« הקודםהמשך »
thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, and houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedśt not, when thou shalt have eaten, and be full; then beware lest thou forget the LORD which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
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; for the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you ; lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in, and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the Lord hath spoken.
And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God hath commanded you; then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bond-men in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt, with a mighty hand : and the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his housebold, before our eyes': and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive as it is at this day.
And It shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
This section strongly proves what has been before hinted, “ That the Jewish constitution was a scheme for promoting virtue and true religion *.” In respect to the extraordinary privileges which the Israelites possessed, they were highly honoured, but they were not to rest in them. These blessings were, in the first instance, the gift of love and mercy, without any merit on their part; but the continuance of them depended on their obedience and righteousness. It is exactly the same with Christians : The privileges we enjoy as the Church of Christ, are the free gift of God; but they will avail us nothing as individuals, unless we add obedience and personal righteousness to them, the righteousness that cometh by Faith.
The duties which Moses here enjoins to the Israelites are of general obligation to all, who are taken into covenant with God; they are parts of the moral law, which will never be abolished ; let us, therefore, if we wish for peace and prosperity in this world ; if we desire eternal rest and happiness in the next, “ Fear the LORD our God, love Him with all our heart and soul, keep His statutes and His commandments ourselves, and teach
them to our children;" by taking every opportunity of conversing with them on religious subjects.
If it should please God to bless us with prosperity, let us be careful not to forget from whom our blessings flow; and, above all things, let us remember our great deliverance from the bondage of sin, and never suffer any change of fortune to make us distrust the power or providence of God.
By swearing in the NAME of the Lord God, Moses meant, that they should confirm their covenants, whe. ther among themselves, or with other nations, in His HOLY NAME, by solemnly calling upon the Lord God towimess the agreement, and to bless and prosper them, or send his judgments upon them, according as they kept their oath, or broke it; as God is a God of truth,
is very impious to promise or declare any thing in His name, without intending to perform it. The violation of a solemn oath is called perjury, it is a presumptuous sin.
We find that Moses supposed that children would enquire the meaning of the religious rites and ceremonies observed by their parents : from whence we may infer, that God is well pleased with those that seek Him early; and it is certainly the interest, as well as the duty of Youth to do so; for there is no other way of securing the blessing of Heaver, or of guarding their minds against the allurements of the world. If the study of religion be deferred, other things will get pos-, session of the affections of the heart, to the exclusion of God; and the soul will remain (perhaps for ever) a stranger to the highest and most rational delight it is capable of enjoying.
God graciously promised the Israelites, that an observance of His Divine commands should be their righteousness.” From which we may understand, that
though they could have no natural claim to God's blessings without unerring goodness, he would make allow. ances for the infirmities of human nature, and on condition that they would regulate their conduct by the moral law, and offer the sacrifices which he had or. dained as means of grace, He would remit the punishment due for their offences, and accept of their best endeavours, instead of unsinning obedience, provided they were accompanied with faith and trust in his mercy.
The righteousness of Christians consists in believing what has been revealed in the Scriptures concerning the salvation of makind, partaking of the sacraments of Baptism and the LORD's Supper, and conforming their lives to the Divine Precepts of the Gospel.
MOSES' EXHORTATION CONTINUED.
From Deut. Chap. vii. WHEN the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy thein ; thou shalt make no covenant with them ; nor shew
unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods : so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cụt down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
For 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.
The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you,
because ye were more in number than any people (for ye were the fewest of all people), but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty land, and redeemed you out of the house of bond-men, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him, to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him; he will repay him to his
Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them; that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and
which he sware unto thy fathers : and he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he G2