« PreviousContinue »
Kingdom of Priests, or a Royal Priesthood, or of being Kings and Priests, as the Author of the Book of the Revelations expresses the same thing by an Hendiadis, being afcribed to the whole Peculium in general, will imply that every individual Member of the Peculium was at least equal in Holiness to the holiest of the Gentile Priests, on that very account of his being a Member of the true Peculium. So just a Title these Patriarchal Families (with whom these Covenants in the name of the supreme Being were made) had to their being stiled a HOLY SEED.
And indeed, this seems to have been the S. VIII. principal prospect of the Patriarchs in the Cove. Abram's imnants made with the supreme Being, that their mediate delign
in his CoveFamilies might be multiplied into Nations de mano mi scended from them; and that those Nations supreme Bemight be intitled to a more potent Patron than ing, was, to any of their Neighbour Nations who rivalled have a flourishe them. And therefore it is also very agreeable,
"ing Seed. that God himself should also have this prospect in dealing with them, to answer their Expelta. tions from him. When God promises Abraham, that He would be his great Reward, his Answer is, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, Seeing I go childless? Gen. xv. 1, 2. Plainly implying," that, till he had a Son, who might, by the Di. vine Blefing, be multiplied into a Nation, he had as yet no Specimen of the Favour expeded by him. His first Faith therefore so much celebrated in the New Testament also, was, that he should have a Seed, notwithstanding the unlikelihood of it, as well in regard of his own Age as that of his Confort, Rom. iv. 19. The next degree of his Faith was, to believe such a numerousness of his Seed, in so great an unlikelihood of having any, as should not only equal,
but exceed any of his neighbour Rival Nations,
effe&s of Conquest and injurious Violence, and · which comprehended great numbers of such
Patriarchal Seeds and Nations. This Form of Bleifing in the Seed of Abrabam, would not be unlike the Curse spoken of by the Prophet feremiah : The Lord make thee like Zedekiah, and like Abab, whom the King of Babylon roasted in the fire, Jer. xxix. 22. But the greatest Trie al of all was, when God demanded Isaac from this great Patriarch, who was the only hope of the numerous Posterity promised to him, to whom by name that Promise was confined, as the Apostle observes, of whom it was said, That in Ifaac Shall thy Seed be called : Accounting, that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, Heb. xi. 18, 19. Thus, it appears, that all the Transactions with Abraham related in the Old Testament, and celebrated in the New, relate to this very design, That he should have an Ijue which should multiply into a very great and numerous Nation. I need not now enlarge to shęw, that the Covenant with the other Patriarchs was of the fame nature. All those Covenants are reckoned for one Covenant, which is called the Old one in the Reasonings of the New Testament, as containing indeed nothing new in them; and therefore being only so many Repetitions and Confirmations of the first Covenant for fettling a Peculium made with Abraham, the first Head of that Peculium, that they might receive the Blefing of Abraham, Gen. xxviii. 4. Therefore the token of this Com venant was in the fore-skin of his Flesh, to figpifie the relation it had to his Descendents. Therefore he makes his Servant swear, laying his Hands on his Thigh, as engaging him hyr all the good will he bore to his Posterity so much hoped for. Therefore the new Pairon
that the king of Abrajated on Go for himself and
gained by this Covenant, is called the God of Abraham, and the People to whom this Patronage was acquired, are called the People of the God of Abraham, Pfal. xlvii. 9. To let us see that all that was afterwards transacted, with the later Patriarchs, was only pursuant to this fame Covenant first made, with the Person of Abraham. Whence it will follow, that the Reasoning will be the same in all these Repeti
tions of the fame Covenant. S. IX. Now the design of Abraham in this Covenant,
was to intitle his Family, and the Nation which also to oblige his Postericy to was
was to descend from it, to the Protection of fo performance on powerful a Patron; and to undertake for them their part by that they should perform the Duties expected. Authority.
on their part, as Conditions of that Patronage, that they might qualifie themselves to receive the Blesing of Abraham, Gen. xxviii. 4. That is, the Blessing ftipulated on God's part in the Covenant made with Abraham, for bimself and his $eed. Their Title to this Blefing depended on their being his Seed. And as such he was concerned to stipulate for them, according to the Power with which God had before invested Ancestors for obliging their Posterity to ratifie their Ats for the common interest of their Families for future Generations. This God expected from him. I know, Says be, that be will command his Children and his Houshold after him, and they mall keep the way of the Lord to do Fustice and Judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which be bath Spoken of him, Gen. xviii. 19. He plainly supposes this performance of Conditions on their part, to be the ground on which Pofterity could lay any claim to the Promises made and ftipulated to their Ancestor. And he lupi poses an Authority in Abraham to lay his Pa
iarchal Commands on his Posterity for all fuc: zeding Generations. This was a Provision iod had made for the good of Societies in geieral long before his Covenant, relating to the Peculium. To oblige particular Members to [ sense of their Obligations to their respective Societies, He had given Governours such a Right in them as they had in their other Proberties. The Faults therefore of Governours made their Subje&s liable to capital Punishments, however otherwise innocent of the Faults, for which not so much they, as their Governours, were punished in them. As none does think it hard for Proprietors to be punished by destroying their Cattel. So the Inhabitants of Fabesh Gilead were punished univer- Judg. xxi. 11. sally, the married Women not excepted, because their Superiours did not bring them to the War against the Men of Gibeab. This was done by the juft Ifraelites in cool thoughts, when the War was over, without any the least remorse for it, as a thing unfit to have been done by them. So far from that, that God himself has frequently practised it, who yet appeals to the judgment of Men for vindicating the Equity of Exek, his Ways, even by the Rules which themselves 25,29. xxxiii. thought equal in dealing with each other. For 17, 20.
Achan's Sacrilege first, the whole Body of the Gen. xviii. 25. | Ifraelites fuffered before they knew it :. And Į after it was known by his own confession, his
whole Family were punished capitally for it, by God's express order. So for Saul's breaking Faithi with the Gibeonites, seven of his Family after his death, were given to the Gibeonites, the Party concerned, to suffer capitally, though tQQ young to be concerned in the Guilt. So Seventy thousand of the Israelites were destroyed by God's Angel fór David's Elation,