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flesh', &c. It is afterwards repeated, in a way which challenges it, as God's exclusive property, • I will establish My covenant , &c. language which most imply that it was God's sole act and deed; not, as at this time commenced, but as being of antecedent standing, and now, by solemn promise, ratified, established, and conveyed, in all its beneficial efficacy, to man. In this view God himself terms it • the everlasting covenant ? ;' in reference to which, St Paul is found to use the same language--attributing · blood' to the • everlasting covenant,' as Moses had done before *. It was no doubt this application of blood to the term covenant,' which suggested to the learned divines, who affixed the marginal references to our English bibles, the propriety of referring the reader, from the words of Moses, to those of St Peter, where he writes of the

sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ 5.” What is this, if it be not to indicate that the covenant' denoted Christ? How else shall we understand the following mysterious language of Jehovah, the · Al

mighty God, I will establish my covenant be*tween me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in

their generations, for an everlasting covenantto be “a God unto thee, and thy seed after thee, if we do not understand it in the sense to which the a

postle

6

I Gen. vi.
17, 18.

2 Gen. ix, II. 3 Gen. ix. 16. See also Heb. xiii. 20, 21. Gen. xvii. 7. Isaiah lv. Za 4 Exod. xxiv. 8.

5 i St Peter i. 2.

6 Gen. xvii. 7.

postle gives us the key, when he writes of the • church of God_which he has purchased with his

own blood ?' and therefore in the sense to which our Saviour himself points, at the institution of the holy eucharist, as related by his evangelists St. Matthew and St Mark_· τουτο εσι το αιμα μου-το της * xouring Scabnuens; . this is the blood of methat of the new testament!'

It is unquestionably true, that for man's behoof some act or deed of love and grace was very early provided. This, laying aside the evidence of the Old Testament, is frequently and emphatically taught us by St Paul, under the significant appellation of the divine purpose*.' Nay, he actually denominates it the elernal purpose 3,' similar to the epithet ‘ everlasting' covenant. Indeed these very epithets eternal' and everlasting,' whether they are understood as importing absolute eternity or not, are yet, by the apostle's explication, as contained in that . precise declaration of God's promising · eternal life * before the worlds began “,' sufficient to carry up our ideas of this ' purpose,' or ' covenant, to a date when man could certainly have had no hand in it; and must therefore satisfy us, that something is intended by the word COVENANT, beyond the common meaning affixed to it in modern systems of theology. For, although I am confidently of opinion, that no meaning ascribed to the English term covenant,' is applicable to the Hebrew term 09), translated covenant; which, in conformity with its derivation, must denote some sort of purification'; nor necessarily included in the Greek term • Scannen,' which properly signifies “the act of disponing,' in our language understood by the word • disposition, yet do I most cordially and thankfully embrace the belief of a covenant,' an everlasting covenant,' (a dua

For,

I St Matth. xxvi. 28. St Mark xy. 24. See Zechar. ix. 11,

2 Rom. viii. 28. Ephes, i. 9. II. 2 Tim. i. 9, &c. 3 Ephes, iž. 11.

4 Titus i. 2.

Onun alwhosd disposition in our favour before the 'world began), a concert, pact, or agreement, not WITH, but for man, graciously entered into by the adorable THREE in JEHOVAH, in order to man's original formation, and (should circumstances require) in order to his provisional redemption. For this

purpose, as I have already shewn?, did the adorable Three clothe themselves with the characteristic appellation SSD-ALEIM, engagers, covenanters by oath ; while, as I have also shewn 4, it is no small satisfaction to us, in our belief of this

preeminent article of our faith, as being at least a presumptive proof of the antiquity of it, that we find the gentile world carrying it off by tradition, and

applyapplying it in the formation of their vanities.' This appears little short of certain, from the systems of theology invented by the Greeks and Romans, and so much the study of christians in these latter days, the first of whom had their • Zevs ogruQ;' their " '

i The word is in this sense translated soap' in two places, Jerem. ji. 22. and Mal. iii. 2. where the context would not admit covenant.

2 It is in this sense most pertinently applied by St. Paul, Heb. ix. 16, 17. to what we call testamenting,' which is the gratuitous deed of one, and very different from covenant,' which is the mutual and joint act of more 3 See Letter XVII. p. 180. 181.

4 See Letter XX, p. 215.

than one.

SWORN God, and the other their Jupiter Fæderator,' that is, ' COVENANTING JOVE,' (or Jehovah). It is impossible to ascribe the invention of the epithets oprios' and ' fæderator,' to the wildness of heathen superstition, or to the suggestions of a bewildered imagination. They are epithets which are deservedly esteemed, as remnants of prior discovery, if not deserving of a higher character. I have not pretended, neither do I pretend to give a proper description; no, nor so much as to entertain what human wisdom denominates a clear conception of this amazing in tance of divine condescension ; but from the scriptural representation of it, so analogous to the creed, though beyond reach of the comprehension of the disciple of Jesus, I persuade myself that the devout reader, when he comes to meditate deeply upon the · LORD OUR God'-JEHOVAH OUR ALEIM,' will see and admire the fund of comfort which this, the distinguishing name of the true God, affords; and will be ready to join with the venerable Tertullian, in the following rapturous conclusion :

Felices, qui Deum jurantem habemus ; intelices qui jurato Deo non credimus - How happy are we, who

have GOD SWEARING to us; how unhappy, if we • believe not even a SWORN GOD',' Ii

LET.

I Heb. vi. 13-19.

LETTER XXIII.

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AS it is to the one Christ, very God, and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, • and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to

be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins', that we are indebted for our faith and hope as christians; so is it to the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who is of one substance, glory, and majesty, with the Father and the Son,

very and eternal God, without any difference or inequality a,' that we owe the regeneration of our natures, and the sanctification of our souls ; and, by him, that we are enabled still to say,

that Jesus is the Lord 3.' His office is to shed abroad diversities of gifts through the church, • and to divide them severally to every one, as he • himself willeth 4;' from on high enduing us with power to every good word and work, and to run our

chris

I See Article II. of the Church of England. 2 See Article V.

3 1 Cor. xii. 3. 4 i Cor. xii. 4 IJ. Heb. ii. 4.

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