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nant may be viewed either as it relates to the Mediator, or to his people through him.
THE Mediator was the contracting party with God in making the covenant. The terms were proposed by the Father, and acceded to by the Mediator. "I have made a covenant with my chosen." Psalm lxxxix. 3. The Mediator engaged, as the surety of sinners, to fulfil all righteousness, by obeying the law, and bearing the punishment of sin. This was the condition of the covenant, on the fulfilment of which depended the whole work of our salvation. In order to perform his engagements, the Son of God assumed our nature, obeyed the law, and offered himself a sacrifice to God for sin. "And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of transgressions that were under the first testament, they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." Heb. ix. 15. The blood of the Surety is the blood of the covenant, the fulfilment of its condition, and the price of all covenant blessings. In the celebration of the holy supper, believers are callcd to behold the blood of the covenant, by which it was ratified and confirmed, and a way opened for the conveyance of all its blessings to them. They see on what difficult terms their Redeemer interposed between God and them, what arduous work he performed, and with what assurance of success they may apply to God for every blessing.
THIS Covenant may also be viewed with respect to believers. Their relation to it is very different from Christ's. It was made formally with him, but for them. It prescribed to him an arduous condition, while it offers free grace to them. It was made with him, but is dispensed to them. He purchased its blessings, and they
enjoy them. In being dispensed to them, it assumes the form of a testament, and of a free unconditional promise. It could not have been dispensed to them in a covenant form, without prescribing a condition, and suspending its blessings till it was fulfilled. By this instrument Christ has bequeathed, and graciously conveys all divine blessings. "This shall be the covenant (rather testament) that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Jer. xxxi. 33. Though a condition seems sometimes to be inserted, yet what seems to be a condition in one promise, is promised in another. On one hand there is no condition to be fulfilled, and on the other there is no curse to be inflicted: All is of free and sovereign grace. This is owing to the Lord's body having been broken. Instead of a covenant we have a testament; in place of a condition prescribed we have a free gracious promise. In looking at a crucified Saviour, we see all the promises "in him, yea; and in him, amen." In the holy supper we see the testament ratified and confirmed by the death of the testator, On this account Christ said concerning this ordinance, This cup is the new testament in my blood." It is the unspeakable mercy of believers that God does not propose to deal with them by covenant, but by testament confirmed by the death of his own Sɔn. They may take the cup of salvation, and drink freely, they have nothing to pay. This view of the covenant, and the promises, in the body of Christ, is exceedingly necessary to a suitable observation of his supper; because without this the believer cannot see in what way he is to deal with God and enjoy communion with him.
5. COMMUNICANTS ought to discern the Lord's body as having been under the legal imputation of sin, and as having suffered the punishment due to it, in their
No view of the crucified Saviour is more necessary than this. This, however, is not the present condition of the Saviour. He is not now a legal surety, under the law, and bearing the curse. He has already become the end of the law for righteousness; and having been raised from the dead, death has no more dominion over him. Though sin was laid upon him, he put it away by the sacrifice of himself. Were this consideration of the Lord's body to be laid aside, we could discern nothing in it more important to us, than in the blood of the martyrs. It was the relation which Christ, as a surety, held to us while in the world, that rendered his sufferings important to us; because on this account the obligation to punishment was transferred from us to him..
THOUGH no means have been left untried to subvert this truth, yet none is written in more legible characters in the word of God. The chief part of the Mediator's work was to die.' This he could not do but under the imputation of sin; for the wages of sin is death: and as he had no sin of his own, his death must have been for the sins of others. This was one grand article of his surety-stipulation to the Father: and on no other footing can his death be accounted for. "He hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us." 2 Cor. v. 21. "He was wounded for our trangressions." These sufferings were an atonement for sin. "He finished transgression, and made an end of sinmade reconciliation for iniquity." Dan. ix. 24. He did not destroy its existence, nor stop the practice of it, but
took away its legal power to condemn. His blood was the price of our redemption; for the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life " a ransom for many."
IN the holy supper the believer will view the Lord as having once been a sin-bearing, and sin-expiating Saviour. In this ordinance he approaches near to God, to converse and enjoy fellowship with him.. This privilege implies the removal of sin, which separates us from God. In the Lord's body we see it removed, and in the faith of this we approach God, and find that his wrath is appeased, and that he is, to us through the crucified Redeemer, all love, and all mercy, holding in his hand the sentence, not of condemnation, but of pardon. Turn your eyes then, ye believing disciples, to the Redeemer, to Gethsemane's garden, where, under the pressure of divine wrath, the clotted blood dropt from his body; lift them to mount Calvary, where the purple stream flowed from his side; and you will see what can no where else be seen, heaven, earth, and hell met to break the body of your Lord. His sufferings were agonizing to his soul, that the cup of salvation might be sweet to yours; and the purple stream issued copiously, that you might for ever drink of the rivers of pleasure that proceed from the throne of God.
THE virtue of what was done by the Surety will continue for ever, to the blessed experience of every believing soul. Of this the holy ordinance which we are about to celebrate is a standing evidence. Were it possible for that virtue to fail, this ordinance would necessarily cease, having nothing to exhibit to us. Though the sufferings of Christ are long since finished, and can never be reiterated; yet seeing they still continue in their virtue and effects, it becomes us to contemplate
the awful scene. Let us not expect to enjoy our good things, while we forget the evil things which our Redeemer suffered in procuring them. Let us contemplate that bitter cup, the dregs of which Jesus emptied, as the cup we must for ever have drunk had not the Surety done it for us. This will tend to sweeten the fruit of the vine, in this ordinance: it will prepare our souls to relish it with peculiar satisfaction, and cause us to exclaim with the spouse, " Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love."
6. In the Lord's body the believer will see a finish. ed righteousness, the foundation of his interest in God, and communion with him. This truth necesssarily flows from the preceding observation.
It was to complete such a righteousness that the Son of God became incarnate, held the place of our Surety and continued for a time on earth. He had not this righteousness until he wrought it out. "He was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law," Gal. iv. 4, 5. by doing all that it required. He existed under the curse also. To exist under the obligation of the law and its curse, was incompatible with having a finished righteousness; but when he had answered all the demands of the law, and made satisfaction for sin, his righteousness was completed. His death closed his substitutionary work, and by it" He made an end of sin and brought in an everlasting righteousness." Dan. ix. 24. The certainty that the Mediator would finish this righteousness in due time, secured the justification of all who believed prior to his death. Jesus is no more the Surety subject of the law; sin is put away; its place