« AnteriorContinuar »
manner, administering the covenant to any finners of mankind: Prov. viii. 4. Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the fons of men. The object of his administration is not this or that party of mankind, under this or the other denomination ; bat
men, any men, sons of men indefinitely. So the gospel, in which he administers the covenant is good tidings to all people, Luke ii. 10. a feast made unto all people, Ifa. xxv. 6. though many, not relishing the tid. ings, never taste of the feast. Aecordingly, he commissionated his apostles for that effect, in terms than which none can imagine more extensive, Mark xvi. 15. Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospelto every creature. The Jews called man the creature, as being God's creature by way of eminence; so by every creature is meant every man. There are in the world, some men, who by reason of their monstrous wickedness, are like devils; there are other men who, by reason of their favageness, seem to differ little from brutes : but our Lord faith here in effect, “ Be what they will, if ye can but know “ then to be men, ask no questions about them on “ this head, what sort of men they are: being men,
preach the gospel to them, offer them the cove.
nant; and if they receive it, give them the feals “ thereof: my Father made them, I will save them."
4. If we enquire, who they are to whom Christ stands related as a Saviour ? or whose Saviour he is, according to the fcripture ? we find, that considered as an actual Saviour, saving actual and e. ventually, he is indeed only Saviour of the body, Eph. V. 23.; but considered as an official Saviour, a Saviour by office, he is the Saviour of the world, 1 John iv. 14, John iv. 42. Thus one having a commission to be the physician of a society, is the phyfician of the whole society, by office; and so stands related to every man of them, as his physician: howbeit, he is not actu. ally a healer to any of them, but fuch as employ
him. Though some of that society should not 'em-, ploy him at all, but on every occassion call another physician ; yet he is still their physician by office tho' they should die of their disease, being averse from calling him : yet still it is true, that he was their pöysician, they might have called him, and had his remedies; and it was purely their own fault, that they were not healed by him. Even so our Lord Jesus Christ hath Heaven's patent, costituting him the Saviour of the world: by the authority of his Father he is invested with that office; and where. foever the-gospel comes, his patent for that effect is intimate, 1 John iv. 14. And we have seen and do teftify, that the Father fent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Wherefore, none of us shall perish for want of a Saviour. Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world; he is your Saviour, and my Saviour, be our case what it will : and God, in and by him, is the Saviour of all men, Specially of those that believe. 1 Tim. iv, 10. Hence Christ's salvation is the com. mon salvation, Jude 3.; and the gospel is the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men, Tit. ii. 11. marg. Christ then stands related as a Saviour by office to the world of mankind: he is their Saviour : and he is so related to every one of them, as finners, loft sinners, of that society, 1 Tim. i. 15. Chrift*fefus came into the world to save finners. Luke xix. 10. The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is loft. Let no man say, “ Alas ! I have no. " thing to do with Christ, nor he with me; for I
am a sinner, and a lost sinner.". Nay, upon that very ground there is a relation between him and you. Since you are a finner of mankind, Christ is your Saviour : for he is by office Saviour of the family whereof you are a branch. If you will employ another than him, or pine away in your diseafe, rather than put yourself in his hand, ye do it upon your peril ; but know assuredly, that you have a Saviour
of your own, chofen of God for you, whether you employ him or not. He is by his Father's appoint, ment the physician of fouls; ye are the sick; and the less sensible ye are, the more dangerously sick : there is a v:luable relation then betwixt Christ and you, as such, Matth. ix. 11, 12. He is the great burden-bearer, that gives rest to them that labour and are heavy laden, Matth. xi. 28. Pfal. li. 22. Ye Jabour, spending your labour for that which satisfieth not; and are laden with iniquity, even heavy laden, and nothing the less fo, that ye are not dnly fenfible thereof: there is a relation then betwixt Christ and you, on that very score. Now, if Christ stands related to the world of mankind sinners, as their Saviour, then they are the object of his adminiftration of the covenant.
5. Lastly, If it were not fo, then there would be fome excepted persons of the world of mankind fin. ners, for whom there is no warrant, more than for devils, to take hold of the covenant, by believing in Christ; contrary to the constant voice of the gospel, John iii. 16. Mark xvi. 15. For furely they have no warrant to take hold of the covenant, to whom the administrator is not impowered to give it. Which of the world of mankind finners can these excepted perfons be? Not Pagans, and other infidels, who hear not the gospel : for howbeit, in the depth of fovereign wisdom, that warrant is not intimated to them; yer it doth really extend to them as included under that general term, whosoever, Joan iii. 16. And if it did not extend to them, the covenant could not lawfully be preached and offered to them by ministers of the gospel; more than a carrier could lawfully go and proclaim and offer the king's indemniry to those who have no concern in it, but are excepted out of it. The ministerial gospel offer is undoubtedly null and void, as far as it exceeds the bounds of the object of Christ's administration of the
covenant; as being, in so far, from one or more have ing no power to make it. Neither are any who hear the gospel excepted: for the not taking hold of the covenant by faith in Christ, is the great fin and condemnation of all who, having the gospel, do fa en tertain it, Prov. viii. 36. John iii. 19. Mark xvi. 16. But it could not be the fin of such persons; because it can never be one's fin, not to do a thing which he had no warrant from God to do. Much less are the non-elect excepted : for at that rate, not only should their milbelief be none of their fin; but the elect themselves could never believe, till such time as tneir election were in the first place, revealed to them, which is contrary to the stated method of grace : for none can believe in Christ, till once they lee their warrant; forasmuch as that warrant is the ground of faith.
Wherefore we conclude, that sinners of mankind indefinitely are the object of Christ's administration of the covenant; that he is impowered to administer it to you, and every one of you, whatever you are or have been; and that you must either take hold of the covenant for life and falvution, or perish as de. spisers of it, Gince ye have heard the gospel. III. The Ends of the Administration of the Covenant,
The ends of the administration of the covenant, which make the business of the administrator as fuch, are these three; to wit, (1.) the bringing of sinners into the covenant; (2.) the management of them therein, according to it, in this world ; and (3.) the completing of their happiness, according to it, in the other world.
1. The bringing of finners personally and saving. ly in the covenant, Isa. xlix 5. And now, faith the Lord that formed me in the womb to be his fervant, to bring Jacob again to him, though Ifrael be not ga. thered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord.
Through Though the covenant was concluded from eternity, when we could neither consent nor dissent ; yet, by the constitution thereof, it is provided, that, even to the end of time, any finner of the race of Adam, who shall believe, his receiving and embracing the covenant by faith, shall be as good and valid to en. ter him into it, as if he had personally
subscribed it at the making thereof, John iii. 16. Thus it is left open to mankind-finners, that they may come into it, taking place therein under Christ the head ; and fo become perfonally confederate with Heaven, to their eternal salvation. And there is room enough within the compass of the infinite name of the second Adam, for all of us to subscribe our little names. Wherefore, notwithstanding of all that have already subscribed, in that name, faying, I am the Lord's, i. e. the Lord Christ's, Ifa. xliv. 5. fince Eve first fet down her name there, by believing the promise first, whereby the then commenced, and actually was the mother of all living, Gen. iii. 20.; yet the voice of the gospel still is, and will be even to the end, And yet there is room, Luke xiv. 22. For typifying of which Noah's ark was, by the appointment of Heaven, made all little rooms, Gen. vi. 15. called in the margin there, nefts. Now, the Mediator is authorised to treat with sinners, rebels to God, and subjects of Satan's kingdom, to bring them over to Heaven's side again ; and for that effect to administer the covenant unto them, to propose it to them, and gather them into the bond thereof. Wherefore, having gone forth on that errand, he testifies his earnestness in the work, Matth. xxiii. 37. How often would I have gathered thy children! and declares himself the door of the Sheep, John X. 7, 9.
2. The management of them in the covenant, ac. cording to it, during their continuance in this world. When finners are, by the Mediator's administration, brought within the bond of the covenant, they are