« AnteriorContinuar »
-Ao-ain, This prediction secures Special
Designation': "And another shall call him-' self'by the name of Jacob." In almost all ages of thd WbtJd^ when persons took up a peculiar profession, ihey also assumed a designation corresponding tro'lt: For example, when the ahte'-i diluv'mn saints separated from the wicked brood of Cain, they took to themselves the designation of" the Sons Of God; and their solemn avowal of that- name <i*expressed in terms similar to those before ilsi-J matins time in ■which this oracle was written, strangers who >vere admitted into the Church, were also incorporated with the feed of Jacob, and styled Israelites: In like manner, the genuine members of the Gospel Church bear the designation of The Israel Of God, even by an inspired Apostle. When persons, then, call thern^ selves by The Name Of Jacob, they profess to be Israelites indeed, in whose hearts there is 110 guile. Thus their conduct is amplified: "And surname himself by the name of Israel.'* The last thing proposed is equally explicit: It is Foederal Subscription: u Another shall subscribe with the hand unto the Lord." This fœdcral act we have considered above. '■ -. > • *;
Th E fulfilment of this prediction obtained1, in part, in the early periods of the Christian Church; in the copious effusion of the Holy £host, and the blessed consequences of it ; but it must by no means be confined unto them. As the gift of the Holy Ghost belongs unto every age and period of the Gospel ceconomy; sq, whenever he is bestowed, this pleasant fruit may be expected. Isaiah is not the only prophet, however, who predicted thi* exercise in the'Gospel Church; Jeremiah coincides exactly with him in this matter: "In those days, and in that time, faith the Lord, The children of Israel shall ,conie» they and the children of Judah toge.J^ier; going, and weeping, they (hall go and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant never to be forgotten*." We may observe, The season assigned for the accomplishment of this prediction: It is a time when the children of Israel and the children of Judah shall be incorporated in one church-state. An event which the Apostle pronounced to be future in his time; and we may venture to affirm, that it has not taken place between his day and ours. The prophet speaks of this season as a very remarkable time: "In those days, and at that time." The phrase may import any notable day indeed; but most frequently it imports the
Gospel day. The things predicted to be in
that day are, deep Humiliation, genuine Kcformation, and solemn Fœderal Transaction.
* Jer. 1. 4
These things go usually hand in hand. The liberal translation is, "They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, they shall come, and join themselves unto Jehovah; the everlasting covenant (hall not be forgotten *." The duty mentioned is, Joining themselves unto the Lord: The union is fœderal; and it consists in taking hold of the everlasting covenant. All God's children are Joined UnTo The Lord by the Holy Ghost; but this union is secret and invisible, and every one is joined by himself: But the union specified in the oracle is public and social; an union unto which persons may be encouraged by the example of others. The prophet Zechariah makes also a parallel declaration: "And many nations shall be Joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people jf." The term is frequently expressive of entering into a sacred bond, as where it is said: " Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself unto the Lord, speak, saying," &c. "Also the sons of the stranger, That Join themselves unto the Lord," &c. "and Taketh Hold Of My Covenant^." Sometimes it denotes a civil league, indeed; but in the places quoted, the connection fixeth the sense to a sacred bond, so that It cannot be understood of any thing else. The effects of this
* Vid. Boston. Tractat. Stigmolog. p. 169. t Zech ii. 11. $ If. hi. 3) 6.
junction junction is their Being God's People. Now; is not this the substance of the New Covenant: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, " I will he to them a God, and they shall be unto-me a people."
FOURTHLY, I shall next enquire if Covenanting was Taught and Exemplified in the Life and Doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus Christ covenanted with the Father in the eternal council, and made a most solemn vow unto him: "Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions, How he fvvare unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob*." The scope of the Psalm evidently leads us unto the Messiah. Some things in it may belong, indeed, unto David the type; but the greater part of it cannot be applied, in its fullest import, unto any but him who is both David's Son and David's Lord. Hence* the covenant, celebrated in it, cannot be understood of any other but of that which was made with hints w
2. The law which onr Redeemer engaged to fulfil is the Law of Works:—The Law as a broken covenant. And this law he magnified and made honourable.
* Psal. cxxxii. r, 2. + Vid. Her. Witsium de Oeconoiu. Feeder. Lib. H.
3. Though Christ's obedience was given to the Law in the form of a covenant of works; yet it is a pattern of holiness unto the members of the Gospel Church. That particular Schesis of his obedience is not for our imitation indeed; for no one of his people are bound to purchase life by their works. But this can by no means preclude it from being' exemplary as to its substance.
4. That special act of obedience ; namely, Vowing to God—covenanting with him, is for our imitation. If the fulfilment of his vow, which consisted in an uninterrupted series of universal obedience, be for our imitation, as is confessedly the fact? Why may not the making of his engagement be for our imitation likeways \ His own example adds peculiar force unto the precept, Vow and Pay unto the Lord your God. Besides the vow under which the Redeemer came in his undertaking, he vowed twice unto God in his humbled
, state; once at his baptism, and again at the first sacramental supper. Now, as a participation of these sacraments by Christ implied in it a profession of his faith in all those promises which the Father made to him in the eternal covenant, on the one hand; so likeways a professed subjection unto all those laws which" the Father laid upon him, on the other*.
* On Christ's partaking of the sacrament, I hope the
learned reader will find satisfaction, by consulting F.
• Zzz GouARys