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lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die : because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man that the righteous sin not, and he doth not fin, he shall surely live, because he is warned ; also thou haft delivered thy soul *.”
T SHALL pursue the same method in this as i in the preceding Part: And,
FIRST, I shall consider the PARTIES in this Covenant: And the account which the facred historian affords of them is rather more copious than in the foregoing transaction.
1. The author and principal party of the Covenant is the same divine person as in the preceding one ; even the -Son of God: The very same person who was authorised to declare the Father unto men; for no man hath feen God at any time, but the only begotten Son,
* Ezek. iii. 17-21.
who is in the bofom of the Father, he hath declared him.
2. On the other part were Noah and his Sons, as well as every living creature. The Son of God covenanted with Noah and his Sons: Said he, “ And behold. I establish my covenant with you." Not with THE E, to intimate that this covenant was made with them in a social capacity. Though Noah and his Sons were severally, or personally, interested in this transaction ; yet he spake unto them jointly, as all made up one domestic church. Nor was it any way inconfiftent with the sincerity of God to admit Ham as a covenanter; for God does not deal with perfons, in the visible Church, by external administrations, according to what they are in the eye of his omniscience; but according to what they appear in the eye of his Church. He could easily make the church, visible and invisible, of the same extent; but he has seen meet to admit many into the former who have no place in the latter. Nor will the separation be perfect till the harvest of the end of the world. This covenant was made with Noah and his Sons, not only for themselves, but also for their feed : Said God, “ I establish my covenant with you, and with. your SEED after you."* That is, the generation then present covenanted for the succeeding one, it being a part of themselves. The divine promises then made, respected the ages to
come. It was a matter of great comfort to be thus secured of a feed, especially as their salvation depended on the SEED of the woman, which was now included in their own S EED. The feed chiefly intended in the promise, being the extraordinary seed of the woman; and both a natural and spiritual seed, as necessary for bringing him forth in the fulness of time. This specification of their feed taught them likeways, to instruct their children in the knowledge of this covenant, both in respect of the privileges and duties of it. This covenant extended also to the brute creation. Because every living creature is mentioned, two conclusions have been deduced, which are equally falfe: First, They infer, that this transac tion is not strictly foederal; but a decree, or naked promise. But these men should have observed, that there may be a proper covenants though it can only be said to be made with some of the parties specified, in an improper sense. This covenant was primarily, and pro perly, made with Noah and his Sons : It was only by consequence that it was made with the brute creation. It was made with the beasts of the earth, not absolutely for their fakes, but as they were designed for the benefit of man. So they were originally made for man's use, and destroyed by the flood for man's abuse of them; fo their preservation for the future was intended as a benefit to man, both as they were to be used in facrifices, and in supplying the neceffaries of life. Secondly, Others acknowledge the transaction to be federal, but deny that it respected fpiritual privileges and duties; because made with the irrational as well as rational creation. But the feeming force of this argument is, in part, obviated by - what is just now suggested : And the spiritualnature of this transaction will best appear from,
SECONDLY, The PARTS of it: And it consists in divine grants, on God's part; and re- ftipulations, on the part of Noah and his Sons.
- In surveying the promises, I thall attendUnto the matter of them.-Enquire what reference they bear unto former grants.-How far they are for our confolation and direction.
Moses is explicit in registrating these promifes, both as revealed to Noah, and as conteived in the divine mind. In the latter view, says the inspired historian, “ And Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake ; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: Neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, feed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” In the former view; “ And I will establish my covenant with you: Neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a deluge; Neither shall there any more be a
flood flood to destroy the earth.” Both these securities were probably granted at the same time; as they both refer unto the fame privileges, the former being revealed, by the spirit of prophecy, to Noah, as a prophet; and the latter by an articulate voice from the personal Word, wlio frequently appeared to, and conversed with the patriarchs : We shall, therefore, consider them together.
1. W É shall attend; in the first place, unto the Matter of these promises :
• 1. God promiseth not to curse the ground any more for man's fake. Expositors seem rather to have darkened this passage than elucidated it : Dr Gill imagines it contains a promise to remove the curse denounced on the ground immediately after the fall. He infinuates, that the world was rather the better of the flood; and that the antediluvian world was a barren, and an accursed world, compared with the postdiluvian one. But the very reverse is certainly the truth in this case : For the earth brings forth briars and thorns as copiously since the flood, as it could do before ; and, as to many places at least, the flood must have rendered the earth less fertile, by washing off its foil, instead of improving it. The words of the Holy Ghost, when strictly rendered, are, “I will NOT ADD TO CURSE the ground any more for man's fake.” The flood