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make;' but the apostle renders it by this word, to denote that this covenant was at once perfected and consummated, to the exclusion of all additions and alterations. Perfection and unalterable establishment, are the properties of this covenant. An everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.'
4. As to its distinguishing character, it is called a new covenant; so it is with respect unto the old covenant made at Sinai. Wherefore, by this covenant, as here considered, is not understood the promise of grace given unto Adam absolutely; nor that unto Abraham, which contained the substance and matter of it, the grace exhibited in it, but not the complete form of it as a covenant. For if it were only the promise, it could not be called a new covenant with respect unto that made at Sinai. For so it was before it, absolutely two thousand five hundred years, and in the person of Abraham, four hundred years at the least. But it must be considered, as before described, in the establishment of it, and its law of spiritual wor- ship. And so it was prophesied of by Jeremiah, eight hundred years after that in Sinai. Howbeit, it may be called a new covenant in other respects also. As first, because of its eminency. So it is said of an eminent work of God, Behold I work a new thing in the earth;' and its duration and continuance, as that which shall never wax old, is denoted thereby. VER. 9.-0υ κατα την διαθηκης ήν εποιησα τοις παρασιν αυτών, ο
ημερα επιλαβομενον μου της χειρος αυτων, εξαγαγειν αυτους εκ γης Αιγυπloν ότι αυτοι ουκ ενεμειναν εν τη διαθηκη μου, καγω ημιλησα
αυτων, λέγει Κύριος. For the quotation and translation of these words out of the prophet Jeremiah, the reader may consult the Exercitations in the first volume, Exercitation V. 17a, the apostle in this place renders by Founge, and in this place only; the reason whereof, we shall see afterwards. na-nx 1907 190wx,
which my covenant they brake,' rescinded, dissipated; the apostle renders αλλοι ουκ ενερμειναν εν τη διαθηκη μου, and they continued not in my covenant.'. For not to abide faithful in covenant, is to break it. Dahya 981, and I was “an husband
unto them,' or rather, “a Lord over them ;' in the apostle, ·xe'yo mueanta autay, and I regarded them not.' On what reason and grounds the seeming alteration is made, we shall inquire in the exposition.
Ou kata Thy doeconxav, non secundum testamentum ; secundum illud testamentum, and so the Syriac, xpn't 97 78 x, pot according unto that testament;' others, fadus and illud fædus. Of the different translations of this word by a testament and a covenant, we have spoken before.
'Hi eroina; Syr. 637797, which I gave;' quod feci, ! which I made ;' Tous #elquosv, for our tous nalgaon, with the fathers,' for that is required to be joined to the verb 201404, And therefore the Syriac, omitting the preposition, turns the verb into
gave;' gave to the fathers, which is proper, onix Ox, eum patribus eorum.
Our tripessay, Vulg; non permanserunt ; others, perstiterunt, So the Syriac, 7px, they stood not,' they continued not. Maneo is used to express stability in promise and covenants; ut tu diclis Albani maneres, and tu modo promissis maneas. So is permaneo in officio, in armis, in amicitia, • lo continue stedfast unto the end.' Wherefore, it is as well so rendered, as by persisto ; fupew is so used by Thucidydes, sepsvav tans diue. 9nxais, to abide firm and constant in covenants.' And spepesens is he who is firm, stable, constant in promises and engagements.
Ka’you musanoa, ego neglexi, despexi, neglectui habui ; Syr. 8'da, • I despised, I neglected, I rejected them.' Ausriu is cura non habeo, negligo, contemno ; a word denoting a casting out of care. with contempt. Ver. 9.-Not according to that covenant which I made with
their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in
my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. The greatest and utmost mercies that God ever intended to communicate to the church, and to bless it withal, were inclos. ed in the new covenant. Nor doth the efficacy of the mediation of Christ, extend itselt' beyond the verge and compass thereof. For he is the mediator and surety, only of this covenant. But now God had before made a covenant with his people, a good and holy covenant it was, such as was meet for God to prescribe, and for them thankfully to accept of. Yet, notwithstanding all the privileges and advantages of it, it proved not so effectual, but that multitudes of them with whom God made that covenant, were so far from obtaining the blessedness of grace and glory thereby, as that they came short, and were deprived of the temporal benefits that were included therein. Wherefore, as God hereon promiseth to make a new covenant with them, seeing they had forfeited and lost the advantage of the former, yet if it should be of the same kind therewith, it might also in like manner prove ineffectual. So must God give, and the church receive, one covenant after ano. ther, and yet the ends of them never be obtained.
To obviate this objection, and the fear that thence might arise, God, who provideth not only for the safety of his church, but also for their comfort and assurance, declares beforehand unto them, that it shall not be of the same kind with the for. mer, nor liable to be frustrated as to the ends of it, as that was.
And there are some things remarkable herein. 1. That the preface unto the promise of this new covenant,
is a blame charged on the people, finding fault with them, blaming them, charging them with sin against the covenant that he had made with them.
2. Yet this, namely, that the people were not stedfast in it and unto the terms of it, was not the whole ground and reason of making this new covenant. For had it been so, there would have no more been needful to re-instate them in a good condition, but only that God should pardon their former sins, and renew the same covenant unto them again, and give them another venture or trial thereon. But inasmuch as he would do so no more, but will make another covenant of another nature with them, it is evident that there was some defect in the covenant itself; it was not able to communicate those good things, with which God designed to bless the church.
3. These two things, being the only reason that God gives, why he will make this new covenant, namely, the sins of the people, and the insufficiency of the first covenant to bring the church into that blessed state which he designed for them; it is manifest that all his dealings with them, for their spiritual and eternal good, are of mere sovereign grace, and such as he hath no motive unto, but in and from himself alone. There are sundry things contained in these words.
First, An intimation that God had made a former covenant with his people. Tgy doce Inxnn ny stornou. There is in these verses a repetition three times of making covenant; and in every place in the Hebrew, the same words are used, 771 . But the apostle changeth the verb in every place. First, he expresseth it by ruitentow, ver. 8. and in the last place, by dran na σομαι, which is most proper, ver. 10. τιθεναι and διατιθεναι διαθηκης, are usual in other authors; here he useth etointa, in reference unto that covenant which the people brake, and God disannulled. And it may be he did so, to distinguish their alterable covenant, from that which was to be unalterable, and was confirmed with greater solemnity. God made this covenant, as others of his outward works, which he resolved to alter, change or abolish at the appointed season. It was a work whose ef. ects might be shaken, and which might itself afterwards be removed; so he speaks, chap. xii. 27. The change of the things that are shaken, is dis Tiroirpesvar, as of things that are made,' made for a season; so made as to abide and endure for an appointed time only: such were all the things of this covetrant, and such was the covenant itself. It had no criteria ater. nitatis upon it, no evidences of an eternal duration. Nothing hath so, but what is founded in the blood of Christ. He is TV 34, the everlasting Father,' or the immediate author and cause of every thing that is or shall be everlasting in the church. Let men labour and contend about other things whilst they please ; they are all shaken, and must be removed.
Obs. I. The grace and glory of the new covenant, are much set off and manifested, by the comparing of it with the old.This is done here by God on purpose for the illustration of it. And it is greatly made use of in this epistle, partly to prevail with us to accept of the terms thereof, and to abide faithful lherein; and partly, to declare how great is their sin, and how sore will be the destruction of them, by whom it is neglected or despised. As these things are insisted on in other places, se are they the subject of the apostle's discourse chap. xii. from ver. 15. to the end.
Obs. II. All God's works are equally good and holy in them. selves, but as unto the use and advantage of the church, he is pleased to make some of them means of communicating more grace than others.—Even this covenant, which the new was not to be like unto, was in itself good and holy, which these with whom it was made, had no reason to complain of. Howbeit, God had ordained that by another covenant, he would communicate the fulness of his grace and love unto the church. And if every thing that God doth, be improved in its season, and for its proper ends, we shall have benefit and advantage by it, though he hath yet other ways of doing us more good, whose seasons he hath reserved unto himselt. But this is an act of Inere sovereign goodness and grace, that whereas any have neglected or abused mercies and kindnesses that they have received, instead of casting them off on that account, God takes this other course, of giving thein such mercies as shall not be so abused. This he did by the introduction of the new covenant in the room of the old, and this he doth every day. So Isa. Ivii. 16–18. We live in days wherein men variously endeavour to obscure the grace of God, and to render it unglorious in the eyes of men, but he will for ever be admired in them that do believe.
Obs. III. Though God makes an alteration in any of his works, ordinances of worship or institutions, yet he never changeth his intention, or the purpose of his will.-In all outward changes there is with him no variableness nor shadow of turning. Known unto him are all his works from the foundation of the world ; and whatever change there seems to be in them, it is all effected in pursuance of the unchangeable purpose of his will concerning them all. It argued not the least change or shadow of turning in God, that he appointed the old covenant for a season, and for some certain ends, and then took it away, by making another that should excel it both in grace and efficacy
Secondly, It is declared with whom this former covenant was made, targeoin autor, with their fathers.' Some Latin copies read, cum patribus vestris, with your fathers.' But having spoken before of the house of Judah, and of the house of Is
rael in the third person, he continueth to speak still in the same. So likewise is it in the prophet, onax, their fathers.'
Their fathers, their progenitors, were those that this people always boasted of. For the most part I confess that in their claim from them, they rose higher than to those here principally intended, namely, unto Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve patriarchs. But in general, their fathers it was whereof they made their boast ; and desired no more, but only what might descend unto them in the right of these fathers. And unto these God here sends them, and that for two ends.
1. To let them know that he had more grace and mercy to communicate unto the church, than ever those fathers of theirs were made partakers of. So would he take them off from boasting of them, or trusting in them.
2. To give warning by them, to take heed, how they behav. ed themselves under the tender of this new and greater mercy. For the fathers here intended were those with whom God made the covenant at Sinai. But it is known, and the apostle hath declared at large in the third chapter of this epistle, how they brake and rejected this covenant of God, through their unbelief and disobedience, and so perished in the wilderness. These were those fathers of the people with whom the first covenant was made, and so they perished in their unbelief. A great warning this was unto those that should live when God would enter into the new covenant with his church, lest they should perish after the same example. But yet was it pot effectual towards them. For the greatest part of them rejected this new covenant, as their fathers did the old, and perished in the indignation of God.
Obs. IV. The disposal of mercies and privileges as unto times, persons, seasons, is wholly in the hand and power of God.-Some he granted unto the fathers, some to their posterity, and not the same to both. It is our wisdom to improve what we enjoy, not to repine at what God hath done for others or will do for them that shall come after us. Our present mercies are sufficient for us, if we know how to use them. He that wanteth not a believing heart, shall want nothing else.
Thirdly, Who these fathers with whom God made this covenant were, is farther evident from the time, season, and circumstances of the making of it.
1. For the time of it, it was done sy spespes, that is, Exum, ' in that day.' That ' a day' is taken in the Scripture for an especial time and season wherein any work or duty is to be performed, is obvious unto all. The reader may see what we have discoursed concerning such a day on the third chapter. And the time here intended, is often called the day of it, Ezek. xx. 6. • In the day I lifted up my hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt ;' at that time or season. A certain, determinate,