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PUBLISHED BY THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW CHURCH,
SIGNIFIED BY THE NEW JERUSALEM IN THE REVELATION:
AND SOLD BY
J. S. HODSON AND SON,
THE RENEWAL OF THE COVENANT; OR, THE FIRST
SUNDAY OF THE YEAR.
Now, therefore, fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods!”—Joshua xxiv. 14–16.
Joshua, in this chapter, having established the people of Israel in Canaan, renews the Lord's covenant with them, and calls upon them to determine whom they will serve—the Lord who had delivered them from Egypt, and from so many dangers and oppressions, or the false gods whom their fathers had served, or the gods of the Amorites, of whose land they were then in possession. He thus called upon them to make their choice whom they would serve, requiring them to use their freedom of determination, as in this freedom consists the very principle which makes man a man, and which thus enables him to become the image and the likeness of his God. In order that they might choose and determine aright, Joshua records some of the principal events in which the Lord's mercy and deliverance in their behalf had been displayed. He nevertheless leaves them to their choice—“choose ye”— and consequently to their freedom, because all religion must be free, and by no means compulsory, as the Lord in his service must have “a [Enl. Series.No. 85, vol. viii.]