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Mat. xvii 12.
whom it is written, Behold I fend my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For all the prophets, and the law, prophefied until John. And, if ye will receive it, This is Elias which was for to come. In another place he fays to his Dif ciples after John the Baptift was beheaded, I say unto you that Elias is come alread and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatfoever they lifted: likewife shall also the fon of man fuffer of them. Then the dif ciples underflood, that he spake unto them of John the Baptift. amidral omi ada syaiunt d SEC TXVIII.A to den ent Shaw Y
The Manner of Confulting God.
Among the feveral Ways of asking Counfel of God, among the Ifraelites, that of having Recourse to his Prophets being one; it will not be amifs, in this Place, to give a fhort Account of them all. cesitas The most folemn Way, and which, at the Beginning of their Government was most in Ufe among them, was that of confulting God by the Oracle. When the High-Prieft, approaching the Mercy Seat, which was upon the Cover of the Ark of the
the Covenant, enquir❜d of God, concerning the Point in Question; and received an Answer, either in the Negative or Affirmative.
03 This Way, God himfelf allows of, in the Law; to prevent them from running after the impure Dæmons of the neighbouring Heathens, upon all Occafions. After he had given Mofes precife Directions how to make the Mercy Seat, He fays; will commune
There I will meet thee, and I seat, from
with thee; from above the Mercy
Thither, accordingly, Mofes went, to si confult God, upon all Occafions; and from thence it is that the LORD speaks to him. Thus, we read; When Mofes was gone into Numb. the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him,then be heard the voice of one speaking unto him, from off the Mercy Seat, that was upon the ark of teflimony; from between the two cherubims. And the LORD Spake unto Moles. faying, &c. (whence the Expreffion of, God's dwelling between
the cherubims, which we meet with in Scripture! De amids ofma moda rocilah Hiar Again, after the Death of Joshua, we I Judg. i.1. find, The children of Ifrael asked the LORD, faying, Who fhall go up for us against the I Canaanites firft, to fight against them ? And the LORD faid, Judah fhall go up : Bebold, I bave delivered the land into his de band. ediT odr Judg. xx. Again; The children of Israel arofe, and 18.23.28. went up to the house of God, and asked counfel of God, and faid, Which of us fhall go up, firft, to the battle against the children of Ben jamin? And the LORD faid, Judah fhall go. up, first. And when, not having met with✨ the defir'd Succefs, They asked counsel of the LORD, faying, Shall I go up again to battle against Benjamin my brother? And the LORD faid, Go up against him. And having fceeded ill the fecond, Time, we find them yet more defponding, and feemingly unwilling to think it was the LORD's Will T that they should engage with the Benjamites as any more; yet they faft, and pray, and en-ow quire of the LORD faying, Shall I yet again oss go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or fball I ceafe? And t
= the LORD faid, Goup; for to morrow, I will deliver them into thine band. For the Benjamites had been exceeding impious and rebellious; fo as to deferve an exemplary Punishment, even from the Hands of their Brethren.
į Again; when they confulted God about the Election of a King, he names, first, 1 Sam.x. Tribe; fecondly, the Family; thirdly, 21, 22. the Perfon, Saul the Son of Kish. And, when he could not be found, they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither? And the LORD answered, Behold he hath bid himself, among the stuff: And they ran and fetched him thence. And when there had been a Famine, three years, z Sam. in the land, David enquired of the LORD; xxi. I. and the LORD answered, It is for Saul and his bloody boufe.
Of this Method of confulting God, we hear no more, after the Destruction of the Temple; when the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat which was a-top of it were loft. It being upon their Account that the Holy of Holies where they stood, was call'd the Oracle. And it is faid of Abito- 1 Kings phel, that the Counsel which he counselled in 2 Sam. Y 4 thofe 23.
those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God,
The Ways of confulting God, befide the Oracle, were either by the Prophets, or the High-Pricfts, or by Dreams. Of all which we have mention, in the following Inftance. When Saul, by forfaking God, had caus'd God to forfake him; it is faid; And when Saul enquired of the LORD, thes LORD anfwered him not; neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets, or ch The High-Prieft does not feem to have li been qualified for refolving any Questions of this kind, unless she was drefs'd in the Ephod, to which the Breaft Plate belong'd, in which were the Urim and Thummim; as we have spoken at large before. Therefore, when David was greatly diftreffed, and had a Mind to enquire of the LORD, this Way; He faid to Abiathar the Prieft, Ahimelech's fon, I pray thee, bring me hi-c: ther the Ephod; and Abiathar brought thither the Ephod to David. And David enquired & at the LORD, faying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And be anfwered him, Purfue; for thou shall furely overtake them, and, without fail, recover all.
I Sam. xxviii. 6.
Sam. xxx. 6, &c.