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cause of the original and most famous translations of the Scripture. Fædus some deduce a feriendo, from striking. And this was from the manner of making covenants, by the striking of the beast to be sacrificed in their confirmation. For all solemn covenants were always confirmed by sacrifice, especially between God and his people. Hence are they said to “make a covenant with him by sacrifice,” Ps. 1. 5. offering sacrifice in the solemn confirmation of it. And when God solemnly confirmed his covenant with Abraham, he did it by causing a token of his presence to pass between the pieces of the beasts provided for sacrifice, Gen. xv. 17, 18. So when he made a covenant with Noah, it was ratified by sacrifice, Gen. viii. 20, 21. ix. 9, 10. And to look still farther backwards, it is not improbable, but that upon the giving of the first promise, and laying the foundation of the new covenant therein, that Adam had offered the beasts in sacrifice with whose skins he was clothed. And how the old covenant at Horeb was dedicated with the blood of sacrifices, our apostle declares, Ch. ix. 18-20. from Exod. xxiv. 5-9. And all this was to let us know, that no covenant could ever be made between God and man after the entrance of sin, but upon the account of that great Sacrifice of our High Priest, which by those other was represented. Hence is the phrase Federa ferire, to strike a covenant. Cicero pro Cælio. Ideone ego pacem Pirrhi diremi ut tu amorum turpissimorum quotidies Fædera ferires ? Fædera ferire, and percutere, have the same rise and occasion. And the Hebrews express the making of a covenant by striking hands, though with respect unto another ceremony. Some derive the word a Porca fede cæsa.
For an hog was clean in the devil's sacrifices. Cæsa jungebant fædera Porca. Virg. And thence was the ancient formula of ratifying covenants by the striking and therewith killing of an hog, mentioned by the Roman historian. Qui prior defexit publico consi. lio dolo malo tu illum Jupiter sic ferito, ut ego hunc Porcum hodie feriam ; tantoque magis, quanto magis potes pollesque. Upon the pronouncing of which words he killed the hog with a stone. And there was the same intention among them who in making a covenant, cut a beast in pieces, laying one equal part against another, and so passing between them. For they imprecated as it were upon themselves, that they might be so destroyed and eut into pieces if they stood not unto the terms of the covenant. See Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19, where respect is had to the covenant made with the king of Babylon. But in the use and signification of this word, we are not much concerned.
$ 4. The Greek word is Evrbnxm; and so is it constantly used in all good authors for a solemn covenant between nations and persons. Only the translation of the LXX. takes no notice of it. For observing that 70a Berith in the Hebrew was of a ,are considered to this pur ברר and ,ברה and ,ברא: rived
larger signification, being applied to things of another nature than Evronxn (which denotes a precise compact or convention) could be extended unto, they rendered it constantly by dubnxa, whereof we must treat elsewhere. Gen. xiv. 13. T'hey render 1772 bya, covenanters, by oureuotas, confederati, or conjurati
, confederates sworn together. Wherefore of the word ouronnem there is no use in this matter; the nature of the thing intended must be inquired into.
$ 5. Dia is largely and variously used in the Old Testament. Nor are learned men agreed from what original it is de
: , , pose. Sometimes it intends no more but peace and agreement, although there were no compact or convention to that purpose. For this is the end of all covenants, which are of three sorts, as the Macedonian ambassador declared to the Romans; for either they are between the conqueror and the conquered, or between enemies in equal power, or between those who were never en. gaged in enmity. The ends of all these sorts of covenants is mutual peace and security. Hence they are expressed by 'n a covenant: $o Job v. 23. 7onna 177077 1978 Dy, “Thy covenant shall be with the stones of the field,' say we, “ Thy league shall be;' that is, thou shalt have no hurt from them. And, Hos. ii. 18. a covenant is said to be made with the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and the creeping things of the earth. Security from damage by them, and the quiet use of them, is called a covenant metonymically and metaphorically, because peace and agreement are the end of covenants.
Secondly, Synechdochically, the law written in the two tables of stone was called the covenant, Exod. xxxiv. 28. “ He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten command
Now this law was purely preceptive and an effect of sovereign authority, yet is it called a covenant. But this it is not absolutely in its own nature ; seeing no mere precept nor system of precepts as such, nor any mere promise can be a coyenant properly so called. But it was a principal part of God's covenant with the people, when accepted by them as the rule of their obedience, with respect to the promises wherewith it was accompanied. Hence the tables of stone wherein this law was written, are called the tables of the covenant, Deut. ix. 11.
; stone, the tables of the covenant.' These tables were first made by God himself, Exod. xxxi. ult. and given into the hands of Moses. And when they were broken, he was commanded pa to effigiate them, or cut stones after their image, into their likeness ; for the first were seen only by himself, Deut. x. 1. Exod. xxxiv. 1. And when they were broken, whereby their use and signification ceased, they were not kept
The two tables of • ; את שבי לחת האבנִיס לחות הברית
as relicts, though cut and written by the finger or divine power of God, which doubtless the superstition of succeeding ages would have attempted. But the true measure of the sacredness of any thing external, is use by divine appointment. And also the ark was hence called the ark of the covenant, and sometimes the covenant itself; because the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant, were in it, 1 Kings viii. 9.
So among the Grecians, the tables or rolls wherein covenants were written, engraven, or enrolled, were called ouvonsor. So Demosthenes ; Συγχωρω ανοιχθηναι τας συνθηκες ενταύθοι επι τα δικασTugis. I require that the covenants may be opened here in the court,' or before the judgment-seat ; that is, the rolls wherein the agreement was written. And Aristot. Rhetor. lib. 1. FOLOK γαρ αν τινες ωσιν οι επιγεγραμμενοι η φυλαττοντες, τετοις αι συνθηκαι πισται
Covenants are of the same credit, with those that wrote and keep them ;' that is, the writings wherein such conventions are contained. For covenants that were solemnly entered into between nations, were engraven in brass, as the league and covenant made between the Romans and Jews in the days of Judas Machabæus, Mac. i. 7. or in marble, as that of the Magnesians and Smyrnæans, illustrated by the learned Selden. And other covenants were enrolled in parchment by public notaries.
Thirdly, An absolute promise is also called nina a covenant, the covenant of God, Isa. lix. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put into thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth.' And God also calls his decree constitutive of the law of nature, and its continuance his covenant, Jer. xxxiii. 20. · Thus saith the Lord, If you can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, that there should not be day and night in their season. It is therefore certain that where God speaks of his covenant, we cannot conclude, that whatever belongs unto a perfect complete covenant is therein intended. And they do but deceive themselves who, from the name of a covenant between God and man, do conclude always unto the nature and conditions of it. For the word is used in great variety, and what is intended by it must be learned from the subject matter treated of; seeing there is no precept or promise of God, but may be so called. § 6. In the making of covenants between men, yea
in the covenant of God with men, besides that they were always conceived verbis expressis, there was some sign and token added for their confirmation. This was generally the slaying of some creature, and the dividing of it into parts before mentioned. Hence sancire fædus and sanctio faderis, are a sanguine, from the blood shed in their confirmation. Of the slaying of a beast, there is mention in all who have spoken of ancient covenants. So was it in that between the Romans and Albans, the form of which is reported by Livy, as that whose tradition was of greatest antiquity among them. And there are likewise instances of the division of the slain beasts into two parts, like what we obser, ved before concerning Abraham; and concerning the princes of Judah in Jeremiah. “Οι Μολοτοι εν τοις ορκωμοσιαις κατακοπτοντες εις μικρά 785 386 tas ovvÖnxas ITOISVT6: Herod. "The Molossians in their confederations cut oxen into small pieces, and so entered into covenants.' And how these pieces or parts were disposed, Livy declares, lib. 39. Prior pars ad dextram cum extis, posterior ad levam viæ ponitur ; inter hanc divisam hostiam copiæ armatæ traducuntur. And thence it is that 7770, which signifies to cut or divide, is used in the Scripture absolutely for the making
of a covenant without any addition of , 1 Sam. xx. 16. I Kings viii. 9. And although such outward things did never belong to the essence of a covenant, yet were they useful significations of fidelity, intended and accepted in the performance of what was engaged in it. And therefore God himself never made a covenant with men, but he always gave them a token and visible pledge thereof. And whosoever is interested in the covenant itself, hath thereby a right unto, and is obliged to the use of the sign or token according to God's appointment.
$ 7. An absolute complete covenant, is a voluntary convention, pact, or agreenient between distinct persons, about the ordering and disposal of things in their power, unto their mutual concern and advantage. 1st, Distinct persons are required unto a covenant, for it is a mutual compact. As a mediator is not of one, that is, there must be several parties, and those at variance, or there is no room for the interposition of a mediator, Gal. iii. 20. so a covenant properly so called, is not of onė: In the large sense wherein mina is taken, a man's resolution in himself with respect unto any especial end or purpose may be called his covenant; as Job xxxi. 1. I made a covenant with my eyes. And so God calleth his purpose or decree, concerning the orderly course of nature, in the instance before given. But a covenant properly so called, is the convention or agreement of two persons or more.
2. This agreement must be voluntary and of choice upon the election of the terms covenanted about. Hence nga is by some derived from N73, which signifies to choose or elect. For such choice is the foundation of all solemn covenants : what is properly so, is founded on a free election of the terms of it, upon due consideration, and a right judgment made of them. Hence when one people is broken in war, or subdued by another, who prescribe terms unto them which they are forced as it were to accept for the present necessity, it is but an imperfect covenant, and às things are in the world, not like to be firm or stable. So some VOL. II.
Legates answered in the Senate of Rome, when their people were subdued, Pacem habebitis qualem dederitis ; si bunam, firmam et stabilem, sin haud diuturnam.
3. The matter of every righteous and complete covenant must be of things in the power of them who convent and agree
about them. Otherwise any, yea the most solemn compact is vain and ineffectual. A son or daughter in their father's house, and under his care, making a vow or covenant for the disposal of themselves, can give no force unto it, because they are not in their own power.
Hence when God invites and takes men into the covenant of grace, whereunto belongs a restipulation of faith and obedience, which are not absolutely in their own power, that the covenant may be firm and stable; he takes upon himself to enable them thereunto ; and the efficacy of his grace unto that purpose is of the nature of the covenant. Hence when men enter into any compact, wherein one party takes on itself the performance of that which the other thinks to be, but is not really in its power, there is dolus malus in it, which enervates and dis. annuls the covenant itself. And many such compacts were re. scinded by the senate and people of Rome, which were made by their generals without their consent; as those with the Gauls who besieged the Capitol, and with the Samnites, ad Furcus Caudinas.
Lastly, The end of a covenant is the disposal of the things about which the covenant is made, to the mutual content and satisfaction of all persons concerned. Hence was the ancient forni, Quod fælix faustumque sit huic et illi populo. If either party be absolutely and finally detrimented by it, it is no absolute, free or voluntary covenant; but an agreement of a mixed nature, where the consent of che party is given only for the avoiding of a greater inconvenience. And these things we shall find of use in our progress.
$ 8. As all these things concur in every equal compact, so there is an especial kind of covenant depending solely on the personal undertakings and services of one party, in order to the common ends of the covenant, or the mutual satisfaction of the covenanters. So it is in all agreements where any thing is distinctly and peculiarly required of one party.
And such covenants have three things in them: 1. A proposal of service. 2. A promise of reward. 3. An acceptance of the proposal, with a restipulation of obedience out of respect unto the reward. And this indispensably introduces an inequality and subordination in the covenanters, as to the common ends of the covenant, however on other accounts they may be equal. For he who prescribes the duties which are required in the covenant, and giveth the promises of either assistance in them, or a reward upon them, is