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LASTLY, I shall conclude this Differtation with a few. REFLECTIONs on the whole.
1. This subject affords a noble directory for explicit and folemn Covenanting. Jacob turned God's promises into holy refolutions, and solemn professions; and he engaged to improve them to all holy obedience. This transaction affords an idea of vowing and covenanting, vastly different from some modern theories of it: It teacheth us to consider this duty as referring unto divine promises, and articles of faith, as well as unto precepts;-as including engagements unto such duties as are necessary and moral, as well as those which were arbitrary and ritual : Whereas, the modern theory seems to confine it to those things which are purely indifferent, or ceremonial. This vow of Jacob's teacheth us, that our engagements should include neither less nor more than God hath promised and enjoined. Nor was a famous Christian Council otherways minded : They enacted, That “ no one thing is rightly vowed to God, unless we have received it from his hand; seeing all things which are offered to him are his own free gift *.”
2. SOLEMN vows should be carefully remenbered that they may be faithfully performed, and
* The Council of Orange, quoted by Calvin, Institut. Lib. IV. cap. xiii. $ 3.
that it was Christ's voice who shook the earth from Sinai: " See that ye refuse not him that speaketh: For if they escaped not who refused him who fpake on earth; much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that fpeaketh from heaven: whose voice shook the earth.”
2: The place in which this glorious person covenanted with Ifracl was SINAI; or HOREB, in Arabia Petrea. Some conceive this mountain had two tops; the one lower, called Horeb; the other higher, called Sinai. . Again, others think it more probable, that Horeb was the name of the wilderness, and Sinai of a mountain which stands in it: They reckon, Sinai is expressly said to be the name of the mountain; as when Mofes declares, that“ mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke :" And,“ the Lord came down on mount Sinai.” And, as for those places where Horeb seems to be styl ed a niountain, as well as Sinai, the words will bear to be rendered THE MOUNT OF GOD IN HOREB *: That is, In the wilderness of Horeb. According to this view, Israel abode in the wilderness of Horeb, at the foot of mount Si
band of the gospel church, claims from his people in ward affection and love, and accepts them only who worship him in Spirit and in Truth. In the Mofaic Co. venant it was otherways!” But this account can never 4:412mport with Deut. v.
# Dr Owen's Exercit, Vol. 1. p. 270.
nai, while the Law was announced to them
Whatever be in these
3. The manner of his appearance was fuited to his work, as the Jewislı lawgiver. It was expressive of his divine majesty as the Son of God. He was attended with the most fplendid retinue: The armies of heaven followed him, Hence, this legislation is styled THE WORD SPOKEN BY ANGELS. Angels did not affume the authority of lawgivers, indeed; but were glad to be made the instruments by which the Son of God thewed forth his glory; and waited, with humble cheerfulness, on his fervice. Both the number and office of the heavenly legions were a signal illustration of his majesty: “ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels : the Lori is among them as in Sinai.” As they amourced the honour of the lawgiver, so they also proclaimed the excellence of the law : Said
suitably improved. Jacob not only vowed, but also set up a memorial of his vow : And God afterwards renewed his Bethel visits, and Bethel promises, on the one hand; while Jacob remembered, and fulfilled his engagements on the other. The vows of many, alas! are forgotten almost as soon as they are made : But, where the Spirit brings them to remembrance, their salutary fruits will be found many days hence.
S this is one of the most stupendious and august scenes that was ever open
ed on the stage of this world, we have much need to exercise an humble dependence on the Father of Lights, when we contemplate it. It is not our purpose to examine the various hypothesises which have been invented on this subject; nor exhibit the foundations on which they have been establifhed, farther than the confideration of these things may be requisite for the declaration and confirmation of the Truth.
That we may avoid that which has been so fatal to others, we shall.-I. Shew who are the