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2. As the parties palling between the sacrifices thus divided, imprecated such a division on themselves, should they deal falsely in this covenant. Hence God threatens the Jews, saying, "The men who have not performed the covenant .which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof.—I will even give their dead bodies to be meat for the fowls of hea-« ven *.* The birds of prey should perch on the dead bodies of the Jews, as they would have done on the bodies of the sacrifices, had not Abram driven them away; and, like these sacrifices, they should be cut assunder. It must be observed, however, that God could neither fail nor suffer for it: But, in condescension to the weakness of his friend, he pledges his life and happiness, for the accomplishment of his faithful promise, to bring him to die full assurance of faith.
3. Chiefly as these sacrifices prefigured the true sacrifice of the Son of God, for the fulj ancl final confirmation of the covenant of 2,-race. But this use of sacrifice has been explained above, and what has been observed already needs not be here repeated "j".
* Jer. xxxiv. 18. ao.
Gen. xvii. 1—2 1.
HERE it will be proper to confider,—I. The Mofaic account of the Parties in this Tranfaction.—II. The Parts of it.—III. It* Confirmation.—And, IV. The Occafions of it,
FIRST, I am to confider the Mosaic DeScription of the Parties Covenanting:— Which are Abram and his Seed.
1. The great author and chief party in this tranfaction announceth himfelf to be the Great God,—God All-sufficient; or, as others Tender it, The Almighty God *. From the fcope of the place, it, appears, that the former translation is more appofite than the tarter, though it is readily granted, that there is a maiiifclt coincidence between them; for
* So our translators render it. But it has always been confidered as one of the divine names; and many have If ft it untranflated: The original word is, Schaddai, "TO. The Hebrew lingnifts are as much divided about its derivation as its Signification. Bnxtorf enumerates no fewer than five or fix different derivations, Diflcrt. Dc noininibus Dei Hebraicis, § 48. That which approves itfclf moil to me is from ty pro ItfK Who, and 1 Sdificient: That is, He Who Is Sufficient; or, as it is ai'uaUy rendered, Ah tvrriciHNT,
all-sufficiency comprehends the idea of omnipotence, as .well as that of many other perfections. God, even the Son, is All-s V F, FiciEnt unto his own blessedness, as well as unto the happiness of his creatures. Of confer quence, he is abundantly able to accomplish his promises, and enable his people to obey his precepts. How comfortable is it to covenant with such a party! One who needs nothing at our hand. Hence, this covenant is all evangelical,—all in favour of Abram and his children.
2. The other party is Abram and his feed. Said God to Abram, "I establish my covenant between me and Thee, and Thy Seed AfTer Thee, in their generations." God considered Abram as already in covenant with himself. This is evident from the terms in which this covenant is proposed: Said he, "I will Establish my covenant between me and thee *." It deserves also to be noticed, that God caused the name of the principal covenanter to be changed: "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram: but thy name lhallbe Ab Rah Am; fora father of many nations have I made thee j"." Accordingly, his
* See the foregoing Diflertation, Part I.
f The patriarch's first name was D"OX: His last name DiTUtf. The former imports an high father; the lat
name carried in it a continual representation of God's promise, given for the perpetual consolation of the Church. Again, this covenant was made with Abraham; and also with his Seed after him, in their generations. "More particularly, This covenant was made with Abram, as a type of his extraordinary Seed: "Now, to Abraham, and to his Seed, were the promises made: He faith not and to feeds, as of many, but. as of orfe; and to dry feed, which is Christ." Once more, This covenant was made with Abraham as the principal member of the visible Church; and his Seed, represented by him, as-the infants of the members of the visible Church are represented by their parents inbaptifin*. By the laWof nature, and the wife appointment of God's word, parents may receive grants for the behoof of their children; and alio bind for their children's performance of certain duties. Such things obtain every day in all (bcietiesunder heaven: And why mould it not obtain likeways in the Church, the mod perfect of all focieties I Thus, all who fprang from Abraham were externally holy, till they cut off themfelves by
ter, as explained by God himself, means a father of many nations. Sundry Jews, and some Christians, reckon, that n is taken from the name Jehovah ; but this composition is not so agreeable to the infallible exposition just now mentioned. The proper derivation of that name which was imposed on him, appears to be *• from 3M Father, and ]13H A Multitude. And "I is retained from E31: And the signification may be ■expresled thus, The Father Of A Multitude. Taken in this point of view, it contains a solemn representation of the implantation of Gentile believers into the covenant of Abraham: For, as Calvin observes, with great propriety, he became the Father Of Many Nations, not by his issue spreading through many nations (though he had many sons) ; nor did they ever incorporate with any other people: But by the adoption of strangers to be fellow-citizens with him and his feed, and their joint admilEen into the houihold of God.
* Vide Calvin. Inftitnt. Lib. IV. cap. xvi. Thef. 4—14. Ball's Treatife on the Covenant of Grace, p. 50— 52< F. Turretin. Loc. xxix. 0. 30. Thef. 5.—From this textf thefe divines have eftabliibed the right of infants, born ■within the vifible Church, unto the benefits of the Covenant of Grace; and particularly unto the initiating leal of it, with a degree of evidence not to be refilled. The laft mentioned author ufeth the following topics: "At "ad infantes pertinere focdus patet ex claufula foederis, "Gen. xvii. 7. Aift. ii. 38. Fateor quidem Faedus Dei "primario, et prxcipue adultos refpicere, quia omni "tale paiflum reciproca conventione conftat, qui utro"biqne voluntaria efle debet, et fapientiam Dei decet "Focdus pafcifci cum hominibus perfeetis, qui poffimt "exercere operationes facultattnn moralium. Sed hoc "non obttat, quominus pertineat quoque ad infantes.— "1. Ex Dei ordine, quia ita voluit gratiam fuam pro' "tendere a parentibus ad liberos.—2. Ex rei natura, "quia liberi fiyit pars parentum, et ejufdem cum iis "conditionis.—3. Inter homines pacta ad liberos con"trahentium coinpledhmtnr, Ergo et in focdere Dei.—» "4. Quia ad infantes pcrtrnet res fignincata", puta re "miiliy peccatorum, rcgeneratio, regnuin calorum. •* Ergo etiam figmun, nam fi quid majus eft. illis coiuiim"nicatur, qua ratione poflet illis denegari quod niinu» *' eft fie argumentatur Petrus Atrt. x. 47.