Deut. 26:17, 18

Robert Hawker

"Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God. –And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people."–Deut. xxvi. 17, 18.

What a most lovely view doth this scripture hold forth of the solemn transaction between God and his people! What an amazing thought, that the High and Holy One, who inhabiteth eternity, should condescend to propose and confirm such a covenant! and, my soul, dost thou think that, in the charter of grace, sealed as it is in the blood of God's dear Son, this covenant is less blessed or less sure? Doth not God confirm it in every promise? Is it not read and ratified in every ordinance? And doth not that Holy Spirit of promise set his seal to the whole," whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption?" Pause over the blissful subject! Ponder it well, this solemn evening! Surely, every service, every ordinance in the church of Jesus, becomes a confirmation of the blessed truth. What, indeed, is the gospel itself, but God's covenant in Christ, avouching himself to be our God, and addressed to the ear? And what is the institution of the supper, but the same thing addressed to the eye? And when received by faith, both become seals of the covenant, to certify that the Lord this day, by this service, avouches himself that he is, and ever will be our God; and we avouch, by the same, that we are, and ever will be his people. Oh! it is sweet and refreshing at an ordinance, yea, without ordinances, to be looking over, and reviewing continually, those bonds of the covenant. Dost thou not feel an inexpressible joy, and rapture, and delight, to look back on those gracious transactions, which have passed between thee and thy God in Christ? From the first Bethel visits of the divine love, through the numberless renewals of it, in which thou hast heard his lovely voice speaking to thee again, and saying to thee, as to Jacob of old, "I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me;" Gen. xxxi. 13. Yea, Lord! I have done, and still do, and desire everlastingly to be found doing it. It is my daily prayer to avouch thee to be my gracious Lord God in covenant, in the blood and righteousness of Christ? And do thou, my glorious Lord God, avouch me to be among the redeemed of thy people. Surely, Lord, in this charter of grace, thou hast made over thyself, in all thy divine perfections, to be thy people's. In this royal grant, as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, "of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," all thine attributes are pledged for the fulfilment of thy covenant promises to thy dear Son, and his church in him. Thy very name, Lord, gives a being to thy engagements, and an assurance of their being fulfilled. Yea, Lord, thou hast given thyself to thy people in Christ, and commanded them to call thee theirs. Begin thy song, my soul, and say, "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; he will maintain my lot;" Psalm xvi. 5.