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house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God,” 37 that Esaias also crieth, “ Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." ; And it was of those who, heirs of Abraham's faith, which was counted to him for righteousness, were, as he was, taken into covenant with God, and like whom none remained in the cities of the plain when these were overthrown, that “ Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

The Covenant people of God are an appointed people. Even as a law was appointed in Israel ; even as an everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure, was appointed; so were they. “And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people ? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.” 40

The same term, denoting to appoint, in each of the three cases is used. It is used in original of the passage, “ He gave (appointed) to the sea his decree;" and in this acceptation of it signifies, in sovereignty to ordain. The ancient people included first the people of Israel ; 41 and they are the Covenant people of all nations, and of every age, members of that church whose date is of ancient days. By the prophet who speaks of their appointment, their practice as Covenanters vowing to the Lord, in a familiar

passage is explicitly described. 4 From others it may be concluded. Many evils overtook apostate Ísrael. - The earth mourneth, and fadeth away; the world languisheth, and fadeth away; 37 Is. x. 20, 21. 38 Rom. ix. 27. 39 Is. i. 9; Rom. ix. 29.

40 Is. xliv. 7. 41 Is. xlvii. 6. 42 Is. xliv. 5.

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the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate.” But to many, good was to follow. And if, for the neglect of making and keeping Covenant engagements, such calamities were poured out, will not a strict regard to these duties be paid when desolations shall cease, and there shall have arrived the time, 6 when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”43 Many were appointed or left to disobedience and condemnation. And were not others appointed to obedience and life? Of the former, the Apostle Peter writes,—“ But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But to the others, in terms certainly implying, that to every privilege and duty of the Covenant they were no less--yea, assuredly appointed, He says, “ Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious : and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” The chief corner stone laid in Sion is

presented as a ground of trust, instead of the Covenant with death and hell which should not stand. All founded on him are therefore a Covenant people, and hence, in that character, they were appointed. And hence, in terms from the Old Testament,

43 Is. xxiv. 4, 6, 23.

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bearing on Covenant relations and duties, he continues his address,

ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

The people of God, as a Covenant people, were written in the book of life. Of the holy Jerusalem the Spirit testifies, “ There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” 45

Whosoever enters therein, therefore, will not rank among those who, refusing to act as the children of the Covenant, are denominated the uncircumcised and the unclean. Concerning the beast, it is said, “ All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” 46 The sin of those is idolatry. Hence, neither are written in the book of life any others, who impenitently refraining from the obedience of a covenant people, virtually persevere in the service of any idols, till death arrests them. It was to Israel as a people who had voluntarily in covenant dedicated themselves to his service, that was addressed the message, “Thus saith the Lord, I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the Lord.” 47

And applicable to all who, such as they were, being in covenant are sanctified, is the promise, “ And it shall come to pass, that he that is 14 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8, 5, 6, 9, 10. 45 Rev. xxi. 27. 46 Rev. xiii. 8.

47 Jer, ii, 2, 3.

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left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.” 48 The saints of

. God are

'to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven;" but they are also come to “ Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” And according to their distinguished destination they endeavour to reduce to practice the exhortation, “ Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

The Covenant people of God are an elect people. They were chosen to be separated from the wicked and from their works. Thus Israel were separated from the heathen. Thus all who believe are separated from those that know not nor obey the Lord. “ Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”50 * Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.

The answer of God to the lamentation of Elijah concerning the defection of Israel, is applied to believers of New Testament times, as a people in covenant chosen from the wicked. 66 God hath not cast away

his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias ? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars : and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him ? I 48 Is. ir. 3,

49 Heb. xii. 23, 24, 28. 60 Deut. vii. 6. 51 Deut. vi. 13, 14; see also Ezek. xx. 5–7.

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have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”52 The apostle does not quote the words of the prophet," The children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant;"53 but he states the evidence for the fact which these words announce,

They have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars.” The seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to the image of Baal, were steadfast in God's Covenant. All believers are so. As thus steadfast, all of them in every time are a remnant, according to the election of grace.

The people of God were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Hence a visible church was erected therein. Hence Israel, as a people, were endowed with peculiar privileges. Hence the ordinances of Divine grace are dispensed in every age. But all are not elect who wait on the institutions of religion. Israel was chosen from among the heathen; but all of them were not chosen in Christ. The members of the visible church, by profession, are separated from the world; but all of them do not enjoy the privileges, and do not discharge the duties of God's elect. All are not Israel who are of Israel. When the Lord entered into covenant with his people Israel, he chose them from among idolaters. He did so because of his choice of them from everlasting. Why the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, is, that he chose them from eternity. And the Lord will have mercy on the Gentiles as a covenant people, set apart from the wicked, according to his eternal sovereign good will. 66 The Lord did not set his love upon you, choose

you,
because

ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all the 52 Rom. xi. 2-5.

1 Kings xix. 10.

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