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offerers. David speaks of it in the style of admiration; "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this fort? for all things come of thee; and of thine own have we given thee."— "O Lord, our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name, cometh of thine own hand, and is all thine own*."
6. David was near his latter end: And covenant-renovation was highly necessary for preserving that reformation which God had accomplished in his days ;—for encouraging the young generation in the discharge of their duty. David foresaw the importance of that work which God had carved out for survivers; wherefore, like Moses and Joshua, he used covenanting when near his latter end, as a means of making them strengthen one another's hands, and encourage one another's heart in the execution of it|".
EIGHTHLY, The next thing is, The ConFirmations of this Covenant. There are two solemnities for this purpose, marked in the sacred text,
* I Chrqji. xxix. 14. 16.
f A variety of other Occasions might have been specified; but, rather than swell the work, I beg leave to refer the reader to Spanheim, F. F. Hist. V. T. p- 34°> and 359. Lcid. dc Repub. Lib. VII. cap. vii.
1. David took the whole congregation witness against every individual in it, in cafe of ■violation: "Now, therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the Lord *." The whole congregation would rife up against the person who would dare to violate such an engagement. See also the preceding Covenant.
2. This Covenant was confirmed with the' solemnity of an oath. It was administered not only in the sight of all Israel j but also, " in the audience of our God's-." In the former Covenant, the stones which Joshua set up are . said to hear: In this one, the Lord is said to hear. The original phrase is, M In The Ears Of Our God." Both the administration and acceptance of this Covenant were in the ears of the Lord. When ears are ascribed to Cod, they denote his omniscience. This manner of expression imports a solemn appeal to God, as the omniscient witness and omnipotent,
judge of his people.
LASTLY, I shall close this Dissertation with an Inference or two.
1. We may sec, that God usually makes use of one instrument for the commencement, and another for the consummation and perfecting of his work. Moses began Israel's journey to Canaanj Jofliua finished it. David pre
* l Chron. xxviii. 8. f Ibid.
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parcel for the temple building and service; Solomon had the honour of completing both. Luther began the Reformation; Calvin was honoured to bring it to greater perfection, and nearer conformity to the pattern shewed in the holy Scriptures.
2. A Public Spirit for the advancement of religion is perfectly consistent with'true-Patriotism. David was not tonly a good king, and great patriot; but also an eminent prophet, and a great faint- These lineaments of his character disposed him to prefer the settlement of the Church to that of the succession of the Crown ; the building of the temple to the building of the palace: In a word, the* things of God to those of his kingdom and family. But he was by no means a-wanting as to his concern for the interest of both his subjects and children. He intended to bring- their civil concerns into subordination to their religious concerns: To advance them in that subordination, not otherways: And it is only in this channel that we can expect civil concerns to .prosper. Matters will never be right with us till the members of the Church be endued with his spirit.
3. Solemn Covenanting is a suitable preparation for important services. Personal Covenanting should precede the entrance on personal service. Public Covenanting preceded the dedication of substance for temple building, as well as the work of temple building itself.
COVENANT BETWEEN GOD And JUDAII,
IN THE REIGN Of ASA.
2 CHRON. XV. 12 VId.
HERE I (hall attend—I. Unto the Parties Covenanting.—II. The Matter of the Covenant.—III. The Manner of Covenanting. IV. The Puuilhment of Idolaters.—V. The Occailons of this Tranfaction.—VI. The Confirmations of it.—Deducing fome Inferences from the whole.
FIRST, I mult attend unto the Parties Covenanting.
1. The Party unto whom they engaged is, "The Lord God of their Fathers." As their fathers covenanted for their feed, as well as for themfelves j fo thele covenanters looked back unto that covenant-relation in which God G g g 2 flood flood unto them. And when they took up this character, as that on -which they believed, and to which they vowed, their deed amounted to an explicit renovation of all those covenants into which their fathers had entered. As they had covenanted with this God in the loins of their fathers, so they also make a solemn recognition of all those fcedtral engagements in
their own persons. The Party unto whom
they vowed is also denominated, " The Lord God of Israel;" i. e. of the congregation of Israel, from its first erection until that time, as well as Israel their father. The God of all
who arc Israelites indeed. He also bears
this name in opposition to the gods of the nations round about, as well as the calves of Dan and Bethel, which Jeroboam had set up in Israel itself. The intent of this character was, to teach them, that, though Jeroboam had said of his calves, "These be thy gods, O Israel!" yet Jehovah had the sole claim unto that honour.
2. The Party vowing is Judah and Benjamin, with strangers out of Ephraim, Manasseb, and the tribe of Simeon. Judah and Benjamin continued in the worship of the true God, when the greater part of the ten tribes revolted from it, as well as from their allegiance to the house of David. Many of the ten tribes, however, fell on" again from the worstiip of the calves to