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suffered them to will send the Assyrians against Rom. vii. 21. be blinded by the deceitful nation, and will
Satan. But that command them to carry away the solution is too fond, confident, spoils, and violently take the forasmuch
prey; not meaning that he will Exod. viii. 15. the Holy Ghost teach wicked and obstinate men,
in plain words to obey willingly; but that he expresseth, that they are strick. will bow them to execute his en with blindness and madness, judgments, as if they did bare his by the just judgment of God. It commandments, graven in their is said that he hardened the heart minds; whereby appeareth that of Pharaoh ; also that he did they were moved by the certain make dull and strengthen it. appointment of God. I grant Some do, with an unsavory cavil. that God doth oftentimes work lation, mock out these phrases of in the reprobate by Satan's ser. speech, because where in another vice, as a mean; but yet so that place it is said, Pharaoh did har. Satan doth his office by God's den his own heart, there is moving; and proceedeth so far his will set for
as is given him. cause of his hardening,
The evil spirit 1 Sam. xvi.14. though these things did not troubled Saul; very well agree together. Al. but it is said that it was of God, though in divers manners that that we may know that the mad. man, while he is moved in work. ness of Saul came of the just ing, by God, doth also work
vengeance of God. himself. And I do turn back It is also said that the 2 Cor. iv.4. their objection against themselves, same Satan doth blind For, if to harden, do signify but the minds of the unfaithful, but a bare sufferance, then the very how so, but only because the effecmotion of obstinacy shall not be tualworking of error cometh from properly in Pharaoh.
Now, God himself, to znake them be. how weak and foolish were it so lieve lies, that refuse to obey the to expound, as if Pharaoh did truth? After the first manner of only suffer himself to be hardened. speaking it is said, if any proMoreover the Scripture cutteth off phet shall speak all occasions for such cavilla. lying, I, God, Ezek. xiv. 9. tions ; for God saith I will hold have deceived his heart. So of the inhabitants him. According to the other of the land of Canaan, Moses manner of speech saith, that they went forth to bat. it is said, that he Rom. i. 28.
tle, because the giveth men into Jos. xi. 20. Lord had harden. a reprobate mind, and to cast
ed their hearts; them into filthy desires, because which same thing is repeated by he is the chief author of his own
another prophet, just vengeance, and Satan is but Ps. cv. 25. saying, he turneth only a minister thereof.
their hearts that 3. Forasmuch as hitherto I they should hate his people. have recited only such things,
Again, in Isaiah are written in the Scriptures, Isaiah x. 6. he saith, that he plainly, not doubtfully; let them
that fear not wrongfully to slan. which he hath openly forbidden der the heavenly oracles, take by his law; that is easily wiped heed what manner of judgment away. But before I answer it, they take upon them; for, if by I will once again give the readers feigned pretending of ignorance warning, that this cavillation is they seek a praise of modesty, thrown out, not against me, but what can be imagined more the Holy Ghost, proudly done, than to set one which taught the Job i. 21. small word against the authority holy man, Job, of God! As I thiok otherwise, this confession. As it pleased I like not to have this touched. God so it came But if they openly speak evil, to pass, when he i Sam. ii. 25. what prevail they with spitting was spoiled by against the heaven ? But this is thieves, he acknowledged in the Do new example of waywardoess; injury and hurt that because there have been in all ages they did him, the Ps. cxv. 3. wicked and ungodly men, that just scourge of God. with raging mouth barked against What saith the Scriptures in other this point of doctrine. But they places ? The sons of Eli obeyed shall feel that thing, indeed, to not their father, because it was be true, which long ago the Holy God'swill to kill them. Ghost spake by the mouth of Also another prophet Is.xlv.7. David, that God may overcome crieth out, that God,
when he is judged. which sitteth in heaven, doPs. li. 6. David doth, by the eth whatsoever he will. And
way, rebuke the mad. now I have shewness of men, in this so unbridled ed plainly enough, Amos iii. 6. . licentiousness, that of their own, that God is the
filthiness they do author of all those things, which 1 John v. 4. not only argue these judges would have to hap
against God, but pen only by his idle sufferance. also take upon them power to He testifieth, that he createth condemn him. In the mean time, light and dark. he shortly admonisheth, that the ness; that he form. Deut. xix. 5. blasphemies, which they vomit eth good and evil; up against the heaven do not that no evil happeneth, which he reach unto God; but that he, himself hath not made. Let them driving away the clouds of cavil. tell me, I beseech them, wheth. Jations, doth brightly shew forth er he do willingly or against his his righteousness; and also our will, execute his own judgments ? faith (because being grounded But as Moses teacheth, that he upon the word of God, it is above which is 3lain by the falling of all the world) doth from her high an axe by chance, is delivered by place,contemptuously look down God into the hand of the strik. upon these mists. For, first, er; so the whole church saith in Where they object, that if nothing Luke,that Herod and Pilate con. happen but by the will of God, spired to do those then there are in him two contra- things, which the Acts iv. 28. Ty wills; because he decreeth hand and purpose of those things, by secret purpose, God, had decreed. And truly
if Christ were not crucified, with general engagement to serve him, the will of God, whence came or the stipulation of some particu. redemption to us? And yet the lar instance of pious gratitude and will of God, neither doth strive homage. There were two kinds with itself, nor is charged, nor of vows under the Levitical Law; feigneth that he willeth not the viz. ceremonial and moral. The thing, that he will; but where it is former took place, when a perbut one and simple in him, it seem- son promised to his Maker cer. eth to us manifold ; because by tain sacrifices, as thankofferings, the weakness of our wit, we con- if He would graciously bestow ceive not how God, in divers some particular favor. The manner, willeth, and willeth not general rule in this case was, that one self thing. Paul, after he the matter of the vow, or the con. hath said, that the calling of the secrated victim, must be perfect
Gentiles is a hid. in its kind, without the least blem. Eph. iii. 10. den mystery, with. ish, or defect ; otherwise, the
in a little after, Most High would reject it with saith further, that in it was man. abhorrence. Accordingly the ifestly shewed the manifold wis. breach of this regulation is most dom of God. Because for the severely reprehended in the first dulness of our wit, the wisdom chapter of Malachi ;
66 Cursed of God seemeth to us manifold, be the deceiver, who hath in his or (as the old interpreter hath flock a male, and voweth and translated it) of many fashions ; sacrificeth unto the Lord a cor. shall we therefore, dream that rupt thing; for I am a great there is any variety in God him. King, saith the Lord of hosts.' self, as though he either changeth The spirit of this law being foundhis purpose, or dissenteth from ed on moral and eternal reasons, himself? Rather, when we con- extends to us and all mankind, ceive not how God will have the to the end of the world. It is un. thing to be done, which he forbid. changeably fit, that the best and eth to do, let us call to miod our most perfect being should be hon. own weakness, and therewithal ored with the best services, the consider, that the light wherein he most perfect oblations of his ram
dwelleth, is not tional creatures; especially, when tim. vi: 16. without cause they directly address him with
called inaccessi. their solemn vows, and grateful ble, because it is covered with acknowledgments. The general darkness. Calvin's Institutes, purport of this rule is eminently chap. 18th Book 1.*
binding upon Christians, who de.. *We will thank our correspondent for a
rive from their religion the highcopy of the remainder of this section, and est motives, helps, and obligations of the fourth, for our next number, that to a pure and acceptable worship. our readers may have the whole of Calvin's view of this difficult and controvert
If therefore, our devotions beiged subject.
EDITORS. norant or cold, trifling or dis..
tracted, we are peculiarly cul. THE NATURE AND OBLIGATION pable for thus offering in sacrifice
OF RELIGIOUS Vows. to Jehovah the blind and the lame, A Vow is a promise made toGod; the torn and the sick. If wheri and accordingly denotes either a we professedly bind ourselves ed?
to the Lord in his holy covenant, charge, before the people in writ. we secretly keep back a portion ing, for their mature consideraof our hearts, of our time, of our tion and concurrence, that their talents, and our possessions, or consent might be perfectly delib. actions, as Annanias,and Sapphira erate and free. In the next place did a part of the consecrated mon. the people, after a first and secey; if we still prostitute the bestond hearing, unanimously accept. of our affections and services to ing the terms proposed, without some selfish or worldly idol; if, any reservation or exception“ all when we make solemn vows to that the Lord hath said will we God in seasons of calamity, dan- do." The articles of agreement be. ger, or serious conviction, we are ing thus concluded between God either not cordial at the time, in and Israel, they interchangeably our resolution to fulfil them, put their seals to them; which is or at best forget and violate done by sacrificing victims, and them in our after conduct; in sprinkling half of their blood upthese cases what are we better on God's altar, and the other than the wicked and cursed de half upon the people; by which ceivers in the passage just recit. ceremony Jehovah sealed to them
to be their God, and they sealed to The second class of Jewish him to be his people. In like man. POWS, are those of a moral kind. per our Lord Jesus Christ, the By vows therefore are eminently · Mediator of the new covenant, denoted those moral engagements, having offered up himself a sacwhich were the soul, the perfece rifice upon the cross, that his tion of Jewish sacrifices, and to blood might be indeed the blood which these were but appurte.' of the covenant, he as it were, nances and seals, like the formali. partly sprinkled it on God's al. ties of signing and ratifying cov- tar in his intercession, and part. enants among men. According- ly sprinkled it upon his church, ly, God speaks of the Jewish na- by his word, ordinances, and Spirtion as having made a covenant it; by which two-fold action with him by sacrifice; (Ps. 1. 5.) God and man are mutually recwhich imports that they had in onciled, are firmly united and se. the first place entered into a sol. cured to each other by a recipro. emn engagement to Jehovah, 'cal and everlasting engagement. 1. binding themselves for ever to love ThetwoChristian ceremonies of and obey him; which constitut. baptism and the Lord's supper ed the moral part or substance are standing, visible seals of this of the contract; and secondly sacred compact under the gospel that they had confirmed this a. dispensation. They are called greement by sacrifice, by all the sacraments from the Latin word bloody oblations which they dai. sacramentum signifying the mili. ly presented.
tary oath, which the Roman sol. That we may have a more full diers took, to be faithful to their idea of this subject, let us turn commander. Baptism is our first to the 24th chapter of Exodus; public vow, or promise of allegi. where we see Moses in the first ance to our heavenly Leader; and place fairly laying all the articles, is therefore called the answer or which God had given him in 'restipulation of a good conscience Voli II. New Series.
towards God. When we present tradiction to his essential attri. ourselves or our children to this butes implied in falsehood, hysacrament, God implicitly pro. pocrisy, or unfaithfulness to Him, poses this question to us Do and the certainty of his detecting you renounce sin and the world, and avenging it; from his wonand promise to follow my banner, derful grace and condescension with steady courage and perse. in proposing to enter into a muverance ? and will you engage tual agreement and federal con. your best endeavors to bring nexion with his own dependent, your children to the same resolu. and rebellious subjects ; from the tion and conduct?” Oar answer perfect equity, tenderness, and and vow is, “All this by the grace bounty displayed both in the of God, we will do.” Thus every prescriptions and promises of this baptized person is an inlisted, covenant; from the credit and devoted soldier of Jesus Christ, success of Christianity in the thegreat Captain of Salvation, and world, which greatly depends on to keep thisengagement everfresh the fidelity of those who have and influential on the mind, the solemnly espoused its cause; and Lord's supper is appointed for the finally, from every tie of personal frequent renewal of it; in which honor and interest, as well as sacrament we symbolically par. every motive of benevolence and take of the flesh and blood of the piety. That our own highest ingreat sacrifice, as a most affect. terest is involved in the payment ing confirmation of our covenant of our vows appears from the with God; as the Jews literally consideration, that the gospel. partook of their sacrifices for a covenant which is the charter of similar purpose.
all our religious privileges and This general and connected hopes, connects the promise of view both of Jewish and Chris. eternal life with sincerity and tian vows, may give us some clear persevering faithfulness in our idea not only of their nature, but Christian profession; while it of their binding force. If a prom. threatens a most aggravated pun. ise be justly deemed sacred, when ishment to hypocrites and back. made to a fellow-creature; if sliders. There is no crime, which the breach of such engagement the Bible more frequently or involve at once the baseness and pointedly condemns than false. mischief of lying, injustice, and hood and perfidy in the business robbery; how awful then must be of promises and covenants, esthe obligation implied in a row pecially those which respect the to the Most High ; especially in Deity. This is ever represented that covenant-transaction, by as the capital sin of God's an. which we devote our whole selves cient people, as that which unto him as our Master and Portion! speakably aggravated their other What transcendent force does transgressions, and subjectedthem this engagement derive from the to a series of desolating judg. infinite dignity of the party, with ments; till at length, for their whom it is formed; from his an- incurable hypocrisies and wick. tecedent and immutable right to edness, divine wrath came upon our best and constant service; them to the uttermost. from the gross affront and con. Having thus explained the na