CHAPTER II.

CHRIST IN THE COVENANT.

GOD has put Christ into the covenant, and made him over to his people: "I will give thee for a covenant." Isaiah 42:6. He who is promised as the chief matter, the mediator, surety, and scope of the covenant, is called, The Covenant. "I will give thee for a covenant;" that is, I covenant to give thee to the people.

Dost thou say, "Whatever glory and blessedness there is in the fruition of God, woe is me, there is a great gulf fixed between me and it, over which there is no passing; there is a partition-wall raised, over which there is no climbing; there is a handwriting against me, and while that stands, all that is in God is nothing to me. Were this God mine, I had enough. Let me be put to labour or to suffering; let me dig, or beg, or starve and die; whether I be rich or poor, have something or nothing, be a praise or a reproach, it matters not, if God. be mine. But 0, how may I obtain this ? Who shall bring me to God ?"

The Lord God hath given thee his Son to undertake for thee, and to be thy way unto the Father. Hebrews 10:19-20. JESUS CHRIST—who is the Morning-star, the Sun of righteousness, the image of the invisible God; the first-born of every creature, by whom are all things, who is before all things, the head of the body the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, in whom dwells all fullness, even the fullness of the godhead bodily; who has made peace by the blood of his cross, Colossians, chs. 1, 2; whose name "Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace," Isaiah 9:6—this Jesus is granted thee in the covenant, to bring thee to God. To which blessed and glorious purpose he is exhibited as the Light of life; as the Lord our righteousness; as our Lord and King; and as our Head. and Husband.

I. As the LIGHT OF LIFE. 

"A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." ‘Luke 2:32. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." John 1:4. "He that followeth me shall have the light of life." John 8:12. There is a light that serves to kill and destroy, to bring death and condemnation to light: the light of the law, that killing letter concerning which the apostle says, "When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death." Romans 7:9-10. But Christ brings life and immortality to light. Heaven, glory, the invisible God, which are lost out of reach and out of ken, are all discovered in the face of Jesus Christ: "To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" 2Corinthians 4:6. He is the image of the invisible God, the brightness of his Father’s glory, the glass in which by reflection we see the sun. "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us."

Why, says he, hast thou known me, Philip, and yet sayest thou, Show us the Father? "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father;" and this is the light of life. John 14:8-9. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.

II. As THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS: 

This is his name: "He shall be called, The Lord our righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6. To this end he is given to us,

As our propitiatory sacrifice: "The propitiation for our sins." 1John, 2:2. "Christ our Passover." 1Corinthians 5:7. "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8. Our price, our ransom, to satisfy justice, pacify wrath, discharge from the curse; to blot out the handwriting, break down the wall of partition; to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, and so to bring us to God. Whatever difficulties appear in thy way, whatever doubts arise in thy heart, from thy sins, from thy guilt, from thy poverty, from thy impotence—whatever objections thy fears may hence put in, the blood of the Lamb will answer all. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

As a merciful and faithful High-priest, Hebrews 2:17, who has made an atonement for us in the earth, and appears for us in heaven; who has made reconciliation for us, and makes intercession for us, "to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:24. We read, Exodus 28:12, 29; that Aaron, as the type of Christ, was to bear the names of the children of Israel engravers in stones upon his shoulders and upon his breastplate, when he went into the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually. Our Lord is entered into the heavens, to appear in the presence of God with our names upon his shoulders and upon his heart, for a memorial before the Lord: the least of saints has his name there en-graven.
"Here is my ransom, Lord," saith Christ, "and behold my ransomed ones. Here is my price and my purchase, my redemption and my redeemed. Whatever accusers there be, whatever charge be laid against them, whatever guilt lies upon them, here are the shoulders that have borne all that was their due, and paid all that they owe; and upon these shoulders and in this heart thou mayest read all their names; and when thou readest, remember what I have done for them, acquit and absolve them, and let them be accepted before thee for ever. Remember the tears of these eyes, the stripes on this back, the shame of this face, the groans of this body, the anguish of this soul, the blood of this heart; and when thou rememberest, whatever name thou findest engraven upon this heart and upon these shoulders, they are the persons whose all these are; and whatever these are, whatever acceptance they have found with thee, whatever satisfaction thou past found in them, put it upon their account; never let me be accounted thine Accepted, if they be rejected; never let me be accounted righteous, if they lie under the imputation of wicked. If they be not righteous in my righteousness, I must be guilty under their guilt. Whatever I am, whatever my satisfaction is, all is theirs; for them I plead, for them I pray; my tears, stripes, wounds, groans, anguish, soul, blood, all cry and say, Father, forgive them; Father, accept them."

Of all cries there are no such strong cries as the cry of blood, and that whether it be against or for the guilty; its voice shall be heard on high. " Thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground." Genesis 4. And what followed ? Woe to those persons against whom blood crieth. But where blood, such blood cries for them, for pardon, for mercy, blessed are those souls.

Christian, this blood is for thee: it " speaketh better things than that of Abel." Hebrews 12:24. It pleads, sues, presses for thy discharge from all that is upon thee. Thou hast many cries against thee: Satan cries, thy sins cry, thine own heart and conscience cry against thee, and thou art amazed at the dreadful noise they make; but behold, the blood of the Lamb, who is God, cries for thee. Thou hast an accuser, but thou bast an Acquitter; thou hast adversaries, but thou hast an Advocate: "An Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins." 1John, 2:1-2. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also malieth intercession for us." Romans 8:33-34.

Nay, further, thou hast not only a righteous, but [1] a merciful High-priest, that is provided with a sacrifice, and hath a heart to offer it for thee; thy name is in his heart as well as on his shoulders, in his bowels as well as on his back. He hath blood for thee, precious blood; and he hath bowels for thee, bowels of mercy. He can have pity and compassion on the miserable. Hebrews 5:2. If he can find no other, he can find arguments enough from thy woe and thy misery to draw forth his soul towards thee. He is merciful, and his mercies are tender mercies; he is pitiful, and his compassionate are tender compassions: thou art not so tender of the wife of thy bosom, of thine own child—thou art not so tender of thine own flesh, of the apple of thine eye, of thine own soul, as thy Lord is of thee. His Spirit is moved for thee, his soul melts over thee, he bleeds in thy wounds, he suffers in thy sorrows, his eye weeps, his heart breaks over thy broken and undone state; fear not his forgetting thee.

He is a merciful and a faithful High-priest. No dignity to which he is exalted above thee, no distance to which he is removed from thee, can make him forget his friends; he is gone into the heavens, and is there exalted far above all principalities and powers, and set down at the right hand of God. He is gone, but he hath carried thy name with him as a perpetual memorial for thee. Thou art unfaithful; shame to thee ! thou forgettest thy Lord at every tarn; every business that comes, every trouble that comes, every pleasure that comes, every companion that comes, makes thee forget thy Lord, forget his love, forget thy duty: 0, how small a matter will steal thy heart from him; yea, stir up tumults and rebellions against him. Thy comforts, thy hopes, thy needs which thou hast daily from him, will not all prevail to hold him in remembrance with thee. Thou forgettest thy Lord, but he will not forget thee; though thou hast been unfaithful in many things, yet he is in nothing. "Yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself." 2Timothy 2:13. He would not be true to himself, if he be not faithful to thee; his interest lies in thee; thou art his, his possession, a member of his body, fear not; if he should be unfaithful to thy soul, he is therein unfaithful to his own body. If thy ease be such that he can. help thee, if there be any thing wherein he can stead thee—if all that he has, his blood, his righteousness, his interest with the Father, will be sufficient for thy help, he has undertaken to procure it for thee and secure it to thee. Faithful is he that has called you, and will do it.

This now is that Jesus who is given unto us, as our propitiatory Sacrifice, as our merciful and faith High-priest, who suffered on the earth, and is gone into the heavens for us; standing in his red robes, garments rolled in blood—with the glorious white inscribed upon the red—pardon, peace, absolution, acceptance; with the names of his ransomed ones engraven upon his heart and upon his shoulders: this is that Jesus, who is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

III. As OUR LORD AND KING.

"A King shall reign in righteousness," and in him shall the Gentiles trust.

"Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh." Zechaniah 9:9. "The government shall be on his shoulder." Isaiah 9:6. God hath more care of his saints, than to leave the government of them on their shoulder. Is not her King in her ? 

He is a King to gather them, a King to govern, them, a King to defend and save them: to save them from their temporal enemies, the sons of violence, the Men of this evil world; to save them from their spiritual enemies, from their sins. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. It is a mercy to be under government and under protection. What would become of us were there no King in Israel? Where there is no king, all are kings.; more kings than men: Satan will be a king, every lust will be a lord—as many kings as there are devils and sins. Whither would our unruly hearts carry us ? How easily would our wily and potent enemies ruin us. What tyranny would sin exercise within; what cruelty should we suffer from without. Whither should we wander; where should we fix? What peace, what order, what stability? Whence should counsel and protection and salvation come, were there no Lord over us ? It is a mercy to be under government; but to be under such a government, under a King, and such a King; such a wise and potent King, such a meek and merciful King, such a holy and righteous King’ Oh, what a wonder of mercy "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass’s colt." He is just, having salvation; as a Priest he hath purchased, as a King he bestows hissalvation. He comes not to get, but to give—not to give laws only, but to give gifts unto men; and he gives. like a king, palms, crowns, and thrones—salvation to his people by the remission of their sins. Oh, how unthankful; O, how foolish is this rebellious world ! Impatient of subjection, they shake off the yoke, groan under duty, under discipline: " We will not have this man to rule over us." Who then shall save you ? Hard to be a Christian; strict laws, severe discipline, no liberty ! Is this thy complaint, Christian ? Nay, rather, There is no liberty left me to be miserable: if I will be his, I must be happy.






Let fools inherit their own folly, but let Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the children of Zion be joyful in their King; for the Lord taketh pleasure in his people, he will beautify the meek with salvation. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory ? The Lord of hosts, yea, the Lord our righteousness, he is the. King of glory. The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will save us. Praise ye the Lord. Come all ye Nimrods, ye mighty hunters on the earth; come all ye sons of Anak, ye seed of the giants; come all ye soils of Belial, ye seed of the adulterer; come all ye Ishmaelites and Ammonites, ye Moabites and Hagarenes, associate, confederate, take counsel together, smite with the tongue, "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh." Zechariah 9:9. "The government shall be on his shoulder." Isaiah 9:6. God hath more Care of his saints, than to leave the government of them on their shoulder. Is not her King in her ?

He is a King to gather them, a King to govern. them, a King to defend and save them: to save them from their temporal enemies, the sons of violence, the men of this evil world; to save them from their spiritual enemies, from their sins. ‘‘Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. It is a mercy to be under government and under protection. What would become of us were there no King in Israel ? Where there is no king, all arc kings; more kings than men: Satan will be a king, every lust will be a lord—as many kings as there are devils and sins. Whither would our unruly hearts carry us ? How easily would our wily and potent enemies ruin us. What tyranny would sin exercise within; what cruelty should we suffer from without. Whither should we wander; where should we fix? What peace, what order, what stability? Whence should counsel and protection and salvation come, were there no Lord over us ? It is a mercy to be under government; but to be under such a government, under a King, and such a King; such a wise and potent King, such a meek and merciful King, such a holy and righteous King ! Oh, what a wonder of mercy ! "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass’s colt." He is just, having salvation; as a Priest he hath purchased, as a King he bestows his salvation. He comes not to get, but to give—not to give laws only, but to give gifts unto men; and he gives. like a king, palms, crowns, and thrones—salvation to his people by the remission of their sins. Oh, how unthankful; O, how foolish is this rebellious world ! Impatient of subjection, they shake of the yoke, groan under duty, under discipline; "We will not have this man to rule over us." Who then shall save you ? Hard to be a Christian; strict laws, severe discipline, no liberty ! Is this thy complaint, Christian ? Nay, rather, There is uo liberty left me to be miserable; if I will be his, I must be happy.

Let fools inherit their own folly, but let Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the children of Zion be joyful in their King; for the Lord taketh pleasure in his people, lie will beautify the meek with salvation. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory ? The Lord of hosts, yea, the Lord our righteousness, he is the King of glory. The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will save us. Praise ye the Lord. Come all ye Nimrods, ye mighty hunters on the earth; come all ye sons of Anak, ye seed of the giants; come all ye sons of Belial, ye seed of the adulterer; come all ye Ishmaelites and Ammonites; ye Moabites and Hagarenes, associate, confederate, take counsel together, smite with the tongue, bite with the teeth, push with the horn, kick with the heel; come all ye gates of hell, and powers of darkness; thou dragon with all thy armies, with all thy fiery darts and instruments of death; come thou king of terrors with thy fatal dart: the virgin the daughter of Zion has despised you all, she has laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.; her King is in the miclit of her; the Lord is her King, he will save her.

IV. As OUT HEAD AND HUSBAND. 

He that is given to be Head over all things to the church is given to be the Head of the church, Ephesians 1:22-23, and of every member in particular. 1Corinthians 11:3. Believers are all joined to the Lord. 1Corinthians 6:17. United in Christ as fellow-members; united unto Christ as their common Head, "from which all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." Colossians 2:19. They are married to Christ: "I have espoused you to one Husband." 2Corinthians 11:2. From this union follows a communication of influences, and a combination of interests.

1. A communication of influences. 

"Haling nourishment ministered." Christ our Head is our Fountain of life. Our Head is our Heart also, out of it are the issues of life; from him we live, and are nourished and maintained in life. He is our Joseph, all the treasures of the holy land are with him. "In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3. "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Colossians 1:19. He is the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth.

Here observe what grace there is in Christ. The schools tell us, that in him there is a threefold grace. 1. The grace of union. The human nature of Christ hath received the high grace or favour to be personally united to the second person in the godhead; by virtue of which union the fullness of the godhead is said to dwell in him bodily—bodily, that is, personally, or substantially, in opposition to the types and shadows of the Old Testament, in which God is said to dwell in a figure. God was said to dwell in the tabernacle, in the ark of the covenant, in the temple; but in these he dwelt only as figures and shadows of the human nature of Christ. in Christ lie dwells not in a figure, but personally and substantially. As Christ, Colossians 2:17, is called the body, in opposition to the types of old, which were but the shadow; so bodily here denotes not a figurative, but a personal inhabitation. Christ is the body, not a shadow; and God dwells in him bodily, that is, substantially, and not in a shadow. 2. Habitual grace. All those moral perfections wherein stands the holiness of his nature: the love and fear of God; his humility, meekness, patience; in sum, his perfect conformity to the image and whole will of God. "Such a High-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." Hebrews 7:26. 3. The honour which is given to him to be Head of the church.

Also observe how Christ is said to be full of grace. There is a twofold fulness of grace. In respect to grace itself: thus he is said to be full of grace, that hath all grace, and hath it in the greatest excellency and perfection. Also, in respect to the person that hath it; and thus a person is said to be full of grace, that hath as much grace as he is capable of. Christ is full of grace in both respects: the grace which is in him, is grace in the highest perfection of it, and in infinite. fulness.

Observe also, that this fullness of Christ is ours, and for us: "Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3. Your life: that is, both your spiritual life, grace; and your eternal life, glory. "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son." 1John, 5:11. Our life is said to be in Christ in three respects. 

It is hid in Christ as the effect in the -cause: as the life of the branches is hid in the root, so is the life of a Christian in Christ; he is our root. 
It is deposited with Christ: it is laid up with him; committed to his trust and custody; with him it is secured and put into safe hands. 
The dispensation of it is committed to him: from him it is at his pleasure to he imparted to us; of his fullness we receive. The Son hath life in himself, and he giveth it to whom, when, and in what measure he pleaseth.
Christian, art thou nothing in thyself ? Thou hast enough in thy Jesus. Art thou dark ? he is a fountain of light. Art thou dead ? he is a fountain of life. Art thou poor and low, weak in knowledge, in faith, in love, in patience ? he is a treasure of all grace; and what he is, he is for thee. Is he wise ? he is wise for thee. Is he holy ? he is holy for thee. Is he meek, merciful, humble, patient ? he is so for thee. Is he strong; is he rich; is he frill ? it is for thy sake. As lie was empty for thee, weak for thee, poor for thee; so,for thee he is mighty, he is rich and full. While thou bewailest thine own poverty and weakness, O bless thyself in thy Lord, in his riches, righteousness, and strength.

2. A combination, of interests. 

As the head and body, as the husband and wife, so Christ and his saints are mutually concerned—are rich or poor, must stand and fall, live and die together. As the husband conveys to the wife a title to what he hath; as the wife holds of the husband; so is it between Christ and his church: they have nothing but through him; their whole tenure is in the Head; and whatsoever is his, is theirs. His God is their God, his Father is their Father; his blood, his merits, his Spirit, his victories, all the spoils he has gotten, all the revenue and income of his life and death, all is theirs. For them he obeyed, suffered, lived, died, rose, ascended, is set down in glory at the right hand of God. He obeyed as their Head; died as their Head; rose, ascended, reigns as their Head; and has in their name taken possession of that inheritance which he purchased for them. This is that Jesus who is given to us, and thus is he granted and made over to all his saints in this covenant of God.
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