Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

CAr.I1I.4:xf. iSam:t.;o,fpokenas relatingto 1+1am:45.Ii.Exod:28.43. 66 freetheLord from a chargeof Changeableneffe upon his fuppofalls,needs little paines to demonftrate. The Conceptions of the minds ofthe Sonnesofmen & theirPurpofes,as fuch,areas abfolutely free & inconditionall,as the nature ofaCreature will admit: only the Execution of our Purpofes and refolves is fufpended upon the Intervention ofother things, which render them all Conditionall;And this it feemes is the ltate with Godhimfelfe; although in the Scripture he moftfrequently diftinguifheth himfelfe from theSonnes of men, on this acompt, that they purpofe at the greateft rateof uncertainty imaginable , as to the accomplithment of their thoughts, andthereforeare frequently difappointed ; but his Purpofes and his Counfells (landfor ever. foPfa.33.10, I I. The exprefiìon then here(I faid) relates plainly to the in- veftitureofAaronand his feed in the Priefthood.There was a twofold ingage- ment made to theHouleof Aaronabout that office: one in Generali to hint and his Sonnes: the other in Particular, to Phinchas and his Pofterity. The latter toPhinehas is farremoreexpreffrve and fignificant, then the other; you haveit Numb. 25.II,I2,13.Phinehas theSonne of Eleavar, theSonneofAaron the Prie.11, bathturned my Wrath away from theChildren of Ifrael while he was Zealot'sformyfake amongthem, that I confirmed not the Children of Ifrael in my lealoufy : whereforefay I,Behold,Igive unto himmy Covenant ofpeace, and he (hall have it and hisfeed after him, even the Covenant ofan everlafizng Prief- hood, becaufe he was zealot", forGod,' andmade an Attonement for the Children ofIfrael. Here. is a Promife indeed, and no Condition in termes expreffed: Butyet being made andgranted upon the Condition ofObedience, whichis clearely expreffed once & againe, that the Continuanceofit was allo fufpen- dedon thatCondition, (as to the Glory and beauty ofthat office, the thing principally-intended) cannot be doubted ; yea it is luffrciently expreffed in theOccafion ofthe Promife, and fountaine thereof. But this was not that promife, whereinEli's was particularly concerned. Indeed his Pofteritywas rejected inorder to the accomplifhment of this Promife, the feed ofPhinehas returning totheir dignity from whence they fell, by thé interpolation . ofthe Houle ofithamar. 4, 5, That which this Expreffion here peculiarly relates unto, is the Declaration ofthe mind ofGod , concerning the Priefthood ofAaron and his pofterity, which you have Exodus 28.43. Exodus 29.91. wherethe confirming them in their Office is called a perpetualiStatute, or a Lawforever; The fignification of the terme for ever, in the Hebrew efpecially, relating to %:egall Infiitutions,is known. Their Eternity is long fine expired;that thenwhichGod hereEm- phatically expreffes,as anMt of Grace and Favour to theHoule of Aaron, whichEli andhis had intereft in, was that Statuteor Lawofthe Prielihood: and his purpofe and intention (not concerning the Event of things, not that it fhould continue in any one branch of that Family, but) of his connexing it with theirObedience andFaithfulneffe in that Office. It is very frequent with God to expreffehis Approbationofour duty, under termesholding out the Event, that would be the Iffueof theduty , though it never come to paffe: and his difapprobationor rejedtionof the SonnesofMen, under termes that hold out the endof that difobedience, though it beprevented, or removed. In this latter cafe, he commands Jonas to cry,yet forty claies andNiniveh (hall perifh; not that he purpofed the deftru&ion ofNiniveh at that time, but on- ly effectually to hold out the endof their f nne, that it might be a meanes to turne themfrom it, and toprevent that end,which it would otherwife pro- cure. His purpofewas to prevent, at leaft prorogue the ruineofNiniveh, and thereforemade ufe of threatning them with ruine that they might not be ruined. Tti'lay that God purpofed not the execution; f hispurpofe, but in fuck and