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I, we have explained to be indeed the wells of salvation,
. 2. This subject discovers the veracity and
faithfulness of God, in the accomplishment of his promise. The fame, yea the SELF SAME day which God had fixed for bringing forth the feed of Jacob, was the day of their deliverance. Cod has a set time in which he will suffer finners to fill up the measure of the cup of their iniquity; and a fet time for the deliverance of his Church: And, till that time come, his people must fill up the measure of their athliction. Now, the deliverance of God's children from the furnace of affliction, frequently coincides with the casting of his enemies into the furnace of his vengeance. Said God to Abraham, Thiy seed shall be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge: For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. How punctual is the accomplishment of the promise! How exact the harmony between the prediction and the event!
3: God accomplisbeth his promise, when his people are reduced unto the lowest extremity; and his enemies raised to the highest pitch of prosperity. Egypt was raised to affluence and grandeur, Ifrael oppressed to the lowest degree, when God looked down on their affliction. It is wisely done, that his people may not have it to say, inine own arm hath brought salvation: That his enemies may know, that, even in those things in which they deal proudly, he is above them. When God begins his work, with his people at their lowest ebb; and his enemies in their fullest strength; the more of God, and the less of man, is to be seen in the dispensation. Israel must be redeemed from the hand of the Egyptians, and froin their gods, not when Joseph governed the kingdom; but when the male-children are doomed to the river by their affectionate parents. To this event may be applied, the word of God spoken by the prophet: “ I have a long time held my peace, I have been still and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travelling woman : I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs : and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools of water. And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; and I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forfake them.”
4. WHEN the circumstances of God's people are such as hinder them from the discharge of those duties which they owe to God, the present and succeeding generations, then they 992
may warrantably use every lawful mean to accomplish a change. God pronounced the way clear for Israel to leave Egypt, as their situation incapacitated them for their duty. Not a few, át this day, are under hardships of the very same kind : If the servants of many seek a reasonable time to serve the Lord, especially in folemn duties, they stand fair in the way to get such an answer as Pharoah gave unto Ifrael: 6 VE ARE IDLE, YE ARE IDLE, therefore ye say, Let us go and serve the Lord : Get ye to your burdens ; Wherefore do ye let the work ?” The lower class, in many corners of the nation, are not commanded to kill the bodies of their children, indeed; but, what is worse, they are necessitated to kill their souls; as they have it not in their power to fulfil those vows under which they came for them at their baptifm. · As ever persons value the fouls of their children, let them avoid those places vi hich incapacitate them from training up their children in the way that they should go, either by distance from the means of instruction, or fich hard service as affords neither time nor means to bestow it. If persons be so hurried for.want of time ; or so far distant as they cannot. attend on public ordinances, then they ought to take the first lawful opportunity for changing their situation,-trusting that God will provide for them in the way of duty; or, if exposed unto any loss, he will either make it
up some other way, in the course of his providence, or fanctify it unto them *.
5. The law unto which covenanters should engage is, the Law as magnified by the blood of Christ. The law which Israel promised on bedience to is, the Law fprinkled with the blood of facrifices, teaching all Israelites indeed, to vow obedience unto the Moral Law in the hand of Christ the Mediator. They are not without law to God; but under the Law to Christ. Faith's contemplation of the blood of sprinkling applied to the Law, is a grand encouragement to keep all God's commandments.
6. COVENANTERS ought to be carefully instructed as to the nature and extent of covenant-duties, previous unto their entering into fæderal engagenients. How often is the matter of this covenant declared unto Israel! God
* See also Dissertation II. Part i. On Abraham's removal from Chaldea. ---Servants ought to make it an article in their conditions to have a reasonable time al. lowed for fasting and the celebration of the Lord's Supe per : And then the laws of the country, for which we ought to be thankful unto the King of Nations, will make good that article, even althongh personis profefling godliness ihould serve unreasonable and wicked men. It is much more eligible, however, to strive to gain the good will of masters by faithful service at other times ; who, if reasonable, will not grudge a short time for the service of the Lord ; and to make choice of such inaflers as Mew a proper deference to divine things.
liinielf himself fpake it; Moses spake it once and again : He wrote it, and read it in the ears of all the people. Many, at this time, would be ready to reckon these things needless repetitions; but God, whose judgment is always according to truth, determined them to be needful precautions, that his people might covenant with knowledge and understanding.
7. When covenanters renew their engagements to the Most High, they ought to engross into their bond every part of reformation formerly attained. When Ifrael covenanted with God at Sinai, they embraced all those inftitutions which were given unto the Church prior unto that transaction : For example, Circumcision, which was given to their fathers, as well as the passover to themselves, but a few months before. Both the promises and precepts which belonged to former covenants were engrossed in this one : Only this was the most perfect edition of them. The ordinances, which lay scattered in the memories of men, were all reduced to one entire and written fystem. And the rules, especially respecting ceremonial institutions, which had been formerly indefinitely expressed, were, at this time, particularly delincateel, and fully ascertainėd.