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CHAP II.

Introduction.The Proclamation ; or, the Voice of

the Lord.

Hear, Oye ends of the earth, the mighty God, the Lord hath spoken: gather my saints unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.c* Behold, I establish my covenant between me and you.d By my holiness have I sworn, that I will be your covenant-friend. I lift up my hand to heaven, I swear I live for ever: and because I live, you shall live also.e I will be yours,f yours to all intents and purposes; your refuge and your rest ;$ your patron and your portion ;l your heritage and your hope; your God and your guide. While I have, you shall never want; and what I am to myself, I will be to you:) and you shall be my people;k a chosen generation, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a peculiar treasure, unto me above all people. I call heaven and earth to witness this

c Psalm 1. 1, 5. d Gen. xvii. 7. e John xiv. 19. f Jer. xxxi. 38, 40. g Jer. 1. 6. Psalm xc. 1. xlvi. 1. Ixxiii. 26. Isaiah xxv. 4, 5. i Psalm xlviii. 14. j Psalm xxxiv.9, 10. k Exod. xix. 5, 6. 11 Pet. ii. 9.

h Psalm

*“My gracious ones,” those who, professing to have received grace and mercy, are bound to display it to all around them.--"Those that have made," &c. that is, stricken, or cut a covenant with me by sacrifice; for it was by the death of the sacrifice the covenant was confirmed.

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day, that I take you for mine for ever: My name shall be upon you, and you shall be pillars in the temple of your God, and shall go no more out.

My livery shall you wear, and the stamp of my own face shall you carry ;” and I will make you my witnesses and the epistles of Christ unto theworld;' and you shall be chosen vessels to bear my name before the sons of men.P And that you may see that I am in earnest with you, lo, I make with you an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure ;9 and do hereby solemnly deliver it to you as my act and deed, sealed with sacred blood. Come, ye blessed ; receive the instrument of your salvation; here are the convey. ances of the kingdom. Fear not; the donation is free and full.* See it is written in blood, founded on the all-sufficient merits of your surety, in whom I am well pleased ;' whose death makes this testament unchangeable for ever;" so that your names can never be put out, nor your inheritance alienated, nor your legacies diminished ; nothing may be altered, nothing added, nothing subtracted ; no, not for ever."

m Rev. ii. 12.

n Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. Eph. iv. 24. o Isa. xliv. 8. 2 Cor. iii. 3. p Acts ix. 15. 92 Sam. xxiii. 5. r 1 Cor. xi. 25. s Heb. ix. 18. t Matt. iii. 17. u Heb ix. 12, 14, 10, 26. v Gal. iii. 15, 16, 17.

* The humble soul is like the violet, which grows low hangs the head downwards, and hides itself with its own loaves, and were it not that the fragrance of his many virtues discovered him to the world, he would choose to live and die in his self-conceited secrecy.

The blessings of the covenant are, either its glorious

liberties and immunities, or its royal privileges and prerogatives.

Happy art thou, O Israel! Who is like unto thee, O people !w Only believe, and know your own blessedness. Attend, O my children, unto the blessing of your father; and hear and know the glorious immunities, and the royal prerogatives that I here confirm upon you.

SECTION 1.

The immunities and liberties of the covenant, con

sisting in I. Our general discharge from all our debts.

Here I seal you your pardons. Though your sins be as the sands, and as mighty as the mountains, I will drown them in the depth of my bottomless mercies ;t I will be merciful unto your unrighteousness; I will abundantly pardon. Where your sins have abounded, my grace shall superabound; though they bc as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though red like crim: son, they shall be as wool.a Behold I declare myself satisfied, and pronounce you absolved;b the price is paid, your debts are cleared, your bonds are cancelled.c

w Deut. xxxiii. 29. Mic. vii. 19. y Heb. viii. 12. Isa. ly, 7. a Isa. i. 18. b Job xxxiii. 24. c Col. ii. 13. 14

Whatever the law, or conscience, or the aecuser hath to charge upon you, here I exonerate you; I discharge you. I, even I, am he that blotteth out your transgressions, for my name's sake. Who shall lay any thing to your charge when I acquit you? Who shall impeach or implead you, when I proclaim you guiltless ?e Sons, daughters, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you; I will sprinkle your consciences, and put the voice of peace into your mouths ;they shall be your registers, in which I will record your pardon; and the voice of guile, and wrath, and terror, shall cease.lu

II. Our release, 1. From the house of bondage.

Here I sign your release from the house of bondage. Come forth, ye captives; come forth, ye prisoners of hope, for I have found a ransom.j 1 proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.« Behold I have broken your bonds, shaken the foundations of your prisons, and opened the iron gates. By the blood of the covenant have I sent forth the prisoners out of the pit wherein there is no water.m Arise, O redeemed of the Lord, put off

d Isa.xlv. 25. e Rom. viii. 33, 34. f1 John ii, 12. Matt. ix. 2. g Ezek. xxxvi. 25 Heb. iv. 14. Isa. Ivii. 19. h Heb.

Isa. xxvii. 4,5. i Rom. vi. 17, 18. 1 Cor. vii. 21. j Job xxxiii. 18, 24. k Isa. Ixi. 1. xlvii. 7. | Acts xii. 6, 10.

m Zech.ix. 11,

x. 22.

the raiment of your captivities ;" ariso, and come away.

2. From the dark and noisome prison of sin. The dark and noisome prison of sin shall no longer detain you ;o I will loose your fetters, and knock off your bolts ; sin shall not have dominion over you.P

I will heal your backslidings ; I will subdue your iniquities;q I will sanctify you wholly," and put my fear in your hearts that you shall not depart from me. Though your corruptions be strong and many, yet the aids of my Spirit, the cleansing virtue of my blood, and the physic of my correction, shall so work together with your prayers and endeavors, as that they shall not finally prevail against you, but shall surely fall. before you.

3. From the gaol of the grave.

From the strong and loathsome gaol of the grave do I deliver you. O death, I will be thy plague; Ograve, I will be thy destruction;" my beloved shall not even see corruption. I will change your rottenness into glory; and make your dust arise and praise me.w

What is sown n Deut. xxi. 13. o John viii. 34, 35, 36. p Rom. vi. 14.

Mic. , . v. 23. xxxii. 40. t Ezek. xxxvi. 37. Eph. v. 29. Jsa. xxvii. 9. xii. 14. v Psalın xvi. 10. w Dan. xii. 2, 3. lsa. xxvi. 19.

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