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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
This word is very familiar to the reader of the Bible. Every one knows what is meant by the New Testament; but perhaps the peculiar blessedness of the name, seen with an eye to Christ, is not so richly and so fully enjoyed as it ought even by real believers. There is indeed a most precious savour in the word, when we have respect to it, as Jesus had to the symbols of his supper, when he called the sacred service "the New Testament in his blood."
A testament, in the common acceptation of the term, implies the last act and will of a person in disposing of his effects. So the apostle called it, Hebrews 9:15-17. Such therefore was the blessed act of Christ; and the gospel was called so because it contained the legacies and testamentary effects Jesus bequeathed to his church and people.
In respect to the term, New Testament, that was not added as if the contents of it differed from the Old; for in fact it became a fulfilment and confirmation of all that went before: every thing in the Old Testament was the shadow and type of the New. But the peculiar cause for calling it New was, as being newly accomplished and sealed by the blood of its almighty Author; and when first so called the Lord Jesus had but just shed his blood at Jerusalem.
I cannot dismiss the subject, after thus explaining the meaning of the term itself, without calling upon the reader to remark with me how very precious the very name of the New Testament ought to be to every lover of the Lord Jesus, who by the regenerating influence of the Holy Ghost is conscious that he is interested in the contents of it. Reader! pause over the nameâ€”"The New Testament in Christ's blood," Surely, I would say, Jesus by his death hath confirmed it, and made all the blessed legacies in it secure and payable. For as the Holy Ghost saith by Paul, "A Testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (Hebrews 9:17) Shall we not enquire then what Jesus hath left, and to whom he hath left, his vast property? We know that all power is his in heaven and in earth; all blessings are his, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And surely, it is worth enquiry after such durable treasure!
Now Jesus, before his departure, expressed himself to his disciples on this subject when he said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you." (John 14:27) Hence therefore the legacies of Jesus are to his people, his disciples, his children. As men before they die make their wills, and give their property to their relations and friends, so the Lord Jesus did his. It is his church, his spouse, his offspring, which are by name mentioned in his will, and who alone are interested in it. Oh, for grace then to prove the Lord's will in it. Oh, for to lay claim to all the legacies contained in it! Am I married to the Lord, and hath Jesus bethrothed me to him for ever? Am I gathered out of nature's darkness, and become a child of God by adoption and by grace? It is said, If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Am I a new creature, renewed by the Holy Ghost; and hath the Lord given me a new heart and a new mind, so that old things are passed away, and all things are become new? Oh! for the blessed discovery of these sure marks of a relationship to Christ, and in Christ; for then sure I am, that I have an interest in Christ's will, and he that gave himself for me, hath given all blessings to me. And as he died to make his Testament valid, so he ever liveth to be the executor and administrator of his Testament, and to see the whole blessings of his will faithfully given to his whole Church and people. Hail thou glorious Testator of the New Testament in thy blood!
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Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Testament'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/pmd/t/testament.html. London. 1828.