Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

belong to them no longer than they walked in his
commandments, and that when they did cast off
the Lord, the Lord would cast off them. This
being so, I farther fay, that they could not but
know, that God did bind himself by this pro;
mise to them, only so far, and so long as they

continued to walk in the steps of Pbinebas, their - father, to whom this promise was made; and Ć it is plain that Eli himself understood it so to

be, as appears, by his reasoning with his fons, verse
25. If one man sin against anotber, the judge mall
judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who
fall intreat for bim? Again, I say, that as God
gave them this promise, by the mouth of Mofes,

To he also fully acquainted them by the mouth of ... the same Mofes, in what sense they were to under.

stand this, and all other promises which God gave
to the children of Israel, as in Deut. vii. 9, 10, 12.
Know therefore, that the Lord thy God, be is God,
the faithful God, which keepetb covenant and mercy
with them that love bim, and keep his commandments -
to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that
hate bin to their face, to destroy them. He will not
be Nack 10 him that bateth him ; be will repay him to :
bis face. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye
bearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that .
the Lord thy God small keep unto thee the covenant and
the mercy which be fware unto thy fathers. Thus we
fee, that as God, by the mouth of Mofes, acquain- ...
ed Phinebas with his will, that he gave unto him bis ·
çovenant of peace. and to bis feed after him, even an .
everlasting covenant, Num. XXV, 12, 13. So he .
likewise acquainted him, by the fame Mofes,
that this covenant was to be made good unto
them, if they did love him, and keep his com--
mandments, and that otherways God stood no :
way engaged to them by his promise. This be-
inz the cale, I say, that as Phinebas's issue had no

reason

reason, nor right, to claim an interest in this promise, if they did not continue in their duty; so neither did God act contrary to the rules of truth and justice, if, fór their disobedience, he did take from them what he had promised to them,

As to the case of Benbadad. King of Syria, 2 Kings viii 10. And Elisha faidunto him (Hazael) Go, and tell him (Benhadad( thou mayest certainly recover bowbeit the Lord hath lhewed me. that he ball surely die.' To this I answer : when the Prophet bid · Hazael tell his master, that he might live, this was true, because this respects his distemper; his illness was such as would not prove mortal to him, and in that respect he might certainly recover: but forasmuch as God foresaw that Hazael would murder Benbadad, therefore the Prophet said, the Lord hath shewed me, that he shall surely die. :. As to the case, in Pfalm lxxxix. where, in one · part of the Psalm, are largely set forth the promi

fes, of God to David, and his posterity; and in another part is set forth the non-performance of those promises, which the objection supposes to be an impeachment of the truth and justice of God. To this I answer, That as in one part of the Pfalm are set forth the promises of God to David, and his issue; so the facred history hath largely set forth the fulfilling of these promises to David and his seed, and so hath sufficiently vindicated the truth and justice of God in this respect; and as to what is contained in the other part of the Psalm referr'd to, this doth not, in the least, prove God to be worse than his promises, for that the facred history hath fully clear'd; and therefore the most that this can be supposed to prove, is the Pfalmist's distrust and fear, that God would not fulfil his promises to them, seeing, to outward appearance, all things at that time ran the contra. ry way. An instance like this we have in Psalm

cxvi. 11. where David faith, I said in my haste, all men are liars; or as he expresses himself in 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. I fall one day perish by the hand of Saul Samuel had said, that David should be King of Irrael, and had anointed him for that dignity, by the appointment of the Lord; but when David was forc'd to fly from Saul, and was in great jeopardy of his life, he then began to conclude, that this promise would not be made good to him, becaufe he expected to fall as a sacrifice to Saul's malice; and this made him to say in his haste, that all mex were liars, that is, that Semuel, as well as others, had deceived him, Now tho' David said in his haste that Samuel had lied to him, in the name of the Lord, yet this was no proof that God had fail'd of his promise made to David by Samuel, for God did, in his good time, bring him to the kingdom; but all that this proves is, that David's faith and hope faild in the day of his distress. So in the case before us, here is a large accountof God's promises to David, and his feed; and here is likewise an account of the Psalmist complaining of the non-performance of these promises to them. Now tho’the Psalmist did thus complain, this is no proof that God was false and unjust to them, for God did actually fulfil these promises to them; and all that this proves is, that the Psalmist, in their adversity, when the course of God's providence was against them, did distrust, and fear that God would fail of making good his promises to them: I say, this is the most that can be pretended to be proved from this place. But I think the true state of the case is this; the Psalmist recounts the promises of God and the present circumstance of the affairs of Da. vid's family, and from thence he draws an argument to plead with God for their protection and deliverance ; for thus he expresies himself, verse 46. How long, Lord, wilt thou hide thy face for ever? and, verfe 49. Lord where are thy former loving-kindnesses, which thou fwareft unto David in tby truth? An instance like this we have in Jacob, who when he was distress'd with fear that his brother Efau would deftroy both him and his substance, then made use of God's promise, as an argu. ment to plead with God for his protection, Gen. xxxii. 9 -12.

As to the case of King Hezekiah, Isaiah xxxviii. 1. In those days was Hezekiah fick unto deatb; and Isaiah the prophet, the Jon of Amos came unto him, and said unto him, Thus, faith the Lord, set thy boufe in order, for thou malt die and not live. Verse 4. 5. Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying, Go and say to Hezekiah, thus say the Lord, the God of David, thy Father, I have beard thy prayer, I have feen thy tears; behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years; I antwer, what the Prophet said unto the King, verfe 1. was true, that he mould die, and not live, but then we are to remember that the Prophet did not pronounce this as a judiciary fentence from the Lord, but only as a Friendly warning of the King's danger. · The history informs us that Hezekiab was fick unto death, that is, he was sick of such a disease, as, according to the natural and ordinary course of things, would prove mortal, and so would end in the King's death; this being the case, the Lord sent the Prophet on this friendly errand, to acquaint the King with the danger that he was in, from that distemper he was under; and to let him know, that it would, according to the natural course of things, end in his death; and that he ought to fet his house in order, and prepare for his change ; which is as much as if the Prophet had faid, I am come to acquaint thee with the danger of thy present illness; therefore settle the affairs of thine house, for the distemper thou art

labour

labouring under is such, as, according to the natural and ordinary course of things, will prove mortal to thee, and end in thy death , for the words, thou shalt die, and not live; do signify no more than, thou wilt die and not live; and this halt or wilt, did not arise from a judiciary fentence which the Lord had given out against him, but from the nature and malignity of his distem. per, as I observ'd before, and thus Hezekiab understood it; and therefore, knowing that God was the God of nature, and that it was in his power to bring back from the grave, and being sensible that he should die in the midst of his age, and with out any issue to sit upon his throne, he turn'd his face, unto the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept fore ; upon 'which the Prophet was fent

a second time, to acquaint Hezekiab, that the a Lord had heard his prayer, and seen his tears, and

nd her hair grond foon is us that he would exercise his miraculous power and grace in rebuking his distemper, and would add

unto his days fifteen years. ; As to the case of Jeremiob, chap. xv. 18. Wilt tbou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? I answer, the Lord, when he called 4remiab, and sent him to proclaim his word to the people of Judea, bid him, chap. i. 8. not to be afraid of their faces; and then he promised him, for his comfort and encouragement, saying, I am with thee, to deliver thee, saith the Lord. This promife was made good to Jeremiah; for the Lord was with him always, either to preserve him from, or to deliver him out of all distresses; but yet God was pleas'd sometimes to try the faith and patience of Feremiab, by leaving him, for a long time, in the hand, and under the burden of his perfecutors; and this was the case at this time, as appears from Jer, xv, 15. O Lord, thou knoweft, remember me,

. and

« AnteriorContinuar »