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“ The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, say. “ing, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting “ love: therefore with loving-kindness have I “ drawn thee n.” That same sovereignty of love, which was at first displayed in the choice of this “ nation not desirable ,” was conspicuous in their continued preservation, although they were still provoking the God of their mercy. How livcly a figure of the permanent manifestation of the same adorable character towards all his fpiritual Israel! It is only because he “ rests in his “ love,” and because this love still triumphantly overlooks our continued demerit, that he does not destroy us.

The lfraelites are taught to ascribe their redemption from Egypt, not merely in general, but in all the several steps of it, to sovereign grace. The frequent repetitions, in the hundred and thirty-fixth Pfalm, are by no means “vain repetitions." This is the principal note in their anthem of praise; “ For his mercy endureth for ever.” For it is not so much the design of God, that his people should commemorate the deliverance itself, as the cause of it. Without this, he hath no glory; men view even his greatest works only in a selfish light, as fubfervient to their interest, not as difplaying his adorable perfections. In this psalm, his mercy is celebrated in those things in which it may appcar there was no mercy; in overthrowing Pharaoh and his host, in destroying Sihon and Og. But as his mercy was displayed towards Il

rael

Jer, xxxi. 2, 3.

o Zeph. ii. 2.

rael in the literal deliverance; it shadowed forth his special mercy towards his redeemed people, in the destruction of all their spiritual enemies, that they may “ serve him without fear.”

But they were not only to celebrate his sovereign mercy in the various steps of one deliverance; they were to ascribe all their deliverances to the same cause. As we have already seen, they needed a perpetual display of the same unmerited love P,

11. Is the faithfulness of God to his promise another ground of security to his people ? Similar was the display of his faithfulness to the typical Israel. They dealt unfaithfully towards him. But without considering their guilt as an obstacle to the manifestation of his grace, he “ remember“ed his holy promise 4.” Thus had they reason to testify, after long experience; “ There hath “ not failed one word of all his good promise “ which he promised by the hand of Moses his “ fervant r."

God would not suffer Balaam to curse Israel, notwithstanding all his facrifices; nor would be himself curse them, notwithstanding all the devices employed by that wicked prophet to subject them to divine indignation, by seducing them to fin. He was forced to exclaim; “ Surely there “ is no inchantment against Jacob, neither is " there any divination against Israel s." Long after this event, the LORD reminds Israel of it, that they might be convinced of the rectitude of his conduct, and of his faithfulness towards them : “O my people, remember now what Balak king “ of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of “ Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal, “ that ye may know the righteousness of the “ LORD!" On this part of their history, Moses makes the following reflection : “ The Lord thy “ God would not hearken to Balaam : but the “ LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing “ unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved “ thee u." And is it not thus that he still deals with his true Israel ? Satan, like his fervant Balaam, tempts the saints to fin, accuses them to God, and exerts himself to the utmost to prevail with God to curse them, by breaking his gracious promise. But their loving father overrules the temptations of this adversary, and even their falls, for their good. By these he teaches them watchfulness, humility and dependence on himself. He increases their stock of Christian experience: and thus, in various respects, " turns the curse into a

after

9 Psal. cv. 42.

Kings viii. 56.

p Numb. xiv. 19.
s Numb. xxiii. 23.

blessing."

111. The stability of the covenant was another ground of the security of Israel. When God describes them as “ pining away in their ini- .

quity in their enemies lands,” he adds ; “ If

they shall confess their iniquity,—then will I “ remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant “ with Abraham will I remember; and I will « remember the land. The land also shall be left “ of them, and shall enjoy her Sabbaths, while “ she lieth defolate without them : and they shall

“ my t Micah vi. Son

u Deut. xxiii. 5

accept of the punishment of their iniquity ; be“ cause, even because they despised my judg

ments, and because their foul abhorred my sta“ tates. And yet for all that, when they be in “ the land of their enemies, I will not cast them

away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy “ them utterly, and to break my covenant with “ them ; for I am the LORD their God v." Thus we perceive, that the severest visitations of the Jews, even that of their captivity in Babylon, were within the compass of the everlasting covenant; not meant for disannulling this, but in subserviency to it. Even when he remembered the land, so as to cause it to enjoy those fabbatical years which had been neglected through the difobedience of his people, he at the same time remembered his covenant with them, overruling their adversities for their good. The covenant he remembered, being that made with Abraham, was, as to its principal substance, the same covenant of grace made in Christ with all the spiritual Israel. Hence the rod, with which he smote them, was the chastening of fons.

That covenant of royalty, which God made with David, was an illustrious type of the covenant of grace. It was indeed one special medium

of

Lev. xxvi. 39.-44.

of the administration of this covenant under the Old Testament; and eminently subfervient to the more spiritual and glorious administration of it under the New. In this covenant of royalty, God graciously engaged to his servant, that he should never want a man to fit on his throne. This covenant he confirmed by his oath : “ Once have I “ sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto “ David. His feed shall endure for ever, and his “ throne as the fun before me w." In reference to Solomon it is said : “I will be his father, and “ he shall be my son.” Even his great apostacy was not to deprive him of this parental love, as God declared to David : “ If he commit iniquity, “ I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with “ the stripes of the children of men; but my

mercy shall not depart away from him, as I “ took it from Saul, whom I put away before « thee."

These two princes, Saul and David, appear as emblems of the first, and of the last Adam. The characters of the legal, and of the evangelical covenant, are illustrated by their history. Saul was acceptable to Israel, as pleasing the carnal eyes, but not approved of God; David was chosen of Him, but despised by the people, who were subjected to him only in consequence of the display of his power, and the reduction of the house of Saul. The kingdom was loft to Saul, and to his posterity, on account of one act of disobedience ; and so completely loft, that there was no poflibi

lity ty Pral, lxxxix. 35, 36. x : Sam. vii. 14, 15.

y 1 Sam. X. 23, 2.4

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