacheth : and they are called, commanded, and charged to come into it, and submit to his royal scepter. His call and offer is their warrant to come: his command obligeth them, that they cannot refufe but in rebellion and difobedience against his royal authority. The promifes are set before them indefinitely, that whofoever will, may, by believing, apply them to themselves. The kings proclamation meddles not with the fecrets of the eternal election, to reveal them. But the promises of the covenant, infallibly to be accomplished in fome, are, in Chrift's teftament as indorfed to nt, as finners of mankind indefinitely, to be fulfilled unto all and every one who shall by faith embrace them: and the proclamation makes lawful intimation of the teftament. This intimation is the appointed R 3
means of begetting faith, and of bringing finners into the covenant thereby; for faith cometh by hear ing, Rom. x. 17. And it is made effectual to fome, by the Spirit, through the grace of the covenant se. cured by promise for them.
And hence it is, that the promife being thus administered to all promifcuously, there is an ufe of conditional phrafes in the administration thereof; though in the covenant itself there are no conditions, properly fo called, but what were fulfilled by Jefus Chrift in his own perfon. The word of the cove. pant coming with a like warrant to the elect and the non-elect; to them who certainly will believe, and to them who will continue in their unbelief; the administering of it equally to both in the gospel-proclamation, must needs be by propofing the promises indefinitely as to perfons; the which muft at length be refolved into conditional phrafes. So it is proclaimed in the ears of all, I will betrothe thee unto me, and, I will be to them a God. And one believes and applies the fame; and he is thereupon united to Christ and inflated in the covenant to all faving purpofes; another, who hath as good a revealed warrant to believe as the former, yet believes not; and fo comes fhort of the promife. Now, to fpeak alike to thofe who will thus differently entertain the words of the covenant, it follows of courfe to refolve them into fuch expreffions as thefe, Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be faved; and He that believeth fhall be faved, he that believeth not fhall be damned. Mean while the covenant itself is a different thing from the form of the external adminiftration of it.
3. Effectually fubduing the elect to himself, thro' the power of his Spirit fo managing the word, that it operates on them like a fword, piercing their fouls, conquering their natural averfion and obftinacy, and making them willing to yield, and embrace the co