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keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all people, for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me, a kingdom of priests, an holy nation,"? To this proposal the people agreed. Then follows the promulgation of the law, which, according to engagement, they were to keep. This runs through the 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 chapters. To the law, thus far communicated, the people consent. Chapter xxiv, % verse. " And Moses came, and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered, with one voice, and said, All the words, which the Lord hath said will we do." These words are called, verse 7, the book of the cove. nant, This covenant was then sealed by Moses with blood ; verse 8. “ And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.” Then follow, through the 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 chapters, directions for building the tabernacle, and preparing its furniture, respecting the officiating priesthood, their apparel, ser.. vices, the offerings, &c. The promulgation of the law is then interrupted, and the covenant violated by the idolatry at the foot of the mountain. At the inter, cession of Moses, this breach of the covenant is so far pardoned, that in chapter xxxiv the promulgation of the law is resumed. The residue of this book is taken up in detailing how Moses and the people executed the directions they had received from God, respecting the tabernacle,
The promulgation of the law is resumed, and con, tinued through the twentyfive first chapters of Leviti, cus.' Then a promise is introduced; chapter xxvi. verse 3, and onward. “If ye will walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do them, I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and. the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land
safely for I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you, and ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old, because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people:" · The giving of the law proceeds again through the last chapter of this book, and though several chapters of the book of Numbers. The most material articles of it are recapitulated by Moses through the book of Deuteronomy. Here also we find promises repeatedly inserted. See Chap. vii. 12_ 26. “Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant, and the meroy, which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people &c.” See also chap. xi. 13, and on. “ And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken dili. gently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul; that I will give you the rain of your land, &c.” Another series of promises is found in the 15th chap. beginning at the 4th verse. “For the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for an inheritance to posses it : Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day: For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he hath promised thee; and thou shalt lend unto many Nations, and shalt not borrow; and thou shalt. reigni over many nations, and they shall not reign over
thee.” The last series of promises is found in the · 14 first verses of the 28th chapter. “And it shall
come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to doallhis commandments which I command thee this day, - that the Lord thy God will set thee on high, above all
nations of the earth : And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field : Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blesséd shalt thou be when thou goest out. --The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee, in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto ; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God to walk in his ways. &c.!!!. . · Thus we find, in fact, promises appended to the Si. nai covenant. .' ;' · We are next to enquire into the nature of these promises. The writer of the Epistle to the Heb. in a passage which has been quoted, distinguishes between the promises of this covenant, and those of the new covenant, as of a different character. Chapter viii. 6. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a beiter cove. nant, which was established upon better promises. Not only is the covenant better; but the promises are better. It is altogether a better covenant. The law written upon the heart, and precluding finally the curse, is better than the law promulgated only, and bringing along with it the curse. The promises are better. Wherein are the promises of the one covenant better than those of the other? About this there has been much controversy. Let us see if the scriptures will not guide us to a decisive answer.
• These promises are evidently not better as to their origin ; for both sorts of promises are from God. They are not better as to the certainty of their being fulfile led. For the veracity of God is pledged as much in the promises of the Sinai covenant, as in those of the New covenant..
They are not better as to the ultimate good in which they terminate. For the promises of the Sinai covenant terminate in this. “Then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me ; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, an holy nation; and I will walk among you, and be your God, and ye shall be my people.” But the promises of the new covenant terminate in nothing; nor could they possibly terminate in any thing better. " I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” is expressly the blessing in which both covenants terminate.;
The promises of the Sinai covenant involved life. Leviticus xviii. 5. “ Ye shall therefore keep my stat. utes and judgments; which, if a man do, he shall live in them; I am the Lord.” Deuteronomy xxx. 19, "I call heaven and earth to record this day, that I have set before you this day, Life and death, blessing and cursing-therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Ib. xxxii. 47. “ For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life.?
The promises of the new covenant involve the same thing. John xiv, 19. “Because I live, ye shall live also.
It is pretended by some, that the life promised in the Sinai covenant, was only the protraction of an existence in this world, under circumstances of outward prosperity. This idea is advanced merely to carry out the scheme of the carnality of the covenant, and to make the promises of it quadrate with the doctrine, that the obedience which the law reguired was external and çivil, without any respect to a principle of piety within,
Not one word of this kind is found in the covenant. And what reason can there possibly be to attach to the promises of it such an interpretation? Had the term life, a meaning in this covenant,so infinitely below what
prosperides of the rightich, when I saw in
it expresses in the New covenant,and generally through. out the scripture ? Was this the blessing, with which God proposed to testify his peculiar love to his dutiful children, among the posterity of his friend Abraham ? Were a few years of outward prosperity, enjoyed in common with the idolaters, and profligate children of this world, the amount of the good to which his cħo. sën people were called ; and in which that high, and holy relation which subsisted between him and thein, was to result ? Would not God have even been a. shamed to be called their God, without preparing for, ård proposing to them, à city of another description ? Does not Asaph tell us, that, in regard to temporal prosperity, the wicked had, in fact, often much the advantage of the righteous ? Psalmi lxxii. “ For I ; was envious at the faolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked ; for there are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor plagued as other men. Their eyes stand out with fatiess ; they have more than heart could wish." All desirable, temporal good, was indeed promised ; and it is a very different thing to en. joy temporal good under the blessing, from what it is to enjoy it under the curse of God. But was this ul. timately the good ? Was this only the reward to which Moses had respect, when he chose rather to suffer af. fliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleas. ures of sin for a season? Was this the object on which hiş faith, and the faith of those other illustrious wor. thies terminated, whose names are set down in the elev. enth of Hebrews, as declaring to the world, that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth ? How sad. ly must the confidence, which these noble patterns of piety placed in God, have been disappointed, when, instead of living at the fountain head of temporal pros. perity,“ they were stoned, sawn asunder, slain with the sword, and wandered about in sheepskins, and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented!"
To suppose that the continuance of a prosperous life in this world is the blessing, is to suppose that a