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sanctuary, were, some of them at least, of the same materials, as those in common use. There was no inherent virtue in them, above any others. But they were specially devoted to the use of the tabernacle, to which they were set apart by solemn, prescribed forms; they were sprinkled with blood, with "which, almost all things were purged;" and after this process, they were to be employed exclusively in the use of the sanctuary, and could never be devoted to commou purposes. Again, the children of Jacob were not a holy people to God till he had chosen them, and separated them from the Egyptians. They were not chosen because they were holy; but they were holy because they were chosen. I know of no evidence to prove, that the Israelites were not, morally speaking, as pure, in point of character before they departed from Egypt as afterwards; and to deal frankly, I should say that they were probably more so; because additional blessings always produce additional obligations, and where such are not discharg ed, the sin is greater than it could have been in the previous circumstances. However this might have been, we are certain that the election of Israel to the possession of special privileges did not result from their inhe rent holiness: "Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked people."

That the possession of moral holiness was not necessary to the object in view, in choosing the house of Israel, will be seen from the consideration of that object as the scriptures represent it. The object was, to institute the true worship of God, founded upon his unity and immutability; and with reference to this object, a nation was necessary as the depository of the divine law, and made acquainted with the name, attributes and character of Jehovah, that they might perpetuate and extend the true worship to the latest ages, and among other nations of the earth. "What advantage

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hath the Jew, or what profit is there of circumcision ? Much every way, chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." The character of the promise to the fathers is very remarkable; "in thee, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." This was said to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, successively. I have sometimes regretted, that while preachers dwell so much, and with such strength of reasoning upon the blessings, which are promised in Christ, they seem to overlook those which were promised in Jacob and his predecessors. "In THEE and thy seed." This seed, we know was the Messiah; but we also know, that here are two ideas expressed, which however related, are yet distinct, and must not be confounded. The promise was to all nations through Abraham and his successors, as well as through the Messiah, and the blessing appears to be as dependent upon one as the other. Now, how does the blessing come upon all nations through Jacob or his ancestors? We answer, this was not spoken to these men, merely in their personal but in their national characters. The promise was to be fulfilled, and the blessing contained in it, conveyed to the whole world, through the nation of Israel, by constituting that nation the depository of the law, the great intention of which was to establish true worship, and the first commandment of which expressly forbids all idolatry. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We may add, that it was likewise the divine purpose, to establish the doctrine of the unity of God, and through Israel, to promulgate it among other nations. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." All history illustrates and confirms these facts. With all the sins and enormities, which this despised and degraded people have committed, there is not on earth, a community more tenacious of the unity of God, than the Jews are at this day. A fine writer has said, "the Jews are our Librarians." Tho in many instances, they have per

verted the law, and made it void by their traditions, yet they still retain this great article, by which they were originally distinguished, and the belief of which renders them still a suitable medium for the transmission of the blessing to other nations, to the attainment of which object, their present dispersed and scattered condition does not a little contribute, and which is doubtless intended in providence to further this great and desirable end.

From the preceding facts and reasoning, it would appear, that moral holiness was not indispensably necessary, to enable the house of Israel to meet the divine purpose, in choosing them for himself. Nor, in this view, was it necessary that every individual of the nation should be equally virtuous, and equally zealous for the law, as his neighbor. If the peculiar doctrines of the law, and the worship of the true God were generally maintained, and they thereby distinguished from all other people, the grand design of providence was answered. Thus David is called "a man after God's own heart;" not because his moral life was irreproachable; but because he was raised up, to be instrumental in great transactions and events, which had a vast influence upon the welfare of his country, which having done as Deity purposed, he deserved and received the appellation just quoted.

Secondly. The nation of Israel were chosen to be a special people to God, above all people upon earth.

The two propositions of our discourse are so nearly allied, that it is possible, that some observations which might, with as much propriety, have been placed under the present head, have been anticipated. We shall find, however, under this article a confirmation of the truth of our preceding remarks, attended too, with additional methods of illustration. It is not my wish to attempt very often to disprove the doctrines of others;

but here I cannot avoid observing that while election is usually considered a sovereign and arbitrary act of Deity, the connexion of ideas in the text demonstrates the reverse. The act of choosing Israel to be a special and holy people to God was, as we have seen, with reference to their usefulness to other nations, in promulgating the religion with which they had been made acquainted. Nor is it any more true, that men are elected to peculiar privileges and exalted stations, in order to promote their own interests exclusively. If election is not arbitrary, so neither does it proceed upon principles of favoritism. Election is, in fact, nothing more than the choosing such instruments as God deems best suited to promote certain ends, agreeably to laws of moral or natural fitness; and all of sovereignty there is in the act is, that it is performed without consulting the will of any inferior being. This is my most comprehensive definition of sovereignty. It equally excludes the idea of acting without a design, and acting without a benevolent one.

But the very language which the scriptures employ in relation to this subject proves that the design of God in choosing a special people, was not local or limited: but that it comprehended more than the people elected. If God has a special people, he must have a people in a more general sense; for special and general are relative terms, and the one implies the other. David says, "the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his PECULIAR treasure." This expression implies, with all the peculiarity attached to Israel, Deity was the possessor of other nations, and that they were his general possession or inheritance. Solomon says, in speaking of his royal affluence, that he "got him the PECULIAR treasure of kings." Whatever this was, it is certain it did not constitute his whole wealth; as he enumerates sundry other things, which contributed to augment his riches. The meaning doubtless was, that

this treasure was appropriated to some particular use, to which it was sacred or set apart.

The language of the Old Testament is incorporated into the new, and the ideas which it conveys are transferred from one to the other. It was said to ancient Israel, "ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests." Of spiritual Israel it is said, "ye are a royal priesthood," and again, he hath made us kings and priests unto God." It is believed, that every person will see at once, that when Israel was called "a kingdom of priests," there must have been some who were not priests, for whom they officiated, and for whose benefit more than their own, they were elected to that office. The same may be said of the royal priesthood of the Christian dispensation. It is not instituted for the advantage of those only who bear this appellation. Every Christian, in every station, is worthy of this title, and while he "presents his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God," and offers the oblation of "praise continually," his services do good to all men within their influence, and the incense that he offers ascends to God as a sweet savor, in sight of the congregation who surround him.

"Ye are a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people." These words were spoken to Christian believers; and they designate them as elect persons, chosen of God, and appointed by him to important purposes. Yet the advantage of being of the number of the elect was not exclusively theirs. Peter informs them that they were chosen to these privileges, that they might become more useful to others; "that ye should shew forth the praise of him, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." But of what use could it be to show forth the praise of God, if none were to see and profit by it? "The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself;" not indeed because this character can specially benefit the Deity, or


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