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SERMON II.

"WE HAVE ALSO A MORE SURE WORD

OF PROPHECY, &c."

IN this Sermon I shall notice, the Covenant made with the Ifraelites at Mount Sinai.

THE

HE covenant made with the Ifraelites at mount Sinai is fomething very different from that which was made with Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, or that which will be made with the houfe of Judah and Ifrael in the latter days. As to what people call the covenant of grace, made before the world was, there is no fuch covenant mentioned in the fcriptures. It is gracious in God to make a covenant with any of his creatures; but that covenant which the Calvinist talk fo much of, is an imaginary matter.

The beginning of the account of the covenant made with the Ifraelites, is recorded in Exodus xix. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, “ And MOSES went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, faying, thus fhalt thou fay to the houfe of Jacob, and tell the children of Ifrael; ye have feen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myfelf. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then fhall ye be a peculiar treafure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye fhall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. Thefe are the words which thou fhalt speak unio the children of Ifrael. And Mofes came and calJed for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces

all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people anfwered together, and faid, all that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Mofes returned the And the Lord faid

words of the people unto the Lord. unto Mofes, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I fpeak with thec, and believe thee forever. And Mofes told the words of the people unto the Lord."

After these things concerning the covenant were told to the people, and they had agreed to do what the Lord required of them; he then told them what his will was, and what they muft do. This was done in a plain and familiar manner. It was contained in two particulars, "Thou fhalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy ftrength; and thou fhalt love thy neighbour as thyfelf." Jefus fays, "on thefe two commands, hang all the law and the prophets." Here was nothing hard, cruel, unjuft, or impoffible. Angels nor men can never be happy, only as they love their God, and each other. This will of Jehovah, was delivered in a most majestic, glorious, and terrible manner.

The account of the manner in which the law was delivered, is folemn beyond defcription; as recorded by Mefes, in Deut. xxxiii. 2, "And he faid, the Lord came from Sinai, and rofe up from Seir unto them; he fhined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousand of his Saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” Exodus xix. 16, 17, 18, 19, "And it came to pafs on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunders, and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; fo that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Mofes brought forth the people out of the camp, to meet with God; and they ftood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a fmoke, because the Lord defcended upon it in fire; and the fmoke thereof afcended as the fmoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the trumpet founded long, and waxed louder and louder,

Mofes fpake, and God answered him by a voice.

And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount; and the Lord called Mofes up to the top of the mount; and Mofes went up."

This glorious appearance and voice of the trumpet, raised the attention of the people to the highest pitch; then the Lord fpake and faid, "I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the houfe of bondage. Thou fhalt have no other gods before me.”

The account of what follows is recorded in Exodus xx. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. It is added, verfe 18, 19, "And all the people faw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noife of the trumpet, and the mountain fmoaking; and when the people faw it they removed, and ftood afar off. And they faid unto Mofes, fpeak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God fpeak with us, left we die.”

"After this, God gave them a fet of ftatutes, relative to civil affairs, worthy of a God; they were short, expreffive, clear, without ambiguity, or intricacy; reaf onable, equitable to the last degree; not dictated by caprice, nor inforced by improper penalties; but full of juftice, mixed with mercy, and guarded by proper and reafonable fanétions, but above all things, he forbede idola ry; the punithment of which molt ftupid crime, was death and deftruction."

Mofes having received this law from the mouth of God, he care and told the people of the whole of what God had commanded them. Exodus xxiv. 3, "And Mofes came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments; and all the people an fwered with one voice, and faid, all the words which the LORD hath faid will we do." When all this was done, a facrifice was offered to confirm the covenant made between God and the people, the meaning of which was, "thus may I be facrificed or cut off, if I do not perform what I have now agreed too." After this it is faid, in verse 6, 7, 8, "And Mofes took half of the blood, and put it in bafons; and half of the blood he fprinkled on

the altar; and he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people; and they said, all that the LORD hath faid will we do, and be obedient. And Mofes took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and faid, behold, the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words."

In this folemn manner was the covenant made between God and the Ifraelites. The Lord propofed the terms, and the people agreed to them. The people promised obedience, and the LORD promifed protection, and every bleffing they needed. The whole was written in a book, and read again to them; they agreed to it in all things. Mofes being the mediator of this covenant, confirmed and ratified it by fprinkling the blood on the book, and the people. If this was not a covenant, there never was one in the world.

The LORD approved of all the people had done, in promifing to obey his voice, and faid, "they have well faid all that they have fpoken." Had they agreed to perform an impoffibility, it could not be well faid. Many tell us that it was not poffible for them to do what they had agreed too; as though the Lord had bound them to perform what they could not, that he might have a plea for punishing them.

Miferable humanifm! There was nothing to prevent their keeping the law given to them; but an heart to do what was poffible. The LORD fays, Deut. v. 29, "Oh that there were fuch an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever."

Notwithstanding the folemn engagement the Ifraelites entered into, to keep the covenant; yet in lefs than forty days after, they broke it in worshipping the calf, and had it not been for the promise made to Abraham and his feed, they must have been all cut off in the wildernefs, and never entered into the promised land. Oft the LORD forgave them, and wrought for his name's fake.

When the ten tribes left the houfe of David, and fet up Jereboam for a king, and had turned from ferving the LORD to worship the calves, in Dan and Bethel, they wholly left ferving the LORD; and in lefs than three hundred years, the LORD threatened to difown them, which was at laft done, and they were divorced from the LORD, who difowned them, and declared that they were not his people, and that he was not their God. Hofea i. 4,6,9, "And the LORD faid unto him, call his name Jezreel, for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will caufe to cease the kingdom of the houfe of Ifrael. And fhe conceived again, and bare a daughter, and God said unto him, call her name, Lo-ruhamah; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Ifrael, but I will utterly take them away. For ye are not my people, and I will not be your God." It is faid in chap. ii. 2, upon the fame fubject, "Plead with your mother, plead; for the is not my wife, neither am I her husband."

At this time the firft covenant between God and the ten tribes called Ifrael, was diffolved forever, and they were fent out of the land, and given up to their enemies, and fo they remain to this time, which is between two and three thousand years, and if they are ever owned of God again as a people, there must be a new covenant between God and them, which will be when the Ifraelites with Judah fhall become one, never more to be feparated,

Though the Ifraelites were difowned, yet the covenant ftood with the tribe of Judah, or the Jews, until they were rejected, for flaying the Son of God, and were overcome by the Romans; carried captive, and dispersed all over the world, in which fituation they remain to this day, being caft away for unbelief,

The prophecy concerning the Jews being overcome by their Roman king, is recorded in Zach. xi. 6, "For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, faith the LORD; but, lo! I will deliver the men, every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king; and they fhall fmite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them."

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