Imágenes de páginas

days come (faith the Lord) when I will make a new corenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, faith the Lord: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, faith the Lord, I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts: And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest: For 1 will be merciful to their unrighteousnesses, and their fins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he faith a new covenant, he hath made the first old*." I shall not, at this time, attempt a vindication of the Apostle's manner of quotation; this province has been already occupied by others. I shall enquire, by die way, however, In what respects this covenant is not AcCordinq to the Sinai Covenant. To me it appear^ That this new covenant was not AccordIng to that transaction in respect of Terror, and in respect of Types. It ought never to be forgotten, that the Apostle is reasoning a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

wainst the use of Jewish rites; and he avers, that this new covenant is Not According to the old covenant, as the old covenant had OrDinances Of Divine Service; and a Worldly Sanctuary, with an immense quantity of splendid utensils belonging to it. But these, having waxed old, are now evanished. It is not the Old Testament, then, in respect of its internal and essential privileges; but in respect of these ordinances which are superseded under the New Testament.

But our attention must be chiefly directed unto the peculiar form of those divine grants which are made by God unto the Gospel Church: And he gave them in the form of a Covenant. A fœderal administration has, in sovereign wisdom, been deemed suitable to the glory of God, and the good of his people in every age. I have already offered various remarks on the term, in the introduction. It is of small importance whether we render it TesTament or Covenant, though the latter appears to be the best translation in this connection: All God's dealings with men beiii'v by way of covenant; and liis dealings with sinful men being in the way of gracious covenant, proceeding on the foot of the eternal contract between the Father and the Son. This gracious dealing with sinful men is often styled his Making, or Cutting A Covenant; denoting such a covenant as is competent for a God

of of grace to make with such persons as are un» ners by nature, and saved by grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. In all fœderal transactions between God and his people, since the fall, there is first a divine grant, on the part of God; and then a ready acceptance of that grant, followed with a dutiful restipulation, on the part of his people; which are either expressed or necessarily implied. The duties restipulated are by ho means the antecedent condition of those grants which God confers on his Church; but the consequences of them. These grants were sometimes bestowed at the time when God took his people into covenant with himself: At other times, they were registered, that they might be of use in succeeding periods; this grant is of the latter kind. As God intended to complete the canon of the New Testament very soon after the introduction of the Gospel œconomy; so he bestowed such privileges upon the New Testament Church, by this covenant, as stiould be adapted to her necessities in every age. The form of them is also registered, as a standing warrant for our approaching unto God by covenanting, in the most solemn forms. It had been presumption, in the highest degree, for men to propose the making of a covenant with God, had not he first proposed to make a covenant with us. But this divine proposal, bearing this gracious form, affords foundation for faith, and'lays us under indispenilble ties of gratitude to put


hand to this duty. Is any person disposed to enter into covenant with God? Here is a divine proposal ready tb be accepted. Is there any society, in their ecclesiastic capacity, disposed to covenant with the living God? Here is a divine proposal ready to be accepted by them, in like manner ;—a proposal adapted to their social capacity, be they many or few. This covenant not only addresieth individuals, but also a PEOPtB: "I will be unto them a God, and they lhall be unto me a people." Such is the peculiar genius of the New Testament œconomy! May we not conclude, that it is ignorance of the Gospel œconomy, or inattention to it, which makes persons imagine it incongruous with public covenanting?

THIRDLY* I shall next enquire if the predictions of the Old Testament Prophets, concerning the New Testament Church, lay a foundation for the exercise of faith in this duty. Could it be proved, that these prophets foretold this practice, then we may conclude not only the lawfulness, but also the certainty of its performance. That the argument froin this topic may conclude with force, it is requisite to (hew, that the prophecies adduced refer unto the New Testament; and could not be

accompli/lied under the first Testament.

That they intend social covenanting, and cannot be explained of any other duty whatever. '* Xxx The The first instance produced, at this time, is th*t remarkable prediction of Isaiah: "In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation: Yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it*." The Holy Ghost puts vai'ious distinguishing characters upon the season of the accomplishment of this prediction, by which it may be fully known j —characters sufficiently marking the Gospel œconomy: In That Dat, that importantday, when the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians stiall know the Lord: This can be no other than the day of Gospel light. Though Egypt was the first of the nations who cultivated the sciences, and, on this account, might be styled an inlightened nation; yet she was' as stupid as the blindest, and came behind the greatest Barbarian, with respect to a Deity. The Lord was not known unto Egypt until the ministry of the Apostles stretched out the Live of revelation on all the earth, and carried the Word Of Life

unto the world's end.- -This prediction refers

also unto a time when Egypt is delivered from the curse, and interested in the blessing along with Israel:—When Israel, according to the

* If. xix. 18, and 21.


« AnteriorContinuar »