« PreviousContinue »
heaven; and, on the other hand, none but such are children of the kingdom; none but such are in the kingdom of heaven.
We might multiply illustrations of the truth of our present remark, but the cases before us may be sufficient to shew, that our author's view of the covenant does not, in this respect, agrce with the scriptures.
Secondly. We remark, that'our author's representation of the covenant, &c. does not accord with numberless instances in which the
great promise of the covenant, viz. I nill be by the spirit of inspiration, has been appropriated.
As the covenant was established in these adorable words, which express fully all that is comprized in the truth of God, they are retained in all parts of the scriptures, and occir mucii oftener than any other form of words. In tie whole book of Deuteronomy, my God, thy God, his God, our God, your God, their God, or words to the same effect, occur almost as often as every other verse. And there is no single case, whether of old or young; of the people as a body' or the individual, believer or unbeliever, throughout the whole nation of Israel, to which they are not found in application. Moses ro hearsing, Deut. first chapter, his address to the wicked men wño sinned at Cadish-barnea, and perished in the wilderness, gives the following words: “Then I said unto you, dread not, neither “ be afraid of them. The Lord your God, which
goeth before you, he shall fight for you, ac
cording to all he did for you in Egypt before “ your eyes: And in the wilderness, where thou “hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee “as a man doth bare his son, in all the way that
ye went, until ye came into this place.
When he addressed the whole assembly, it was in this stile, “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our “ God, is one Lord !” and when he addressed the individual, it was the same.
" When the “ Lord thy God has cut off the nations, &c. take “ heed to thyself.” It were impossible to be more particular than Moses was in applying this great truth, that the Lord was their God, to every individual of that covenant people. Observe Deut. xxixth chapter, “ Ye stand this day all “ of you before the Lord your God; your cap“ tains, your elders, and your officers, with all “the men of Israel: your little ones, your wives, “ and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the “hewer of thy wood, unto the drawer of thy “ water."
When he would set the blessings before the people, this was the language: “If thou shalt “ hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord
thy God, to observe and to do all his command“ments, that the Lord thy God will set thee on
high above all nations of the earth ; And all “ these blessings shall come upon thee, and over“ take thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice “ of the Lord thy God.” xxviii. 1, 2. And when he would set before them the curses, it was the
“ But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt *"not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, “ to observe to do all his commandments and his
statutes; that all these curses shall come upon " thee and overtake thee.” Ver. 15. Whether as Barnabas, he addressed their hopes, or like Boanerges, he addressed their fears, still this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God, was sounded in their ears.
To give encouragement, Moses would say...... (The Lord thy God, he it is that goeth before “ thee:” To give warning, he would say,
« For “ the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you)
“ lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled
against thee, and destroy thee from off the face “ of the earth,” Deut. vi. 15... To open the treasures of Divine Grace, this was his manner......... “ Know therefore, that the Lord thy God, he is “God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant “and mercy with them that love liim, and keep, “his cominandments, to a thousand generations, Chap. vii. 9....And to thunder the terrors of the Lord, he could use no words like these, “That “ thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name,
THE LORD THY GOD,” Chap. xxviji. 58.... It may be observed, that the Apostle to the Hebrews adopts the same manner...... Referring to Dcut. iv. 24. he says,
“ Our God is a consuming fire,” Heb. xii. 29. But our author, in opposition to all this can assert, that God is not, in this covenant“sense, a God to any but true believers, or the
subjects of true religion.”
Moses evidently considered this covenant-relation of God to that people to be the foundation of his ministry, and the whole divine dispensation to them. Even in giving the law this was the preface and reason, “I am the Lord thy God, which “ have brought thee out of the land of Egypt..... “out of the house of bondage.”....And it may be proper to observe how this great covenant-truth, in that dispensation, is woven into the precepts of the moral law.
1st.“ I ain the Lord thy God; thou shalt have " no other gods before me.”
2d. “ Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous « God.”
3d. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
4th. “ Keep the Sabbath-day to sanctify it, as “ the Lord thy God hath commanded thee: the “ seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; “ in it thou shalt not do any work: Remember “ that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt'; " and that the Lord thy God brought thee olit “ hence, through a mighty hand, and by a stretch“ed out arm; therefore the Lord thy God com“manded thee to keep the Sabbath-day.”
5th. “Honor thy father and thy mother, as “ the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that
thy days may be prolonged, and that it may “ go well with thee in the land which the Lord
thy God giveth thee,” Dent. v..... I have quoted: these passages from Deuteronomy, because it is understood that this book is more in the stile of the gospel, and respects the Covenant of Promi-e more clearly than any of the writings of Moses ..
That these words, the Lord thy God, are used here, in the Decalogue, in the covenant sense, is: most certain; not only from the stile itself, and. from the references to the Land of Proinise, but also from the observation of the Apostle upon the fifth commandment, Ephes. vi. 2. that it is a commandment with the promise.......As then, according to our author, God is not, in the covenantsense, a God to any but true believers, or the subjects of true religion, it follows, that the commandments were given only to true believers, or the subjects of true religion.
Moses considered this covenant-truth, I am the Lord your God, as the grand principle and vital spring by which every desired effect, under his ministry, should be produced; and he used it as the sword of tne spirit, to strike every stroke..... Our author constructs his work upon an opposite principle; for instance, Moses says, Deut. X........ à And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God
require of thee but to fear the Lord thy God; “ to walk in all his ways, and to love him; and " to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
“and with all thy soul; to keep the command"ments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I com"mand thee this day for thy good? Behold, the “ heaven, and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's “thy God; the earth also, with all that therein “ is: Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers, “ to love them; and he chose their seed after them
......even you above all people, as it is at this day.
Circamcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heari, “ and benomorestiff-necked."..... Again, Chap. xxiii. « For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of
thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine “ enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp “ be holy.”
Our author writes, “ Hence that he may be a “God to the house of Israel; or to the Church and “ her seed....He says, I will put my laws in their “ minds, and write them in their hearts....... This
obviously imports all which is understood by “ the regeneration or renewal of the heart by the
Spirit, in righteousness and true holiness; and “.therefore clearly imports, that the covenant is “ established only with true believers, or the sub
jects of true religion.” Moses takes this ground ... The Lord is your God, and walks with you ;
therefore circumcise your hearts, and walk with “ him.... The Lord your God, in the midst of you, is
holy, be ye therefore holy......Our author takes the opposite ground...... You must circumcise your hearts, and walk with God, that the Lord тау
be your God, and walk with you..... You must be holy, that the Lord God, who is holy, may come among you, and be your God !.....Our author constructs his work for the wheel to carry the stream.
As the great declaration of the covenant, which we are now considering, is emphatically the truth • of God, it is of all things the most important to
be understood, and we observe, that to make this truth known bas been the great endof all the won