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" of your gods, and I will call on the name of Je“ HOVAH : and the God that answereth by fire, 5 let him be God.” They all approved of this as a most equitable condition. The false prophets " called on the name of Baal from morning “ even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But “there was no voice, nor any that answered. " When mid-day was past, and they prophesied s6 until the time of the offering of the evening sa- ' “ crifice, there was neither voice, nor any to an“swer, nor any that regarded.” For the gods of the nations “ have ears, but they hear not.” The fire from heaven having consumed the sacrifice offered by Elijah, the multitude were convinced, that the God whom he worshipped was the only true God. “When all the people saw it, they “ fell on their faces : and they said, JEHOVAH he “ is the God; JEHOVAH he is the God P." In like manner, the deliverance which God gave the Jews from Sennacherib, when he sent forth his angel, and flew an hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians, was in answer to the prayer of Hezekiah. This good king fought deliverance, expressly as an evidence that JEHOVAH alone had a right to adoration. The plea was accepted, and the deliverance was given as the answer of his prayers. Hezekiah said, “ O JEHOVAH our God, “ I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, " that all the kingdoms of the earth may know " that thou art JEHOVAH God, even thou only.” And this was the gracious answer : “ Thus faith
« JEHOVAH p 1 Kings xviii. 24. 26. 29. 39.
“ JEHOVAH the God of Israel, That which thou .“ haft prayed to me against Sennacherib king of “ Allyria, I have heard 9.” On this striking part of the character of her God, that he heareth prayer, the Church grounds her confidence as to the conversion of all nations to the faith: “) thou “ that hearest prayer, unto thee fall all flesh “come. By terrible things in righteousness wilt “thou answer us, O God of our salvation ; who “ art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, “ and of them that are afar off on the sear.”
Often hath our God vindicated his claim to this character, by answering the prayers of his Church in the time of her necessity, even when his operation hath been nowise miraculous. Hence Jeremiah uttered this language, during a famine occasioned by a great drought; “ Are there any “ among the vanities of the Gentiles that can “ cause rain ? or can the heavens give showers ? “ art not thou he, O JEHOVAH our God?” HIE, who alone can give rain ? " therefore we will “ wait upon thee, for thou haft made all these “ things s." He fignally manifested his power in this respect, in answer to the prayer of Elijah, both in judgment and in mercy. - He prayed “ earnestly that it might not rain ; and it rained “not on the earth by the space of three years and “ six months. And he prayed again, and the “ heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth. “ her fruit :"
vi. The q 2 Kings xix. 19, 20. Pfal. Isv. 2. 5. s Jer. xiv. 22. t James V. 17, 18,
vi. The Lord hath still manifested that he is the only living and true God, by his faithfulness
to his Church, and by remembering his covenant, - especially when the hath turned to him. Therefore Solomon thus addresses him; “ JEHOVAH God “ of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven “ above, or in earth beneath, who keepest cove“nant and mercy with thy servants, that walk “ before thee with all their heart u.” Of this faithfulness the Jews were standing witnesses, while they adhered to him. In various refpects, it was successively attested by miraculous operation. As long as the land, according to the divine commandment, enjoyed her Sabbaths, they received a double harvest ; and while all the males, who were able to travel, were assembled at Jerufalem during the folemn feasts, the enemy never “ desired their land." The heathen could boast nothing of this nature. Their gods made no dif-, ference between obedience and disobedience. ..
VII. The history of the work of redemption, in its various stages from the fall downwards, is one continued demonstration of the unity of God. It displays an evident unity of design and operation. The eye, that views the divine dispensations partially, may oppose one to another. It may oppose the patriarchal dispensation to that of the law, and both these to the gospel. Hence some of the early heretics represented the God of the Jews as quite a different being from the God of the Chri
a 1 Kings viï. 23.
ftians. But those who view this matter fairly and impartially, discern the most beautiful harmony. They perceive that the one illustrates and confirms the other; that while the Mosaic difpenfation derives its perfection from the Christian, the Christian derives its evidence from the Mosaic; and that both hinge on that given to the patriarchs. Thus the Church finds the most abundant reason for this song ; “ He is the Rock, his work “ is perfect.v.” “ As for God, his way is perfect. "-For who is God save JEHOVAH ? and who is “ a rock save our God w?”
As there is the most beautiful harmony in all the parts of divine revelation, although written in a great variety of ages; as they have all one great subject, the redemption of the Church by the Son of God in the nature of man; as one fpirit evidently pervades and animates the whole, uniformly“ testifying the sufferings of Christ, and " the glory that should follow;" a similar harmony is discernible in the operations of Providence. Of these we have an almost uninterrupted record for more than four thousand years. But they all evidently concentrate in one point. They are all directed to the work of redemption. They all conspire towards its accomplishment; some of them immediately, and others more remotely.
The first gospel-promise, concerning the feed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent, is a key to all the succeeding history of Providence, in reference to individuals or to nations, to the
Church v Deut. sssii. .
W 2 Sam. xxi. 31, 32.
“tions then the Mon
Church or the world. We see the earth peopled, and in a little almost entirely stript of its inhabitants; cities built, and razed ; empires founded, and brought to ruin; all in relation to that kingdom which shall never have an end, and that dominion which shall not be given to another people. “When the Most High divided to the na« tions their inheritance, when he separated the “ sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people, “ according to the number of the children of Il“ rael 4.” It was for the sake of his Church, and as her Redeemer and Holy One, that he “ sent to “ Babylon, and brought down all their nobles.” When he warns her not to be “ afraid of the Af“ syrian,” her interest in the Messiah is pointed out as her security and consolation ; " It shall “ come to pass in that day, that his burden shall “ be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his “yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be “ destroyed because of the anointing ?."
It was doubtless with a design to impress the Ifraelites with a sense of the unity, both of his effence, and of his love to the Church, that God so frequently designed himself from the relation which he bore to their fathers. He was pleased to take such names in succession ; as if he meant to inform them, that notwithstanding the lapse of time, and the change of perlons, he is still the fame. When he appeared to Moses, and gave him a commillion to proclaim liberation to his captives in Egypt, he commanded him to deliver
this * Deut. xxxii. 8. y. Isa. xliii, 14.
2 lía. X. 27.