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42 OF THE COVENANTS [Book 1.

his Antiquities, Book xiii. c. 6. Certainly he must be in
greater peril, and liable to sorer destruction, who shall dare
to pervert, by rashly wresting, the sacred mysteries of the
Divine Covenants; our Lord himself openly declaring, that
“whosoever shall break one of these least commandments,
and thall teach men so; he shall be talled the least in the
kingdom of heaven,” Matt v. 19. It is therefore, with a kind
of sacred awe I undertake this work; praying God, that, lay-
ing aside every prejudice, I may demean myself a tractable
disciple of the holy scriptures, and, with modesty, impart to
my brethren, what I think I have learned from them: if hap-
; this my poor performance may serve to lessen the number
of disputes, and help to clear up the truth; than which no-
thing should be accounted more valuable.
II. As it is by words, especially the words of those lan-
guages, in which God was pleased to reveal his sacred mys-
teries to men, that we can, with hopes of success, come to
the knowledge of things; it will be worth while, more ac-
curately to enquire into the import both of the Hebrew word,
nna, and the Greek diaşnan, which the holy Spirit makes use
of on this subject. And first, we are to give the true ety-
mology, and then the different significations of the Hebrew
word. With respect to the former, the learned are not
: some derive it from ro, which, in Piel, signifies to
cut down: because, as we shall presently observe, covenants
were solemnly ratified by cutting or ii. animals asunder.
It may also be derived from the same root in a very different
signification: for, as Rha properly signifies to create; so, me-
taphorically, to ordain, or dispose, which is the meaning of
barðiðai. And hence it is, that the Hellenist Jews make
use of roxnger. Certainly it is in this sense that Peter,
1 Pet. ii. 13. calls iásma, power inted by men, and for
human purposes, avowawn origis, ordinance of man; to
which, I think, Grotius has learnedly observed on the title of
the New Testament. Others had rather derive it from riva,
as now from now, signifying, besides other things, to choose.
And in covenants, especially of friendship, there is a choice
of persons between whom, of things about which, and of con-
dition upon which, a covenant is entered into: nor is this im-
properly observed. -
III. But nois is variously taken in scripture: sometimes
improperly, and sometimes erly. Improperly, it denotes
o §: things. i. P. immutable o made
about a thing: In this sense God mentions his “covenant of
the day, and his covenant of the night,” Jer. xxxiii. 20. That

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cHAP. I.] IN GENERAL. 43

is, that fixed ordinance made about the uninterrupted vicissitude of day and night; which, chap. xxxi. 86 is called pr; that is, statute, limited, or fired, which nothing is to be added to, or taken from. In this sense is included the notion of a testament, or of a last irrevocable will. Thus God said, Numb. xviii. 19. “I have given thee, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee, non onvia phy prio; on boy, by a

statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever.” This

observation is of use, more fully to explain the nature of the
covenant of grace, which the apostle p. s under the simi-
litude of a testament, the execution of which depends upon the
death of the testator, Heb. ix. 15, 16, 17. To which notion
both the Hebrew roa, and the Greek Biaonxo may lead us.
2dly. A sure and stable promise, though not mutual, Exod.
xxxiv. 10. “Behold I make a covenant; before all thy peo-
ple I will do marvels.”. Isa. lix. 21. “This is my covenant
with them, my Spirit shall not depart from them." 3dly. It
signifies a precept, and to cut or make a covenant, is to give a
precept, Jer. xxxiv. 18, 14. “I made a covenant with your
fathers—Saying, at the end of seven years, let ye go every
man his brother.” Hence appears in what sense the deca-
logue is called God's covenant... But properly, it signifies a
mutual agreement between parties, o,respect to something.
Such a covenant passed between Abraham, Mamre, Eshcol, and
Aner, who are called, confederates with Abraham, Gen. xiv.
13. Such also was that between Isaac and Abimelech, Gen.
xxvi. 28, 29.: between Jonathan and David, 1 Sam. xviii. 3.
And of this kind is likewise that which we are now to treat o
between God and Man. . ..., \
IV. No less equivocal is the BioSnxn of the Greeks: which,
both singularly and plurally, very often denotes a testament:
as Budaeus shews, in his Comment. Ling. Graec. from Isocra-
tes, Oeschines, Demosthenes, and others. In this sense, we
hinted, it was used by the apostle, Heb. ix. 15. Sometimes
also it denotes a law, which is a rule of life. For, the Or-
phici and Pythagoreans denominated the rules of living, pre-
scribed to their pupils, according to Grotius. It also often
signifies an engagement or agreement; wherefore .
explains it by swagona, confederacy. There is none of these
significations but will be of future use in the progress of
this work. * . * : *
W. Making a covenant, the Hebrews call, nro, nois, to
strike a covenant, in the same manner as the Greeks and
Latins, ferire, icere, percutere fiedus. Which doubtless took
its rise from the ancient ceremony of slaying animals, by

44 OF THE COVENANTS [noox 1.

which covenants were ratified. Of which rite we observe
very, ancient traces, Gen. xv. 9, 10. This was either
then first commanded by God, or borrowed from some ex-
tant custom." Emphatical is what Polybius, Book iv. page
398, relates of the Cynaethenses, “over the slaughtered
victims, they took a solemn oath, and plighted faith to
each other:” a phrase plainly similar to what God uses,
Psalm 1.-5. “ those that have made a covenant with me
by sacrifice.” They also used to pass in the middle between
the divided parts of the victim cut asunder, Jer. xxxiv. 18.
Whoever wants to know more about this rite, may consult
Grotius on Matt. xxvi. 28. and Bochart in his Hierozoicon,
Book ii, c. xxxiii. p. 325. and Ouwen's Theologum, Book iii.
c. i. It was likewise a custom, that agreements and com-
pacts were ratified by solemn feasts. Examples of which are
obvious in scripture. Thus Isaac, having made a covenant
with Abimelech, is said to have made a great feast, and to
have eat with them, Gen. xxvi. 30. In like manner acted his
son Jacob, after having made a covenant with Laban, Gen.
xxxi. 54. We read of a like federal feast, 2 Sam. iii. 20.
where a relation is given of the feast which David made for
Abner and his attendants, who came to make a covenant with
him in the name of the people. It was also customary among
the heathen, as the learned Stuckius shews in his Antiquitates.
Convivales, lib. I. c. xl.
WI. Nor were these rites without their significancy: the
cutting the animals asunder, denoted, that, in the same man-
ner, the perjured and covenant-breakers should be cut asun-
der, by the vengeance of God. And to olo. is what
God says, Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19, 20. “And I will give the men
that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed
the words of the covenant, which they had made before me,
when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts
thereof. I will even give them into the hands of their enemies,
and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the
heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.” See 1 Sam. xi. 7.
An ancient form of these execrations is extant in Livy, Book i.
“The Roman people do not among the first break these con-
ditions; but if they should . , and through treachery,
break them, do thou, O Jupiter, on that day, thus strike the
Roman people, as I do now this hog; and §: the stroke the
heavier, as thy power is the greater.” By the ceremony of
the confederates passing between the parts cut asunder, was
signified, that being now united by the strictest ties of religion,
and by a solemn oath, they formed but one body, as Watablus

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has remarked on Gen. xv. 10. These feasts were tokens of a
sincere and lasting friendshi - .."

VII. But when God in the solemnities of his covenants
with men, thought proper to use these, or the like rites,
the significancy was still more noble, and divine. They
who made covenant with God by . noto submitted
to punishment, if impiously revolting from G slighted
ol. but God o: j to them, o the
stability of the covenant of grace was founded on the sacrifice
of Christ, and that the soul and body of Christ were one
day, to be violently separated asunder. All the promises of
God in him are yea, and in him amen, 2 Cor, i. 20. His
blood is the blood of the New Testament, Matt. xxvi. 28.
in a far more excellent manner than that with which Moses
sprinkled both the altar and the people entered into covenant,
Exod. xxiv. 8. Those sacred banquets, to which the cove.
nanted were admitted before, the Lord, especially that insti-
tuted by the Lord Jesus, under the New Testament, do most
effectually seal or ratify that intimate communion and fellow-
ship there is between Christ and believers.

III. There are learned men, who from this rite would

explain that phrase, which we have, Numb. xviii. 19. and
2 Chron. xiv. 5. of “a covenant of salt," that is, of a cove-
nant of friendship, of a stable and perpetual nature. Which
seems to be so denominated, because salt was usually made use
of in sacrifices to signify that the covenant was made sure
upon observing the customary rites, says Rivet on Genesis,
#. 136. Unless we would rather suppose, a regard to
be here had to the firmness of salt, by which it resists putre-
faction and corruption, and therefore prolongs the duration of
things, and in a manner renders them everlasting. For that
reason, Lot's wife is thought to have been turned to a pillar
of salt: not so much, as Augustin remarks, to be for a season-
ing to us, as a lasting and perpetual monument of the divine
judgment. For all salt is not subject to melting: Pliny says,
that some Arabs build walls and houses of blocks of salt, and
cement them with water, Nat. Hist. L. xxxi. c.7, c. . .

iX. Having premised these things in general about terms
of art, let us now enquire into the thing itself, viz. the
nature of the covenant of God with man; which I thus define:
A covenant of God with man, is an agreement between God
and man, about the way of obtaining consummate happiness;
including a commination of eternal destruction, with which
the contemner of the happiness, offered in that way, is to be
punished. - o,

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46 OF THE COVENANTS [noox 1.

X. The covenant does, on the part of God, comprize three things in general. 1st. A promise of consummate happiness in eternal life. 2dly. A designation and prescription of the condition, by the performance of which, man acquires a right to the promise. -8dly. A penal sanction against those, who do not come up to the prescribed condition. All these things regard the whole man, or oxoxxness, in Paul's phrase, as consisting of soul and body.” God's promise of lappiness is to each part, he requires the sanctification of each, and threatens each with destruction. And so this covenant makes God appear glorious in the whole man. - ***

XI. To engage in such a covenant with the rational creature, formed after the divine image, is entirely worthy of, and by no means unbecoming of God. For it was impossible but God should propose himself to the rational creature, as a pattern of holiness, in conformity to which he ought to frame himself and all his actions, carefully keeping, and always exerting the activity of that original righteousness; which he was, from his very origin, endowed with.” God cannot but bind man to love, worship, and seek him, as the chief good; nor is it conceivable, how God should require man to love and seek him, and yet refuse to be found by man, loving, seeking, and esteeming {i, as his chief good, longing, hungering, and thirsting, after him alone. Who can conceive it to be worthy of God, that he should thus say to man, I am willing that thou seekest me only; but on condition of never finding me: to be ardently longed for above every thing else, with the greatest hunger and thirst; but yet, never to be satisfied. And the justice of God no less requires, that man, upon .# the happiness, offered on the most equitable terms, should be punished with the privation of it, and likewise incur the severest indignation of God, whom he has despised. Whence it appears, that from the very consideration of the divine perfections, it may be fairly deduced, that he has prescribed a certain law to man, as the condition of enjoying happiness, which consists in the fruition of God; enforced with the threatening of a curse against the rebel. In which we have just now said, that the whole of the covenant consisted. But of each of these we shall have fuller scope to speak hereafter.

XII. Thus far, we have considered the one party of the covenant of God: man becomes the other, when he consents thereto, embracing the good promised by God, engaging to an exact observance of the condition required; and upon the violation thereof, voluntarily owning himself obnoxious to

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