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that race unto race might praise him, and shew forth his mighty deeds.
FOURTHLY, We shall consider the G o tfFirmations of this Transaction.
1. It was dispensed by Moses, and accepted by Israel: "And Moses called all Israel, and laid unto them," &c. "And Moses ("pake these words unto all Israel*." As the congregation was assembled for this purpose; so 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 assigned, 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 shouhlst enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and Into His Oath." Again, "Neither with you only do 1 make this covenant, and this Oath -J-." The question is, By
whom whom was it sworn I 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 fense, that the oath is called his oath,—Jehovah's oath: For it may be called urs, as it was of His appointment, as well as including- an appeal unto his omniscience, and omnipotence, to reward sincerity, and chastise perfidy.
* Dent. xxix. 2. compared with Deut. xxxi. r.
•|- This manner of expression is usual enough in the
Old Testament, as in Ecc. viij. 2. "1 counsel thee to
keep the King's commandment, and that in. regard of
* Z A the.
Tii E last thing proposed is, A few Re F LecTions on the whole.
I. W E may learn to adore divine sovereignty, especially in God's conduct towards his Church and people. He might justly have said, "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 optli of loyalty to the King is styled 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 from covenant-breakers! What a miracle of forbearance is it, that this generation is not consumed! There is something so striking in our cafe, that it seems even to exceed that of Israel at the Plains of Moab; yea, it has icarce a parallel in the annals of providence.
2. Covenanters should be carefully instructed 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 circumstances of his audience ;—he laboured to the utmost to make them understand it. The subject was, every whit, as complicated and difficult as the present bond; but Moses did not despair of
making a stupid people understand it. Some
imagine it is best to keep themselves free (as they speak) when they are free: But, were such persons suitably instructed, as to what vows are upon them, they would fee, that there is no one duty from which they can be exempted, by abstaining from covenanting. When persons are previously under solemn vows, as was the cafe with Israel; and as is the cafe with us, they arc 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.
Z z 2 3. This
3. This subject discovers unto us the true nature 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 dictate 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 enjoyment of the promised land. Former covenants respected chiefly their wandering state; but this had a principal respect unto a fettled 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 sire and the pillar of cloud for that effect. These were superseded by the promise of his abode in the place which he mould choose to put his name there, and unto which he would assemble the congregation.
COVENANT BETWEEN GOD And ISRAEL,
Josh. xxiv. i 28.
IN taking a view of this Covenant, I lliall fliew, —I. By whom this Covenant was Dispensed. —II. To whom it was Administered.—111. I fliall consider the Matter of the Covenant.— IV. The Occasions of it.—V. The Solemnities *hy which it was Confirmed.—VI. Concluding with some Reflections on the whole.
FIRST, I shall sliew 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 Joshua said unt,o all the people*." Joshua was a great
* Josh. xxiv. i, 2. 1 • genera'