Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

that we profess him to be our God; and that we cleave unto him as our chosen portion and happiness; walking in all his ordinances blameless. Covenanting with God, and honouring him in his holy institutions, is an important part of that worship which all men are indispensably bound to render unto him, wherever the glorious light of the Gospel shines. In perfect correspondence with this command are those passages in Deuteronomy, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and swear by his name. Him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. (Deut. vi. 13. & x. 20.) That is, thou shalt cleave unto him as your king and law-giver, as your chosen portion and supreme good: Thou shalt cover nant with him in truth, binding yourself to him and his service, by a solemn oath, to be his people, and to walk in all his statutes and ordinances blameless. Swearing to the Lord is put for the whole of divine worship; and especially for covenanting with God. Isaiah represents the conversion of the Egyptians unto Christ, and their covenanting with him in the days of the Messiah, by their swearing to the Lord. In that day shall five cities in the Land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan,

[ocr errors]


and swear to the Lord of Hosts. (Isa. xix. 18.) In the same manner he represents the conversion of the Gentiles in general, and their covenanting with God in the Christian church. Unto me shall every knee bow, every one shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come. (Isa. xlv. 23, 24.) Covenanting with God, was termed an oath, and in doing it the Israelites swear unto the Lord. (Deut. xxix. 12. 2 Chron. xv. 14.) Hence swearing unto the Lord is put for covenanting with him; and commands to swear unto him, and commands to covenant with him, and bind ourselves to him by the solemnities of an oath.

Further, we are taught by example as well as precept, to covenant with God, and acknowledge and profess him as our God and Father in Christ. The saints in all ages, and the whole church profess the living and true God to be their God, and they rejoice and glory in him, as standing in this relation to them. (Psal. xlviii. 14.) For this God is our God for ever. Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him. (Isa. xxv. 9.) The whole church glories in her relation to Christ. My beloved is mine, and I am his. (Sol. Song ii,


16.) All good people enter into covenant with him. They swear by his name, as has been represented. On their repentance and return unto the Lord, the prophet Isaiah represents them as declaring themselves to be the Lord's, and entering into covenant with him. I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. One shall say, I am the Lord's: and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. (Isa. xliv. 5.) The same representation is given us by Jeremiah. In those days, and at that time, saith the Lord, the children of Is rael shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping they shall go and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. (Jer. 1.4, 5.) In the same : manner, in the apostolic age, all who believed, professed religion, and were added to the church. They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread. (Acts ii. 42.) When men become wise, they will walk with the wise.

They will be companions of all them who fear the Lord.

In addition to all other commands and examples, the words of our blessed Saviour set the duty of openly professing him, and walking in covenant with him, in a very strong and affecting point of light. Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him also will I deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matt. x. 32, 33.) For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and of his Father's, and of the holy angels. (Luke ix. 26.) These passages at once show the absolute necessity, and infinité importance of truly professing Christ, or of covenanting with God. The man who does it will be publicly blessed, and live forever; but the man who does it not, must die eternally.

This covenanting with God, which is of such universal concern, is one of the most interesting and solemn transactions in which a creature can be engaged. It is therefore highly important, that Christians should well

understand the nature of covenanting with God; the solemnity of the transaction, and the importance of keeping covenant with him.

As it is hoped that a discussion of these points would be seasonable, and of special service to individuals, to our churches, and to society in general, it is the design of these papers to illustrate and impress them.

Covenanting with God implies his willingness to be a reconciled God and Father to rebellious men and to enter into a covenant of life and peace with them, through Jesus Christ. Of this he hath given the fullest assurance. This was his promise to Abraham, I will establish my covenant between me and thee for an everlasting covenant: to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee. (Gen. xvii. 7.) The same covenant God maketh with the whole church, and with every individual who chooseth him for his covenant God and eternal portion. For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Jer. xxxi. 33. & Heb. viii. 10.) And I

« AnteriorContinuar »