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before us all the people which dwelt in the land; therefore will we also serve the Lord, for he is our God". And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses; the Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem'.
"The covenant was again renewed in the reign of the good king Asa." He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem. And they offered unto the Lord seven hundred oxen, and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers, with all their heart, and with all their soul; that whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire, and he was found of them; and the Lord gave them rest round about".
"With a like spirit of devotion was the covenant renewed, and the passover solemnly celebrated by Hezekiah; as recorded in the 2d book of Chronicles, the xxixth and xxxth chapters. So too was the covenant renewed by Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 30—34. passages we refer to, and conclude with the exemplary devotion of the people of Judah, on their return from the Babylonish captivity. They kept the feast of the tabernacles in a very solemn manner." Since the days of Joshua the son of Nun, unto that day, had not the children of Israel done so; and there was very great gladness. Also, day by day, from the first day unto the last
Josh. xxiv. 24, 25.
P Josh. xxiv. 14-18. 4 Josh. xxiv. 22.
day, Ezra read in the book of the law of God; and they kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly according unto the manner. Now, upon the twenty and fourth day of this month, the children of Israel were assembled, with fasting, and with sackcloths, and earth upon them. And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God, one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part, they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God. Then the Levites said, Stand up, and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever". (" It was at this time that the solemn thanksgiving, confession, and prayer, recorded in Nehemiah, ix. from the 5th to the 37th verse, was delivered; and it is concluded by these remarkable words:") And now, because of all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests seal unto it*. And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that bad separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding; they clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses, the servant of God; and to observe, and do all the commandments of the Lord our God, and his judgments, and his statutes'.
OF TRUST, HOPE, AND CONFIDENCE IN OUR GOD
"Neh. ix. 1, 2, 3, 5. * Neh. ix. 38.
Neh. viii. 17, 18.
y Neh. x. 28, 29.
in our own might.-4. Or in man.-5. A right trust in God supposes that the heart is reconciled to him, and disposed to do his will.-6. Such persons may confidently trust in God for protection from dangers, support in trouble, and deliverance from all that is really evil.-7. The promises of God to his people, lay a sure foundation for their hope and confidence in him.-8. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have an interest in the richest promises, and by him the most illustrious hopes are fully ascertained.-9. Through him we may confidently hope for all that is truly necessary for us in this state of mortality. 10. For aid and support in duties and trials, and 11. For final salvation, and eternal life. 12. A steady trust in God, and the comforts flowing from it, expressed in the prayers and praises of the Saints. Examples of genuine trust, in the character of Abraham, Joshua, and Caleb; David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah.
SECT. 1. General calls to this duty.
Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise; that thy trust may be in the Lord". Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths". Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
SECT. 2, The folly and danger of trusting in wealth or possessions.
§ 1. Prov. xxii. 17, 19. §2.1 Tim. vi. 17.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit; but he that trusteth in his riches shall fall. They trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeemn his brother, nor give to God a
ransom for him. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling-places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless, man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? The hypocrite's hope shall perish; whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand; he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endures. Labour not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom; wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle towards heaven". Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them'. them'. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for I should have denied the God that is above*.
Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me'? Wo to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice, she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God". Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength"; because thou hast trusted in thy works, and in thy treasures; thou shalt also be taken, and shalt go into captivity. Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness".
SECT. 3. In our own might and power.
Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and
d Psalm xlix. 6, 7.
Job, viii. 13, 14, 15.
* Job, xxxi. 24, 25, 28.
Psalm xlix. 11, 12.
f Job, xxvii. 8, 9.
from the multitude of mountains; truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel, Wo to them that stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen because they are very strong; but they look not to the holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord'. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength; an horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him; upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our god". I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. In God is my salvation.
SECT. 4. Or in man.
Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; which keepeth truth for ever. It is better to
a Jer. iii. 23.
4. Jer. xvii. 5-8.
b Isa. xxxi. 1.
e Hos. xiv. 3.
Psalm cxlvi. 3-6.
e Ps. xxxiii. 16-19. Psalm xliv. 6.