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lity of restoration? The reduction of the power of this family, however, was gradua', and the result of many struggles. 66 There was long war “ between the house of Saul, and the house of David : but David waxed stronger and

stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker « and weaker 2." When David was established in the kingdom, none of the family of Saul could partake of any favour, but as holding of him, and as debtors to his bounty.

Is it not thus as to the two covenants? We naturally prefer salvation by works. The idea pleases the pride of our hearts. But we are unwilling to say ;“ Thinc are we, 0 David !” We will never sincerely utter this language, till the power of the law as a covenant be broken, till we be loosed from its yokc, and learn, by the light of the Spirit, that Jesus is He of whom the Father hath said ; “ By the hand of my servant David I “ will save my people Israel,-out of the hand of “ all their enemies b."'--" By one offence many " were made finners." The way of salvation by the covenant of works is for ever barred. God eternally rejected the first Adam as a head of life to his posterity. The second Adam indeed could not fail. But his feed are chargeable with manifold iniquities. His mercy, however, departs not from them, as it was taken from the first Adam, according to the tenor of the covenant of works. The calamities of all who continue the feed of the first Adam, like those of the posterity of Saul, VOL. II. Dd

are

7 I Sam, xv. 23.

a 2 Sam. jii. 1.

b Ver. 38.

are penal. But behold the character of the new covenant in the amictions of the family of David : “I will visit their transgreflion with the rod, and “their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my “ loving-kindness will I not utterly take from “ him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My co

venant will I not break, nor alter the thing that “ is gone out of my lins." What could be the design of this, but io fhew the stability of the covenant of grace, and to declare in the livelieit manner, by pattern, that he would not utterly forfake any who belong to it, or suffer them to fall totally or finally away from him ? Hence the bleslings of this covenant, as purchased by the death, and confirmed by the resurrection of Christ, are all designed “the fure mercies of David d.”

None of the posterity of the first Adam can have life, as holding of him. They can receive it only by a new tenure, as becoming the seed of the second Adam ; as being absolute debtors to his mercy; like Mephibosheth, eating bread al

ways at his table e." But in the soul of the Christian there are still two opposite interests. “ What will ye see in the Shulamite? as it were “ the company of two armies ?” The advancement of grace is often very slow, sometimes imperceptible ; but its final victory is certain. The elder shall serve the younger. There are many hard combats : but the house of David shall wax stronger and stronger, while that of Saul becomes weaker and weaker.

stronger c Píal. Ixxxix. 32.-34.

d Ifa. lv. 3. ; Acts will. 34.
í Sung vi. 13.

e 2 Sam, ix, 19.

The Spirit of inspiration frequently marks a very important distinction between the conduct of God towards the house of Israel, consisting of the ten tribes which revolted from the family of David, and that towards the house of Judah. In the course of two hundred and fifty-four years, the throne of the ten tribes had passed through nine different families. Various kinds of carnal policy were employed by Jeroboam the son of Nebat ; as the change of religion, of the place of sacrifice, and of the priesthood. These succeeded so far as to keep the ten tribes from returning to the dominion of the house of David ; but they could not secure the fucceffion in any one family. Nor could all the cruelties exercised by Jehu " and others, towards the feed-royal, give any greater security. During this period, the family of David, without any interruption, possessed the kingdom of Judah. Not till an hundred and thirtyfour years after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, were the Jews carried captive to 'Babylon. Even in Babylon, the royal authority was not entirely taken away from the house of David. After seventy years, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with a few adherents from the remains of the ten tribes, were allowed to return to Palestine, and to enjoy a government of their own. Although this government differed in its form from that which preceded the captivity, the supreme authority still continued in the family of David. Dd 2

Nor

Nor was it entirely withdrawn from this family, till about the time of our Saviour's appearance ; when it was necessary that the prophecy of Jacob should be fulfilled. The sceptre did not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his fcet, till Shiloh camc.

Did we view things with the carnal eye, it would appear surprising, and indeed unaccountable, that the throne of Judah should be more stable than that of Ephraim. The former had far less extent of territory than the latter. It could bear no comparison as to the number of subjects. Of consequence, its temporal resources were greatly inferior. Shall we conclude, therefore, that the kingdom of Judah was preserved because of the superior worth of the princes, or piety of the people? Such a conclusion would be entirely contrary to the history given in the sacred records. If we compare the character of Judah with that of the ten tribes, when the latter were carried captive, we will discern no ground of preference. Yet the Israelites were deprived of their national character ; while the Jews were preserved. The former were carried into a captivity froin which they have never yet returned ; but the captivity of the latter continued only for seventy years. Both are said to be .cast out of his fight. But the rejection of the ten tribes was penal, that of the Jews merely corrective. The one was total, the other only temporary.

Of the Israelites it is said ; “ They left “ all the commandments of the LORD their God,

" and

" and made them molten images, even two calves, “and made a grove, and worshipped all the host “ of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused “ their fons and their daughters to pass through “ the fire, and used divination and inchantment, “ and fold themfelves to do evil in the fight of “the Lord, to provoke him to anger. There“ fore the LORD was very angry with Ifrael, and “ removed them out of his fight, there was none as left but the tribe of Judah only. "And Judah

kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the Lord rejected all the seedl

of Israel, and amicted them, and delivered them “ into the hand of spoilers, until he had caft them “out of his fight 2." It was in the reign of HoThea that the Ifraelites were carried captive. Contemporary with him was Ahaz king of Judah. Now, observe his character. “ He walked in the

ways of the kings of Israel, and made also “ molten images for Baalim. Moreover, he burnt " incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and “ burnt his children in the fire, after the abomi“ nations of the heathen whom the LORD had " cast out before the children of Israel. He sa“ crificed also, and burnt incense on the high

places, and on the hills, and under every green “ tree." But although the Lord chastised the Jews, by suffering many of them to be taken captive by the Ifraelites, he immediately delivered them from this captivity ; while he gave up their

3

spoilers & 2 Kings xvii. 16.--23.

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