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to go up to Jerusalem.” This idolatry greatly resembled that of the golden calf; and the monarch's speech seems to have been copied from
Aaron's on that occasion. Corruption had · made alarming progress under the auspices of
the kings of Israel, which loudly called for an explicit teitimony against it, as well as the present application of a proper remedy.
4. THE Lord, in sovereign grace, had referved a remnant for himself, notwithstanding these shaking providences, and heinous provocations. The sacred historian remarks various things which obtained, in favour of religion, under the reign of Afa. He took away the altars, brake down the high places and imges, and cut down the groves. The Lord · had also given several victories to the children
of Judah ; and sent various encouraging mefsages by his prophets unto them: “ And when Ala heard these words, he took courage, and put away the abonrinable idols out of the land of Benjamin, and of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim; and renewed the altar of the Lord that was before the porch of the Lord.” Now, as this reformation was genuine in its principle,-large in its extent, it was proper to make it a covenanted-reformation, that it might be latting in its duration.
SIXTHLY, The SOLEMNITIES by which this Covenant was ratilic, may be considered . in the next place.
1. It was confirmed by OATH *. The form of the oath is not registered in the inspired volume; nor can the particular mode of swearing be learned from it : but as to the certainty of the fact we have no reason to hesitate.
2. It was probably ratified by facrifice and writing. The sacred historian assures, that they offered sacrifices at the same time. Now, although some of them might be offered before the folemn action, as a preparative for it; yet, it is probable, there were others offer· ed besides them. It is also reasonable to con
clude, that as they covenanted under the influence of the Holy Ghost, he would induce them to use every solemnity which had been left on record for their imitation.
I SHALL now close this dissertation with an INFERENCE or two for improvement of what has been said.
1. We may see the imperfection of grace, even in the wiseft and best of God's children, in this world. Solonion, the wisest of men, yielded to a trilling temptation; so as to deface that system which had arrived at its meridian fplendor under his auípices. Excellence of gifts, abundance of manifestation, are no barrier against a partial apostacy: Solomon had
both;-we read of his fall, but not of his re- . pentance. Good king Afa, in the fifteenth year of his reign, was also a distinguished covenanter ; in the last years of his reign, when he was censured by Hanani the Seer, “he was wroth with the Seer, and put him in the prison-house."
This rebellion against just censure, contumacy against the authority of the Seer, and putting him in prison, did not destroy the work of God in his soul, nor disannul his title to the heavenly inheritance : For the Spirit of God witnefseth, notwithstanding these things, “his heart was perfect with the Lord all his days."
2. COVENANTING ought to be essayed and practised by the smaller number of professors of religion, even when the greater part continue in apostacy, and refuse to be reclaimed. The ten tribes were the greater, and apostatizing church: The two tribes the leiser, and reforming one. Notwithstanding the majority was on the side of defe&tion; yet the minor part did not lose their right unto their covepanted God, neither were their obligations to lim diffolved. It has been said by some, Covenanting is inexpedient in the present time, as the greater part of Christians are otherways minded. But, if the objection be valid now, why was it not so then? They might have said, when the spirit of God excited them to this duty, “ The majority of professors are against it, pray, therefore, have us escused.” Might
not the prophet easly rejoin, “ The authority of God, interpofed in his precept, is sufficient warrant for present duty, though all the world be against it.” Should any still infilt, that “If the majority avow their religion with the solemnity of an oath, and the minority theirs, then the land will be profaned with contradictory swearing." The answer is easy, The profanity lies at the door of them who swear unto a false religion; and the professors of the true religion are by no means answerable for the opposcrs of it. Moreover, few who have imbibed false principles, and followed corrupt practices, ever durst avow them with the solemnity of an oath. Sin and error delight to walk in the Made.
ON I HE
COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND JUDAH,
IN THE DAYS OF JEHOIADA.
2 Kings xi. 19. 2 Chron. xxiii 16.
AS this transaction took place at a very re11 markable revolution of the State, it may not be improper to attend,--I. Unto the Character and Circumstances of the Covenanters. --II. The Minister who bore a principal share in that revolv.cion, and who dispensed this Covenant.-- . Consider the Substance of the Covenant. IV. The Occasions of it.-And then conclude with some Reflections on the
FIRST, I must attend unto the CHARACTER and CIRCUMSTANCES of the Covenanters. The sketch which is drawn of them by the infpired historian is shorter than usual: Our survey must be contracted in proportion. They