Billeder på siden

ye fhall keep my Statutes and do them: For I am the Lord which fanc tify you." xxi. 8. xxii. 9, 16, 32. Ezek. xxxvii. 28.

44. In the fame Senfe I conceive they are faid to be washed. Ezek. xvi. 9, "Then, [when thou waft born, 21] washed I thee with Water: Yea, I thoroughly washed away thy Blood from thee," &c.

45. And, becaufe other Nations did not enjoy the fame extraordinary Means, and were generally involved in Vice and Idolatry, therefore they are represented as unclean. Ifai. xxxv. 8, " And an Highway fhall be there, and a Way; and it fhall be called the Way of Holiness; the Unclean fhall not pafs over it," &c. Compare Joel iii. 17. Ifai. lii. 1,— "Put on thy beautiful Garments, O Jerufalem, the Holy City: For henceforth there fhall no more come into thee the Uncircumcifed and the Unclean." Acts x. 28, "It is unlawful for a-Jew-to come unto one of another Nation: But God has fhewed me, that I fhall call nothing common, or unclean.

46. XV. Hence it is, that they are ftiled a holy Nation, or People, and Saints. Exod. xix. 6, " And ye fhall be to me-an holy Nation." Deut. vii. 6, "For thou art a holy People unto the Lord thy God." xiv. 2. xxvi. 19. xxxiii. 3. 2 Chron. vi. 41, "Let thy Priests, O Lord God, be clothed with Salvation, and let thy Saints rejoice in Goodnefs." Pfal. xxxiv. 9, "O fear the Lord, ye his Saints." 1. 5, "Gather my Saints together unto me." Ver. 7, Hear, O my People," &c. lxxix. 2, cxlviii. 14, "He alfo exalteth the Horn of his People, the Praise of his Saints; even of the Children of Ifrael," &c.

47. XVI. Further; by his Prefence among them, and their being confecrated to him, they were made his Houfe, or Building, the Sanctu ary, which he built. And this is implied by his dwelling, and walking amongst them. Pfal. cxiv. 2, “Judah was his Sanctuary, and Ifrael his Dominion." Ifai. lvi. 3, "Neither let the Son of the Stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, fpeak, faying, The Lord hath utterly feparated me from his People :" Ver. 4, "For thus faith the Lord," Ver. 5, "Even unto them will I give in my Houfe, and within my Walls, a Place and a Name." Jer. xxxiii. 7, " And I will caufe the Captivity of Judah, and—of Ifrael to return, and will build them as at the first.” Amos ix. 11, "I will raise up the Tabernacle of David,-I will raise up his Ruins, and I will build it as in the Days of Old." Exod. xxv. 8, "And let them, the Children of Ifrael, make me a Sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." xxix. 45, 46, "And I will dwell among the Children of Ifrael, and will be their God." &c. Lev. xxvi. 11, 12, "And I will fet my Tabernacle among you :And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye fhall be my People." Num. xxxv. 34. 2 Sam. vii. 7. Ezek. xliii. 7, 9; "And he faid unto me, the Place of my Throne, and the Place of the Soles of my Feet, where I dwell in the Midft of the Children of Ifrael," &c. Hence we may gather, that dwell, in fuch Places, imports to reign; and may be applied figuratively to whatever governs in our Hearts. Rom. vii. 17, 20. viii. 9, II.

48. XVII. And not only did God, as their King, dwell among them as in his House, Temple or Palace; but he alfo conferred upon them the Honour of Kings, as he redeemed them from Servitude, made them


Lords of themselves, and raised them above other Nations to reign over them: And of Priests too, as they were to attend upon God, from Time to Time continually, in the folemn Offices of Religion, which he had appointed. Exod. xix. 6, " And ye fhall be unto me a Kingdom of Priefts or a Kingly Priesthood." Deut. xxvi. 19, "And to make thee high above all Nations in Praise, and in Ñame, and in Honour, and that thou mayeft be an Holy People unto the Lord thy God." xxviii. 1. xv. 6, "For the Lord thy God bleffeth thee,——and thou fhalt reign over many nations. Ifai. lxi. 6. "But ye [the Seed of Jacob] thall be named the Priefts of the Lord; Men fhall call you the Minifters of our God.”.

49. XVIII. Thus the whole body of the Jewish Nation were feparated unto God. And, as they were more nearly related to him than any other People, as they were joined to him in Covenant, had free Access to him in the Ordinances of Worfhip, and in Virtue of his Promife, had a particular Title to his Regards and Bleffing, he is said to be near unto them, and they unto him. Exod. xxxiii. 16. Lev. xx. 24, "I am the Lord your God who have feparated you from other People." Ver. 26. 1 Kings viii. 52, 53. Deut. iv. 7, "For what Nation is there fo great that hath God fo near unto them, as the Lord our God is in all Things that we call upon him for?" Pfal. cxlviii. 14,-" The Children of Ifrael, a People near unto him.”

50. And here I may observe, that, as the Gentiles were not then taken into the fame peculiar Covenant with the Jews, nor ftood in the fame fpecial Relation to God, nor enjoyed their extraordinary religious Privileges; but lay out of the Commonwealth of Ifrael, they are on the other Hand, faid to be far off. Ifai. lvii. 19, "I create the Fruit of the Lips: Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, faith the Lord, and I will heal him." Zech. vi. 15, " And they that are far off fhall come and build in the Temple." Eph. ii. 17, "And came and preached to you [Gentiles] which were afar off, and to them that were nigh," [the Jews.]

51. XIX. And, as God had, in all these Respects, distinguished them from all other Nations, and fequeftred them unto himself, they are stiled his peculiar people. Deut. vii. 6, "The Lord has chofen thee to be a fpecial, [or peculiar] People unto himself." xiv. 2, "The Lord hath chofen thee to be a peculiar People unto himself, above all the Nations that the Earth." xxvi. 18.

are upon

52. XX. As they were a Body of Men particularly related to God, instructed by him in the Rules of Wisdom, devoted to his Service, and employed in his true Worship, they are called his Congregation, or Church. Num. xvi. 3. xxvii. 17. Jofh. xxii. 17. I Chron. xxviii. 8, "Now therefore, in the Sight of all Ifrael, the Congregation, the Church, of the Lord." Pfal. lxxiv. 2.

53. XXI. For the fame Reason, they are confidered as God's Poffeflion, Inheritance or Heritage. Deut. ix. 26, "O Lord, destroy not thy People, and thine Inheritance. Ver. 29. Pfal. xxxiii. 12. cxvi. 40. Jer. x. 16. xii. 7, "I have forfaken my Houfe, I have left my Heritage. I have given the dearly Beloved of my Soul into the Hands of her Enemies." And in many other Places.



[ocr errors]

330 Whole Body of Jews interested in those Privileges. CH. III.


Reflections upon the foregoing Privileges, Honours and Relations. Jewish Conftitution a Scheme for promoting true Religion and Virtue.



54. ROM all this it appears; that the Jews, or the Ifraelites, were happy and highly exalted in Civil, but especially in Spiritual Privileges, above all other People. And thofe of them, who best understand the Nature of their Constitution, were deeply fenfible of this. Deut. iv. 7. 8, "For what Nation is there fo great, who has God fo nigh unto them, &c? And what Nation is there fo great, that has Satutes and Judgments fo righteous," &c? Ver. 32, "For afk now of the Days that are paft, which were before thee, fince the Day that God created Man upon the Earth; and afk from the one Side of Heaven unto the other, whether there has been any fuch Thing as this great Thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever People hear the Voice of God fpeaking out of the Midst of the Fire, as thou haft heard, and live? Or has God affayed to take him a Nation from the Midft of another Nation," &c. xxxiii. 29, "Happy art thou, O Ifrael: Who is like unto thee, O People faved by the Lord, the Shield of thy Help, and who is the Sword of thine Excellency!" Pfal. lxxxix. 15, 16, 17, "Bleffed is the People that know the joyful Sound: They fhall walk, O Lord, in the Light of thy Countenance. In thy Name fhall they rejoice all the Day: And in thy Righteoufnefs fhall they be exalted. For thou art the Glory of their Strength, and in thy Favour our Horn fhall be exalted. For the Lord is our Defence, and the Holy One of Ifrael is our King." cxliv. 15, exliv. 15, "Happy is that People whofe God is the Lord." cxlvii. 19, 20, "He fheweth his Word unto Jacob, his Statutes and his Judgments unto Ifrael. He hath not dealt fo with any Nation, and as for his Judgments they have not known them."

55. And it was the Duty of the whole Body of this People to rejoice in the Goodness of God, to thank, and praife, and bless him for all the Benefits bestowed upon them. Deut. xii. 7. xxvi. 11, "And thou fhalt rejoice in every good Thing, which the Lord thy God [29] hath given unto thee." Pfal. cxlix. 2, "Let Ifrael rejoice in him that made [17] him: Let the Children of Zion be joyful in their King." [35, 29.] Pfal. 1. 14, "Offer unto God thanksgiving."-xcv. 2, "Let us come before his Prefence with thanksgiving."—xcii. 1, "It is a good Thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to fing praifes unto thy Name, O molt High." Cv. I, "O give thanks unto the Lord," &c. Ver. 45, Praise ye the Lord," &c. lxvi. 8, "O blefs our God, ye People," &c. cxxxv. 19, Bless the Lord, O House of Ifrael," &c.

56. Whether I have ranged the foregoing Particulars in proper der, or given an exact Account of each, let the Studious of Scripture Knowledge consider. What ought to be fpecially obferved is this; that all the forementioned Privileges, Benefits, Relations and Ho nours did belong to all the Children of Ifrael without Exception. The Lord Jehovah, was the God, King, Saviour, Father, Husband, Shepherd, &c, to them all. He faved, bought, redeemed; he created, he


begot, he made, he planted, &c. them all. And they were all his People Nation, Heritage, his Children, Spouse, Flock, Vineyard, &c. They all had a right to the Ordinances of Worship, to the Promises of God's Bleffing, and especially to the Promife of the Land of Canaan. All enjoyed the Protection and fpecial Favours of God in the Wilderness, till they had forfeited them: All eat of the Manna, and all drank of the Water out of the Rock, &c. That thefe Privileges and Benefits be-. longed to the whole Body of the Ifraelitish Nation, is evident from all the Texts I have already quoted; which he, who obferves carefully, will find do all of them fpeak of the whole Nation, the whole Community, without Exception.

57. And that all thefe Privileges, Honours and Advantages were common to the whole Nation, is confirmed by this further Confideration; that they were the Effects of God's free Grace, without Regard to any prior Righteousness of theirs; and therefore they are affigned to God's Love, as the Spring from whence they flowed, and the Donation of thofe Benefits is expreffed by God's loving them; they are alfo affigned to God's Mercy, and the beftowing of them is expreffed by his fhewing them Mercy. Deut. ix. 4, 5, 6, "Speak not thou in thy Heart, after that the Lord has caft them out before thee, faying, for my Righteoufnefs the Lord hath brought me in to poffefs this Land,-Not for thy Righteoufnefs, or the Uprightness of thy Heart doft thou go to poffefs their Land, &c. Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good Land to poffefs it, for thy Righteousness; for thou art a ftiff-necked People."


58. Deut. vii. The Lord did not fet his love upon you, nor choofe you, because you were more in Number than any People."-Ver.

8, "But because the Lord, loved you, and becaufe he would keep the Oath which he had fworn unto your Fathers, hath the Lord brought you out [of Egypt]." xxxiii. 3, "He loved the People." Ifai. xliii. 3, 4Jer. xxxi. 3. Hof. iii. 1. ix. 15,-" I will drive them out of my House [26] I will love them no more."-xi. 1, "When Ifrael was a Child, then I loved him." Mal. i. 2, "I have loved you, faith the Lord (fpeaking to the whole Body of the Ifraelites) yet ye fay, wherein haft thou loved us? Was not Efau Jacob's Brother? faith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob." -Ezek. xvi. 3—15, "Thus faith the Lord God unto Jerufalem, thy Birth and thy Nativity is of the Land of Canaan, thy Father was an Amorite, and thy Mother an Hittite. And as for thy Nativity, in the Day thou was born, [21] thy Navel was not cut, &c. None eye pitied thee, but thou waft caft out in the open Field, &c. And when I paffed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own Blood," or trodden under Foot, "I faid unto thee, Live, [17] &c. And I have caufed thee to multiply as the Bud of the Field, and thou haft encreased and waxen great, &c. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold thy Time was the Time of Love; and I spread my Skirt over thee, and covered thy Nakednefs, &c. Then I washed thee with Water: I clothed thee alfo with broidered Work,-I decked thee with Ornaments, &c. And thou didst profper into a Kingdom. And thy Renown went forth among the Heathen for thy Beauty, for it was perfect through my Comelinefs which I had put upon thee,"

59. It


Jewish Conftitution a Scheme for promoting Virtue.

CH. III. 59. It is on Account of this general Love to the Ifraelites, that they are honoured with the Title of Beloved. Pfal. Ix. 5, "That thy Beloved may be delivered, fave with thy Right Hand, and hear me." Pfal. cviii. 6. Jer. xi. 15, "What hath my Beloved to do in my House, feeing the has wrought Lewdnefs with many ?"-xii. 7, "I have forfaken my Houfe, I have given the dearly Beloved of my Soul into the Hands of my Enemies." [And in their prefent Condition at this Day the Jews ftill are in a Senfe Beloved, Rom. xi. 28.]

60. Exod. xv. 13, "Thou in thy Mercy haft led forth the People, which thou haft redeemed," &c. Pfal. xcviii. 3. Ifai. liv. 10. Mich. vii. 20, "Thou shalt perform the Truth to Jacob, and the Mercy to Abraham, which thou haft fworn unto our Fathers from the Days of Old." Luke i. 54, 55, "He hath holpen his Servant Ifrael, in Remembrance of his Mercy, as he spake to our Fathers, to Abraham and his Seed for ever." Agreeable to this, he fhewed them Mercy as he continued them to be his People, when he might have cut them off. Exod. xxxiii. 19," I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will fhew Mercy on whom I will fhew Mercy." And when, after their prefent State of Rejection, they fhall again be taken into the Church, this too is expreft by their obtaining Mercy, Rom. xi. 31.

61. In thefe Texts, and others of the fame Kind, it is evident the Love and Mercy of God hath Refpect not to particular Perfons among the Jews, but to the whole Nation; and therefore is to be understood of that general Love and Mercy whereby he fingled them out to be a peculiar Nation to himself, favoured with extraordinary Bleflings.

62. And it is with Regard to this Sentiment and Manner of Speech, that the Gentiles, who were not diftinguished in the fame Manner, are faid not to have obtained Mercy. Hof. ii. 23, " And I will fow her unto me in the Earth, and I will have Mercy upon her that had not obtained Mercy, and I will fay to them which were not my People, [29] Thou art my People; and they fhall fay, Thou art my God."

63. Further; it should be noted, as a very material and important Circumftance, that all this Mercy and Love was granted and confirmed to the Ifraelites under the Sanction of a Covenant, the most folemn Declaration and Affurance, fworn to, and ratified by the Oath of God. Gen. xvii. 7, 8, " And I will establish my Covenant between me and thee, and thy Seed after thee, in their Generations, for an everlasting Covenant; to be a God unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee, the Land wherein thou art a Stranger, all the Land of Canaan, for an everlasting Poffeffion; and I will be their God." Gen. xxii. 16, 17, 18, “By myself have I fuorn, faith the Lord, for becaufe thou haft done this Thing,-that in Bleffing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy Seed, as the Stars of the Heaven, and as the Sand which is upon the Seafhore; and thy Seed fhall poffefs the Gate of his Enemies; and in thy Seed fhall all the Nations of the Earth be blefled: Because thou hait obeyed my Voice." This Covenant with Abraham was the Magna Charta, the Bafis of the Jewish Conftitution, which was renewed afterwards with the whole Nation; and is frequently referred to as the Ground and Security of all their Bleflings. Exod. vi.

« ForrigeFortsæt »