Page images

Ife'Ld R'D said\ Goup $ for to morrow, I vill deliver them into thine band. For the Serzfamites had been exceeding impious and •ebeilious; so as to deserve an exemplary Punishment, even from the Hands of their Brethren. * ■« «

Again j when they consulted God about the Election of a King, he names, first, , Sam.x. the Tribe; secondly, the Family; thirdly, 21->zzthe Person, Saul the Son of Kijh. And, when he could not be "found, they enquired of the Lord further, if the man stouldyet come thither? And the Lord answered, % Behold he hath bid himself, among the stuff: And they ran and fetched him thence. And when'there had been a Famine, three years, z canji in the land, David enquired of the Lo R D; xxi- «• and the Lord answered, It isfor Saul and his bloody house. • -'

Of this Method of consulting God, we hear1 no more, after the Destruction of the Temple; when the Ark of the Covenanr, and the Mercy Seat which was a-top of it were lost. It being upon their Account that the Holyx>f Holies where they stood, was call'di the Oracle. And it is said of Ahito- «.K«W

'. vi. 19.

pbel-, &At the Counsel which be counselled in z Sam.

Y 4 those xvi

theft* days, was asifa man had enquirtik&kt the orach of God. boiBoinw ^Fhc Ways of consulting-God,--4>eiMe the Oracle, were either by the Propb.etis.or the High-Priests, or by Dreams. Qf ail which we have mention, in the following Instance. When Saul, by forsaking God, had caus'd God to forsake him; it is laid i Sam. And when Saul enquired of the Lor ©, the xxvm. 6. L 0 R D anf>wer.edhim not; neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor byprophe^ c-j 2r»

The High-Priest does flat seem to have * been qualified for resolving any Questions of this kind, unless, he was dress'd in the Ephod, to which the Breast-^Plate belongs in which were the Urim and Thummim; as we have spoken at large before. Then^ ibse, when David was greatly distressed^ and had a Mind to enquire of the Lor... i Sam. this Way; He said to Abiathar tbtr Priest, 'Ahimelech'j/c>», I pray thee, bring me hither the Ephod -, and Abiathar brought thither the Ephod to David. And David enquired at the Lord, faying. Shall I pursue often, this troop? Shall I overtake them? AndI'flftcA . answered him, Pursue; for thou shall surely J overtake them, and,without fail, recover all.

Iais faid, that these Answers were communicated by the Stones in the Breastplatepcwhich express’d an Affirmative, by sparkling much, and a Negative, by, nog altering their coinmun Lustre. But it is most probable, the Answer was given by the High-Priest, who was empower'd upon fuch Occasions, by the Urim con tain'd within the Breaft-plate i to which God had annex'd such a Quality se

As to inquiring of God by Prophets, it was a very ancient usage. In the Days of Samuely it is said, Beføretime, in Israel, Sam. when ai man went to enquire of God, thus þeSpake, Come, and let us go to the Seer; i or Prophet: Benhadad, King of Syria, being fick, fent one eriquire of the LORD, King's by Elisha, Saying, Shall I recover of this vüi. 8. di seafe? 19. 0 wibsite

And sometimes, when God was offend. ed with the iniquitous Courses of either, or both the Persons, the Enquirer, ors; him by whom he enquired, he would per- s mit an evil, lying Spirit, to return the Answers to the Deception and ConfusiPA, perhaps, of both....... ..

do mulu i .. ; vit. Bij

[ocr errors]

Of this, we have a notable Inftandė; where Ahab King of Krael, and Jehorhand phat King' of Judah who was come to visit him, fate each on his throne, a cloathed in their robes, at the entring in of thew gate of Samaria; and all the Prophets prephesied before them, saying, Go up to Ramoth Gilead, for the LORD shall deliver it into the band of the king. But, Micaiah unwilling to speak his Mind, becaufe he is knew how ill the Truth would be relifh'd to by Abab, when it did not fuit with hisoa

Inclinations; being at laft press'd to it, 2 Chron. told him, Behold the LORD hath put a

lying spirit in the mouths of these thy Pra-se phets; and the LORD bath Spoken evil againft thée." Which is afterward thus exe plain'd's If thoù return in peace, then bath M not the LORD spoken by me. id boniocas ar

Another Way of God's declaring his a Will, was by Dreams: communicated, in og such an extraordinary Manner, that the di Person dreaming might certainly know vo that God had spoke to him. The LORD SW

exprefly declares that he would sometimes and Numb. thus reveal himself. If there be a Pro-M xii. 6. phet among you, I the LORD will make bris


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

bony, felf known to bim, in a vifon; and will speak unto him, in a dream; my fervant w Mofes iso not fo, &c. ?".. . Jets

Of schis Manner of God's declaring his Will, we have Abundance of Instances, as throughout the whole Bible: In the new , Teftament, we read that, the angel of the Matt. i. LORD appeared to Jofeph in a dream; 20.. several Times. And io is among the 22.**** Signs sand Effects of the Promulgation: of the Gospel, prophetically, faid; It fall Joel ii.&. come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all fleks your fons and.. your daughters halk prophesys your old menu mall, dream dreams; your young men shall see-visions,

Sometimes God, imparted his : Will co Men, directly and immediately); sometimes he appointed his Angels to be instrumental: in it, i Bor, in whatever Manner it was. convey'd to Men's Understandings, when ther by only hearing a Voice, or more over by actually seeing a Vision, all that: we can pretend, orought to desire, to know, is only this; that the Minds of Men were hereby convinc'd of the Truth: and Certaincy of a divine Revelation... ;


« PreviousContinue »