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our God: And also with him that is Not H E R fe with us this day." The present generation might, and did covenant for succeeding ones; as the generations to come were part of themselves: And it has been allowed by all societies, whether civil or ecclesiastic, that bonds and covenants are of as real obligation on said societies, as upon those individuals who, at first, entered into them. To maintain the contrary, implies the greatest absurdity in itself; and, if reduced to practice, would be followed with the most fatal consequences in society.
SECONDLY, The Parts of this Covenant deserve to be considered in the next place. Here I shall,— 1. Consider the two Capital Articles specified.—And, 2. Shew what Reference this Covenant bore unto former Transactions,
I. The Articles of this Covenant: And,
1. On the part of the Son of God, He premiseth, "To Be Unto Them A God*."
2. On the part of Israel, They are bound
to " be unto him a people." 1 would observe,
That this implies privileges, as well as duty. When God demanded this engagement, he put an eminent and distinguished honour upon them, not only by admission to outward privi
* See Dislert. 11, Pait iii.
leges in the Church, but also by being admitted unto special fellowship widi himself. What
a happy people are the Lord's people. It
imports the most solemn dedication to God. As there is a special claim on the part of God, so also a solemn acknowledgment of the justice of it on the part of his children. When persons declare they are,the Lord's people, they consecrate their persons, their services, and their All, indeed, unto his glory. The rule of this service was not only the judicial law, by which they were governed as a body politic; but also the moral and ceremonial laws, respecting both their private and ecclesiastical capacities: "Keep, therefore, the words of this covenant, and do them. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform,, the ten commandments." Nor can this dedication imply less than a ftdemn renunciation of all God's rivals, whether internal or external: For the claims of Jehovah and those of his rivals are absolutely Incompatible.
II. I Shall now enquire what Reference this Covenant bore unto former Engagements: And it contained a formal renovation of them,
l. As God transacted with Israel as a God already in covenant with them, by virtue of the covenants- he had made with their fathers. As God covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, for their seed, as well as for themselves; so the feed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were bound to take hold of the infinite Jehovah, not only as their own God, but also as the God of their fathers; saying, Thou art my God, I will praise thee; my fathers God, I will exalt thee. The covenanted character and relation, which Israel was called to accept, and improve on the Plains of Moab, did not commence in the last year of Moses's life; but had been frequently announced in former transactions. Hence, God himself speaks of the Establishment of this relation between him and them: "That he may establifh thee to-day for a people unto himself; and that he may be unto thee a Cod, as he said unto thee, and as he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob*."
2. This covenant was a renovation of former ones, as God considered the covenanters as alrcadv a covenanted-feed : having formerly covenanted in the loins of their fathers. They were considered as the successors of those patriarchs unto whom Jehovah had Sworn; and of those covenanters unto whom he had Ipoken in the Sinai Covenant, according to the text' just now quoted. Hence this transaction engrossed all preceding ones.
* Deut. xxix 13.
* -Y'y 3. As
3. As the matter of this covenant engrofletl the substance of former transactions, as we have seen; so the making of it strongly marked its relation to them: Said Moses, "That he may ESTABLISH thee to-day for a people unto himself." His right to them, as a people, did not commence that day; but there was a renewed claim of it on his part, and a renewed acknowledgment of it on theirs: For the word rendered Establish does not mean to give existence unto any thing; but to confirm, or renew, that which had a previous existence, as we have formerly shewn*.
* Dissert. I. Part i. To set this matter beyond all portability of doubt, I shall attend, for a moment, unto Moses's judgment on this head, Dent. vii. 9. "Know, therefore, the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God; who keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations." Verse 11. "Thou malt, therefore, keep the commandments and the statutes, and the judgments which I command thee this day, to do them." Verse 12. "Wherefore it shall come to pass, If ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord thy God mail keep UNTO THEE the covenant, and the mercy which he fware unto thy fathers." No language can be more plain than Moses's testimony, declaring, That God kept his covenant which he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Most High God considered himself as still bound by the promises which he made, and the oath which he fware unto these patriarchs,-—he considered himself as bound unto their feed, some hundreds of years after they were dead, as well as unto themlelves when in life. Hence, though the Sinai Covenant had fewer promises than precepts; yet it was not with■'' out out promises, even of its own; and, especially, enriched with all the promises which belonged to former cove- .. nants: Or, if we take this declaration as referring unto the transaction on the' Plains of Moab, then it carries these promises still further forward; and they are carried forward, indeed, not only as Jar as the death of Moses; but also to the latest poster-^y of the members of the Gospel Church. The promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (all excepting those belonging unto the incarnation anil death of the Mclliah, and these things arc now matter of fact), being all made over by Christ unto the Gospel Church, Acts iii. 2J. "Ye are the children of the covenant which God made with our fathers, faying unto Abraham, And in thy feed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." And Paul assures us, The law was added unto the promise, Gal. iii. 19. " Wherefore then serveth the law .' It was added because of transgression, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made:" The meaning of which is, The law was added to the promise, so as that both taken together might form a ride of faith and practice unto the Church, and prevent her from fin, until the system should be changed, in some measure, by the coming of the promised Seed. „
THIRDLY, The Occasions of this Covenant are now to be considered.
1. Tui s covenant was established after God had completed the system of ceremonial worship.' "When Israel covenanted at Sinai, even the second time, they resigned themselves unto the sovereign will of God, as to what ortlinances he should be pleased to institute, as well as resolved, in the strength of divine grace, to observe such as were formally instituted: Accordingly, the last time they covenanted, the tabernacle was not erected, nor the system
Yy 2 of"