Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

party in the transaction, and is itself bound to fee it fulfilled by all the weight of its fanction. And it is this circumftance in the nature of a covenant, which gives it its folemn and reverential stamp.

In matters of a civil nature, the magistrate is appealed to in all lawful contracts, to fee that they are performed according to promife, or to punish the delinquent; and in the nature of the cafe, he is fo bound to do this, that guilt is incurred on his part, if the duty be not faithfully discharged. And in all matters, between party and party, taken in a religious view, the fearcher of hearts is appealed to, who, as the final and righteous. judge, will not fuffer the guilty to go unpunifhed; fo, alfo, in the matter of the divine will, the Holy Ghoft was the witnels and power engaged to enforce the fulfilment of the ftipulations, by a fanétion every way equal to the weight of the high obligations. Hence, in that first name of God, which imports the Covenanters by oath, the idea of a curfe* is clearly intimated; and this eternal covenant is ever prefented in a manner to give us affurance that it was made, and was accompanied with every poffible circumftance of folemnity.

66

**

"ALEIM: a Noun mafc. plur. The denouncers of a con"ditional curfe. A name uíually given in the Hebrew fcriptures to the ever blefed Trinity, by which they represent "themselves as under the obligation of an oath to perform "certain conditions, and as having denounced a curfe on all, men and devils, who do not conform to them.

[ocr errors]

"What thofe terms or conditions were to which the Aleim "fware, feems evident from Pf. cx. uamely, that the Man

To this it may be objected, that God could not fail in his engagement; and, therefore, in this matter, it was not neceffary that the

*

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*Chrift Jefus, in confequence of his humiliation and juffer ings, (ver. 7, comp. Phil. ii. 6-10,) fhould be exalted to "the right hand of God till all his enemies were made his footfool, (comp. 1 Cor. xv. 25.) that the rod of his ftrength (his "gofpel,) bould be fent out of Sion; and that by this be bould "rule even in the midst of his enemies; that his people (true "Chriftians,) bould offer themselves willingly in the ornaments of holiness; and that those which should be begotten by him "to a refurrection from fin here, and from death hereafter, "fhould be more numerous than the drops of morning dew. "(comp. Ifai. xxvi. 19.) All this I take to be briefly com"prehended or fummed up in that oath of Jehovah to Chrift, "ver. 4. Thou art a Prieft for ever after the order of Melchr"fedec, which, by interpretation, is King of Righteousness, "Heb. vii. 2. As a Prieft, Chrift, through the eternal Spirit, "offered himself without spot to God, Heb. viii. 3.-xi. 14; "as a Priest for ever, he is able to fave them to the uttermoft, (Marg. evermore,) that come unto God by him, feeing he ever "liveth to make interceffion for them; as being after the order of Melchifedec, be is King as well as Prieš, King of Righteoufnefs, and King of Peace. Heb. vii. 2. Hence, then, we "learn, that Jehovah fware to Adoni or Chrift, (See Matth. * xxii. 43.) and that this oath had reference to the redemption << of man by him.-The Pfalm itself does not indeed determine "the time when this oath was pronounced, but other scrip"tures do. For St. Paul fays, that Chrift was made a Priest, i. e. "after the order of Melchifedec by this very oath, Heb. vii. 21. But his inauguration to the Priesthood and Kingdom was prior to the creation of the world, Prov. viii. 23, and feq."Therefore this very oath, recorded in Pf. cx. was prior to "the creation. Accordingly Jehovah is at the beginning of creation called Aleim, Gen. i. 1, which implies, that the "divine perions had sworn when they created. It is evident "alfo from Gen. iii. 4, 5, that both the ferpent and the wo"man knew Jehovah by this name, Aleim, before the fall;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and, to cite but two paffages out of many that might be "produced from the New Teftament to this purpose, St. Peter "is exprefs, Eph. i. 18-20, that Chrift was fore-ordained to "redeem us, before the foundation of the world; and St. Paul "affirms, Eph. i. 4, that God, even the Father of our Lord Je"fus Chrift, bath chofen us in him, before the foundation of the "qworld.

party of an authority fhould be concerned; but why then covenant? Why fwear at all? Why any of this formality? What meaning could there be in the whole bufinefs, unlefs there were a third party engaged thereby, as in the nature of things fuch a tranfaction implies, to enforce the folemn obligation? Were there no magiftrate, no God, no party

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"By virtue of this antemundane oath, the Man Chrift Jefus "was enabled to overcome the Devil and all the enemies of "man, and perfect his redemption, and from this oath it was "that the ever-blessed THREE were pleafed to take that glo"rious and fearful name, (Deut. xxviii. 58.) Jehovah Aleim; glorious, in as much as the tranfaction, to which it refers, difplays, in the most glorious manner, the attributes of God "to men and angels; and fearful, in as much as, by one part "of the cath, eternal and infinite power, Jehovah himself, is engaged to make the enemies of Chrift his foot stool, Pf. cx. 1. "Let those who, in thefe days of Arian, Socinian and Rab"binical blasphemy, have any doubt whether Aleim, when meaning the true God, Jehovah, is plural or not, confult the following paffages, where they will find it joined with ad"jectives, pronouns and verbs plural. Gen. i. 26.—iii. 22.— “xi. 7-xx. 13.-xxxi. 53-xxxv. 7. Deut. iv. 7.—v. 23. "or 26. Jofh. xxiv. 19. I Sam. iv. 8. 2 Sam. vii. 23. Pf. ❝ lviii. 12. Ifa. vi. 8. Jer. x. 10. Dan. iv. 5, 6, 15, or "8, 9, 18. See alfo Prov. ix. 10.—xxx. 3. Pfal. cxlix. 2. "Ecclef. v. 7.-xii. 1. Job v. 1. Ifa. vi. 3.-liv. 5. "xi. 12. or xii. 1. Mal. i. 6. Dan. vii. 18, 22, 25.

[ocr errors]

Hof.

"O that the children of Abraham, according to the flesh, "would attentively confider and compare the texts above cit"ed from their own fcriptures! Could they then help owning "a plurality of Aleim in Jehovah? When they read, for in"stance, Gen. i. 26, that the Aleim faid, Let us, or we will, "make man in our image, according to our likeness-and ver. 27-So the Aleim created man, &c. and compared thefe "words with Ecclef. xii. 1. And remember thy Creators, could they doubt whether Aleim, as applied by Mofes, in the hif"tory of the creation, denoted a plurality of agents? And yet "furely, as faith the prophet Ifaiah. chap. xliv. 24, Jehovah "Atretched forth the heavens alone, and spread abroad the earth by himlelf, without the aid or concurrence of any creature, "how exalted foever. Comp. chap. xlii. 5.-xlv. 12." Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon.

"

[ocr errors]

ftanding by to enforce the engagement, it is plain, that the tranfaction of covenanting and fwearing would be without folemnity and without meaning. And if it be further objected, that it is given in the divine record, that God fware by himself, it may be anfwered, that by this, we are not to understand that he fware by his own person, but that the authority appealed to, was a party in the Godhead; and fo was himself, for this is the evident truth; and the contrary would imply an abfurdity.

But it is not proper to fay, in every point of view, that there could be no failure in this cafe; for, on the part of Chrift, the engagement was not merely perfonal, but as a furety for a fallible creature; and, on the part of the father, that was engaged which, of all things, was the most improbable to take place, viz. That death fhould yield life; and that a people, whose name was The Rebellious, fhould be willing; and the truth of this matter was proved in the fact; for a failure did fo take place that, by the party of the furetyfhip, the forfeiture was incurred, and the dreadful stroke was inflicted by the fword of the Lord, which was that power, or third party, appealed to in this most folemn contract.

Again, a queftion may arise respecting the Holy Ghoft being confidered as the great intereft refpected in this covenant, from the circumftance that the fcriptures often allude to the church, or the redeemed people of Chrift, as being the intereft contemplated in M

this divine tranfaction? The answer to this queftion, is found in the confideration that the church is the vehicle or temple of the Hoby Ghost; and therefore is, properly and neceffarily, confidered in the fame view; hence this great intereft of the glory of God is fo often exhibited in the name of The Bride, The Lamb's Wife-and the Lord calls Ifrael his Glory. And when we reflect, that the church, first, by the fpirit of obedience; and fecondly, by the spirit of glory, fhall be filled with all the fullness of God; completely filled both with the fpirit of the Father and of the Son, we perceive that this elect body cannot be separated from a view of this eternally defired intereft; and that, as it refpects the manifeftation, it will be in the church, that the Holy Ghoft, which is the object and end of all, will be fully embraced, both by the Father and the Son,

The intereft in a covenant may, or may not, be a perfon; but, in the cafe before us, it being of the nature flated, as that of marrying and giving in marriage, in which the intereft is the Bride, it is neceffary fo to confider it. Alfo, in the view we have taken of covenant tranfactions, as in their nature requiring a third party as the witness and authority, the Holy Ghoft muft of neceffity be confidered a perfon; and indeed, for the fame reafon that the firft and fecond parties are called perfons, the third party must be confidered also as being a perfon; for, in this relation, all that is meant by the term, is one who is concerned, and is acting a part, im

« PreviousContinue »