« PrécédentContinuer »
not the prophet easily rejoin, “ The authority of God, interposed 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 profeffors of the true religion are by no means answerable for the opposers of it. Moreover, few who have imbibed false principles, and followed corrupt practices, ever durft avow them with the folemnity of an oath. Sin and error delight to walk in the Made.
COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND JUDAH,
IN THE DAYS OF JEHOIADA.
2 KINGS xi. 1 j. 2 CHRON. xxiii 16.
markable revolution of the State, it may not be improper to attend,-1. 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.-Hil. Consider the Substance of the Covenant, -IV. The Occasions of it.-And then conclude with some Reflections on the whole.
FIRST, I must attend unto the CHARACTER and CIRCUMSTANCES of the Covenanters. The sketch which is drawn of them by the inspired historian is shorter than usual: Our survey must be contracted in proportion. They
were Jehoiada, --all the people, —and the King
1. JEHOIAD.A whose character is afterwards reviewed, as the Minister in this transaction : " And Jehoiada made a covenant between HIM, and between all the people*,” &c. Some refer the relative him, as referring to the remote antecedent Jehovah, or Lord, mentioned in verse fourteenth ; and they include the intermediate verses in a parenthesis tAnd the fense, according to this connection is, and Jelioiada made a covenant between the Lord and all the people. But this connection seems, to me at least, far Itrained ; especially as a much more natural account of things may be. had, by referring the relative him to Jehoiada, as its immediate antecedent. Jehoiada fustained a two-fold character ; that of an eminent covenanter, and that of an High-priest in the congregation. Like Moses, he was God's representative ; and also a typical mediator, through whom the people drew near to God I.
2. ALL THE PEOPLE were covenan'ters at this time. The universal designation used in
2 Chron. xxiii. 16. + JUNIUs and Tremellius in their annotations fub. joined to their translation. In the parallel place, in Kings, the sense must be according to their view of it, indeed ; but then Lord is inserted, and not referred to. See DIODATI, HENRY on the text, especially PISCATOR
the book of the Chronicles, is to be understood of the greater part of the two tribes, as die stinguiihed from the ten, and also from the nations round about them. It is also to be understood of ALL who were fit to enter into the congregation of the Lord.—Various orders of people are enumerated in the context, especially such as held any military rank among them: They are designed RULERS OVER II UNDREDS, and CAPTAINS, and the GUARD. They are also described as persons entering in on the Sabbath.
3. The King is also reckoned to the number of covenanters on this occasion. He bound himself to be one of the Lord's people, in opposition to wicked Athaliah, and her accomplices, who were eminently Baal's people. In his public character, he became at once the pattern and protector of the true religion, as well as an oppofer of falle worilip. But it inight be enquired, How could Joalh be an intelligent covenanter when only seven
of age? It might be ansivered, Youth come fooner to the exercise of reason, as well as majority, in those warmer oriental climates, than in our colil ones. Irrefragable evidence might be produced from Jewish history and antiquities, to prove that civil contracts might be made by perfons in that nation, at the age of twelve, by females at least ; whereas our laws fix their majority at eighteen. Now, aus Chrilii 2
stians have been deemed capable of being admitted to partake of the Lord's Supper seven years before they arrive at the years of majority, and also to join in public covenanting; grant but the Jews the famé privilege, and you grant unto the King a right to covenant for himself, even at the age of seven. Again, Joalh is not the only instance of early piety among the Jewish monarchis. Josiah gave equal, if not superior proofs of it, at much the same time of life. These covenanters, I shall only add, were the successors of covenanting ancestors, both prince and people ; therefore, bound to act this part both by the law of God and antecedent focderal obligations.
SECONDLY, I shall now attend unto the CHRACTER of the Minister, who had a principal band in the revolution of the State ; and who dispensed this covenant to the people. It has been said, “ That Jehoiada, instead of walking in the paths of peace and loyalty, fubverted the established government ; and, in like his office, not only moved sedition; but alfo profaned the temple of the Lord, by introducing into it statesmen and military officers, who had formed a combination to assassinate the queen, and assisted in the coronation of a child in her stead. Which are more than prefumptions, that he grasped at the regency for himself, and sought the aggrandizement of his own family at the expense of the common