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multitude of feed, according to the flesh; and their possession of Canaan. It must be obferved, however, though the clothing of many of the promises was figurative, yet they contained spiritual privileges under it, even such as true faith was capable of discerning. There were also duties, corresponding in their nature unto these privileges, and these were solemn confirmations of all the promises which were conferred upon him : Such as, circumcision, facrifice, &c. But these are superseded under the better æconomy: The sacrifice of the Son of God having made the facrifice and oblation to cease; while baptisin holds the place of circumcision in the Gospel Church. But, though we readily grant, that some things in this covenant are typical; yet it by no means follows, that all things in it were of that nature. It might be easily shown, that the most capital promises of this covenant are transferred, by the great promifer, unto the members of the Gospel Church: For example, that promise, “I will be a God unto thee," &c. Itands also in the new Covenant, " I will be unto them a God.” Some fondly imagine, indeed, that such promises contain only temporal and typical blessings : But I would gladly know, How God can be a typical God unto any? We live in an age in which men seem to exceed old Origen himself, in fondness to allegorize. God himself, and all things under him, are turned into shadow, or allegory, to
make make way for a favourite hypothesis. One bold writer strikes out body from the list of realities; another cuts off spirit from the fame.. list; a third fears not to aver, That God was only a figurative God, unto the children of Israel at least ! But happy are those persons, happy that people, whose God is Jehovah. The Most High is a God and portion to his people, without a figure, after all that men can say about it. As to the duties required, they are of perpetual obligation; as the promises are for perpetual consolation : Such as, faith in God's promise ; hence New Testament saints are said to walk in THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM *. The patriarch's walking BEFORE God is also much a-kin unto the duties required in the first commandment of the decalogue. Should any enquire, If the Abrahamic Covenant, under the notion of a covenant, be extended unto the Gospel Church? Let the Apostle Peter answer, “ Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy Seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus Christ, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities t.” Though Peter delivered this sermon to Ifraelites, yet he was exhibiting and offering privileges which belonged to the
members of the Gospel Church; this fermon being delivered after that Church was conftituted. The fact is, this covenant was continued in the Gospel Church, when the natural branches were broken off; and, for a very long time, cast out, with such alterations and enlargements as her case required. Many, at this time, suppose themselves to be the children of Abraham, and imagine they are entitled to a higher place in his family than others; but, at the same time, they imagine, they may excuse themselves from imitating him in this part of his conduct: Thiey may be very good children in his family, though they never, like him, enter into covenant witli God. But such persons would do well to consider the characteristic of Abraham's family, drawn by Truth itself: “ Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” As it is vain to boast of inward faith and outward privileges, without charity ; so it is equally vain to glory in the most solemn professions of charity, in the modern sense of the word, while persons neglect the principal lineament in his character, and the principal branch of his conduct rew specting the higheit of objects--his Maker.
2. SELF-DENIA L is a peculiar characteristic of genuine covenanters. How niuch of this grace and duty is exemplified in Abraham ! He is denied to his native country, his father's . * Bb
house, house, and his own people ; yea, and his own son also. In him was notably fulfilled that solemn injunction of our Lord Jesus Christ, concerning self-denial, which he amplifies to the following purpose: “If any man come to me, and HATE NOT (that is, to love only in an inferior degree; or to hate comparatively) father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters; yea, and his own life alfo, he cannot be my disciple.”
3. The motions of divine providence, tho' ever subservient to the accomplishment of his word, do not always run, according to human appearance, in a direct line to that end. Providence sometimes moves in an oblique, fometimes in an opposite direction, as it were, unto the word; but it always reacheth the desired end at last. How intricate were the motions of providence-How various its windings, towards conferring a seed on Abraham! But the accomplishinent of the promise was as a key unto them all. It evidenced every entire part, however opposite like unto the general design, conspired to form a beautiful whole, and was even requisite to constitute and complete it.
A S the grace of God was manifested to
Noah and Abraham in the way of foe-. La deral transaction; so it was continued to Isaac by way of covenant-renovation. The doctrine of covenant-renovation is as plain in itself as any doctrine of divine revelation ; but the craft of Satan has used many efforts to obscure it, while some men imagined they found their account in contributing to the same purpose. If we mean to avoid the stumblingblocks which have been cast in the way, the most proper course is, to attend unto the sacred history of the føderal transactions between God and his Church; and to survey the progrefs of covenanting work, from its very beginning until now.