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those covenanters who joined with him at this time: They made a thorough separation from those idolaters v\ho worshipped the golden calf. When the service of God cannot be carried on in connection with backsliders, then persons, who have a conscience, must make a choice, Whether they will part with their duty, and a good conscience, or with their companions: And they .are at no loss what part to choose.
COVENANT BETWEEN GOD And ISRAEL, ON THE PLAINS OF MOAB.
D E u T. xxix. IO I js.
QEE.ING it seemed good to the Holy Ghost: *3 to describe,—The Parties of this Cove-'
nant. The Parts of it.—The Occasions of it.
—And, its Confirmations. We shall dwell a little on each of these; and then subjoin a few Reflections on the whole.
FIRST, We mall attend onto the Parties
of this Covenant: And Moses was instructed to make it with Israel,
i. In the name of the Lord Their God: "That thou stiouldst enter into covenant with The Lord Thy GoD *."
* Dent. xxix. 12.
'X x 2 c. The
2. The other party is declared to be such as stood before the Lord that day, with the generations to come, represented by them. They are distributed into the following daises:
"Your Captains of your tribes *." So
our translation has it. I find it otherwise rendered by Ainsworth: He translates it, " Your Heads of your tribes ■]": And 1 find the fame term rendered Heads in a parallel text: "And with you there sliall be a man of every tribe: every one Head of the house of his fathers J." They arc also styled Princes. Says a modern author, " These Princes were chief captains, or generals, in time of war; and chief magistrates in time of peace: Not unlike Peers of the realm, and Lords-Lieutenants of the county §." These persons were the highest order in ;lic. civil state; but not too high to submit to God's yoke.——" Your Elders ||." There is
* Deut. xxix. io.
j- See his translation, in his Annot. edit. 1639.
: N'uml). i. 4. E>>n. \ In Numb. vii. 2. They are llvled Princes. See Lowman on the civil government of; the Hebrews, p. 74. Etiam Sigonium de Repub. licb. Lib. VII. cap. v.
|| Deut. xxix. 10. ]pt. This order of persons is frequently mentioned in Old Testament history. Abraham had an officer, who bore this description, in his family, Gen xxiv. 2. Our translation styles him, "The eldest servant in his family;" and not improperly. Pharaoh had a servant of this kind likeways, Gen. 1. 7There were not only domestic, but also elders, belonging to larger societies, whether cities or commonwealths.
more difficulty in this term than the former one. It was sirit intended to denote persons of advanced age; but it is more frequently expressive of an office, whether in family, church, or commonwealth. The Church was, by this time, changed from her domestic to her congregational state: Hence, I am apt to conclude, that the term denotes both civil and
ecclesiastical rulers. "Your Officers*."
As for the officers, "they were (fays a modern author), according to the account given of them by Maimoniclcs and the Rabbins, much like those whom the Roman law calls OfficiALes, and Ex Ecu Tor Es, and the New Testament Officers, who. attended the co.rvt, to keep the people in order, with a staff and a whip; and to execute the orders and decrees
of the judges)-." -A fourth class are, "All
the Men of Israel." That is, all the males which belonged unto the congregation, who were obliged to attend the celebration of the
Of the former fort we rend, Dent. xxv. 8. of the latter, Gen. 1. 7- Numb. xxii. 4. 7. Wherever the Church of God obtained, there were elders both civil and ccclc« siustic: Israel, in particular, had an ecclesiastic go-. vcnimctit, distinct from the state. For proof this, the reader may, in the mean time, consult Gillcspie's Aaron's Rod Blodbming, Lib. 1. cha;>. iii. Lcidekker de Repub, Hebixor. Lib. II. cap. vii, viii.
* CTiaty. f See Jexnincs Antiquities, Vol. I. p, 36, 37. The substance of which is taken from Fuller's Miscellan. Lib III. cap. xix. Jchan. Kic.'Not. in ij^on. Vib. VII. cap. vii.
solemn solemn feasts. The males may be mentioned in this arrangement, as being next in dignity
unto the former class. "Your Little
Ones.". These are such little ones as the males covenanted for, even as they covenanted for them at circumcision; and as parents still covenant for their children at baptism. "Your
Wives." Females, even such as were married, and had husbands to answer for them in civil things, were not exempted from this oath, as it was a religious one. Females have been exempted from oaths of allegiance, in all ages, and in all countries, unto civil rulers; but it was fit they should enter into this covenant not only in regard of their personal interest in it, but also as examples unto the Church in future limes. This example was accordingly imitated in die days of Nehemiah; and deserves our imitation in succeeding times.
Another class of covenanters are, " Thy Strangers." These strangers were probably proselytes; and had received circumcision, the initiating seal of the Abrahamic covenant. Though these persons were bond-men, yet they were free to enter into the Lord's covenant; though they were the lowest rank in the commonwealth, yet not below God's notice.
- In one word, This covenant was made
with succeeding, as well as with the present generation: "Neither with you only do I make this covenant, and this oath: But with him that staudeth here with us this day before the Lord