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that race unto race might praise him, and fliew forth his mighty deeds.
FOURTHLY, We shall consider the Cone. FIRMATIONS of this Transaction.
1. It was dispensed by Moses, and accepted by Israel: “ And Moses called all Ifrael, and said unto them," &c. " And Moses (pake these words unto all Israel*." 'As the congregation was afleinbled for this purpose; fo we have no reason to imagine that any of them refused to accept.
2. It was, I humbly judge, a written covenant. I readily grant, that we have only an abstract of it transmitted to us : But no reason can be alligned, I presume, why it should not be written at length, as well as the two foregoing, and all succeeding ones.
3. It was a sworn covenant. This is plainly declared by the inspired historian : “ That thou shouldst enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into HIS OATH.” Again, " Neither with you only do I make this covenant, and this O ATIT." The question is, By
* Dent. xxix. 2. conipared with Deut. xxxi. 1. 4. This manner of expresion is usual enough in the Old Teftament, as in Ecc. viii. 2. “I counsel thee to keep the Kivg's commandment, and that in regard of * 22
whom was it sworn ? By Israel, or by Jehovah ? To me the former seems evidently intended; for he is said to enter into the oath of the Lord his God, which cannot imply less than to swear it. Nor is it any objection against this sense, that the oath is called his oath,—Jehovah's oath: For it may be called his, as it was of His appointment, as well as including an appeal unto his omniscience, and omnipotence, to reward sincerity, and chastise perfidy.
* The last thing propofed is, A few REFLECTION's on the whole.
- 1. We may learn to adore divine sovereignty, especially in God's conduct towards his Church and people. He might justly have faid, “What has such a perfidious generation to do to take my covenant in their lips ? Have I not been grieved by you, and your fathers, for the space of forty years? But, beyond the expectation of angels and men, he caused them to enter into the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers; “ that he may establish thee to-day for a people to himself.” What a people is this, that God should take them for his people!- What sovereignty has he displayed to this present generation of covenanters?-Covenanters sprung
the oath of God." The oath of loyalty to the King is ftyled the oath of God; as he is the object of worship, to whom the appeal is made, and by whom the allegiance is pledged.
from covenant-breakers ! What a miracle of forbearance is it, that this generation is not consumed! There is something so striking in our case, that it seems even to exceed that of Israel at the Plains of Moab; yea, it has scarce a parallel in the annals of providence.
2. COVENANTERS should be carefully inlucted as to those vows which are upon them, in order to prepare them for covenant-renovation. This is well warranted by the conduct of Moses. He dwelt upon the subject ;-he applied it unto the particular circumítances of his audience ;-he laboured to the utmost to make thein underítand it. The subject was, every whit, as complicated and difficult as the present bond; but Moses did not despair of inaking a stupid people understand it. Some imagine it is belt to keep themselves free (as they speak) when they are free: But, were fuch persons suitably instructed, as to what vows are upon them, they would see, that there is no one duty from which they can be exempted, by abstaining from covenanting: When persons are previously under folemn Vows, as was the case with Ifiacl; and as is the case with us, they are already bound unto every duty: and nothing but the formality of a personal adherence is a-wanting. The obligation, however, is inviolable, whether we acknowledge it or not; -whether we add this. personal adherence or not.
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3. This subject discovers unto us the true piature of covenant-renovation). Covenant-renovation necessarily presupposeth an acknowledgment of all previous covenant-obligations; an avowed adherence unto them; with an addition of such articles as present circumstances dictatc to be requisite. This covenant was a renovation of all the patriarchal covenants, as well as the two Sinai transactions : And it contained an application of them unto the circumstances of the covenanters then present, with such alterations as fitted their peculiar circumstances; being a people ready to enter on the enjoynient of the promised land. Former covenants respected chiefly their wandering state; but this had a principal respect unto a settled condition: Hence, there were some things in these transactions unnecessary in this one ; such as, the promise of safe conduct through the wilderness, the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud for that effect. These were superseded by the promise of his abode in the place which he should choose to put his name there, and unto which he would assemble the congrega. tion.
TN taking a view of this Covenant, I shall new, I I. By whom this Covenant was Dispensed.
II. To whom it was Administered.-III. I shall consider the Matter of the Covenant. IV. The Occasions of it.-V. The Solennities by which it was Confirmed.-VI. Concluding with some Reflections on the whole.
FIRST, I Mall shew by whom this Covenant was DiSPENSED. The inspired prophet assures us, this was no other than Joshua : " And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together, to Shechem,” &c. “ And Jollua said unto all the people *.” Joshma was a great
* Joli. xxiv. 1, 2.