Page images

“ Fear not, for I am with thee: I will bring thy Seed from the East, and gather thee from the West.” Ver: 7, Even every one that is called by my Name: For I have created him for my Glory: I have formed him, yea, I have inade him." . Ver. 15, “ I am the Lord, your holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King:" Deut. xxxii. 6, “Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish People ? Hath he not made thee and established thee?" Ver. 15. Psal. cxlix. 2: Isai. xxvii: 11,---" It is a People of no Understanding : Therefore he that made them will have no Mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour." xliii. 21. xliv: 1, 2, “ Yet hear now; O Jacob, my Servant, and Ifrael whom I have chosen, thus faith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the Womb." Ver: 21, 24, “ Thus faith the Lord thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the Womb," &e.

18. Ezek: xvi. 3, “ Thus faith the Lord unto Jerusalem, Thy Birth and thy Nativity is of the Land of Canaan.” Ver. 6, « And when I paffed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thy own Blood, I said unto thee, live ; yea, I said unto thee, when thou waft in thy Blood, live.See Ezek. xxxvii. i to 15. Zech. x. 9

19. Deut. xxxii. 18. “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindfal, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” Num. xi. 12, “ Have I [Moses) conceived all this People? Have I begotten them ?” Meaning, not I, but thou, O Lord, hast begotten them. Jer. ii. 26, 27, “ As the Thief is ashamed when he is found : So is the House of Israel ashamed, - saying to a Stock, Thou art my Father; and to a Stone, Thou halt brought me forth," or begotten me; ascribing to idols the National Advantages, which they received from God.

20. Thus, as God created the whole Body of the Jews, and made them to live, they received a Being or Existence. Ifai. Ixiii. 19, “ We are; thou hast never ruled over them, [the Heathen ;] they are not called by thy Name. "Or father thus: “We are of old; Thou hast not ruled over them; thy Name hath not been called upon them.” It is in the

and are therefore called by the ,היינו מעולם לא משלת גם ,Hebrew

Apostle Things that are, in Opposition to the Gentiles, who, as they formerly were not created in the lame Manner, were “ the Things which Gre not." i Cor. i. 28, “ God has chosen Things which are not, to bring to nought Things that are.” Further,

21. V. As He made them live, and begat them, (1.) He sustains the Character of a father, and (2.) They are his Children, his Sons and Daughters, which were born to him. Deut. xxxii. 6, « Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish People ?- Is he not thy Father, that hath brought thee?” Ilai. lxiii. 16, “Doubtless thou art our Father though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not : Thou, o Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer," &c. Jer. xxxi. 9,-"For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my First-born.” Mal. ii. 10, “Have we not all one Father ? hath not one God.created us?" (17.]

22. Deut. xiv. 1, “Ye are the Children of the Lord your God. Ifai. j. 2, “ Hear, O Heavens, and give Ear, O Earth; for the Lord hath spoken, I have. nourished and brought up Children, and they have rebelled against me.”

23. Exod. iv. 22, 23, “ Thou shalt fay unto Pharaoh, Thus faith the Lord, Ifrael is my Son, even my First-born. And I say unto thee, Let my Son

go," &c. Hof. xi. 1. Deut. i. 31. viii. 5. xxxii. 19," And when the Lord saw it he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his Sons, and of his Daughters." Isai. xliii. 6.

24. Ezek. xvi. 3, 4, 5, 6, “ Thus faith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy Birth and thy Nativity is of the Land of Canaan,-as for thy Nativity, in the Day thou wast born, thy Navel was not cut, &c. none Eye pitied thee, -but thou wast cast out in the open Field,-in the Day that thou waft born." Hof. ii. 2, 3, “ Plead with your Mother, (the House of Israel, Chap. i. 6, 10, 11,) plead,-Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the Day that she was born, and make her as a Wilderness,” &c (*). Hence their Original is represented under the Notion of a Womb. Ifai. xliv. 2, “ The Lord--that formed thee from the Womb." Ver. 24. xlvi. 3.

25. VI. And, as the whole Body of the Jews were the Children of one Father, even of God, this naturally established among themselves the mutual and endearing Relation of Brethren (including that of Sisters;) and they were obliged to consider, and to deal with each other accord. ingly. Lev. xxv. 46. Deut. i. 16. iii. 18. xv. 7, “ If there be among you a poor Man of one of thy Brethren,—thou shalt not harden thy Heart, nor shut thy Hand against thy poor Brother,xvii. 15. xviii. 15. xix. 19. xxii. 1. xxiv. 14. Judg. xx. 13. 1 Kings xii. 24. [Acts xxiii. 1.] And in many other places.

26. VII. And the Relation of God, as a Father, to the Jewish Nation, as his Children, will lead our Thoughts to á clear Idea of their Being, as they are frequently called the House, or Family of God. Num. xii. 7, “ My Servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my House." i Chron. xvii. 14,.“ I will settle him in my House, and in my Kingdom for ever.” Jer. xii. 7, “ I have forsaken my House, I have left my Heritage." Hof.ix. 15, “For the Wickedness of their [Ephraim's] Doings, I will drive them out of my House, I will love them no more : All their Princes are Revolters.” Zech. ix. 8. Pfal. xciii. 5. And in other Places, and, peshaps, frequently in the Psalms, as the xxiii. 6. xxvii. 4, &c.

27. VIII. Further; the Scripture directs us to consider the Land of Canaan as the Estate, or Inheritance, belonging to this House, or Family. Num. xxvi. 53, “ Unto these (namely, all the Children of Israel] the Land shall be divided for an Inheritance.Deut. xxi. 23,4“ That thy Land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an Inherie tance.". And in many other places. 28. Here it may not be improper to take Notice ; that the Land of

Canaan, (*) In these Texts the whole Body of Israelites are manifestly spoken of; and God's forming them into a Nation or Society of People, inveited in peculiar Privileges, and taken into a special Relation to himself, is evidently denoted by his begetting them, being their Father, and they his Children, born, by his Goodness and Power, out of Servitude and Misery, to a new State of Honour and Enjoyment. For, observe well; The Scriptural Notion of a Father, in a figurative Sense, is one that confers a happy State, or an ex. alted State of Existence, in Opposition to one low or wretched; begetting is confernng that State ; being born is being raised to it; and a Son, Daughter, Children, is the Person or Persons, put into that State. These Terms have Relation to any Change of State for the better ; but are commonly applied to the Jewish Nation, or Christian World, as taken into the Covenant and Kingo dom of God.

Canaan, in reference to their Trials, Wandrings, and Fatigues in the Wilderness, is represented as their Rest. Exod. xxxiii. 14, “ My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee Reft.Deut. ïïi. 20. xii. 9, “For ye are not yet come to the Resi, and to the Inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.” Ver. 10. XXV. 19. Psal. xcv. 11, “ Unto whom I sware in my Wrath, that they should not enter into my Reft." . 29. IX. Thus the Israelites were the House, or Family, of God. Or, we may conceive them formed into a Nation, having the LORD, Jehovah, the true God, at their head; who, on this Account is ftiled their God, Governor, Protector, or King; and they his People, Subjects or Servants. Exod. xix. 6, “ Ye shall be unto me a Kingdom of Priests, and an Holy Nation.Deut. iv. 34, “ Hath God assayed to go and take him a Nation from the Midst of another Nation ?” Isai. li. 4, “Hearken unto me, my People, and give Ear unto me, my Nation.

30. Exod. vi. 7, “ And I will take you to me for a People, and I will be to you a God." Lev. xxii. 33, “I am the Lord that brought you out of the Land of Egypt, to be your God.Psal. xxxiii. 12,“ Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord.” And in many other places.

31. 1 Sam. xii. 12, “ And ye [Israelites] said unto me, Nay, but a King shall reign over us; when the Lord your God was your King." Pfal. Ixxxix. 18. cxlix. 2, “ Let Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the Children of Zion be joyful in their King.” Ifai. xxxiii. 22. lxi. 21. xliü.15, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."

32. Exod. v. I, “ Thus faith the Lord God of Israel, Let my People go." Deut. xxxii. 36, 43. 2 Sam. vii. 24, “ For thou hast confirmed unto thyself thy People Ifrael, to be a People unto thee for ever, and thou, Lord, art become their God," &c.

33. Lev. xxv. 55, “ For unto me the Children of Israel are Servants, they are my Servants, whom I brought forth out of the Land of Egypt : I am the Lord your God." Psal. Ixxix. 1, 25, “ He turned their Heart to hate his People, to deal subtilly with his Servants." And in many other places.

34. X. And it is in reference to their being a Society peculiarly appropriated to God, and under his special Protection and Government, that they are sometimes called The City, the Holy City, the City of the Lord, of God. Psal. xlvi. 4, “ There is a River, the Streams whereof shall make glad the City of our God: The Holy Place of the Tabernacles of the most High.” ci. 8, “ I will early destroy all the Wicked of the Land, that I may cut off all wicked Doers from the City of the Lord.” Isai. xlviii. 1, 2, “Hear ye this, O House of Jacob, which are called by the Name of Israel :-For they call themselves of the Holy City, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel." ,.35. Hence the whole Community, or Church, is denoted by the City. Jerusalem, and sometimes by Zion, Mount Zion, the City of David. lsai, lxii. 1, 6, 7, “ I have set Watchmen upon thy Walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their Peace,—and give him no Reft, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a Praise in the Earth.” lxv. 18, 19," I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my People.” lxvi. 10.

zek: xvi. 3, 13. Joel iii. 17. Zech. i. 14. viii. 3, &c. xiii. I, Ifai. *Xy1. 16,-"Thus faith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a Foun

X 3

make For, and joy vii. 3; in Zion for dation"

dation," &c. lxi. 3. Joel. ii. 32. Obad. 19, “ But upon Afount Zior fhall be Deliverance,”. &c. Ver, 21.

36. Hence also they are said to be written, or inrolled in the Book of God, as being Citizens invested in the Privileges and Immunities of his Kingdom. Exod. xxxii. 32, “ Yet now, if thou wilt, forgive their Sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the Book thou hast written.” - Ver, 33, “ And the Lord said, whosoever hath finned againit me, him will I blot out of my Book.” Ezek. xiii. 9.

37. And it deserves our Notice ; that as the other Nations of the World did not belong to this City, Commonwealth or Kingdom of God, and so were not his Subjects and People, in the same peculiar Sense as the Jews, for these Reasons are they frequently represented as Strane gers, Aliens; and as being not a People. And as they served other Gods, and were generally corrupt in their Morals, they have the Character of Enemies, Exod. xx. ro. Lev. xxv. 47, “ And if a Sojourner, or a Stranger wax rich by thee, and thy Brother fell himself to the Stranger."

Deut. xiv. 21, “ Mayest fell it to an Alien." Ifai. Ixi. 5, “ And Strangers shall stand and feed your Flocks, and the Sons of the Alien shall be your Plowmen." And in many other Places. Deut. xxxii. 21, “I will' move them to Jealousy with those which are not a People." Isai. vii. 3. Hof. á 10. ii. 23,-" I will say to them which were not my People, Thou art my People : And they shall say, Thou art my God." Psal. lxxiv, 4, “ Thine Enemies roar in the midst of thy Congregation.", [52] lxxviii. 66. Ixxxiii. 2. lxxxix. 10. Ifai. xlii. 13. lix. 18. Rom. v. 10," When we were Enemies, we were reconciled to God.” Col. i,

ined fo were nothing to this citice; that as these


38. XI. The kind and particular Regards of God for the Ifraelites, and their special Relation to him, is also signified by that of a Hufbond and Wife; and his making a Covenant with them, to be their God, is called Eppousals. Jer. xxxi. 32, “Not according to the Covenant that I made with their Fathers, in the Day that I took them by the Hand, to bring them out of the Land of Egypt (which my Covenant they broke, although I was an Husband unto them, saith the Lord).” iii. 2o. Ezek. xvi. 31, 32. Hof. ii. 2, “ Plead [ye Children of Judah, and Chile dren of Ifrael, Chap. i. 11.] with your Mother, plead : For she is not my Wife, neither am I her Husband;" that is, for her Wickedness I have die vorced her. [Ifai. Ixii, 4. 5.] Jer. ï. 2, “Go and cry in the Ear of Je. rusalem, saying, Thus faith the Lord, I remember thee, the Kindnels of thy Youth, the Love of thine Efpoufals, when thou wentest after me in the Wilderness, in the Land that was not sown.” ii. 14, “ Turn, O Back. sliding Children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you.” Isai. xlii. 4, s.

39. Hence it is, that the Jewish Church, or Community, is represented as a Mother; and particular Members as her Children. Ifai. I. 1, “.Thus faith the Lord, Where is the Bill of your Mother's Divorce: ment,” &c? Hof. ii, 2. 5, “ For their Mother háth played the Harlot, &c. Isai. xlix. 17, “ Thy Children, (O Zion,) shall make haste," &c Ver, 22, 25. Jer. 5. 7. Ezek. xvi. 35, 36. Hof. iv. 6, “ My People are destroyed for Lack of Knowleige, -leeing thou haft forgotten in Law of God, I will also forget thy Children."

40. Hence also, from the Notion of the Jewish Church being a Wile

[ocr errors]

to God, her Husband, her Idolatry, or worshipping of strange Gods, comes under the Name of Adultery, and Whoredom, and she takes the. Character of an Harlot. Jer. iii. 8, “ And I saw, when for all the Causes whereby Backsliding Israel committed Adqltery.” Ver. 9, “And it came to pass through the Lightness of her Whoredom, that the defiled the Land and committed Adultery with Stones and with Stocks.” xiïi. 27. Ezek. xvi. 15. xxiii. 43. Jer. iii. 6, “ Backsliding Ifrael is gone up upon every high Mountain, and under every green Tree, and there has played the Harlot.And in many other places.

41. XII. As God exercised a singular Providence over them in fupe plying, guiding and protecting them, he was their Shepherd, and they his Flock, his Sheep. Psal. lxxvii. 20. lxxviii. 52. lxxx. 1, “ Give Ear, () Shepherd of Israel.” Isai. xl. II, “ He shall feed his Flock like a Shepherd.” Pfal. lxxiv. 1, “ O God, why halt thou cast us off for ever? Why doth thine Anger smoke against the Sheep of thy Pasture?” lxxix. 13. xcv. 7. Jer. xiii. 17, “ Mine Eye shall weep sore-because the Lord's Flock is carried Captive." Ezek. xxxiv. throughout. And in many other Places.

42. XIII. Upon nearly the same Account, as God established them, provided proper Means for their Happiness, and Improvement in Knowledge and Virtue, they are compared to a Vine and a Vineyard, and God to the Husbandman, who planted and dressed it; and particular Members of the Community are compared to Branches. Pfal. lxxx. 8, " Thou hast brought a Vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the Heathen, and planted it.” Ver. 14, “ Return, we beseech thee, O Lord of, Hosts: Look down from Heaven, behold and visit thy Vine ; and the Vineyard which thy Right Hand has planted.Isai. v. i, “ Now will I fing to my Well-beloved, a Song—touching his Vineyard: My Wellbeloved has a Vineyard in a very fruitful Hill.” Ver. 2, “And he fenced it,” &c. Ver. 7, “ For the Vineyard of the Lord is the House of Israel.” Exod. xv. 17. Jer. ii. 21. Plal. Ixxx. 11, “ She sent out her Boughs unto the Sea, and her Branches unto the River." · Ilai. xxyii. 9, 10, 11, “By this shall the Iniquity of Jacob be purged ;

yet the defenced City shall be desolate,--there shall the Calf feed, and consume the Branches thereof. When the Boughs thereof are wi. thered, they shall be broken off: The Women come and set them on fire: For it is a People of no Understanding; therefore he that made them will have no Mercy on them.” Jer. xi. 16. « The Lord hath called thy Name, A green Olive-tree, fair and of goodly Fruit,” &c. Ezek. xvii. 6. Hof, xiv. 5, 6. Nahum ii. 2. And in other Places. [Rom. xi. 1';, “ And if some of the Branches were broken off,” &c. Ver. 18, 19, “ Thou wilt say then, the Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.”]

43. XIV. As they were, by the Will of God, set apart, and appropriated in a special Manner to his Honour and Obedience, and furmilhed with extraordinary Means and Motives to Holiness, so God is laid to sanctify, or hallow them.” Exod. xxxi. 13, “ Speak unto the Chila dren of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a Sign between me and you, throughout your Generations; that ye may know Mallam the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Ezek. XX. 12. Lev. xx. 8, “And


« PreviousContinue »