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meant those marvellous works that he did to Abraham and his seed, from the calling of Abraharn to the bringing in of the people into Canaan, as appears from the following part of the psalm; and it is observable here that the psalmist connects the wonderful works and the laws or judgments of God's mouth together as in like manner worthy to be remembered. See also i Chron. xvi. 12, with the subsequent part of that song. The law, and covenant, and wonderful works, are in like manner connected as not to be forgotten, in Ps. lxxviii. 10, 11; and in the cxi. Psalm, the psalmist intimates that God has taken some special care to keep up the memory of those works; ver. 4, “ He hath caused bis wonderful works to be remembered," speaking of these works, as appears from what follows in the psalm. And what other way can we suppose it to be that God hath done this, than the same with that whereby he caused his covenant and commandments spoken of in the following verses, to be remembered, viz., by causing them to be recorded? The works and commandments are joined together. Ver. 7. “ The works of his hands are verity and judgment, all his commandments are sure;" and again in the 9th verse, “ He hath sent redemption to bis people, he hath commanded his covenant for ever;" as they are doubtless connected in the record. Compare Psalm cxlvii. 19, and ciii. 7. In the lıxviii. Psalm, the psalmist, 'after speaking of the great care that Moses took that the history of the great works of God towards Israel in Egypt and the wilderness should be remembered and delivered to future generations, (in ver. 4, 5, 6, 7,) then proceeds to rehearse the principal things in that bistory in a great many particulars, so as to give us, in short, the scheme of the whole history, with many minute circumstances, in such a manner as to show plainly that what is there rebearsed is copied out of the history of the Pentateuch.
It is the more likely that the history of the Pentateuch should be a part of that which was called the law of Moses, because it is observable that the words law, doctrine, statute, ordinances, &c., as they were used of old, did not only intend precepts, but also promises, and threatenings, and prophecies, and monuments, and bistories, and whatever was revealed, promulgated, and established, to direct men in their duty to God, or to enforce that duty upon them. So the blessings and the curses that were written by Moses are included in that phrase, and the words that Moses commanded. Joshua viii. 34, 35. So promises are called law, and the word which God commanded in Psa. cv. 9, and i Chron. xvi. 15. So promises and threatenings are called the word which God commanded his servant Moses. Nehem. i. 8, 9. Threatenings and promises are called statutes and judgments in Levit. xxvi. 46. Thus we read, Exod. xv. 25, 26, that at Marah God made for VOL. IX
the people a statute and an ordinance, but that which is so called is only a promise. So we read in Joshua xxiv. 25, that Joshua made a covenant with the people, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem, which was nothing else than only his establishing what had been there said by a record and a monument, as appears from the context. So when God, in the song of Moses, Deut. xxxii. calls upon heaven and earth to give ear to his doctrine, which he says shall distil as the rain, &c., therein is included both history and prophecy, as appears by what follows, and what, iu Psa. Ixxviii. 1, is called a law, is only a history, and the very same with the history in the Pentateuch in epitome, those dark sayings of old, which the psalmist there rehearses, as appears from what follows in the psalm; which makes it the more easily supposable that the original and more full history, of which this is an epitomne, was also amongst them called a law. And it is probable, that when we read of the great things of God's law, Hos. viii. 12, and the wondrous things of God's law, that thereby is not only intended precepts and sanctions, but the great and wondrous works of God recorded in the law. It is evident that the history is as much of an enforcement of the precepts, (aud is so made use of,) as the threatenings, promises, and prophecies; and why then should it not be included in the name of the law as well as they? There is something of history, or a declaration of the great acts, or works of God in that, which is by way of eminency called the Law, viz. the Decalogue ; in that there is a declaration of the two greatest works of which the history of the Pentateuch gives an account, viz. the creation of the world, and the redemption out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: the latter is mentioned in the preface of the Decalogue, and both in the 4th commandment in Deuteronomy. But the fact that history was included in what was called the law, is so plain from nothing as from Moses's own records. Deut. i. 5. “On this side Jordan in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare that law, saying and then follows in this and the ensuing chapters, that which is called this law, which consists in great part of history, being a rehearsal and recapitulation of the history in the preceding books of the Pentateuch. What follows next in this and the two next chapters, is almost wholly, history, which undoubtedly there is special reason to understand as intended by those words, “Moses began to declare the law, saying." See also Deut. iv. 44, 45.; and xxxi. 9. 24, 25, 26.; and v. 1.
Again the book of the law, and the book of the covenant, were synonimous expressions; (see among other places, psalm cv. 8, 9, 10:) but the word covenant, as it was then used, included history, as Deut. xxix. “ These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses ;". and what next follows is history, such history as was introductory, or concomitant, or confirmatory to the precepts, and threatenings, and promises that follow, and of this nature is all the history of the Pentateuch. It is abundantly manifest that the manner of inditing and writing laws in the wilderness delivered by Moses, was to intermix history with precept, counsels, warnings, threatenings, promises, and prophecies.
It may be noted, that it was very early the custom in Israel to keep records of the public transactions of the nation, and they regarded this as a matter of so great importance, as to have men appointed, whose business and office it was to keep these records. So we find it was in the days of Solomon and David, and in the days of the Judges, as early as the days of Deborah. Judg. v. 14. “Out of Zebulon, they that handle the pen of the writer.” It is probable from the context, that these were their rulers, or some of ihe chief officers in the land that kept records of public affairs. Before this, also, we have express account of Joshua and Moses making records of public transactions. (See Josh. xxiv. 26, and the forementioned place concerning Moses's writing records.) And it is evident that these trausactions which related to the bringing of that nation into a covenant relation with God, and redeeming them out of Egypı, &c. were always by that nation chiefly celebrated, and looked upon as the greatest and most Inemorable events of their history. Now, therefore, is it credible, that in a nation, whose custom it was all along, even from the very times of those great transactions, to keep records of all public affairs, that they should be without any written record of these transactions ?
There is no other way that would be natural of writing a divine law, or law given by God in an extraordinary manner, with wonderful and astonishing circumstances, and great manifestations of his presence and power, except that of writing it in this manner, and recording those extraordinary circumstances under which it was given: first introducing it by giving an account that it was given by God, and then declaring when, how, on what occasion, and in what manner it was given. And this will bring in all the history, from the beginning of Exodus to the end of Deuteronomy. Who can believe that Moses wrote the law which God gave at mount Sinai, without giving an account how it was given there; when the manner of giving was so exceedingly remarkable, and so affected Moses's mind, as appears from many things which Moses wrote in Deuteronomy, which are there expressly called by the name of a law, and which we are also expressly told that Moses wrote in the book of the law, and delivered to the priests to be laid up in the sanctuary?
There is such a dependence between many of the precepts and sanctions of the law, and other parts of the Pentateuch, that
are expresly called the law, and that we are expressly told were written in the book of the law, and laid up in the sanctuary; I say there is such a dependence between these and the history, that they cannot be understood without the history. Many of the precepts, as was observed before,'(p. 117.) was appointed to that end to keep up the remembrance of historical facts; and that is expressly mentioned in the words of these laws themselves. But such laws obviously cannot be understood without the history. Thus this is mentioned as the reason of the appointment of the feasts of tabernacles, viz. that the children of Israel might remember how they dwelt in tabernacles in the wilderness. Levit. xxiii. 43. Now this required the history of their travels and sojourning there. So the law concerning the Amalekites, Moabites, and Amorites, appointed in commemoration of what passed between the congregation of Israel in the wilderness in their travels there, and those nations, cannot be understood without the history of those facts; and these require the history of the travels of the children of Israel, and of the things that led to those incidents, and that occasioned them. So that great law of the passover that is said in the law to be in remembrance of their redemption out of Egypt, and the many particular rites and ceremonies of that feast, are said expressly in the law to be in remembrance of these, and those circumstances of that redemption. Now it is impossible to understand all these particular precepts about the passover without an history of that affair; and this requires the history of their bondage in Egypt, and the manner how they came into that bondage; and this draws in the history of the patriarchs. The preface to the ten commandments cannot be understood without the history of the redemption of Israel out of Egypt, and of their circumstances there, in the house of bondage ; nor can what is given as one reason of the 4th commandment in Deuteronomy be understood without an account how they were servants in the land of Egypt, and how they were delivered from their servitude. We very
often find this mentioned as an enforcement of one precept and another, viz. God's deliverance of the people out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, and out of the iron furnace. See Levit. xviii. 3, xix. 34, xxii. 33, XXV. 42. 55, xxiii. 43, and xxvi. 13. 45. Numb. xv. 41. Deut. iv. 20, vi. 12, vii. 8, viii. 14, xiii. 10, and xx. 1. Which shows how necessary the history is to understand the law. The many precepts about the poor bondman and stranger that are expressly enforced, from the circumstance of the Israelites in Egypt, absolutely require a history of their circumstances there. And there are in the enforcement of the laws, frequent references to the plagues and diseases of Egypt, threatenings of inflicting those plagues, or promises of freedom from them, which cannot be understood without the histo
ry of those plagues. The law of no more relurning again into Egypt, Deut. xvii. 16, requires the history of their coming out from thence. The law concerning not admitting the Moabites and Ammonites into the congregation of the Lord, because they so treated them in their journey, could not be understood without the story of their treatment, and that required an account of their journey. The law concerning sins of ignorance, Numb. xv. 22, 23, 24, depends on the history for its being intelligible :
" and if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses, even all that the Lord hath, commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses, aud benceforward among your generations, then it shall be, is ought be committed by ignorance," &c. Here is a reference to God's revealing himself from time to time, in a long series of revelations to Moses, which cannot be understood without the history.
The law was written as a covenant, or as a record of a covepant between God and the people ; and therefore the tables of the lan and the tubles of the covenant, the book of the law and the book of the covenant, are synonimous phrases in scripture. And the psalmist, Ps. cv. 9, 10, speaking of the covenant that God made with the patriarchs, says, that God confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and unto Israel for an everlasting covenant. It is to be noted that the promise to Abraham is what is there especially called the law, and the word which God commanded. The threatenings of the law are called the words of the covenant which God made by Moses in Jer. xi. 8. But if Moses wrote the book of the law as a record of the covenant that was made beIween God and the congregation of Israel, it was necessary to write the people's consent, or what was done on both sides, for there was a mutual transacting in this covenant: See Deut. xxvi. 17, 18. “Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways,” &c.—“And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments.” Agreeable hereto is the account we have, Exod. xix. 8, and xxiv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and Deut. v. 27, and xxvi. 17.
The discourse that we have in Dent. xxix. and xxx. is introduced thus, " These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb” But the following discourse, called the words of the covenant, is made up of the following things, viz. a history of the transaction, Moses's rehearsal of past transactions and wonderful dealings of God with them, with reproofs for their insensibility and unaffectedness as introduciug wbat he had further to say. He