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66 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.
1 HE covenant made with the Israelites at mount Sinai is something very different from that which was made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or that which will be made with the house of Judah and Israel in the latter days. As to what people call the covenant of grace, made before the world was, there is no such covenant mentioned in the scriptures. It is gracious in God to make a covenant with any of his creatures; but that covenant which the Calvinist talk so much of, is an imaginary matter.
The beginning of the account of the covenant made with the Israelites, 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, saying, thus shalt thou fay to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Ifrael ; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, . and keep my covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar trea. fure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak urio the children of Ifrael. And Moses came and cal. Lud for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces
all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, all that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord faid unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and be lieve thee forever. And Moses 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 must do. This was done in a plain and familiar manner. It was contained in two particulars, 6 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy foui, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Jesus says, is on these two commands, hang all the law and the prophets." Here was nothing hard, cruel, unjust, or impoflible. 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 de. livered, is folemn beyond description ; as recorded by Meles, in Deut xxxiii. 2, “ And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined 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 pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunders, and lightnings, and a thick cloud 1pon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud ; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp, to meet with God; and they stood at the netlier part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke 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 spake and said, “I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no ciher 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, verse 18, 19, “ And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoaking; and when the
people saw it they removed, and stood afar off. And · they said unto Moses, speak thou with us, and we will hear ; but let not God speak with us, leit we die.”
" After this, God gave them a set of statutes, relative to civil affairs, worthy of a God; they were short, expressive, clear, without ambiguity, or intricacy ; reafonable, equitable to the last degree ; nor dictated by ca. price, nor inforced by improper penalties ; but full of justice, mixed with mercy, and guarded by proper and reasonable fanctions, but above all things, he fortade idola'ry; the punillıment of which moit stupid crime, was death and detruction."
Mofis having received this 1.2 w from the mouth of God, he crie and told the people of the whole of what God had commanded them. Exodus xxiv. 3, “ And Molus 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 bath fuid will we do." When all this was done, i fucritice was offered to confirm the covenant made beIt!een God and the people, the meaning of which was, “ thus may I be sacrificed or clit off, if I do not perform what I have now agreed too." After this it is said, in verse 6, 7, 8, " And Moses took balf of the blond, and put it in balons; and half of the blood he sprinkled 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 said will we do, and be obedient. 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."
In this folemn manner was the covenant made between God and the Israelites. The Lord proposed the terms, and the people agreed to them. The people promised obedience, and the LORD promised protection, and every blessing they needed. The whole was written in a book, and read again to them; they agreed to it in all things. Moses being the mediator of this covenant, confirmed and ratified it by sprinkling 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 promising to obey his voice, and said, " they have well said all that they have spoken.” Had they agreed to perform an impoffibility, it could not be well faid. Many tell us that it was not possible 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.
Miserable humanism! There was nothing to prevent their keeping the law given to them ; but an heart to do what was possible. The Lord says, Deut. v. 29, “Oh that there were such 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 solemn engagement the Israelites entered into, to keep the covenant; yet in less than for. ty 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 wilder. ness, and never entered into the promised land. Oft the LORD forgave them, and wrought for his name's sake.
When the ten tribes left the house of David, and fet up Jereboam for a king, and had turned from serving the LORD to worship the calves, in Dan and Bethel, they wholly left serving the LORD; and in less than three hundred years, the Lord threatened to disown them, which was at last done, and they were divorced from the LORD, who disowned them, and declared that they were not his people, and that he was not their God. Hofea i. 4,6,9, “ And the Lord said 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 cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And she conceived again, and bare a daughter, and God said un. to him., call her name, Lo-ruhamah ; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly lake them away. For ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” It is said in chap. ii. 2, upon the fame subject, “ Plead with your mother, plead; for the is not my wife, neicher am I her husband.”
At this time the first covenant between God and the ten tribes called Ifrael, was dissolved forever, and they were sent out of the land, and given up to their enemies, and so 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 Israel. ites with Judah shall become one, never more to be feparated,
Though the Ifraelites were disowned, yet the coven. ant stood with the tribe of Judah, or the Jews, until they were rejected, for slaying the Son of God, and were overcome by the Romans ; carried captive, and dispersed all over the world, in which situation they remain to this day, being cast 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 shall smite the land, and cut of their hand I will not deliver them."